Intro: Fun With Amazonian Blowpipe
Fun with Brazilian Blowpipe
When I was in Brazil helping my parents do missionary work, I learned how to make a kids blowpipe toy used by Amazonian children for play. I learned many things in my time spent in Brazil. Especially making a blowpipe and competing against my brother on who can score the most points on a target.
(Please Note: Although the small blowpipe is used as a toy, it is functional, and can be harmful if your not carful. Don't aim or shot the blowpipe at any person or animal. Only use styrofoam targets.)
Step 1: Materials Needed
Rattan or Bamboo for Blow Pipe (I used Rattan for this project. It works best)
Small Bamboo Twigs or Store Bought Bamboo Skewers
Wax Cord or any string that works
Razor Blade or Knife (Don't cut yourself)
Super Glue or any good adhesive
Screws (anything to make the hole for Blow Pipe)
Step 2: Cutting Bamboo (Rattan) for Blowpipe
Use your razor blade to cut the bamboo or Rattan. One cut should be before the knot of the bamboo and the other should be an inch to an inch and a half before the other knot. Cut the bamboo one way, all around, then cut the opposite way all around. Bamboo should be able to break easily at this point. See the pictures to get the idea.
Shave down the outer part of the ends of the bamboo to make them smooth. Please, please, please be careful not to cut yourself. If you're a kid, like me, ask an adult, like your dad, for help!
Step 3: Cutting the Bamboo Skewer for Blowdarts
Use your razor blade or knife to notch the bamboo skewer,
making a dart shaft about 3” in long. The skewer should easily snap off at the notch.
Now you have the shaft of the dart. You can sharpen the end for a point.
Step 4: Attaching Feather to the Bamboo Dart
This is the most difficult part. There are several ways you can attach the feathers to the dart shaft. You can tie the feathers, use tape, or what I use for this instructable, super glue and wax cord. (Just don't glue your fingers together! Yikes!) Whatever works to attached the feather that will stay on.
Attach four feather to the blunt end of the dart shaft holding them with your fingers as shown in the picture. Wrap wax cord around the feather end attaching feathers to the dart shaft. Wax cord works very well because when you finish winding the thread, it sticks somewhat. Apply a drop of super glue to set the thread. Smooth the super glue down with your fingers. Be carful!
Cut off excess feather ends. Be careful not to cut into the dart shaft. The picture shows two darts. One is better then the other, but works well.
Step 5: Making the Hole in the Blow Pipe
You can use anything to make the hole. You can use a drill bit or an Ice pick. Just be carful that you don't hurt yourself. For this project I used two different size of screws. It wasn't easy, but it worked. Next time I'm going to use a drill bit.
Take the first screw and make a hole in the center of the bamboo in the blow side. I used a screwdriver to help me make the hole. Next, I took a bigger screw to make the hole bigger. PLEASE NOTE: don't force the hole because you can split the bamboo and don't make the hole too big. See the picture to get the idea.
Step 6: Target Practice
Styrofoam works great. You can put round stickers and make a target of your preference. Whatever you do, please place the target where its safe.
Insert the blow dart in the blow end of the blow pipe. Take a deep breath away from the pipe. Then blow! On one of the pictures is a decorated blowpipe my dad made. He decorated it with Blue Jay feathers I found for him and hand made bamboo beads. His is made out of hard bamboo. It's way cool!
Step 7: Final Words and Video
I hope you where inspired to make your own blow pipe. Put down your devices and get outside. Making a blow pipe is a great project to do for summer fun outdoors or researching how amazon indians hunt in the jungles of Brazil.
Make One, Be Safe, Have Fun!