Instructables
Picture of Boomerang
With one hour of work, you can have a boomerang that actually comes back. It's like magic.

This design was inspired by a book I used to check out from the library, read and re-read when I was a kid. It's called Boomerangs: How to Make and Throw Them , and it was pretty great. The author would apparently make boomerangs that he could throw and then catch with his eyes closed. He would also paint them and get birds to chase them. Every time I've made one of his designs, it's been very successful. This instructable shows my version of what I remember being my favorite design: a simple cross-type boomerang made from thin, beveled pieces of wood with a slight bend. Dimensions aren't critical: the design is robust enough that it seems to work well as long as you get the basic idea right and the bends in the right direction. 

What you need:

Full Version:
  • An 18" 2x4, (or 2x6, 2x8, 2x10... etc).
  • Wood glue
  • A table saw
  • A sander
  • A microwave
Poor-Man's Version:
  • Two 18" paint stirring sticks (from home depot)
  • A pocket knife
  • A bolt and nut (or wood glue)
  • A candle

I made it at TechShop (techshop.ws)

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Cut Two Thin Strips of Wood

Full Version:

Cut two strips from your piece of wood. Final strip dimensions should be ~ 2 inch wide, 1/8-1/4 inch thick, and 18-24 inches long.

If you're using a 2xsomething, put your table saw at a 45 degree angle (increases strip width from 1.5 inches to 2.1 inches). Alternatively, you could rotate the wood 90 degrees and cut very wide strips (3.5" for  2x4, for example), then cut those strips down to the size you want.

Poor-Man's Version:

Paint stirring sticks = wooden strips. They are probably too narrow, but they'll still work pretty well.
1-40 of 42Next »
Matt2 Silver7 months ago

Hi solobo,

I was sizing up the competition for the wood working contest and found your instructable. This is a really cool project and I like your explanations and instructions. Thanks for posting and I wish you luck in the contest.

solobo (author)  Matt2 Silver7 months ago
Thanks! Good luck to you too, the portable workstation looks awesome.
Shahiq8 months ago
That's good. I'll try to make one as soon as I'm able to arrange good wood.
solobo (author)  Shahiq8 months ago
sweet! Let me know how it works out.
Shahiq8 months ago
Hmm , okay. So, does it really return to your hands?
solobo (author)  Shahiq8 months ago

On a good throw, yes. If there's a wind, or you throw it too high or too low, it'll overshoot or undershoot by a little bit (5-10 feet usually). But it's not bad.

Gary Viveiros8 months ago

I've found that in other propeller-type applications the length is critical because most of the air comes from the end of the prop because it traverses more area and produces more wind for the same degree of rotation. Could you do me a favor and build one with the same length arms, joined in the physical center of each board and make up the difference by glueing a penny or so to counter-weight the error in balance and seeing how it compares to the center of mass joining shown here?

solobo (author)  Gary Viveiros8 months ago
That would be a cool experiment. I may try it sometime, or if you do, let me know how it turns out!
Shahiq8 months ago
Okay. I'll let you know when it's ready.
I'm still worried about one thing, though. Won't the strips break or catch fire during the bending and heating process?
And also, can any wood be used for this? Or is there any special lightweight wood that works?
Thanks for the help.
solobo (author)  Shahiq8 months ago
I've only used cheap woods (like pine), but I think ti would work with just about anything. When you heat, be careful not to let the wood start blackening (that's hotter than you need). Getting the spot wet helps. And don't bend it so far that it crackles/starts to break.
Shahiq9 months ago
Can I get a little help in the bending step? Should I bend it at 1/3 of the length from centre or what? I don't want to make a mistake and end up with a nonfunctional boomerang.
The guide is great. Thanks.
solobo (author)  Shahiq8 months ago
I shoot for about 1/3 of the length from the end. So if you were to divide the whole length into 3 sections, using two lines, bend at each of the lines.

Thanks! Let me know how it works out for you.
Kiteman9 months ago

Oh, I like the microwave wood-bending technique!

solobo (author)  Kiteman9 months ago
Thanks!
Jackal14129 months ago

Very well put together Instructable.

Good clean shots of each step, multiple ways of accomplishing each step, and a video!

I've added it to my 'Fun Project" list and voted for it.

Thanks and good luck!

solobo (author)  Jackal14129 months ago
Awesome, thanks!
joeduhclown9 months ago

I had the same book and loved it. I still have it somewhere.

I recall that he may have mentioned that a longer bolt could be used as a handle when catching a larger boomerang.

solobo (author)  joeduhclown9 months ago

Yes, I think so. When I was trying to catch this one, I realized why that would have been nice. The boomerang comes in horizontally, so if there was a bolt hanging down below, you could catch it by that pretty easily.

Tisila9 months ago

Seems very simple to make and a lot of fun to throw! =) Good job!

solobo (author)  Tisila9 months ago

It is. Thanks!

sfraneta19 months ago
I'm still trying to find a pencil! Seriously, good post I definitely have to try it out.
solobo (author)  sfraneta19 months ago

Ha thanks!

leongene9 months ago

I am now 81 yeqrs old and made these out of free yardsticks when I was a pre-teen. We only beveled the one side i.e.,four (4) edges towards throwing side)

leongene leongene9 months ago

And we never bent them. They flew pretty good and returned to us, or

almost to us.

solobo (author)  leongene9 months ago

Sweet!

sweeeet

i like it, well done

solobo (author)  palestinian-warrior9 months ago

thanks!

What do you call a Boomerang that doesn't come back?

A Stick

786Ayesha9 months ago

very nice .love it.

solobo (author)  786Ayesha9 months ago

thanks!

qdillion9 months ago
Do you bend both pieces or just one?
solobo (author)  qdillion9 months ago

both.

cykedsiva9 months ago
really cool. are sidewalks that effective? XD
solobo (author)  cykedsiva9 months ago

ha haven't tried them myself.

briandamge9 months ago

This is awesome.

solobo (author)  briandamge9 months ago
Thanks!
nerfrocketeer9 months ago
Nice!
solobo (author)  nerfrocketeer9 months ago

thanks!

tstevens-19 months ago
Really nice. You did a great job on them.
solobo (author)  tstevens-19 months ago

thanks!

1-40 of 42Next »