F4 Sport Disk, a Ripstop Frisbee




Introduction: F4 Sport Disk, a Ripstop Frisbee

About: Just another student building to pass the time.

This instructable was created out of my frustration that the average frisbee is too bulky to travel with all the time.  In my frisbee-less time I recalled a happy meal toy from years ago; it was a small fabric disk with a rim full of plastic pellets.  It then occurred to me, "Why not make one myself?"  and so the F4 sport disk was born.

So, what do you stand to gain by making this instructable?  While I can't promise you fame or glory, you will get a rather nice flying, soft, easily catchable frisbee.  It is a blast to play catch with, as it wraps around your hand, and never hurts you; unlike its harder counterparts. Then once your done frolicking in the sun, just give it a half twist and a fold, and it will be small enough to disappear in your pocket. 

As I mentioned before, this is not completely my idea, it was modified from a happy meal toy. However, a year after I made my first one, I found that some companies had already been selling a similar product to mine. The designs varied though, some had sand, others had rigid foam.  While I have never thrown one myself, I believe that my design is stronger. And since the fabric that I used is lighter, it will probably fly better too. Unfortunately, the last time I checked, I could not find any on the market; if anyone ever finds them again, please let me know. (this is the closest that I can find)

*Note, while this plan may not be very complicated (it only uses three pieces of fabric), there are many places that you can wrong if you are not experienced... take your time on the curves*

Time for the most used phrase on all of instructables:
This is my first instructable, is you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to let me know.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Gather your materials and tools, that would be… 

-A sewing machine, if you don't own one you probably should've consider this instructable.

-Soldering iron , spare tip, or a Hot  cutter  (although I have not used the latter)

-Drywall compass   (not necessarily, there are other ways; i just prefer this tool over other methods for its accuracy)

-Thread , although most threads will work fine, this is what i use

-A heavy metal straight edge; mine was from an adjustable  t-square, but you could probably pull this off with cardboard

-Sand, courtesy of your local park or beach. look for medium sized grains, not ultra fine (will all except), and not pebbles (will never fill)


-A sharpie, or any other heavily bleeding pen

-Various odds and ends; tape, straws, papers

-And the big thing: rip-stop nylon. You'll want 75g fabric (this is the most common), if your local fabric store is big enough they might have it, otherwise you will have to cannibalize a kite, or order it online (expect 8-12 dollars a yard)

---I happened to just have this stuff lying around, but should be able to find most of the supplies locally 

There are two ways that you can do this: with, or without the lining. 

Without lining:
one roughly 9” by 9” piece of rip-stop, a strip of rip-stop that is at least 25.5“ by 2”,
-Simpler and easier
-Durability, the first thing to wear out is the rim; especially if you have poor aim and frequently fly into trees.

WIth lining:
a roughly 9” by 9” piece of rip-stop, a piece of rip-stop that is at least 27“ by 5”,
-Twice as durable
-One more thing to do 

Step 2: Cutting

Make your plans and templates:
-Make a cardboard cutout of the main body (if you are going to use a soldering iron for the hot cutting), it should have a diameter of 8” 

-You will need two strips of rip-stop to make the outer and inner rim, the outer will need to be at least 24.5” (it’s about 24” around the entire disk) but you probably should be on the safe side and closer 25.5” (as mentioned before). The inner will need more length, I suggest that you use the full length, then trim it down when the time is right.

-As far as the width goes, if you chose to go without an inner rim 2” is ideal, but should you chose to do an outer rim, go for 2.5” (so it will not be too small) for both strips.

Mark all the fabric; as far as the body goes, marking is not the most important thing, just go around the template.

For those of you who have never hot-cut before, it’s pretty easy (after you get the hang of it). The trick is moving the iron slow enough that the heat does the work, but not moving so slowly that you melt too much . Do this with a soldering iron or tip that you don’t need for anything else, because you do wind up with a lot of residue on the tip. Also do this and in a well ventilated area, for your own good.
-No matter how steady you think your hand is, use the metal straight edge and cardboard template to guide you. 

-on second thought, practice a little first...

Step 3: Let the Sewing Commence!

If you are not doing an inner liner then skip this step

-After you have cut the pieces out its time to start the sewing, in the event that you cut them the same length, chose the piece that is going to be your inner rim and pin it together (i.e., the ugliest one).

-Set the sewing machine so that the stitch count is high (this is to stop sand from leaking, maintain this throughout the sewing). Sew it as close to the edge as possible, make two passes (or what ever you think is reasonable).

-Flip the tube inside out, the easiest way to do this is to stick a dowel with some duct tape up the tube and use the end to flip it inside out, once you get the hang of it goes quickly. (If you read this step, and you are not doing lining; see the top)

Step 4: Prepare the Body...

Mark the center by folding it twice, while aligning the edges. Hit the tip with the sharpie.

Next, draw out a circle on the main body with a diameter of 7”.  You have to use a sharpie because it MUST (!!!) bleed through
-It helps to tape the rip-stop down 

Step 5: Sewing the Rim

This step is CRUCIAL! It will make or break your disk; your mission, should you chose to... aw, never mind! The point being, don't mess up!

To start sewing, align the edge of the (soon to be) rim on the sharpie line;
-Bring the sewing needle down to keep it in place. Keep that alignment as you go along the edge of the rim.

