Introduction: How to Build and Throw Your Own Boomerang

Building a boomerang is easy and fun. With just a few tools and a short amount of time you can be out throwing your very own boomerang.

Step 1: Step 1. Things You Will Need

1. A 2 ft x 2 ft sheet of 3/8 inch plywood
2. Vertical band-saw
3. Belt-sander
4. Sand paper
5. Decorating materials (paint, markers, etc.)

Time for Completion
Based upon prior experience and familiarity with tools, the estimated completion on this project is 1-3 hours.

Step 2: Step 2. Sketching the Boomerang

After you have gathered your materials it is time to sketch out the design you would like to make. There are many designs to choose from. In this Instructable I will be making a simple, traditional boomerang

1. Determine your desired boomerang design
2. Sketch your boomerang on the wood.
3. The boomerang should have an angle between 80-150 degrees.
4. The size of the boomerang is up to the designer but a 2 ft x 2 ft board can get 2-3 boomerangs.

Step 3: Step 3. Cutting Out the Boomerang

Now that you have settled on a design  and have sketched it on the wood you are ready to cut it out.

CAUTION: Using power tools can be dangerous. If you have not been trained on how to use the equipment described, seek assistance from an experienced operator.

1. Start the vertical band saw
2. Begin cutting out the shape of the boomerang
3. Stay as close to the sketched lines as possible as this will help later in the process
4. When finished cutting, turn off the saw and clean up the area.

Step 4: Step 4. Sanding the Edges

Having finished cutting out the rough shape, it is time to start sanding it into its final form.

1. Sand the top and bottom face of the boomerang.
2.  Next, sand all around the edges of the boomerang so they are rounded.
3. Take off all the rough points on the boomerang so you can run your hand over the edges with no catches.

This can be done by hand with sandpaper or using a belt sander, whichever the user prefers.

Step 5: Step 5. Sketch the Foils

The most important part of the boomerang is the design of the foils. Depending on how these are formed will directly affect the flight path of the boomerang.

1. With a pencil, sketch the foils on the top surface of the boomerang (As shown in the photograph).
2. For right-handed users the sketch should be as shown with the end that will be held having  the foil on the inside.
3. If left-handed, just draw your foils in the mirror image.
4. The foil should take up 1/3 to just under 1/2 of the surface of the boomerang.

Step 6: Step 6. Sand the Foils

Now that you have sketched out the foils you are ready to form them. The formation of the foils will determine how well your boomerang flies and returns to you.

1. This can be done by hand or with a belt sander, the belt sander is recommended as sanding by hand will take several hours.
2. Begin by sanding along the outline, you want the edge to be sharp to the bottom of the boomerang.
3. When sanding the foil there will be a gradual slope from the boomerang edge to the end of your foil.
4. The foil should slightly wrap around the end of the boomerang (As pictured).

Step 7: Step 7. Holding the Boomerang

After completing your boomerang it is time to throw it. There is a throwing style that will allow you to be successful. The photos will be demonstrating the method for right-handed throwers. Left-handed is the mirror image.

1. When holding the boomerang you want to hold the end so that the open V faces away from you, as in the picture.
2. Grip the boomerang near the end.
3. Place your thumb on top.
4. Place your other 4 fingers on the bottom side much like holding a Frisbee.

Step 8: Step 8. Aligning the Boomerang With the Wind

The direction you throw the boomerang is just as important as the way you grip it.

1. Determine the wind direction, an easy way to do this is throw some grass up in the air and see which direction it blows (pictured).
2. Now face directly into the wind.
3. Turn approximately 45 to your right from the direction the wind blows. For left-hand throwers, turn to the left.
4. You are now ready to throw the boomerang.

Step 9: Step 9. Throwing and Catching the Boomerang

After you have properly gripped the boomerang and are aligned 45 degrees from the wind you are ready to throw.

1. Hold the boomerang at approximately a 45 degree angle from vertical on release.
2. The throwing motion will be similar to an overhand baseball throw.
3. Make sure to throw hard so that the boomerang will return to you.
4. Release your hand-crafted boomerang!
5. Watch closely as your boomerang goes out and starts to return to you.
6. As the boomerang approaches you it will begin to level out and fly like a frisbee and descend to the ground.
7. If you threw it with the correct amount of force it should descend and come right back to where you are standing.

Step 10: Step 10. Making Adjustments to Throwing Style

Throwing a boomerang takes practice, likely it did not return right to you on your first try. There are simple ways to make adjustments.

1. If the boomerang landed short of then try throwing with more force.
2. If the boomerang flew over your head, throw it softer.
3. If the boomerang was to your left or right there are a few things to try.
       - Turn your body more to the right or left from the 45 degree angle you started at.
       -Adjust the angle you are throwing the boomerang at on release.

Depending on your particular throwing style and the strength of the wind, any of these factors could affect your throw. Small tweaks to your throw will allow you to figure it out.

Step 11: Step 11. Customizing Your Boomerang

Now that you have had some practice throwing your boomerang it is time to customize it. This can be done with a variety of tools. Paint is commonly used as it is very pronounced and will last on the boomerang. 

1. Decide what you would like to decorate your boomerang with.
2. Make it your own.

Congratulations, you have now created and thrown your very own boomerang. Next time, you could try a different style. Or teach a friend how to make one.