Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jake's DIY Slingshot #1

This is my first attempt at making a slingshot. Made with only a Swiss army knife and and a few household items. I am impatiently waiting for THIS FANCY SLINGSHOT  to arrive in the mail, and decided to build a little bean shooter to occupy me in the meantime.  I adapted a design by Slingshot Guru Joerg Sprave. I pretty much copied the design from the video in that link.  He is awesome, and builds some pretty extreme slingshots. His Youtube channel is really worth a look.

-Swiss Army knive (with saw blade)
-Drumstick or equivalent
-The best rubberbands you can find
-Piece of nylon strap (from a backpack maybe)
-duct tape

Remember, knives cut skin and so do saws,  crappy little rubberbands can snap off, and the ultimate goal of this device is to send a projectile of your choice flying thru the air. Use caution during the assembly and operation of this device. My confidence in you to use your common sense is implied. The danger is yours.
Now. Lets have some FUN!

In the beginning:

Cut the drumstick into three sections, two of them should be of even length. We only need a little nub from the third piece, but leave enough so that you can hold onto it because you need to carve it a little.

Here, Joerg shows us how we need to carve the ends of the two pieces for the slingshot into a wedge shape so they will fit together at an angle. Also carve a shallow, 360 degree notch around the end opposite the wedged end. This is to secure the rubberbands on later. Joerg is a smart man, and chose to carve the notches at this stage.

Now we have all the pieces almost ready to assemble. The center piece is carved into the shape of a flathead screwdriver and is going to be shoved in between the two sides of the slingshot once assembled. Notice that I did not carve my notches at this point. It was a pain in the butt to do it once it was assembled.

Lets go to  Joerg again for a look at how the center wedge goes in,  because I also forgot to take a photo of this.

Now cut the end of of the center piece

Now, tape it all together! I taped the side pieces together tightly at the bottom first,  then put in the center wedge and added a bunch more tape, wrapping as tightly as I could.

Then find a piece of nylon webbing, cut it to about 3 inches and use you lighter to melt the edges so that they dont fray. Then use the awl on the knife to punch holes toward the ends, and then use a pencil to expand them. Light leather might be a better material for this, but it is not very nice to cows.

Now we thread the rubberbands thru with this handy trick: bent paperclip thru the hole.

Thread the rubberband thru the hook in the paperclip:

Then pull the humdinger through the nylon:

And... out the other side.

thread the rubberband back thru itself

And pull it tight

I had standard, short office rubberbands, so I put two together like this

Ok, now we attach the band and pouch to the slingshot! Make a prussic loop and slip it over the end of the sides of the slingshot, making sure that the rubber bands are sticking out the same side of the slingshot when they are pulled tight

NOW we are done!!!

I of course grabbed whatever was nearest to me and seemed most dangerous (pennies) and started shooting at a piece of cardboard indoors. I do not reccomend this. Pennies are fun, and move very quickly through the air, but are also incredibly unpredictable because they often turn sideways or start spinning in flight. I recommend something like dried garbanzo beans, and probably would be better to go outdoors to do it.

Here are my immediate results  at 12 feet away:

Pretty scary actually.  The rubberbands wear out pretty quickly, but are easily and quickly replaced. Keep an eye on them for tearing, and PROTECT YOUR EYES when using this thing, or shoot from the hip or something for gods sakes!!!!

I am going to upgrade my bands to some stronger rubber bands or better yet, some surgical tubing as soon as possible.

Have fun kids!


  1. Awesome! My brother once brought me back a slingshot from Mexico. Broke pretty quickly. What convinced you to make a slingshot?

  2. Pro Mark? Maybe you should use Vic Firth if this one doesn't work...

  3. Hehe, I said to someone yesterday, "making a slingshot is the best use for a ProMark drumstick since kindling".

    I LOVE me some Vic Firths!

  4. u think a teacher would let us use this in the 6th grade?

  5. Do you mean the instructions, or the actual slingshots?