Picture of How to make an Atlatl
This is an instructable on how to make an atlatl and a dart to go with it. The atlatl and dart were once used as a hunting weapon, and are now used for sport. In this instructable, I will show you how to make an easy atlatl that can be done in a day. I am going to call the throwing part the atlatl, and the spear-like part, the dart.

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Step 1: The atlatl.

Picture of The atlatl.
The first thing to do is to get a branch selected for the atlatl. The one that I selected was forty centimeters (sixteen inches), but the main thing to do is to get the size that fits you. The piece that I selected had a bit of a natural curve to it, which in my opinion is good for an atlatl.

Step 2: Cutting.

Picture of Cutting.
After that, cut off all the little branches.

Step 3: Thinning.

Picture of Thinning.
Then start thinning down the sides. Once you are done with that, start thinning down the top and bottom. Make sure that you know where you want your handle to be so that you don't accidentally carve it some of it off. If you are wanting a curve in the atlatl, then this is where you want to start carving it.

Step 4: The stop cut.

Picture of The stop cut.
Next, start making the stop cut that the dart will rest in. 

Step 5: Last refinements.

Picture of Last refinements.
Next, make the last refinements, sand the whole thing down, and voila! You are done with the atlatl.

Step 6: The dart.

Picture of The dart.
Now, it is time for the dart. I cut a long, straight piece of wood, and then cut it down to the length that I wanted. It was about ninety-three centimeters (thirty-six inches)  

Step 7: Trimming.

Then I trimmed off all the little starts of branches.

Step 8: Shaving off bark.

Picture of Shaving off bark.
Then I removed a bit of bark off of the end that will rest in the stop-cut of the atlatl, for the feathers.
Old cooper9 months ago

A project just made for a drawknife and a drawknife bench.

I saw an atlatl today in a state park collection made from a piece of bamboo or cane. I'll be making one this weekend.

flattail (author)  Old cooper9 months ago
Sounds awesome! Hope yours turns out better than mine! Don't forget to post pictures somewhere when you're done!
Malhecho1 year ago
cool stuff I've been interested in bush craft since starting to take anthropology this semester
flattail (author)  Malhecho1 year ago

Awesome! Keep at it!

Mr_Rep1 year ago
What did you use to do the carving?
flattail (author)  Mr_Rep1 year ago

If I can remember correctly I used something like this: http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/utility-kn...

But any knife that you deem worthy of the job should do.

Thanks for asking!

triumphman2 years ago
Nice! I just posted my 'ible an "Making the Ancient Atlatl". Yours is so much easier to make than mine. I like the way yours could be made in a "Survival " situation to hunt game. Thanks for sharing yours !
flattail (author)  triumphman2 years ago
Thanks! I'm glad you like it. I actually saw your instructable the other day and thought, "Man, I wish mine was that good." I've been meaning to do a remake for this for quite some time, because it doesn't work as well as I'd like it too. Maybe someday I'll get around to it...
can u box

LiftAndLove2 years ago
I believe I saw this on Bushcraft too, are you Addo?
flattail (author)  LiftAndLove1 year ago
Nope. Who's that?
Well someone posted on Bushcraft about making atlatls, and his post looked like a copy of yours.
Jamman012 years ago
nice! i just made my own design and it was an absolute fail!haha i'll make both of your's and see how they turn out! thanks