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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those who don't know, I have a Christmas project that involves building custom slingshots for my sons, brothers and certain friends. I have finally settled (almost) on a design, and the plan all along was to make them from mahogany. Two days ago, disaster struck! I had just finished shaping and rough sanding a frame when it slipped out of my hand, dropped 3 feet and broke off the left fork. I have a couple of frames cut from the same board, and they have been performing just fine, even took some hard fork hits with little or no visible damage. I think that this was just a freak and there was already a crack in the wood, and am not ready to abandon the use of mahogany just yet. I plan to test each cut before final shaping and sanding by mounting it on a frame and applying force. I'm thinking 50 pounds of pull on each fork in four directions should provide a reasonable safety margin.

I would welcome any thoughts or advice. The last thing I want is for someone to get hurt because one of my frames broke.

Henry
 

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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To be honest I think having one crack so easily is ominous I would be tempted to retire to the batch especially as young children will be using them. Testing your slingshots like that is prudent, but it's only a test of one type of strength. Your child might drop it, the frame's structural integrity may be compromised yet the frame appears intact, then your kid pulls back and WHAM! It's not a nice thought...


You can buy more mahogany, but you can never purchase a new eyeball... Our Joerg made a video on his excellent Youtube account, where he demonstrated the effect that exact scenario could have - it was chilling.
 

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I second Sam. Though if your torture test is as you say it is they would most likely be safe. I. for one, have a zero-tolerance policy on anything I make. Even if I can't break it (and I do my very utmost with every natural I make) and still feel uncomfortable or have recurring doubts it goes into either the skip or better yet, is purified with fire when I'm burning trash. I have heard of forks coming off slingshots and you know where they are heading when that happens when the laccy is under tension.

I'm not telling you what to do and I am certain you're correct when you say you're certain the rest of the board is good. But please remember children probably aren't going to wear safety glasses every time they shoot, either.

Henry why not give them some naturals? I saw some you did on another thread and to be honest I liked them pretty good. As hot as it is down there you could force-dry something cut today in your car in a month or two and have all kinds of time remaining to get them done. And I really did like your naturals, enough to include them in my Slingshot Pictures Library (well over 3,000 pics strong now). I like the ones made out of exotic (to me, at least) wood. If I got one for Christmas I would be thrilled with it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That particular slab of mahogany has already been retired for slingshot use, as I found another rough cut with a hairline crack. So far I haven't given anyone anything but plywood cuts and naturals, and will not give anyone a solid wood cut until I am sure that the wood I use is safe. I still think mahogany may be fine, just not the particular piece I have. The two mahogany SSs I have made for myself will remain loaded with very light pull bands. Next week I'm getting a router and am sort of leaning toward encasing an aluminum bent-rod inside a mahogany frame.

Naturals remain an option. The only obstacle right now is finding enough symmetrical forks. If I could get 12 symmetrical Guayacan forks, that is surely the way I would go.

Thanks a heap guys, for helping convince me to not send my friends and relatives anything less than the safest I can make.
 
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