Monday, June 14, 2010
Make Your Own Slingshot
Slingshots have been used for centuries. When people wrote about David fighting Goliath, what weapon did David use? A slingshot, though the slingshot that was used then was probably a piece of fabric which was flung around the head providing centrifugal force to propel a stone or other missile. But it was still a slingshot. This essay will talk about how to make a slingshot, what to make them with, and how to use them properly and safely.
To build a slingshot, I used a handsaw, a knife (which must be sharp since a dull knife can be dangerous), a piece of strong but flexible leather, two wide rubber bands, and a y-shaped stick.
When choosing your stick, you want a fresh unrotten one. I used sycamore which I found in our backyard after a storm. If a slingshot is made out of too hard a wood, it could snap and hit the bearer in the face. Pine can also work nicely for a slingshot.
The forks on my slingshot are about 5 inches in length. Using my knife, I whittled notches at each end of the fork. I cut the leather into roughly a one-and-a-half inch by three-and-a-half inch rectangle. Then I made two incisions near the narrow ends of the leather.
I attached the rubber bands to the stick by wrapping the rubber band around the stick and sticking one end through the other.
Then I stuck the other end of the rubber bands through the slits in the leather and anchored them with tiny twigs.
To work the slingshot, pull back the leather pouch slowly while the slingshot faces the ground. Hold your ammunition in place against the inside of the leather, then life the slingshot and take aim, still keeping the leather taut. Release.
When using your slingshot, be careful! Make sure there is nothing in your way before you pull the leather back. Do not underestimate how far a handmade slingshot can shoot.
I use acorns for ammunition and use my slingshot to see how accurate I can aim at a target. Instead of accuracy, you could practice for distance, or whatever you like.
I invented this pattern and have enjoyed using my slingshot very much. I hope you do too!