I developed the slingshot bug last week. After thinking, watching, and reading about all the different slingshots available, I learned I am pretty clueless as to what I want or need in a slinghshot frame.
I decided to make my own simple frame, to get a better idea of what I really want in a slingshot. There are so many great frame makers around, I do not want to commit to buying a frame until I know what type of frame I want and why I want it.
This frame is very simple to make. All you really need is a hacksaw blade and sandpaper if you have no tools to speak of. Of course the more choices you have for tools the better your end result should be.
This frame is a basic slingshot frame, and should not be considered for anything serious, as injury may occur from material defects. This is the cheapest of the cheap almost ready made frames. Pay attention to the grain of the wood as you make your choice. The grain needs running vertical in the handle.
Cost to make if you have a usable saw and sandpaper is less than $5.00.
Materials: I went to Walmart and found their cheapest three inch paint brush ~ $1.50. Grabbed a one pound bag of dried Chick Peas ~ $1.50. At an office supply store I found a pack #64 rubber bands for ~ $1.70.
Once home: Using a kitchen knife, oops, I mean flat tip screwdriver, I removed the four tacks holding the brush on the paintbrush handle.
Using a pencil, I drew a slingshot frame on the paintbrush handle.
With my twenty-five year old jig saw I went to work. Be careful with the band tie area, do not get too aggressive.
Find two round toothpicks. Using the toothpick ends, preferably with a drop of glue plug the four holes left from the tacks.
Sanding is next. This step is optional I suppose.
For finishing, you can use mineral, or any cooking oil. Better choice is linseed oil if you have some around.
For the bands, chain rubber bands together until you get about nine inches of band. Repeat. You want about a seven to eight inch draw if I understood the videos and reading correctly. What I did instead was buy the longest rubber bands I found and used one band on each side. I think chaining the #64 bands will be more powerful however.
Attach the bands using a rubber band cut apart for each side. Wind it tight around the fork, making sure the distance of the bands from the center is the same distance. Tie the rubber band off like you are tying a shoe, only not the loops. You will have to spit on the knot before you tighten it, or it may break from stress. Spit makes the rubber slippery.
For the pouch, I used folded duct tape.
The frame will be about 4.5 inches +/_ tall and 3 inches +/- wide depending on where you cut off the bottom.
There are numerous videos, many made by forum members (and others) about attaching bands and learning how to shoot without pain. I watched a lot of them. Due to the small frame size, I use the Pickle Fork Shooter (pfs) style. I don’t know if you have to, but I feel more comfortable with the pfs style.
You won’t have a lot of slingshot that will win any design awards. You will have a useful, functional slingshot to get you started. The upside is you won’t be going to the doctor because you shot yourself in the thumb or finger with heavy ammunition fired from a powerful slingshot as you learn the basics. You also won’t have spent many dollars on a frame that does not work for you because you prefer a different shooting style.
As you practice using your basic slingshot, you (we both) will have a better idea of what you want your real slingshot to look like and how powerful you want it. At this point you will be an informed buyer, and will be able to better relate to one of the custom frame makers on this board. You will know what you want your ‘real’ slingshot to look like and how you will use it.
If you want to read more about slingshots, I suggest you redirect over to the Slingshot Forum where, “Slingshot Forum is a site where you can come to learn about all things related to slingshots. Come here for slingshots for sale, wooden, videos, pictures, DIY, …”
I have learned a lot on the forum, and yet I have barely scratched the surface. Good people there, I think you will enjoy visiting the forum.