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article number 128
article date 05-15-2012
copyright 2012 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Make a Slingshot, an Easy, Quick, Fun and Cheap Project
by Mean Uncle George Moment
   

EDITOR’S NOTE: Everyone hates Uncle George yet, they accept the old man anyway. We apologize for his behavior but do want you to consider his redeeming qualities.

Caught my neighbors sitting in front of their TV in a stupor. After taking proper precautions, I shot out their TV with a .22. It took a couple of minutes before they realized that their TV wasn’t working and they turned to me and gave me a glaring stare. I said “Hey! How ‘bout we make a sling shot … better than the ones we had as kids.” Their glare turned into a smile and we discussed what would make a good sling shot.

Find scrap plywood at least one foot by one foot. We were looking for 2 ¼ inch pieces but settled on a single ½ inch plywood piece. It looked like it had few voids.

   
We drew rough plans. Note that we decided to use 4, ¼ inch rubber bands for launching our projectiles. Common #64 rubber bands should fit our needs.
   
We draw a center line on the wood. This project is so simple that we will draft right on the wood, making size decisions as we go. Besides a band saw or scroll saw, here’s all the drafting equipment you need. We lie! Later we used drafting circle templates to find the center of the rubber band holes and an awl to punch the beginnings of those holes.
   
We decided that 1 ¼ widths would be used throughout. Should be strong enough. 45 degree angles keep this project simple.
   
   
We also decided that 4 inches wide in the center would be just right for our 4 band sling shot. Remember we are measuring the inside of the ‘Y’ not the outside.
   
   
Once the insides are drawn, adding a 1 ¼ inch width to everything is easy.
   
In order to make turns with the saw we mark 3/8 inch holes and find their center.
   
   
Punch holes with awl. Since we want fairly accurate hole locations we start with a smaller 1/8 inch drill. Then drill the 3/8 inch hole.
   
We start sawing the inside area. Because our blade is wide, when we hit the hole we still have to cheat the turn in order to not go inside of the lines. We could sand this area down later … although we didn’t.
   
   
Outside cuts are much easier.
   
Not bad.
   
We marked holes 3/8 inch from the inside edge. The top holes are about ½ inch down from the top. What we see here is the look after drilling 1/8 inch starter holes. Then we drill them to the next side larger than ¼ inch.
   
Easy to push the rubber bands through with small dowel. 1/8 inch dowel is cheap at the hardware store but I saved these Shish Kabob skewer sticks from the neighbors grilling last summer and cleaned them in the dishwasher. Waste nothing young people … unless your spouse gets fed up with your pack rat mentality … then give in to your spouse. There are other battles to be fought (and lose).
   
Glad I didn’t throw out this old shoe. Had trouble cutting it though … then decided to use the band saw. Suggest that you don’t have your foot in the shoe when you saw.
   
Drilled holes 3/8 inch from the edge … had to enlarge them with a round file. Pass the rubber band through the hole and …
   
… through the rubber band.
   
Pass the other side of the rubber band through the holes, cut the 1/8 inch dowel as shown to retain the rubber in the sling shot. Thought we would have to tape the dowel but turns out, it stays put.
   
   
Here it is. Lost a ping pong ball in my cluttered living room before taking this shot … so substituted a fishing bobber. Peanuts are also safe but messy. The little red potato could put out a window, so be careful. I didn’t make this for kids but if they get hold of it I designed the simple message … ‘Never Aim At People’.
   
This sling shot works just fine but people you can improve the design. Just a suggestion … should you use the sling shot a lot. A big dowel cut lengthwise makes for a more comfortable grip.
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