Slingshots Forum banner

1 - 20 of 91 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well, it has been brought to my attention by a forum member that our slingshots are not very good. can you guys post things that we should change about our slingshots? our goal is to make a fast high power hunting slingshot for about 20USD. all slingshots come stained or not stained, with gold thera band. please help us make a better slingshot for you!!! i will post pictures below going in order from left to right we have a SS1/SS2/SS3/and a BBS
 

Attachments

·
Member, Brotherhood of Slingshot Nutz
Joined
·
11,245 Posts
Evan and Devan,

First of all, the pictures are too small to make a fair judgment. But I have a question for you. Have you tried any of the slingshots made by any of the pros? If you can make something you feel can compete with them, then you may be able to sell some. But if, after trying a good sampling, you can't make a slingshot equal to or better than what you've bought in the $20 price range, then forget it. First you must satisfy yourself that your product is worth your time and another's money. No one else's opinion can do that for you. You must research the competition and make a reasoned judgment on your own.
Word to the wise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks. i have a cougar and am looking forward to getting my bunny buster. personaly i think our slingshots are more accurate but not as powerful as the cougar.
 

·
Member, Brotherhood of Slingshot Nutz
Joined
·
11,245 Posts
Accuracy comes from the shooter. Power comes from the bands. It comes down to this: you have to make a frame that looks cool, is strong and durable, and fits into the hand and functions like a well-designed tool. If you can do all this and what I posted above, the rest is salesmanship, I guess.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
260 Posts
I tried to embigganate the pics some - blurred them a lot but gave me a lil clue. Shapes -especially that 3 rd one- are not bad truthfully. Maybe a slightly slimmer profile on the handle of pics 1,2 &4. It looks like they are all just cut out and sanded a bit. Are your cuts clean with no chip out? - do you two do any rounding to full round over of the edges? I feel it really helps the look and feel of the s'shot. Don't get me started on finishes
because I get carried away juuuusssst a lil bit...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well, we have been using a dremel to round the edges but my father has to teach us how to safely use the router for the edges. and as of now the SS3 (3rd one) is the strongest and best looking(in my opinion)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,147 Posts
First a fork is a fork is a fork. If you make a product that people look at and say " I could make that." You aren't going to sell it. Now look at BB's, A+'s, or FB's some of their forks are pretty basic but the fit and finish are exceptional add to that their choice of woods and you have something most people can't whip up at home. Then throw in the years of experience, the fact that they can answer most questions a newbie might have and custom make a slingshot to fit the needs and taste of their customer and you have what it takes to sell a product. That's not to say your slingshots are bad but when you have those others to measure up to you got to really do.something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
k, but it would be very hard to make something like the for under 20. we will be using red oak as soon as we finish the current board we are using
 

·
Brotherhood Of The Slingshot Nutz
Joined
·
2,153 Posts
How about going back to the natural forks you started with ? The only thing I didn't like about them was they were too thin for my tastes. Start a hunt for good thick naturals made from hardwood and do some creative carving with your dremel. Round over the top of each fork tip and make it where you can attach flats or tubes with a rubber tie in a groove. Most of us love natural forks. Make sure the fork tips are not too tall, about two inches, at the most three, so there is little wrist torque. Make a fun time out of hunting for forks, maybe put an ad in a shopper that you will help to dispose of tree trimmings if you have the means. Hickory, ash, pecan, apple are great, but almost any solid wood will do for a natural fork because the grain pattern is strong and doesn't run in one direction like in a board. Just don't pick wimpy looking forks to sell, they need to look stout.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thats a good idea. we would like to start doing them again and we will try to get a few made up. verry good idea i can not wait to do naturals again
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
605 Posts
Evan and Devan
Keep up the good work.I beleive you are two young boys trying to start a slingshot business.Look at the workmanship on other slingshots and try to make yours as good or better.Listen to the advice of the forum members,they will not steer you wrong.With practice and experience you will get it right.You had to learn to walk before you could run.It is the same starting out in any business.Keep trying and you will succede.Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thank you, and the whole point of this thread is for the members to share and express what they want out of a slingshot. it so we can make something for the buyers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
You guys should have bought one cut out of each of the ones sold like Pallans, Flatband and may be one more. Shoulda played with them for a few weeks, shooting them etc. BUT more importantly, getting the feel of how they are made, how they shoot and more importantly perhaps how to improve them based on your exclusive design with a twist so people go "oh wow, that's interesting!! ". A cut out is a cut out but the feel, the way it holds, the way it shoots and especially the bands you give with them will sell or not sell.

