Slingshots Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,439 Posts
I try to find forks that are already dry from brush piles, and such. This is the way to go if in a hurry. You can get lucky and find a nice spalted fork.

If I find a nice green fork I will cut it extra long so if it cracks while drying the cracked portions will be cut off. Seal the cut ends with white glue or something similar to slow down the drying process. Have patience and you won't get cracks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Hello All,

I have carved many tree forks when they were "green" , mostly with a pocket knife and very few have developed cracks.

The secret seems to be that you start using the forks immediately and extensively , I think that the constant handling and the oils and moistutre in your skin somehow helps with the curing process , the bark must always be removed , over time these forks develop a beautiful patina.

You must also not leave these forks in the sun or in a very hot and dry place.

I also carve dry forks.

The best forks in my opinion are cut from Guava trees , but any strong wood will usually work.

This is just my experience , others may have had different results.

Cheers.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,883 Posts
I cut mine quite long, remove the bark,(only because of boring insects) then toss em in a box for 6-8 months hoping the slingshot part that I'll be using doesn't crack. Then take it out cut it down to size and go to work on it. I've had very few split all the way into the frame portion.
You can also take your forks in winter while the sap is down. This helps some.
 

·
Amateur
Joined
·
2,576 Posts
Ive done it both ways but i usually strip the bark and let it dry before carving. Sometimes I'll do some rough work while it's green but i always let it dry before finishing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,733 Posts
Depends on the wood but I find if I start on it right away and get the bark and get it how I want it start sanding when I am not working on it I keep it in my pocket if it cracks I clear coat it with two part epoxy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Many thanks for all your comments and advice.

So I don't need to change what I am doing. I cut them long, remove the bark immediately (or soak it before removal), and hang them up in my mainly unheated garage for a few months. No cracking yet.

For the first time, I have just used a dremel clone (1st pic) to remove wood fairly quickly in difficult areas. Used minimum speed setting to avoid burning wood or overheating the cutter.

But I shall still use knives too.

Then I continued with sandpaper-glued-on-dowels, etc.

I improvised dust extraction for the dremel using my Earlex CombiVac vacuum and it worked very well (2nd pic). The hood is 4 pieces of strong cardboard glued with hot melt glue and strengthened with duct tape. The angled open end helps.

Thanks again,

Mike
 

Attachments

·
SLING-N-SHOT
Joined
·
4,162 Posts
Many thanks for all your comments and advice.

So I don't need to change what I am doing. I cut them long, remove the bark immediately (or soak it before removal), and hang them up in my mainly unheated garage for a few months. No cracking yet.

For the first time, I have just used a dremel clone (1st pic) to remove wood fairly quickly in difficult areas. Used minimum speed setting to avoid burning wood or overheating the cutter.

But I shall still use knives too.

Then I continued with sandpaper-glued-on-dowels, etc.

I improvised dust extraction for the dremel using my Earlex CombiVac vacuum and it worked very well (2nd pic). The hood is 4 pieces of strong cardboard glued with hot melt glue and strengthened with duct tape. The angled open end helps.

Thanks again,
Mike
Nice set up Mike....if you can find one that fits the off brand Dremel, see about getting yourself a flexible shaft hand piece.
They are way easier to carve with as opposed to holding the actual motor part.
They run about $30 or so

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Many thanks for all your comments and advice.

So I don't need to change what I am doing. I cut them long, remove the bark immediately (or soak it before removal), and hang them up in my mainly unheated garage for a few months. No cracking yet.

For the first time, I have just used a dremel clone (1st pic) to remove wood fairly quickly in difficult areas. Used minimum speed setting to avoid burning wood or overheating the cutter.

But I shall still use knives too.

Then I continued with sandpaper-glued-on-dowels, etc.

I improvised dust extraction for the dremel using my Earlex CombiVac vacuum and it worked very well (2nd pic). The hood is 4 pieces of strong cardboard glued with hot melt glue and strengthened with duct tape. The angled open end helps.

Thanks again,
Mike
Nice set up Mike....if you can find one that fits the off brand Dremel, see about getting yourself a flexible shaft hand piece.
They are way easier to carve with as opposed to holding the actual motor part.
They run about $30 or so

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks - yes, this dremel clone came with a flexible shaft handpiece - that's the next thing I am going to try.

Meanwhile, partly for fun, partly because I like the design, and partly to have 2 tools available at the same time, I have ordered this from AliExpress:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33001702724.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.5fe7285aprk8sx&algo_pvid=f01f34fa-a84b-4ee1-8aff-a243643f6fcd&algo_expid=f01f34fa-a84b-4ee1-8aff-a243643f6fcd-57&btsid=60a8c7b7-47a3-4230-9078-44a7546560dd&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_7,searchweb201603_55

They say it'll take 20-40 days to get here (UK), presumably by sailing junk, so I hope I live long enough to see it arrive.

[ EDIT - whoops, that is not the one I have ordered. I have ordered the same device from another AliExpress seller and it is coming in for $15 approx with all the accessories. ]

My existing, very substantial, dremel clone weighs 525 grammes, while the baby one that I have ordered weighs about 200 grammes, a 100:38 ratio. So I shall not compare them directly, but just use each for what it does well. Assuming that the baby one does arrive, of course. :)

Mike
 

·
SLING-N-SHOT
Joined
·
4,162 Posts
I let mine dry out for weeks, then get wood filler to fill in deep cracks. Then shim and and glue major splits. Sand down to be even with rest and start working it after that.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
Thanks, very helpful. I must be lucky, as I have have not yet had cracking.
Mike
You can also just let crack what's gonna crack, then fill the voids with crushed Turquoise, Malachite, MOP( mother of pearl) , Abalone shell, colored sand, etc., using the thin viscosity CA glue. Sand it smooth and put your choice of finish on.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
I let mine dry out for weeks, then get wood filler to fill in deep cracks. Then shim and and glue major splits. Sand down to be even with rest and start working it after that.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
Thanks, very helpful. I must be lucky, as I have have not yet had cracking.
Mike
You can also just let crack what's gonna crack, then fill the voids with crushed Turquoise, Malachite, MOP( mother of pearl) , Abalone shell, colored sand, etc., using the thin viscosity CA glue. Sand it smooth and put your choice of finish on.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Dang that sounds super fancy!! Do you have any examples I can look at. May have to switch my game up.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all for your further replies.

I have just put the 3rd coat of Rustin's Danish Oil on a tree fork, I love that stuff. I may write about it in this Forum.

All the best,

Mike
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top