Intro: Simple PVC Slingshot for Pennies
Spring is springing and what's a better way to get the kids outside than giving them toys and pushing them out the door?
This is a low-powered slingshot, and when used with the recommended wine cork ammo, it is still possible, but difficult, for someone to get hurt.
A slingshot is a slingshot - a projectile weapon. If you make this, you assume ALL responsibility for its use, and its use by others.
Step 1: Purchase
Cheap cheap cheap. No need for thick walled stuff
Step 2: Cut
PVC cuts with almost anything. I have a chop saw, so I used that. 7" seems to result in a nicely grippable slingshot.
By the way, you can get 17 7" slingshots out of a 10' piece of PVC. That's just over 7 cents a unit.
Step 3: Drill
My drill bits are very dull, so I used my press before cutting and shaping the arms. The hole should be small enough to require the rubberband be stuffed through it.
Step 4: Measure
I like the arms to be about 3" long - it gives a nice shape to the slingshot. Feel free to experiment
Step 5: Make Arms
Again: PVC will cut with almost anything - even heated wire. I think the best way to do this would be a bandsaw or scrollsaw, but I have neither. I do have an angle grinder with a 36g pad. I can't really recommend this method - it DOES work, but you end up with clouds of PVC dust floating in the air, and that can't be good.
I clamped the pipe down and used a toothpick through the holes to help me eyeball 'level'.
Step 6: Cutting the Arms
I just ground down until I was through the pipe wall. The arms end up about 3/4" thick
Step 7: Round and Shape
Aesthetics are pleasing. Round the corners to make 'em pretty.
Step 8: Heat
I used a heat gun, but boiling water works just fine, and it arguably safer. Just heat the arms a bit (doesn't take much) and press 'em down on your mold.
Step 9: Mold
The pipe really isn't very hot, but a smart man would have used gloves. Press the arms down into their final shape. You can cool the arms with water to set the shape when done, of just let it cool to stiffness on its own.
Step 10: The Body
There it is, ready for stringing.
Step 11: The Rubber
I used rubber bands I filched form the office. these come in bags of hundreds for a buck or so. My goal is cheap and readily replacable, so office rubberbands filled the need nicely.
Step 12: Stringing the String
No fancy knots or nothing, just loop one rubberband around the other. 3 rubber bands makes a nice length for the string
Step 13: The Pouch
The pouch cups the projectile. I like using duct tape because . . . I have a lot of it and it works really well. I spread the strings apart to make a better cup, then fold the tape over the rubber bands and stick it to itself.
Step 14: Stringing the Sling
Poke the rubber bands through the holes in the arms. This contraption is held together by friction, so the fit should be very tight.
Step 15: Say No to Knots
Pull a little loop through the hole - that's all it takes. The vector angles allow the rubber band to hold itself in place. If you feel you must, break up your toothpick and put a piece through each loop - then pull it tight. That should hold your string in place.
Step 16: Finished
That's it - cost can't be more than a dime per unit. Double your ammo by cutting your corks in half.
Step 17: BE SAFE
Using light duty rubberbands keeps the velocity down. Encouraging the use of wine corks keeps the projectiles fairly soft while still delivering a satisfying thump on a target.
Here's a Slingshotter's Pledge you can have your sprogs recite before unleashing them on the world:
"This is my slingshot. I am responsible for it and all it does, even when in the hands of another. I will never intentionally harm any one or any thing with my slingshot. Safety is my watchword."