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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all just found a few natural forks I'm gonna try for my first go at making my own. Any suggestions? How long should I let em sit before I start?
 

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...Any suggestions?...
None. But thank you for posting this! I'm going to be watching for any ideas that you might receive. I was gifted a remarkable natural fork from a very generous member but due to my total ineptness in working with tools -- I've been afraid of ruining it?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thought I'd have more input by now.


Not even sure if the one on the left is doable. The other seems real nice, I just wanna make it decent and not botch it myself. I have the rubber. Just debating how I want to try and shape it...
 

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Hi Nick,
if you recently fresh cut the branch,I would let it dry out in your shed for around 6 months. Seal the ends with paint or poly or some other sealer.There are guys on here that have used the microwave to dry them in a few hours or a conventional oven in a few hours on very low heat. I'm not a real big fan of natural forks so I'm not really the one to try to help you but you can rig them over the top or slotted. Guys I know have had much success either way. Good luck Bud! Flatband
 

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What Flatband said...let them dry while you ponder ideas. I have a metal polebarn with a loft. In the Summer, it gets over 120* up there, and thats where I put my naturals to dry. They'll be good enough for me to work with by late August.
 

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Hey Thwupp, maybe you and I should start an ineptness club. I have lots of experience at being inept.
 

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Hey all just found a few natural forks I'm gonna try for my first go at making my own. Any suggestions? How long should I let em sit before I start?
if you keep them inside near a stove or something they will dry ok in a fiew days or so.

I made one just a few days ago with natural forks and I used tube as elastic....I`ve mad holes in the forks for the elastic and just made a knot after putting the elastic trough the holes

I`ll make a photo and post it tomorrow, I think
 

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Here's a link to a thread on Micro drying http://slingshotforu...h__1&#entry3177
I have done it with four slingshots with out a hitch...other than that mine are very simple, I grooved the forks so they could be rigged over the top but I just wrapped the latex around the arms but that's just me, I know it's the easy way out but it works. I just stripped the bark dried them did a little shaping and slapped on some poly...like I said they are pretty simple but they shoot. Here is a pic of three I have done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for sharing Harpers.. I think I'll probably keep it simple as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting choice for band attachment/style. First natural I've seen like that.
 

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Interesting choice for band attachment/style. First natural I've seen like that.
I had the tube and I wanted to build the slingshot very fast...so I choose`d the natural forks. I thought this is a good way to put a tube to this king of forks...although I was concerned at first because I din`t knew how to make the knots on the other end.
 

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That fork on the right looks very nice and symmetrical. You did well to keep the ends long because they will split a little as it dries-probably no more than an inch down from the end. I would wait a couple of weeks to let them dry if you put them in a closet or something. But if you put them near a fire (near, not in) they will dry more quickly. One tip I have is that when you go to trim the forks and handle to slingshot length, cut them a little longer then you think, because you can always remove more material if you need it. I have ruined a few good forks by cutting them too short-they always seem to come out a little smaller than you intend. I recommend holding the fork in your hand like you are going to shoot it, and mark with a marker where you want the ends to be, and then cut them about 1/2" longer than that. Then you can file them down to final length. Take care when sawing the tips off as not to split the wood- I like to saw all the way around the outside then meet in the middle. If you plan to strip the bark off, you can shave it off with a knife, or file it off. You may want to use the file to make the fork more symmetrical in places. If you want to sand it smooth, use sandpaper in varying grits. If you decide to re-shape the fork by whittleing or filing it, you may start with 50 grit to remove the file and knife marks. Then go to 80 grit to smooth over the marks from the 50 grit, then go to 100 grit, then 150, 220, 320, 400. The more different grits you use the easier sanding will be and the smoother the finish will become. After the 400, you can use medium steel wool to make it really smooth, and it finish by applying tung oil a few times with a rag or paper towel. The steel wool and oil will make it look like this:
 
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