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How-to Make a Slingshot

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 2

Since the dawn of creation, humans have continuously striven to utilize their environment to better themselves and to make life more livable. Armed with a passion, and a few other tangible products, in this Info Barrel article, I will teach you exactly how to make a slingshot. While technology has rendered the slingshot obsolete, as far as our reliance on it for survival, that doesn't mean that we can't make one for fun and enjoyment, or, perhaps, even to hunt, if we so like the challenge. Take head, however, to the warnings I have placed at the tail end of this Info Barrel article. While it may seem like fun to pelt your little brother with a stone, as he runs at a distance, your manufactured slingshot should not be used as a weapon, to harm another human, in any way, shape or form.

Things You Will Need

More details about these items can be found in the below Steps!:

Step 1

Y-Shaped Slingshot
Whether you recently decided to learn how to make a slingshot on a whim, or have been contemplating the idea for years, you must first begin this process by simply surveying your back yard for a sturdy, yet durable, Y-shaped branch. This is, arguably, the most important step in this process because your selected branch will provide the framework that contributes the needed support for your slingshot to endure years of wear and tear usage.

Ideally, in order to make the best slingshot, your chosen Y-shaped slingshot branch should be roughly 5-10 inches in height, with a handle that is 1-2 inches thick. You should be sure that the dual parts that disseminate from your branch's handle are thick, as well, because a lot of strain will be placed on them when you actually pull back your slingshot to shoot it. These are optimal measurements, because the addition of more height, or thickness, could actually render your slingshot ineffective, which is something we absolutely would like to avoid doing in this process.
Trumark Slingshot with Fiber-Optic Sights
Amazon Price: $17.95 $7.98 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 7, 2013)
Don't want to look for a wooden branch to use for your slingshot? That's fine! On Amazon, there are several great options for slingshots! Give one a "shot"! Continue reading if you'd like to learn more about the specific products you'll need to make your OWN slingshot.....

Step 2

Slingshot Parts
Because your branch will essentially provide a strong, yet durable, foundation for your slingshot, in this step you can now assemble the remainder of your equipment. I mention this second because, if you are unable to find a branch that best suites the measurement requirements in step 1, you certainly do not want your materials to be left out in the open, unattended, where they could harm a curious passing by child (Scissors, Stones).

While you may have to purchase some of these items (above), there are really very few, and most of them can be found lying around one's house anyway. In this step, it is important that you assemble all your equipment products in a safe location, which is free of distractions, where you can focus strictly on the task at hand. Your own safety should be paramount when conducting this process.

Step 3

a Gerber Multi-Tool Works Great!
Immediately shaving off the bark of your slingshot branch can add comfort in handling, as well as, produce a bit of an aesthetic appeal that your friends and family may find intriguing when you show-off your completed slingshot. This step is actually not required; however, if you hope to learn how to make a slingshot product that will be used repeatedly over the course of weeks and months, you may want to consider spending a little extra time doing this step. I have personally seen a slingshot maker's ingenuity take over by carving their slingshot branch in such a way that integrates interesting superficial designs and patterns into the thick branch handle.

Carving out the initials of your children, or your own initials, may help to personalize your slingshot and brand it as something that you will use and cherish forever. At some time, you may actually desire to retire its usage and display it proudly on your fireplace mantel for family and guests to see. While many may not think of a slingshot as a household decoration, it may serve as a decent conversation piece by which you can break the ice, with new guests, about your fun times taking your son out to shoot cans or hunt.
Gerber 22-41545 Black Diesel Multi-Plier with Sheath
Amazon Price: $107.27 $33.00 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 7, 2013)

Step 4

Soggy Wood can Make Your Slingshot Weak!
Dependent on when you find your branch, it may actually be moist or soggy from a rainfall that completely saturated it. Moist or saturated wood can be weak so, for that reason, it is important that you allow your entire slingshot branch candidate to completely dry. You can actually do this step before step 3, however it doesn'™t matter whether the branch is dry or saturated when you shave off the bark. In fact, you may actually find that wet bark shaves off easier than dry bark (that is why I have included this step after step 3).

A dry branch is more durable and stable. By allowing your branch to dry, you will also lessen the risk that it will inadvertently snap, causing you to have to scour your back yard for another worthy branch. It may be difficult to find an ideal branch candidate that meets the stringent measurement requirements above and, for that reason, you don'™t want to jeopardize the use of your branch by having in break prematurely.

