Home #Makerspace: Slingshot #Scouting Project
Here’s a project that comes with a liability warning: a child can get hurt, very hurt, using this project. The slingshot is a weapon and should be treated as such. This project is only appropriate for outdoor use, closely supervised by an adult. While young children are more than capable of physically using a slingshot, that doesn’t mean they should. You have to judge your child’s readiness. By building this project, you are accepting responsibility for anything that happens.
But when you are ready…
…fire away! (Down range, away from people and property, with appropriate safety gear on.)
The Sling Shot
- Y-Branch with a thickness of about 1/2” at minimum.
- Hardwood, about 4” wide and 8” long, with no splits, defects or knots.
- Rubber latex tubing, 1’ to 2’ long. Longer lengths shoot farther, shorter lengths are much safer. I used 1’ lengths.
- Duct Tape
- Flush cut saw.
- Drill and brad point bit, just under the thickness of your tubing.
- Scroll saw or coping saw
- Bench sander or sanding block
The Y-Branch Slingshot
- Trim the Y-Branch to size with the flush cut saw.
- Drill a hole on both Y branches, a least 1/4” from the end.
- Thread the tube through one branch. A twisting motion helps push the tube through the hole easier.
- Tie a knot at the end of the rubber tube.
- Repeat for the other side.
- To make the duct tape pouch, begin by folding the duct tape over itself and cutting off a square. Then tape two thin straps to the square. Assemble on the sling shot itself, so the rubber forms a little pull tab. Then, fold tape over the top and bottom edges, securing the straps.
The Hardwood Y
- Draw a rough Y on a piece of hardwood. Make it as symmetrical as possible and the branches are about 1/2” thick.
- Cut out the Y.
- Sand the handle to fit comfortably in your hand.
- Follow steps 2 through 6 from above.
Rubber latex tubing – often called surgical tubing – works the best in my experiments. I tried bungee cords, thick rubber bands and a thick rubber band used by moving companies in shipping. While these technically worked, they didn’t work well. Surgical tubing works much, much better.
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