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My fIrst Phoenix! + another first in the works with eye screws


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#1 BaneofSmallGame

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 11:49 PM


Hello everyone,

I finally got a good amount of free time today (still not enough)....and I was able to get down to the woodshop for the first time in a while. The original plan was to try and knock up a natural at home, but I had to take things in stride and jump on the opportunity to get down to the shop.

I only had an 1hr 30min but I managed do get a good deal done on 2 slingshots I had planned to make. One was a phoenix design inspired by Joerg.....it really does make for a great frame idea, so why not jump on the bandwagon. I cut it out of what I'm pretty sure was some quite strong maple plywood. I certainly cannot break it with my hands, nor can dropping it on the concrete floor, etc. so it seems strong enough ( stronger than many of my naturals too) As some of you may already know, I am really a natural fork kind of guy. I can find a lot more time to work on them at home, and I feel I'm better with hand tools at home than powertools in limited amounts of time at the shop. So here it is, quite roughly sanded in need of touch ups at home by hand. I do not have the greatest tools at my disposal but my jigsaw did quite well cutting this particular fork.
Posted Image
Not the greatest cutting job in the world, but I managed to get the shape well and I added a little horizontal palm swell.

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Do you think this wood is suitable? .....possibly too thin, but it seems strong to me (I don't know much about ply quality)

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I fits quite nicely in the hand, I'll add some cord for handle thickness when I finish it up.....I hope the low fork makes for minimal wrist strain as planned


Here is the other work on progress that will not be finished until I return to the shop again. It is inspired by my thoughts of easy band attachments, Holzwurm's shared pocket shooter ideas, and the frames of dankung. I'm quite happy with it's shape and size even at this crude stage. I only had enough time to pick out the eye screws (I'll bend them out a bit later) and cut it out. This oak is really where the jigsaw struggled, but I made it through without any major mistakes. Here it is, with absolutely no work put into it other than cutting out the shape.

Posted Image
The eye screws will go in and then bent out slightly so I can slide in looped bands etc in easily. Also, is the grain direction okay? Quite honeslt it's such a compact, small, and thick frame that I figured it would be a problem whatsoever, the wood itself is nicely aged oak that is 1 1/8" thick at the moment......can't imagine that breaking! :lol:

Posted Image

Though rough, it really feels nice in the hand, I love the chubby feel of it and the little finger rests give it optimal control

Many thanks go to Holzwurm for sharing his ideas on this type of design and inspiring me to do something similar. Thanks for looking, I'd love to here some of your feedback on these, as soon as they are finished I will update the thread with pics.

Take Care - John

#2 Dayhiker

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 08:22 AM

John, the grain is going the wrong way. Otherwise the design of that little oak one is very nice. B)
I can't say anything about the phoenix until you finish her up. Looks strong enough though.

#3 Gib

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 08:24 AM

Yes make sure the grain is going vertical otherwise you compromise strength.

Other then that great job

#4 ZDP-189

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 09:35 AM

John, duuuude, you're buzzin'. It's nice to see someone so into this as you obviously are.

Yes, the others have a point about grain ... however ... In this case you may get away with it. I say that because you are using good sturdy wood and a thick chink of it; the arms are very low and reinforced with screws. Nevertheless, be your own judge of safety. A veneer, ideally micarta or G10, on the front would contribute greatly to safety.

#5 shot in the foot

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 09:56 AM

Hello everyone,

I finally got a good amount of free time today (still not enough)....and I was able to get down to the woodshop for the first time in a while. The original plan was to try and knock up a natural at home, but I had to take things in stride and jump on the opportunity to get down to the shop.

I only had an 1hr 30min but I managed do get a good deal done on 2 slingshots I had planned to make. One was a phoenix design inspired by Joerg.....it really does make for a great frame idea, so why not jump on the bandwagon. I cut it out of what I'm pretty sure was some quite strong maple plywood. I certainly cannot break it with my hands, nor can dropping it on the concrete floor, etc. so it seems strong enough ( stronger than many of my naturals too) As some of you may already know, I am really a natural fork kind of guy. I can find a lot more time to work on them at home, and I feel I'm better with hand tools at home than powertools in limited amounts of time at the shop. So here it is, quite roughly sanded in need of touch ups at home by hand. I do not have the greatest tools at my disposal but my jigsaw did quite well cutting this particular fork.
Posted Image
Not the greatest cutting job in the world, but I managed to get the shape well and I added a little horizontal palm swell.

