Piano-wire Slingshot




About: I make stuff!

A small but powerful slingshot made using 1mm gauge piano-wire and ordinary rubber bands. A strong magnet at the base of the handle holds a cluster of steel shot.

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Step 1: Materials

Materials for the Piano-wire Slingshot are as follows:

1. A length of 1mm gauge piano-wire. I stumbled on this in a hardware store but it's also available from most hobby stores. It is sold in 1-metre lengths and ranges from 0.3mm to 5mm (yep, I made a slingshot with 5mm piano-wire too!). In this instructable, you'll be working with a length of 360mm.

2. Rubber bands. Use however many you like and whatever thickness you like. As I mention in the video, I prefer to twist several ordinary rubber bands into a kind of bungee-style cord. This makes for a much safer slingshot (for the user, not the target) and reduces the risk of a whole band snapping and hitting you in the face.

3. Slingshot handle. 100mm length of dowel (10mm diameter) or rod (10x10mm).

4. Handle binding. Cord or tape is needed to bind the slingshot frame to the handle. After using electrical tape, I finished my handle with black heatshrink (also found in hobby and electronics stores).

5. Ammo pouch. This can be made from any soft pliable fabric. I used a short length of ordinary shoelace for mine, because it's readily available, easy to work with, strong and soft.

Step 2: Tools:

You will need the following tools and safety equipment:

1. Eye protection and safety gloves.
2. Small bolt-cutters or other heavy-duty wire-cutters. Piano-wire is extremely tough to cut and bend.

WARNING- cutting high-tensile materials like piano-wire is dangerous. Be aware that pieces of wire can fly off when cut. Do this in a safe environment away from people and pets. Secure the pieces you are cutting to keep them flying away.

3. Pliers for bending the wire. A bench vice is helpful here too.

4. Small tenon saw. This is for cutting the grooves in the handle as you'll see in the video.

5. Electrical tape, cord, twine or heatshrink - to bind the frame into the handle.

Step 3: Building the Slingshot

Building the piano-wire slingshot is demonstrated in the video. Check out the next steps for additional tips.


Step 4: Attaching the Bands

The bands must be of equal length if the slingshot is to have any accuracy. Therefore, attach them to the frame first (as shown), then trim them to equal lengths before attaching the pouch.

This diagram shows where and how the bands should be attached to the slingshot. Remember the elastic binding should be very tight. Elastic is great for binding because a little bit goes a long way when it's stretched, plus, it squeezes tightly around whatever you wrap it.

The only downside with elastic binding is that rubber bands deteriorate after a while, so constantly check the elastics for wear and deterioration.

Step 5: The Handle

When cutting the shallow grooves into the handle, make sure they're deep enough that the frame will sit in there nice and snug, especially at the base of the 'Y' where support is most crucial.

Step 6: Using the Slingshot

As in the diagram, aim at your target by looking along the left band. Here you can see why eye protection is crucial. If the band snaps, it goes right for your aiming eye!

Also, ricochet is always a concern when using any projectile weapon. Be aware that just because you're wearing safety glasses, doesn't mean you can't blind a bystander or passer-by.



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    69 Discussions


    Thera band tubing for resistance training is widely used by may slingshot enthusiasts. They even argue over the pro's and cons of tube vs flat bands LOL.
    I prefer the Black "special heavy" tubing. You can go through amazon or ebay for it or even just google ti :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Where can I get piano wire? I'm looking for mebbe a bit stronger 2mm. Can you get it in stores, or is it off the internet? Thx for answering

     I sense... inspiration!!!

    That reminded me when I cut this tiny tiny wire off and flew away. One moment it's there; another moment it's gone! Time to post my version (later, still have an Aikido session after 2:30 pm GMT+8)

    1 reply

    hey chluaid, I'm one of the many people who love your flash work and have bin annoying you about waterlollies, but more on this topic great insturctable and if you made a larger version i have an alternative more heavy duty ammunition for it , if you still have an old mouse (not the laser or light sensor type ones) remove the ball from inside, then take an Xacto knife and cut the rubber/plastic coating off it, and there you have it a much more powerful heavy duty solid iron (I'm pretty sure) ammunition

    6 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    cool.. yeah I did make a piano-wire slingshot out of 5mm piano-wire which is incredibly sturdy. The wire was a nightmare to work with, especially cos my tools are mostly for smaller-scale projects. I attached a proper slingshot band to it (the type you buy in stores) and I use 8mm lead shot, and of course you can't go wrong with good old glass marbles (14mm). An old mouse ball sounds like great ammo, if a little difficult to come by. That's the kind of ammo you fire away then spend hours trying to find it again. I do have a great (completely different) use for those balls though.. I'll post another instructable later. Thanks for the comments!


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    also there is a version of ammunition that i call "Saturn shots" what you do is take the solid iron ball from above, then take a electrical connector ring (i have no idea what its actually called but i have about 26 of them and I'm wearing on as a ring right now) and use a belt sander (Recommended), file, or sand paper and make it sharp then push it onto the ball in a very snug fit (see it looks like Saturn with spikes around the middle)


    CHLUAID! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG Dude, you're awesome! I love your work and simply cannot WAIT for Waterlollies! (SO glad that the animation's done! I hope that audio guy finishes soooooooon) Err... sorry for sounding like a sissy girl before, I just can't believe that you're on Instructables! It's the only site that I eat, drink, and live for (other than yours, of course << ). Your instructable is pretty awesome... I've never seen a quality slingshot made from "scratch" before, and I'm pretty darn impressed! Awesome work, keep it up! (Btw, I'm "Muff" on blogger) P.S. How'd you find out about Instructables? If it's from my post on your blog then I'm pretty damn honored. If not, however you got here.... AWESOME! Hope to see many more Instructables from you in the future! -Josh

    6 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I was wondering the other day how I stumbled upon instructables and now that you mention it, I went back and looked at your comments on my blog and it WAS you :D Thanks dude this site is so my thing you wouldn't believe it. When I clicked on your link in the blog I saw all this awesome stuff come up and I got right to work on my slingshot. Waterlollies progress is screaming now.. it's a toboggan on hard ice :D


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    !! Wow!!!

    I'm so honored... you have no clue ;DD

    Yes, this site is REALLY addicting. I've spent hours and hours on Instructables without really noticing. The best thing about it, though, is that you never waste your time... it's always time well spent =)

    Can't wait for waterlollies!


    P.S. Perhaps post an Instructable on making flash videos... it seems like if anyone on this site should make one.... it's got to be you!