Instructables

The Pathfinder Dart- Atlatl Using String(With Duct Tape Fletching)

Picture of The Pathfinder Dart- Atlatl Using String(With Duct Tape Fletching)
Most people have heard of the atlatl (AT-latl). For those of you who haven't, it was the method of hunting in between the spear and the bow & arrow. It was simply an extension of the arm to help throw the spear, increasing range, speed, and accuracy. In this case, however, we are replacing the atlatl with a string. You just throw, following through, and the knot lets go of the spear.
Here is a good ebook on archery. It includes arrowheads, fletching, and making arrows. If you view one on making arrows, simply make the arrow longer than the Instructable says.

 
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Step 2: The Shaft

You can make the shaft- the actual spear itself- out of any straight branch or plant stalk, as long as it has sufficient length. It also has to be very straight, as imperfections can affect the flight. So sight down the shaft, rotating it. If the wood is green, you can heat bends over a fire and/or coals, and when it's hot enough, you can bend it so it's straight, and then let it cool.

I used mullein, which is an invasive species. It was very straight, although it's somewhat difficult to take the leaves off.

If it doesn't have a pith, and mine did, you can sharpen it.
Lectric Wizard10 months ago
Love it !! You'll be a surviver when it all ends .... Cheers!
Mr_Altitude (author)  Lectric Wizard5 months ago

You know it!

haggismydear9 months ago
I am curious why the notch is placed below the fletching instead of above it.
Duct Tape fletching - brilliant! Solves my snow and rain fletching problems!
Mr_Altitude (author)  haggismydear9 months ago
Placing the notch above it is just the way I learned it. You could put it below the fletching if that's your preference. I've even seen it without the notch, just wrapping the string around the back end. And I'm glad I could help.
TP_inc10 months ago
A spear-thrower or atlatl (/ˈɑːt.lɑːtəl/[1] /ˈæt.lætəl/; Nahuatl: ahtlatl Nahuatl pronunciation: [ˈaʔt͡ɬat͡ɬ]) is a tool that uses leverage to achieve greater velocity in dart-throwing, and includes a bearing surface which allows the user to temporarily store energy during the throw.
It may consist of a shaft with a cup or a spur at the end that supports and propels the butt of the dart. The spear-thrower is held in one hand, gripped near the end farthest from the cup. The dart is thrown by the action of the upper arm and wrist. The throwing arm together with the atlatl acts as a lever. The spear-thrower is a low-mass, fast-moving extension of the throwing arm, increasing the length of the lever. This extra length allows the thrower to impart force to the dart over a longer distance, thus imparting more energy and ultimately higher speeds.[2]
Common modern ball throwers (molded plastic shafts used for throwing tennis balls for dogs to fetch) use the same principle.
A spear-thrower is a long-range weapon and can readily impart to a projectile speeds of over 150 km/h (93 mph).[3]
Spear-throwers appear very early in human history in several parts of the world, and have survived in use in traditional societies until the present day, as well as being revived in recent years for sporting purposes. In the United States the Aztec word atlatl is often used for revived uses of spear-throwers, and in Australia the Aboriginal word woomera. It was this that led to the British/Australian Missile Test Site (Home of Blue Streak) to be known as Woomera. (See Woomera)
Mr_Altitude (author)  TP_inc10 months ago
Thanks for clearing that up.
Well done: you solved a problem for me. I am from the UK and up in Yorshire they used this technique with arrows, but I had no guidance on the knot. It is really simple and obvious when you think about it, but glad you solved the mystery for me :-) i shall try it out when I get back from this business trip
Mr_Altitude (author)  steve_tupper201010 months ago
Glad I could help.