A slingshot is a simple device that dates back to primitive times. It's fired by holding it in one hand while the other hand is used to pull back an attached firing mechanism that's loaded with a rock or other projectile. The projectile is then sent flying toward the target after the firing mechanism is released. Slingshots, which have a long history as both as a weapon and a child's toy, can be made in a day or less under normal circumstances.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Cutting tool
- Y-shaped tree branch
- Rubber bands
- Rectangular piece of leather
- Duct tape
Cut off a Y-shaped tree branch. The branch should be between 6 and 9 inches in length and 2 inches thick, with the dimensions depending on your hand size and what you would feel comfortable holding. The branch should be solid so that it won't break when used to fire projectiles.
Shave the bark off so that the smooth wood below is all that's left. Also, shave off any knots or bumps off the wood's base so that the device will be easier to grip.
Dry the wood out, so that it becomes harder, stronger and more stable. If there's moisture, sap or other liquid in the wood, the device is flimsier and more prone to breakage, like a twig. Letting the wood sit indoors overnight should do the trick.
Get two thick, sturdy rubber bands, which will be used to launch the projectiles, and cut them open in one spot, so that they're both long strips. If you don't already have thick rubber bands in your household, they can be found at many camping stores and home and office stores for under £3 a box.
Attach a rectangular piece of leather to the centre of the rubber band. Do this by cutting slits into the left and right ends of the piece of leather, then sliding the two rubber band strips through the slits until the leather rests in the middle. The leather will act as the base when you're aiming and firing projectiles. An old shoe tongue or part of an old bag is perfect for this piece.
Attach the thick rubber bands and affixed leather base (aka the firing assembly) to the Y-shaped wood piece. Use smaller rubber bands, duct tape and/or electrical tape to tightly lash the ends of the thick rubber band to the forks on the Y-shaped piece.
Tips and warnings
- Don't leave your finished or unfinished slingshot outside overnight if possible, because wind, rain, sun and other elements can damage the wood.
- Slingshots can be dangerous and cause injury. They should not be used against other people.
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