Secondly, I see no reason to sell something at $20 when the going rate is around $25-$30. Sometimes the "cheap" banner on a price tag in marketing works against you unless quality is up to par to the rest of the boys. I would spend a little more time on each cut out, refine the way it looks to a piece work worth displaying. I don't speak for anyone else here, but I love my slingshot collection and displaying them as much as shooting them.

We all have 'go to' slingshots that we shoot but almost everyone here has more than one slingshot.

Get a better website made, get a real domain and copy some of the ideas of success out there in the slingshot market on the way they market their warez. You claim your slingshot is very accurate, excellent, now work on the rest of the icing on the cake.

Lots of luck.
Peresh.
 

·
Resigned
Joined
·
5,563 Posts
I went to youtube to see your demonstration. For me there is nothing wrong with the power for it to tear a can off a string like that. The style is just right, its real and it works. Some are drawn to more pretty or more finished but that is preference like buying a type of vehicle. You ought to continue on with what your skills are in line to do. Unless this is your only source of income I would just keep doing what I like. If some are critical without merit then they dont have to grace your shooters. From what I see your shooters look excellent and you proved how they shoot on youtube.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
EVERY SLINGSHOT YOU MAKE WILL GET BETTER. THE MORE YOU LEARN ABOUT WOODWORKING THE NICER YOUR SLINGSHOTS WILL BE. KEEP READING THE FORUMS AND LEARN FROM THE EXPERINCED BUILDERS, I LEARN SOMTHING ALMOST EVERYDAY.I SELL MY SLINGSHOTS FOR $10.00,THEY ARE SOLID,ACCURATE ,DEPENDABLE AND FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.AND ITS A GREAT HOBBY FOR ME. AND ONE MORE THING ,BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU ARE NOT EXPERINCED WITH A ROUTER DOING A SMALL OBJECT LIKE A SLINGSHOT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yes, they are very powerful. when we killed the 2 pigeons our new SS3 put a clean hole into the pigeons chest. i think we will try to use better looking woods(possibly exotics) in the future
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,465 Posts
When you first joined and asked what people looked for in a slingshot, I suggested that it be something effective, but also elegant and well finished. I agree with what harpersgrace said, if someone looks at a board cut and reckons they can make it in a short amount of time, they won't buy it. This applies to a lot of things, but slingshots seem to attract a crowd of people that are good with their hands. You need to be especially innovative, creative or skilled to pull something off that the members here won't feel ready to replicate. You can't compete on price, either. $30-50 may be the going rate for a handcrafted slingshot, but even if you cut your labour to zero and just charge materials, consumables and postage then the difference won't be that great. It may even be more than what you can buy a Saunders Hawk, or a finely handcrafted Chinese slingshot for.

