How to Make a Slingshot from Plywood

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April 10th, 2013 | 6 comments

We drew names for Christmas this year, and I got my cousin and my brother-in-law. Naturally, the first thing that came to mind was a plywood slingshot.

7_done_whole The slings are inspired from watching numerous Joerg Sprave YouTube videos. Mr. Sprave is probably the friendliest scary guy on the ‘tube.

1_draw2 I started with some sketches after looking at a lot of other wood slingshots online. I wanted to modify the connection point for the bands to reduce wear on the ends.

1_draw-done I double checked that two frames would fit in the wood pieces that I had before gluing the stack up.

2_glue Wood glue seems to hold the wood together much better than oatmeal, despite all horrible scrubbing memories at the sink.

2_clamp Normally, I just put the boards between my pecs and flex, but I had to run some errands and opted for clamps.

2-clamp-all It took a lot of clamps to approximate the same pressure my pec-press generates.

Cutting and Shaping

rhino
I tweaked my sketch in CAD to make sure everything would be symmetrical and all the curves looked pleasing.

3_bandsaw A quick pass in the laser cutter on low power transferred the line work directly to the wood. Sticking on print-outs would work too, but that’s less spectacular.

3_bandsaw-closeup Some quick snips on the band saw, and the slingshot starts to take shape.

3_bandsaw-done I went around again after the initial cut to get as close to the line as possible, reducing the amount of sanding needed. My eyes were of course closed while I listened for the tone to change as the blade touched the line, but I recommend that you keep your eyes open.

4_router The spindle sander is one of those tools that is just perfect for certain jobs like homemade sling shots. It’s terrible at chopping onions and washing windows. Just by sheer chance, this was one of the good uses.

4_router-done I rounded all the edges over on the router after sanding. The basic look of the slingshot really started to pop out by this point.

4_sanded The spindle sander spun back into action to contour the individual curves. This took a bit of trial and error to find a grip that felt great and looked good.

Finishing

5_spray A few coats of clear spray were necessary to protect against all the tears of joy that will surely erupt from the thrill of shooting this beast.

5_hang The blue tape is covering a short piece of paracord that will act as the stress relief and attachment point for the tubular bands.

6_etching A bit of laser etching gave the handle a little personalized flair.

6_tie I pushed the tubular bands over a figure-eight knot, then lashed the ends above the knot to keep them from slipping. The lashing may not have been necessary, but I’d rather be double safe than sorry.

Done

7_jeffrey_whole A wrist strap at the handle keeps the frame from smashing into the shooter’s face in a slip up. No one in my family is possibly that weak, but these bad boys will probably exist for several thousand years. There’s no telling how many countless people will eventually rely on them for sustenance and home security.

7_done_strap

7_done_vert I played with a few braiding designs on the wrist cord, but a simple knot is probably the best.

7_jeffrey_use The thumb and index finger brace support the frame at the downward spikes for better stability.

7_jeffrey_pull The paracord connection can be seen here. I smoothed all the edges to further reduce wear on the moving parts.

7_jeffrey_display Pow!

Just as a courtesy note, this was a personal project, and we do not intend to sell these slingshots in the Tinkering Monkey store. But, feel free to make your own just like this one, or improve upon it! We’d love to see photos if you do.

  • fred

    i am hoping to make my own with a very similar design probly out of hard wood like apple or oak and hoping to do theraband instead of tube

  • allenboughter

    Can I buy the Patten if I can pleaes tell me how

  • Phillip Richar

    What was the thickness of the plywood?

  • http://www.tinkeringmonkey.com Tinkering Monkey

    It is 3 layers of 1/2″ Baltic birch ply glued together.

  • http://www.tinkeringmonkey.com Tinkering Monkey

    I’d love to try Theraband, but the tubes were simpler / faster for a last minute build. I’ve also never worked with the bands before.

  • http://www.tinkeringmonkey.com Tinkering Monkey

    I just made the pattern up, feel free to snag that screen shot in the post to print / trace out. You may want to size it to your preference.