Posted Image
Do you think this wood is suitable? .....possibly too thin, but it seems strong to me (I don't know much about ply quality)

Posted Image
I fits quite nicely in the hand, I'll add some cord for handle thickness when I finish it up.....I hope the low fork makes for minimal wrist strain as planned


Here is the other work on progress that will not be finished until I return to the shop again. It is inspired by my thoughts of easy band attachments, Holzwurm's shared pocket shooter ideas, and the frames of dankung. I'm quite happy with it's shape and size even at this crude stage. I only had enough time to pick out the eye screws (I'll bend them out a bit later) and cut it out. This oak is really where the jigsaw struggled, but I made it through without any major mistakes. Here it is, with absolutely no work put into it other than cutting out the shape.

Posted Image
The eye screws will go in and then bent out slightly so I can slide in looped bands etc in easily. Also, is the grain direction okay? Quite honeslt it's such a compact, small, and thick frame that I figured it would be a problem whatsoever, the wood itself is nicely aged oak that is 1 1/8" thick at the moment......can't imagine that breaking! :lol:

Posted Image

Though rough, it really feels nice in the hand, I love the chubby feel of it and the little finger rests give it optimal control

Many thanks go to Holzwurm for sharing his ideas on this type of design and inspiring me to do something similar. Thanks for looking, I'd love to here some of your feedback on these, as soon as they are finished I will update the thread with pics.

Take Care - John



I use the rings a lot, mine have a longer thred, jeff

#6 BaneofSmallGame

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for the comments DH, Gib, ZDP, and Jeff. It's really great to here it from 4 of those I really look up to in the field of slingshots.

There is no timetable on when these will be finished, I should be able to finish up the phoenix at home, but the oak will have to wait until I return to the shop.

I'm pretty sure the phoenix is sound as well, its good plywood. and I couldn't even budge it with my bear hands, or in a a vice. I think it will look quite nice with some dark finishing if I can get a hold of some.

:looney: ZDP, I've come severely ill with the slingshot bug. In a mere 5 extremely busy months I have found the time to make 4 naturals, and these will be boardcuts 2 and 3. I know that is nothing compared to what many other members produce in a mere month. But I live an extremely busy life, and 2 slingshots a month is very productive for me with limited access to powertools. I'm getting better with each make, and my hunting/shooting skills improve by the week....so yes I'm buzzed.

Ahh Jeff, thanks for the input on the eye screws, I thought of that fact myself in the beginning, but as both of these are really trial runs at these designs, and I only had these screws laying around......they will do. If you use the rings a lot then that gives me even more assurance that they will work well. I'm really excited by the prospect of a very easy, quick, and permanent attachment method for my chains ans looped tubes.

As to the grain, I figured it was wrong, once I got it cut out I realized it... :bonk: But, quite honestly, this little sucker is not going to break...its very thick and stocky and the oak is of good quality. The forks are low and there isn't really much of a weak-point where it would most likely break. I'm not going to worry about it on this one, none of my bands have draw weights over 20lbs or so, and this is certainly stronger than any natural I have. I appreciate the concerns and identification of the obvious fault, but from my evaluation, it'll be fine, over and inch of oak doesn't just snap off at one point without a great deal of persuasion and force.

Thanks for the feedback everyone, I will certainly update and inquire as each project progress. Time is the enemy of all mankind, as always its no different in this situation

Take care- John

#7 shot in the foot

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:45 AM

if you use them rings turn them round so the eye is facin sidewards, then the band or tube will sit in the middle of the hoop, and not on the top, it give less strain on them, like this one, jeff

Posted Image
Posted Image

#8 Dayhiker

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:56 AM

And make sure you epoxy or super-glue them in!

#9 shot in the foot

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:26 PM

Forgot to add, on my photos the thred on the hoops are put in on a angle then the eye is bent up right, jeff

#10 BaneofSmallGame

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 08:41 PM

Thanks Jeff, I was planning on turning them that way, its just a bit difficult to display the them to everyone that way when not already screwed in.. :lol:

That's a good looking little slingshot you've got there as well. It looks like the stocky design with a palm swell will be similar to that of mine when finished.

And thank you again Jeff and DH for the tips for the screws. I can see why bending them this way would sort of lock them in place, and some epoxy surely couldn't hurt.