As you sew, you may notice that it starts to look a little domed, this is natural, and it helps in flight; just ignore it. This is why this flies 

As you are finishing the first edge, don’t have an overlap of much more than half an inch. This becomes important later, so you can fill from either side.

Step 6: The Other Side

Do the other side in the same manner; making sure that you do not accidentally stitch anything besides the edge (like stitching folds down). Match the overlap to the other side.

Once you have completed the initial attachments, look the frisbee over. Next you will be adding more stitches to the sides. You could add just one more pass and be done with it; however this is not only weak, it also looks bad. On mine I put a total of about 6 strait stitches and one “zigzag," they are a quarter inch, at the most, from the inside edge of the rim. Appearance Tip: when you’re adding another row, look for spots, in that .25” zone, that have lowest concentration of stitching.

Step 7: Adding the Tube/lining/whatever Else You Could Call It

Skip this step if it dose not apply to you

After you have completed the stitching, it is time to put the tube inside the rim. To get the whole thing in, attach the tube/weight of your choice to a thread loop on the inner tube. Then as you move the whole assembly into rim, push on the back of the weight and then switch grips to the front, and move the bunches of rim-fabric behind the weight, do this until the whole assembly is through.

Step 8:

Now it’s time to fill up the whole thing with sand.

You need to use sand that is medium in size, too fine and it might seep through, too course and it will be difficult to get it to fill. To fill the inner tube up: stuff the straw up as far as possible, fill the straw up all the way with sand, then pack it (gently in), do this for both sides.

WARNING! DO NOT OVER FILL, when you go to fold it will stress all the seams and shorten the life of the disk. Overfilling will also cause the disk to be more ridged, which is not nearly as fun to catch, for a soft edge will wrap around your hand (trust me soft=best). Leave around a half inch (maybe more) unfilled. Don’t worry if you think your frisbee is too light; normally it flies just fine; do not be tempted to over fill!

Step 9: Stitching the Lining Shut

If you were lazy, this step won't apply to you.

Now we begin the process of stitching it all together. Start off by putting one end of the inner tube into the other. Seal around the tube by stitching it shut (do not stitch through it! This will cause imbalances in flight). It’s hard to do; if it is too flimsy try propping the inner most tube up with tape (leave it inside).

Step 10: Stiching Everything Shut

Now we begin the process of stitching it all together.

Seal around the rim by working the needle through the two layers of ripstop; all while taking care not to stitch through it (as this will cause imbalances in flight).  Note: now is your last chance to add any sand.

-Make sure it is stitched good and tight by going over every bit of the former opening.

— Make sure that you are only stitching the side that you’re on, and not through it.

Step 11: Share and Enjoy!

Good for you, if you are reading this, then you can go outside and fly… But first, a few things:

-Avoid hard rough surfaces (especially rough concrete), these will tear up your F4, Asphalt is ok to be on, it won’t be the death sentence like concrete is, but it still can wear down the rim.

-As tempting as it is, you probably should avoid using the disk for an impromptu game of Frisbee golf (trees can be like cement sometimes), however, do use it for disk golf (with proper holes) the F4 gives you a ridiculously unfair advantage for a putter (it can hang on the edges, provided that it doesn't fall through) Remember it is not a normal frisbee, even though it can fly better than many, it can’t do things like skips; those will ruin it.

-Avoid getting it wet and then throwing it on to sand (it will become incrusted, just like a regular Frisbee), do use it in sand and on the beaches however (those are great environments for all Frisbees), this is not that important, really...

Your finished!
-Now go out and have an impromptu disk battle or something; start some ultimate or disk golf! 

Improvements, anyone? Please write a post,
-I would love to hear your comments! 

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    11 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Have you experimented with a larger size frisbee? I wonder if it would fly further or if the extra sand form a larger size would bog it down.
    Thanks for the instructions!

    Retro Correct
    Retro Correct

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I actually made a full size "ultimate" Frisbee once. It worked great and was fun to play with (more fabric = higher chance of a good catch), but it was harder to throw (more mass on the rim to accelerate), it took longer to make, and it wasn't as portable. It might have flown a little bit farther, but it wasn't enough to outweigh the downsides. It's still around here somewhere, I just might have to dig it back out and check.

    Retro Correct

    If any one ever takes the time to make this, I would love to see it! If not, oh well, the ones made in China aren't that bad; I guess....


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hey there Retro!

    i had one of these when i was a kid, and they DO still make and sell them. when i was younger they were called Flippy Fliers, and a google search for that will give you what you are looking for. Enjoy!

    Retro Correct
    Retro Correct

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! These are definitely one of the ones that I've seen before, but then lost track of.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I have one of these from the Denver Zoo, but I couldn't find them anywhere else, thanks for the instructable! You won my vote.

    Retro Correct
    Retro Correct

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the vote! It's weird though, all the frisbees like this that were on the market have all disappeared, everything else is like the oogoo frisbee or for pets.

    Retro Correct

    For those of you who would be so bold, vote for me in the toy challenge. For any that do vote for me, thanks. For any of you that don't, oh well, I'll never know about it...


    9 years ago on Introduction

    While I would still use a regular frisbee to play Ultimate with, I think this would be perfect for a day at the beach or on vacation. Great job!

    Retro Correct
    Retro Correct

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! Though, truth be told, I don't use it for ultlimate. Howerver, it is my favorite disk for playing catch. Capture the flag is another good use for it (if you cared to make two).