I have wanted to try out difficult laminations on a slingshot for quite some time now. I have finally got to it, and now I want to teach you how to make a nice slingshot like this!
I have put a lot of time and effort into making this instructional YouTube video above, so it would be awesome if you could check it out. I will of course still have step-by-step instructions for the people who prefers that.
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Step 1: The Template, Materials and Design
Before we can start you will need a slingshot template. I went ahead and used TheArtOfWeapons’s design called the “TAOW Hammer”. It doesn’t matter what design you use as long as it is a hammer grip shooter.
The core is made out of some 20 mm thick (pine or birch) plywood. I only had 10 mm plywood lying around, so I solved this by sandwiching two pieces together using wood glue
You can cut the core out using a band saw, a scroll saw, a coping saw or a jigsaw.
In one of the pictures above you can see my idea of how to the lamination should look. The handle consist of three wood species; bamboo, oak and red sandalwood. The fork part is European beech.
The wood species I’ll be using is oak, red sandalwood, maple, European beech and bamboo. The easiest way to get your hands on bamboo and European beech is by going to IKEA and buy some cutting boards. It is really cheap and still good quality.
You can purchase oak and maple boards pretty easily. Red sandalwood can be trickier to get your hands on, as it’s not as common.
Step 2: Cutting
strips have these measurements: (I don’t know the length needed for each one, so you will have to figure that out yourself.)
Red Sandalwood and Maple: 16x5 mm
Oak and Bamboo: 16x10 mm
European beech: Board needs to be 16mm thick
Step 3: Making the Scales
Laminate the strips together as shown in the picture. Use wood glue for this. Note that the angle in the scales has to be parallel to each other, or else it will look weird.
The scale’s edges need to be cut off and made flat. The scale will then be cut in half. I made these cuts using a hacksaw. You need to glue together the scales as shown in the picture above. The scale to the left is for the front, and the one to the right is for the back.
Step 4: Glue Everything to the Core and Cut It Flush
Glue the scales and the european beech pieces onto the plywood core. Use two-part epoxy for this. Don’t squeeze out all the glue by clamping too hard.
Use a coping saw to cut the sides flush with the slingshot core. Be careful not to cut into the actual core. It will be hard to file down later.
Step 5: Trace and Cut Out the Handle
Trace on the handle outline to one side. Cut it out using the coping saw. Make sure that you have picked a comfortable design, because this will affect the final shape.
Step 6: Shaping
The heavy shaping
To save myself some time, (and frustration) I do the heavy shaping using a coping saw. This way I have less material to remove later.
The rough and fine shaping
Rough: Use various wood rasps to shape the slingshot even further. Put some effort into making the handle ergonomic, as it will make your whole experience a lot better.
Fine: Use various metal files to shape the slingshot to its final shape. You need to put some real effort into this step, because this affects the final look and feel of your slingshot.
Step 7: Sanding and Finish
When sanding the slingshot, start with 80 grit sandpaper and stop at 1000 grit. Anything beyond 1000 grit is only useful for certain finishes. Anything below 80 grit will leave deep scratches in the wood that cannot be removed later (ruins all your file work and the slingshot’s final look).
Apply finish of choice. I went with boiled linseed oil for this project. If you want to do the same, apply the first coat after the 120 grit sanding. Sand it all the way up to 1000 grit, and then apply the final coat. Alternatively you could do like me and oil the slingshot every half an hour, to really make the oil sink in. I went with a total of 8 coats.
Step 8: Adore Your Creation
The slingshot is now completely finished. It looks amazing, shoots amazing and feels amazing. It’s my best slingshot so far, no doubt.
Final word: I you liked this instructable, consider voting for me in the contest. It's also highly appreciated if you’d take the time to check out my video tutorial!