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Good morning all. Made my first homemade slingshot yesterday.

I received my first slingshot in the mail earlier in the week - an Axiom Ocularis from Simple Shot along with a couple band sets and clay ammo. I enjoyed shooting it so much I thought I'd try to make one.

I turn wood bowls and plates on a lathe so usually have plenty of logs and cut offs around. I grabbed a piece of cherry and made a couple blanks - roughed them out on my bandsaw.

I've carved wood spoons in the past and don't have a vice setup so grabbed my carving knife and got to work. After a couple hours of carving I got my cabinet scrapers out to smooth out the knife marks.

Followed up by sanding smooth thru 240 grit and oiled it with some walnut oil.

I put some bands on it and did some test shots. Had about the same accuracy as my Axiom so that made me super happy!

Looking forward to making more of these and making a better shape

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Congratulations on your first effort! That being said and I'm sorry to be the bearer of unhappy tidings, but board cut frames like yours are notoriously prone to failure when under the stress of full draw. If the frame fails, it'll likely break just to the left or right of the handle and it can send broken frame piece(s) flying back into your face at top speed. I'm only one voice in a large chorus here, but I think it's best to stay away from board cut frames.

If you go with a natural fork or a frame made from plywood (the good stuff-- >12 plys and not the cheap stuff with 4 or 5 plys and filled voids), you'll have a much safer frame to shoot with. Taking it a step further, if you go with a commercially-made polycarbonate, HDPE or cast metal frame, you'll have an ultra-safe frame to shoot for a lifetime.

Best of luck with whatever you choose to do and shoot. Above all else, always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from unintended backwards-flying frame pieces, fork hits, RTS's, etc. Thus endeth today's safety sermon from a guy who had a frame fail but fortunately wasn't injured by it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Congratulations on your first effort! That being said and I'm sorry to be the bearer of unhappy tidings, but board cut frames like yours are notoriously prone to failure when under the stress of full draw. If the frame fails, it'll likely break just to the left or right of the handle and it can send broken frame piece(s) flying back into your face at top speed. I'm only one voice in a large chorus here, but I think it's best to stay away from board cut frames.

If you go with a natural fork or a frame made from plywood (the good stuff-- >12 plys and not the cheap stuff with 4 or 5 plys and filled voids), you'll have a much safer frame to shoot with. Taking it a step further, if you go with a commercially-made polycarbonate, HDPE or cast metal frame, you'll have an ultra-safe frame to shoot for a lifetime.

Best of luck with whatever you choose to do and shoot. Above all else, always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from unintended backwards-flying frame pieces, fork hits, RTS's, etc. Thus endeth today's safety sermon from a guy who had a frame fail but fortunately wasn't injured by it.
Thanks for the warning - it is very well appreciated. I saw it mentioned where some people have made sling shots out of plywood and just assumed a solid hardwood would be just as safe - especially since I hold it so close to the fork ends.

That said, I do already have an axiom Ocularis and have a scout lt on order. It won't disappoint me not to use this one. Had a ton of fun making it - any time playing with wood and knife is a good time to me

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Good job there! It certainly looks prettier than my first attempt.
 
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It looks sturdy enough. That was a huge hunk of cherry wood. If your grain are all going vertical (up and down) it's a safer bet. All in all that's a hell of a first try. Loving that design, do you have the template for it?

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It looks sturdy enough. That was a huge hunk of cherry wood. If your grain are all going vertical (up and down) it's a safer bet. All in all that's a **** of a first try. Loving that design, do you have the template for it?

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Thanks! It was originally cut from about a 12" diameter log. I processed it a out 2 years ago to make bowl blanks. This was a chunk of center cut - ended up with two blanks, one of which I cut in half.

No template. Just cut something that looked roughly like a slingshot then used a craving knife to get down to size. Just went with whatever thurned up out of the wood

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I too am concerned with the grain flow. I would drill the shoulder and put a dowel through it to add strength. Reading the grain is crucial in certain areas of woodworking where strength is critical, such as gun stock, ladder rung etc. Laminated wood (plywood) actually does better than solid wood in some of the areas.

Pretty nice work though. A good start.

-TL

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I too am concerned with the grain flow. I would drill the shoulder and put a dowel through it to add strength. Reading the grain is crucial in certain areas of woodworking where strength is critical, such as gun stock, ladder rung etc. Laminated wood (plywood) actually does better than solid wood in some of the areas.

Pretty nice work though. A good start.

-TL

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I certainly see where the caution is. Grain on this runs straight up/down and ends up with some short fibers just past the handle. M

When/if this one gets used, I'll stick to .4 mm bands and my 1/4" or clay ammo.

And go on a walk to find a proper fork to carve from. So much fun!

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Ray Rowden
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Lovely work.

Glad you've identified the short grain issue. Light bands are a good idea. In my experience, these hardwood slingshots hold up pretty well for regular use, but are vulnerable to fork hits.

Since you have substantial supply of hardwoods already you might consider using the "split frame" technique to avoid short grain. If I'm not cutting down an oversized fork, this is my go-to for hardwood now.

Here's a starter thread - there are many more.

https://slingshotforum.com/topic/8956-the-new-and-improved-split-frames-mark-3/?&hl=bookmatch&fromsearch=1
 
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