Update on the phoenix, I finished up sanding it today down to an extremely smooth finish with some very fine sandpaper, and of course copying paper. Then I subjected it to some dark stain/sealant......I never used the stuff before and it seems like it may be a bit too dark at this stage of the first coat drying. We'll see, I have a lot more of this maple ply, and its proving very easy to work with. But, I'll certainly get pictures up when finished. I spent a lot of time today working on a new natural that I'll post when I finish later in the week, no better way to pass drying time!

Cheers - John

#11 BaneofSmallGame

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:13 PM

Here we are, all dry and wrapped up and ready to go!

It finished up drying over night so I took it down, did a bit of light copying paper sanding, and then went on to wrapping it with cord, yes it's white and it will get dirty, but I think it gives nice contrast to the dark stain. I also drilled a lanyard hole right before staining that I will utilize later on with thinner twine. Haven't banded it up yet, but it is extremely comfortable to hold! :D

As to the stain, I think it gave it a nice look, it's a bit lighter on the sides of it and there are little silver like speckles for some reason (very cool).....overall its a little darker and overpowering than I'd really like, but it'll certainly do as a first attempt!

Posted Image

I'm not the greatest with knots, the string is actually fastened down at the end with a constrictor knot which seems to work fine. Also, I must say although the phone pics are quite poor, it is the smoothest and softest sanding job I've ever done to the date thanks to my new range of grits. :D

Posted Image

As to the bands, I will probably aim to rig it either with some theragold target bands if time allows, or some size 107 or 105 rubberbands as a little experiment if I can get out and get a hold of some. We'll see how the week pans out, I will continue to update all of you on both projects for sure!

Thanks for looking
- John

#12 BaneofSmallGame

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 08:24 PM

Alright folks, this is actually a bit laughable, but here it is......finally all banded up and ready to shoot. It has joined my cohort of 6 band experimenter frames at the moment, all of which have different types of bands, cuts,and configurations.

I rigged it with 1 Alliance Pale Crepe 107 rubberband per side. I have found that if each band is cut in halves and then banded with "doubles" in a sense per side, then it is an easier draw and similar power to that if the 107 is left uncut on each side. A little peculiar, but I'm all for it as in the end it makes for a better bandset. As I had said, this is my first go at staining a slingshot, usually I just use polyurethane, and I made this frame in about 30 min, so I'm not overly attached to it. The stain looks alright, a bit dark, but the white rope makes for a nice contrast. So here she is, in natural light with my sub-par phone camera.

Posted Image

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Yes thats snow you see, it is very cold here so I haven't shot it all that often, but I am satisfied. The simple wide rubberband flat-out preforms. I mainly shoot it at normal 31 in. draw or at about 1/8 butterfly of about 35 inches or so. Both are very fast and I have been moderately accurate in minimal shooting in the cold. As I enjoy hunting with the slingshot, I honestly can say in confidence that these bands could take a rabbit or bird with lead that's smaller than or maybe equal to 44 cal, or 3/8" or 7/16" steel or hex nuts of similar size. If anything, they are really enjoyable to shoot in the back and they have a medium draw.

Thanks for looking, I'm glad I finally got it up and ready to go! Thanks a bunch for ongoing inspiration Joerg. I look forward to hearing from all of you...

Cheers - John

#13 lucifer93

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 08:30 PM

John amazing work mate, i'm sure your one of Santas little helpers. :D Merry Christmas mate

#14 philly

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 08:57 PM

John, enjoy your posts, I have just finished my 2nd natural made from an apple fork. I used a product by MinWax called Poly Shades, it already has stain in it, finishes up nice. I got the maple stain mixture and it is light enough in color to allow the natural wood grain features to show thru. I put on 3 coats, steel wool in between then finish with Johnsons Paste Wax for a nice sheen without too much glare (picture on right is my second). Started a third fork this morning (middle Pic). My next attempt after the newest fork will be a board cut, have to find a good piece of wood first. Keep them coming, the Pheonix looks cool.. Merry Christmas.
Philly

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#15 Dan the Slingshot Man

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 09:12 PM

Nice work. But the grain should go up it makes it stronger

#16 philly

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 09:20 PM

The Pheonix is Multiplex Ply wood Dan, what you are looking at is the top vaneer layer.




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