Its acorn season again - but what to do with them all? Making ersatz coffee or starting your own version of Sherwood forest are two options; or you can fire them into the middle distance with this classic shangeye.
REMEMBER: This must never be used to shoot at people. Eye injury is a real risk.
Step 1: What You Need.
- A forked stick. While symmetry is preferable its not obligatory. Green wood is better than dry. Needs to be about 200 mm long and a comfortable fit in your hand. Leave the bark on.
- Two equal lengths of rubber tubing, again around 200 mm. The sort used in underwater spear guns is the best. It can be found at any dive or sporting goods shop.
- Small patch of leather to hold the projectiles.
- Length of strong cord.
- Cable ties.
- Miscellaneous tools. Saw, drill, leather punch and needle nosed pliers or surgical clamps.
Step 2: First, Catch Your Hare.
In the best tradition of Mrs Beeton, first obtain your 'Y' forked stick then cut it down to a comfortable size.
- Drill a small hole in each arm, 1 cm from the top. These should be equidistant from the confluence, forming an isosceles triangle.
Step 3: Fixing the Tubing Securely
This is the most critical step and it's where the tube wins over flat rubber bands every time.
- Pass a 10 cm length of the cord through the drilled hole and knot the ends together in a single overhand knot.
- With the needle nosed pliers, or surgical clamps as shown here, push the knot well into the end of the tubing.
- Pass a cable tie around the tube between the knot and the free end and pull really tight
- Cut off the loose end of the tie.
This will anchor the end of the tube totally securely around the top of the 'Y'. The tube will snap or the wood will break before it comes off.
Step 4: Attach the Sling
- Cut the patch of leather into an approximate rectangle, say 40 x 100 mm.
- Punch two small holes 10 mm apart near the short sides.
- Thread the cord through and fix with a knot and cable tie, as in the last step. Make sure the two sides are of equal lengths and lie in the same plane before you tighten the tie.
When you are shooting the shangeye hold it vertically in your hand, that is, at right angles to your arm. There will be a tendency for it to pull backwards as the tension on the tubing increases but if you release the projectile in that position it will more than likely hit the wood or your thumb!
REMEMBER: This is not a child's toy. Do not shoot anything at people, as the possibility of serious injury to the eye is a very real risk. Supervise children closely.