Step 5

Thick Rubber Bands for Your Slingshot
If you do not have some strong, thick, rubber bands, you may have to go out and purchase them at your local Home Depot or Wal-mart. There are several ways that you may want to consider approaching this step. A common way to integrate your rubber band(s) into your slingshot is to actually cut each (of 2) rubber bands and tie one end to one end, the other to the other branch protrusion, and meet both together, in the middle. Where your rubber bands meet together, you can tie each exposed end to a cloth, in which your stones will be placed in when shooting your slingshot. (For clarity, this step is mentioned in the next step, as well).

It is imperative that your rubber bands be thick, or you will be unable to gain enough force to propel your chosen projectile far and quickly. With a thin rubber band, this decrease in speed and velocity will equate to less accuracy.

Step 6

Scissors to Cut Rubber Bands for Slingshot
When mastering how to make a slingshot, it is important that both your rubber bands be of equal length. You should make one cut in each, so that, when laid side to side on a table, each rubber band is the same length will their surfaces completely exposed.

Step 7

Leather or Cloth for Slingshot
A rectangular piece of leather, or strong cloth, will be needed in order to serve as a 'pocket'where you will delicately place your ammunition or projectiles nestled comfortably. Your rubber bands will both ultimately be attached to this rectangular piece of leather, or strong cloth.

Step 8

a Leatherman Works Great, too!
With utmost regard for safety, you should take a Leatherman or Gerber multi-purpose tool knife and create a hole on each side of your leather or strong cloth. While it is ideal to make two slits on each side of your pouch material (one in each corner), I have also seen people learn how to make a slingshot by simply tying, or securing, the rubber bands to the entire side of the piece of leather or strong cloth material. While this may work, I can'™t imagine that it would be quite as reliable as actually penetrating the material, and securing your rubber bands to the slingshot, in that manner.

The holes you make in your chosen pouch material should be big enough for your rubber bands to be needled through, but not too large. Ideally, the holes you create should be parallel from each other, as well as, equidistant from each edge of the material.

Step 9

Fold Rubber Bands
Once you have fed your rubber bands through the leather or cloth pouch material, you should fold the rubber bands back on themselves. You can actually use a thin rubber band in order to secure the rubber band loop that you just created on both sides.

Step 10

Pull Force Graph for Slingshot!
You should now put each end of the rubber band around each protruding side of the branch. When each part meets at the handle, they should form a clear and distinct "V"-shape that will serve as a strong support as pulling force is applied to your rubber bands prior to release and launch of your chosen projectile ammunition. You should secure each side separately, all while ensuring that the rubber is taught similarly on both side. You ultimately want your pouch material to be equidistant from both protruding branches, and, that means that you should take care in making sure that your rubber bands are equal in length, and tension.

Step 11

Slingshot Handle with Electrical Tape
You may want to consider wrapping electrical tape around the handle of your slingshot, or you may also want to further carve/paint decorations that make your slingshot expressly unique to yourself.
Electrical Tape 3/4" x 66' UL/CSA several colors., Black
Amazon Price: $1.70 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 7, 2013)

Step 12

Fire Away!
Your slingshot will now be complete, which leaves you with one final task prior to firing. You must select your preferred ammunition. Anything from small crunched up paper to tiny rock pellets will work just fine.
Do-All Outdoors .22 Spinner Target
Amazon Price: $16.99 $11.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 7, 2013)
Barnett Slingshot Ammo- 38 Caliber (Approximately 140 Rounds)
Amazon Price: $7.38 $3.51 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 7, 2013)

Learning how to make a slingshot can be a fun and enjoyable activity that is done either alone, or with another friend, or family member. While it is difficult to make a slingshot that is as durable and reliable as many of the plastic and metal slingshots currently on the market, the above steps will help you approach slingshot perfection by considering elements of this process that may cause your slingshot to be weak or less efficient.

Tips & Warnings

  • Care Should always be taken to ensure that you are handling your slingshot safely.
  • You should hold the slingshot away from your face/eyes when firing.
  • You should carve your selected slingshot branch away from your body.

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Sep 28, 2009 4:26am
Has anyone else here had experience with making a slingshot on their own?
Aug 6, 2010 11:14pm
I have!

I did when I was a kid and it was pretty much exactly like the one you describe here.
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