How to make a slingshot.

I wrote this when I was, like, 15. Tagged as Life Skills, Things I've Made.

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Don't shoot any living thing. Slingshots are a useful tool. You can, y’know, fire things at other… things. And that’s pretty much it. But they’re still fun to make and shoot, and you can’t beat punching holes in small stacks of paper.

You won’t need ground-breaking tools or materials:

  • A forked branch, kinda Y-shaped, the arms and handle preferably the same thickness (3-5 centimetres or so). Saw it from the tree, don’t just break it off.
  • Cord and sticky tape if you want to Cordwrap the handle.
  • A sharp knife.
  • A cut-upable leather item like an out-of-fashion bag or a work glove. The tongue of an old shoe is fine as long as it is real leather.
  • A long, thick rubber band. Don’t use the black inner tubes—they don’t bloody stretch. The old red rubber inner tubes are the best to use, but good luck finding one that isn’t cracked. You can get thick rubber bands from your newsagent.
  • Smaller rubber bands for fastening.

Peel, trim, dry.

Peel and scrape all the bark away.

Firstly, peel and scrape all the bark from your fork. This will allow the wood to dry efficiently, and gets rid of any discomfort the bark might have caused. To dry it you can either chuck it in a cool, dry place or put it directly in the sun. The “cool, dry place” is the best way because the wood dries out evenly and has less chance of splitting. Wood that is dried in the sun or using an oven or kiln dries out faster and may crack, weakening the wood.

It’s smart to trim and cut your fork while it’s still green to remove any knots or funny bits. The optimum length of the arms is the length of the handle, so make all the pokey-out bits an equal length.

Cordwrap the handle

Cordwrap it if you wanna.

Once the wood is dry you can Cordwrap the handle if you want. Cordwrapping makes the slingshot comfier to hold and draw (use the highest ply of yarn you can find for a really soft grip), as well as making it look spiffier.

Read on for instructions on making the firing assembly.