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.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
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
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.