Tap to Read ➤

Learn How to Make a Slingshot

Omkar Phatak Mar 15, 2020
A slingshot, also known as a catapult, is one of the most ancient weapons developed by man. It is very easy to build. Here is an insight into making one of your own.
A fan of 'Dennis the Menace', knows what a slingshot is. Being one of his favorite toys, it was always tucked in the little devil's pockets. So, if you like trying new things then this activity is for you.
A slingshot can be made from simple things, available around you. Shooting projectiles with it, is an art. If you have a good eye, you will pick up and learn fast. Some people take it up as a hobby or sport. There are even slingshot championships in some parts of the world.

How to make a good slingshot?

Step 1 :

Firstly, scout for a piece of wood, shaped in 'Y' form. Look around for branches with a fork shape. Any type of wood will do. The piece if wood should be sturdy and thick enough so that they don't bend. You can make your slingshot in any size but a 7- 9 inch long one is good for all your 'targeting' pursuits. A thickness of around 2 inches is good enough.
Ensure you select a piece, which is as smooth as possible and without cracks. This is very important, as otherwise, the slingshot may snap at the wrong place and hurt you. The two 'teeth' of the fork or the Y-shaped wood need to be symmetrically long. This has more of an aesthetic purpose. So, if they are not symmetrically long, saw the longer one off.

Step 2:

If the wood is still green, you must let it get seasoned. That is, let it dry in the sun so that it toughens up. Skin the wood by peeling off the bark to make it smooth. Then, you can give a coat of varnish on it, if you want to prevent decay.

Step 3:

Y-shaped fork makes the firing base. The firing mechanism has to be a thick long elastic band of some type. Rubber is an easily available material. So, either a long thick rubber band or a bunch of thin long bands will do. Also, a bicycle tube can be used as it is long, elastic and thick. If you are using a rubber band or a tube, cut it into 2 pieces.

Step 4:

The next thing to make is a pocket. The pocket is a square cut piece of rubber or any other material, which won't tear easily. Next, tie the rubber band pieces to the two arms of the wooden sling and attach the pocket at the other end of both pieces.
Make two holes in the pocket, which are equidistant from the border. Then, slip the pieces of rubber band in both holes, make a loop, and tie them up. It should be tied in such a way, that no matter how much you stretch the pocket or rubber band ends, they should not break. More importantly, they should be of equal length.

Step 5:

Now tie the rubber band ends to the arm of the fork. Make sure you secure them well and put a tight knot. Again, make sure, after you tie the two bands, that they are of equal length. Secure the bands to the arms of the wooden fork, with electrical wiring tape. If you have followed all the instructions to the letter, your slingshot should be ready.
The way to use one is to put your launch 'projectile' in the pocket, stretch, aim and fire. You can use peanuts, small rubber or paper balls as your projectiles. Slingshots are ideally suited for shooting down fruits from a tree. So, go ahead and have some shooting fun.