Step 1: Does it actually work?-Yes!
I teacher engineering in high school and this is a project I do with my classes. If a ninth grader can build a working boomerang so can you. Still don't believe me, take a look at the video proof. (Note the plans are for a righty, the student in the video is a lefty he reversed the plans so it would work for a lefty.)
Step 2: UPDATE! The Plans and the material
UPDATE: I have saved the plans as a PDF File this should correct the printing issues. You will still need to select print full size or 1:1.
Material-the plans call for 1/4" 7 layer marine grade plywood, this plywood is hard to find. Baltic birch plywood has 5 layers and it will work great for this project. It can be found at craft stores, lumber yards, or ordered online. My students have had good results with other types of 1/4" plywood but baltic birch works the best.
Step 3: What tools will I need?
You could also carve your boomerang, but I do not have the patience for that.
Step 4: Cutting out the blank
Step 5: Sanding the edges and contours
The leading/trailing edges are what makes the boomerang return. However the template gives you an easy guide to follow. The template directly shows you where to sand the 45 and 30 degree angles.
On the ends and middle you will have to blend the two edges together. No special technique for doing this just sand everything smooth.
Step 6: How do I shape the edges?
Follow any power sanding with hand sanding.
Round the front edge just slightly, it will make it easier to throw.
Step 8: Almost ready to fly
It is not necessary to paint or stain your boomerang. However I have had students that create great looking boomerangs for display.
Do not paint, stain, or seal your boomerang until you have thrown/tested it. It needs to be unfinished so you can make adjustments. Also paint and stain may decrease your boomerangs performance.
Step 9: Throwing your boomerang
Hold the boomerang in the palm of your hand, flat side on your palm. Thumb on top fingers wrapped on the front edge. See the picture.
Throw it like a baseball with a little side arm. Aim the boomerang up and down the sideline of the field.
Practice and repetition help you find the proper throw to improve performance.