I admire that you're going about this like a business, even if you're just two kids cutting boards on weekends. If I was a business advisor, I'd tell your departments the following:

  • Marketing: Position your product in an under-served niche because your production capacity and price and quality competitive advantages are low.
  • CEO: Maximise your return on resources. Identify where the greatest value added and greatest resources are and focus on that. Look to the future, but in a startup focus on getting a good first product to market. Make sure all corporate structuring, procedures are in place and liability is mitigated.
  • R&D: Quickly settle on a winning form and stick to it. Spending resources on development saps your ability to actually do business.
  • Operations: Look at the production process and where it needs to be more efficient. Use templates, produce in batches, reduce waste.
  • Finance: Make sure you have sufficient funds for start-up, capital expenditure on equipment, and cover working capital for materials and inventory. If money is tight, borrow others' resources and focus on reducing working capital tied up.
  • Purchasing: Can you buy materials in quantity, or find other buyers to split larger orders? Are you buying from the most cost efficient source?
Take the T1 for example. This was my thought process: I noticed very few people were working with plastics and laminates and wanted to promote new ideas about new materials. I can cast resins, but not many people want to do that and it doesn't showcase workmanship well. Board cuts on the other hand can make use of strong sheet cast plastics and fibre reinforced resins. Board cuts are also fast to produce and shoot well. The problem was they usually have to be very thick or they don't feel right in the hand. Modern laminates don't require such thickness for sufficient strength. I developed the T1 to be a thin board cut target shooter. At the time, I was spending a lot of time on new designs but I don't really want to give prototypes away. Sometimes it's because there's things that aren't quite right and I don't want it tarnishing my reputation, other times it's just perfect and I don't want to give up my best working example. I settled on the T1 as a template because it had proven itself and I planned to make lots of them. I have given no other design a template number because they are intended as one-offs, at least for now. The T1 however would make a great trade item so that I can get them into as many hands as possible, get detailed feedback and trade for other people's work without spending a lot of cash. I have considered lots of ways of making them faster. I'd look at CNC or outsourced hand cutting, but for now production numbers are best served doing it in-house. The slowest step is accurately radiusing the edges and I'm on the lookout for router bits. I have now settled on using paper micarta as the board. It's cheaper, kinder on tools and faster to cut than G10, stronger than acrylic, more rigid than polycarbonate, more plentiful than exotic wood and doesn't get into my skin, lungs and eyes. I have several square feet bought from a stockist's offcut bin and they're all scribed out ready to cut. The design tessellates quite tightly into the board widths I picked out of the offcut bin. I have all the resources needed to complete these boards already to hand. The key now is to crack on and focus on fit and finish and quality control.

Back to your original question, I haven't received your slingshot yet so I don't have any detailed comments. I prefer your left-most design. #3 is prettier, but the design is weak at the base of the forks where the grain is also weakest. Safety has to be your top priority. We (especially Americans) live in a litigious society and if you have been holding yourself out as a business, and somebody loses an eye, then you may well be treated as a business by the courts. They'd probably find you to be proprietors of an unregistered business without a limited liability structure and lacking product liability insurance, so you or your parents might be held financially accountable to direct, derivative and punitive damages. BTW, do you need CE or other markings to be selling a product in the relevant jurisdictions? I don't know.

Like Bill says, I'd also like to see better pictures of your slingshots before I can comment on fit and finish. I imagine that if a few of us commented similarly, then your potential customers won't have enough detail to decide on making a purchase. Big-name makers with a reputation for quality may get away with it, but newcomers like you and I can't. I always wait for good light and take sharp and detailed photos to post when I showcase new slingshots.
 

·
No other shooting sport compares.
Joined
·
6,460 Posts
I think you guys should stick with it. Do not give up and you will succeed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
260 Posts
well, we have been using a dremel to round the edges but my father has to teach us how to safely use the router for the edges. and as of now the SS3 (3rd one) is the strongest and best looking(in my opinion)
Awesome that you have a good selection of tools *and* a willing accomplice...er.. teacher to show you the safety aspects
but if you have a dremel and can use it with some dexterity that's all you really need (files and sandpaper along with elbow grease and above all- patience, works very well too) Have you watched Geko's "Carving" vid? If not let's try to keep it a diy until you get the training you need on the router.

Keep at it and looking for inspiration.
 
1 - 20 of 91 Posts
Top