Wooden Frisbee





Introduction: Wooden Frisbee

Lately I have begun to play a lot of disc golf. However, discs can be quite expensive and I tend to lose one every now and then. So why not just make your own? Here is the disc I'm "copying" http://www.innovadiscs.com/discs/mid-range-discs/speed-5/shark3.html. and its price can range from about $8-$20 depending on the type of plastic you buy it in. But its free if you make your own!

Here is a video of the Woodpecker in action, it works quite well actually. This isn't an actual hole (hole 17 tee pad to hole 2 basket) but it's 320 feet slightly down hill and the disc made the drive but landed just to the left of the basket 
I'm also attaching the cdx4 file I made for this project. 

Step 1: Planning

The first thing you'll want to do is decide what kind of disc you want. I first drew out a quick Sketch of the disc life sized. this helped me know how to cut the wood.

If your making a disc golf disc than you'll need to decide if you want to make a longer range disc or a mid range disc. I made more of a mid range disc but it acts a lot like a distance driver and has a range of about 300ft. 

Things to know about discs:
1. more weight towards the center  of the disc will cause the disc to flip over or turn right if thrown by a right handed person using a
backhand shot (RHBH). this would make the disc "undersatble". 
2. More weight on the very edge of the disc will cause the disc to have a natural curve to the left when thrown RHBH. this makes the disc "overstable". 
3. The height of the disc will also effect the flight. A tall disc will fly a lot slower than a slim disc, But will be more stable during flight. 
4. The area inside the disc will also effect the flight. If a disc has a large inside area (the bottom of the disc). The disc will glide or be more stable during its flight.

Step 2: Cutting and Gluing

Once your pieces are designed, cut them out and glue them together! ( I used a laser cutter but it can be done with a hand saw!) I learned that it would be much easier to glue the disc together in sections rather than all at once. So I would suggest gluing all the rim pieces together and then all of the plate pieces then put them together. Although you can do it all at once it was a little frustrating and hard to get the pieces to line up perfect.  
You should allow at least 24 hours for the glue to fully dry before you start shaping your disc.

Step 3: Shaping

Now that your disc is dry start sanding away! I'm using a belt sander which is probably the easiest way to do it. Just start from the top of the disc and work your way down to the bottom of the rim, removing the "steps" from the different sized rings. This isn't a complicated step, you kind of have to go off of your own eye to see whats right, looks good. This step will also take a lot of time, so be patient and don't try to rush it

Once you have finished the rough sanding, use a finer grit sandpaper and hand sand the disc. This will allow you to do some fine tuning and get all the imperfections out of the disc and prepare the disc for staining.

Step 4: Design a Label (Optional)

I wanted to create a label for my disc so that it wouldn't look so plain. I made this label on Corel Draw X4 cut it into my disc with a laser cutter. 

To make the label I used and image of a Woodpecker and traced it on CDX4 and then made up a fake disc company so it would look legit. 

Make sure before you etch your label that the disc is lined up straight as possible so that you don't end up with a lop sided label 

Step 5: Stain and Varnish

Once your label is etched apply some stain (if you want of course!), and a coat of varnish. Its important to use a weather/water proof varnish so that if your disc gets wet it will not warp or split when it dries. 

To apply stain: 
Make sure the disc is clean and all the dust wiped free. Now take a rag or paper towel and dip it into the stain and wipe down the disc, make sure to apply the stain evenly. If you want a darker finish wait for the first coat to dry (a couple hours) and then apply a second coat. 

To apply Varnish: 
Again make sure your disc is clean and use a rag or paper towel to wipe down the disc. Let the first coat dry thoroughly  then lightly sand the disc and apply a second coat, be sure to apply the varnish as evenly as possible on the last coat.

Step 6: The Finished Product

Now that you're finished, test it out and see how it flies! 

Here are some Videos of the disc in action! In the first video the disc disappears from sight but it landed about 15 feet to the left of the basket. This hole is roughly 320 feet, though it has a slight down hill  so its no problem to throw 320 (its actually hole 17 tee to the hole 2 basket on this course)

The disc seems to be pretty over-stable at lower speeds but then when thrown harder with more spin it is pretty under-stable and almost flips over but manages to pull back making a "S" pattern. 

The woodpecker also works great as a putter! 

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and try it out for yourself! Please comment or message me if you have any questions about the build. 




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    33 Discussions

    I reworked this and added spokes. The spokes can be cut out after gluing but mean you can line up all the shapes really well for gluing.

    You could also use the spokes and hole in the middle to act as a pivot to help get an even sand (put a nail through it and hold that while it and the sanding device spin). Be careful though :)

    In its new form its an SVG in Ponoko's color scheme - so it can be ordered directly from them. (scale it up or down and add logos as you like. Inkscape is free and easy to use)


    I'm a pretty hardcore golfer. I would buy this for 50 easy. You should sell those at a tournament. I know a lot of people who would love to hang one of those on their wall. That looks great man.

    1 reply

    Thanks! I've made mini discs and etched the tournament logo on them. They are always a big hit! I can possibly put some up on etsy if you would like.

    I love playing ultimate frisbee, would love to try making one.

    is there ANY chance someone can give me the measurements of each piece? thanks SO much... could be the BEST xmas gift ever!

    Would the instructions be the same for the pocket-sized frisbee?

    1 reply

    relitivly the same.. When I make a mini I don't include the "steps" as seen on the underside of the full sized disc. But otherwise its all exactly the same. I need to update this ible because even on the full sized discs adding the steps is pointless and affects the flight negativly

    cdr is no good for me. any chance you could save as svg or ancient ai(v9) file...

    1 reply

    Actually Inkscape can read it - Yay...

    Best way to get them all perfectly centered might be to leave a little laser cut crosspiece with a centering hole. Then cut that out when its all glued up ???

    You know... I keep making things from a solid piece of wood... I need to start thinking of layers... very nicely done.

    With all the concrete in my latest instructable mail I actually expected a concrete Frisbee :).

    I get pictures across some of the text. Is this cut from plywood? What kind? A layer of 1-oz. fiberglass and epoxy would probably do wonders for the durability.

    2 replies

    oops! forgot to put that in! It's cut from 3-ply 1/8 birch plywood. I've been thinking about fiberglass or carbon fiber but maybe for another 'ible!

    At these weights, carbon would tear easily, and be too thin for style points. "Glass makes a lovely clear finish - you can get the thin stuff at a model shop. Aramid or Spectra would be the way to get a tough disk. It might not be easy to get some of the thicker, more expensive cloth to follow the rim curve without a wrap of Saran or similar stuff. Any reinforcing will be denser than the wood, affecting the balance, and the epoxy soakage will too. It might pay to lightly coat the wood to seal it before adding the rest of the layers. You might want a fairly rubbery epoxy like Cold Cure, or a tough one like System Three's Phase Two. (That's not a blanket recommendation for S. T.) At some point, you wind up with a tough plastic disk again, shaped by wood that remains as a decorative inclusion.

    man i would not want to lose that disc.
    looks super though. i was just discussing disc golf with my brother when i came across this post... we were talking about saving money on discs by buying a $4000 3d printer to just print them off. Both methods seem equally ridiculous :)

    This is awesome! My friends and I love playing ultimate. And my dad loves playing disc golf. If only I had the tools :(

    2 replies

    it would be possible to complete this project with just a saw and sanding block. though it would take a lot longer