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I have done a ton of tests with all kinds of forks.

A narrow fork does give you slightly more power, because each band side is an independent power vector. The more narrow the fork is, the more parallel are the two power vectors. Like two oxen that pull a cart - you want them to be as closely together as possible.

The power advantage is not very big if you compare a "Milbro" type fork (40 mm free space between the fork arms) and a big "American" model (100 mm free space). We are talking maybe 5%.

A narrow fork allows you to hold the slingshot with the thumb and index finger on the fork arms, which makes the slingshot a lot smaller, yet it allows you to use brutally strong bands. The strain on the wrist is super low when you hold a well designed slingshot this way.

A great example is the Fish Ergo2, IMHO the best one Fish came up with so far (and he plays in first league anyway). The strong Hunter bands kill your wrist if you put them on a high forked non braced frame. On the Ergo2, they are perfectly fine.

But a wider fork has advantages, too. First of all there is the danger of fork hits. Especially shooters who like the "hammer grip" style sometimes hit a fork arm. The wider the fork, the lesser the danger.

A wide fork also allows you to keep it very low above the hand. Then, strong bands are not a problem for the hammer grip fans. My "W" designs are a good example here.

Also, many people think it is easier to aim with a wider fork.

I, for one, like narrow forks on small slingshots, and wider fork on large slingshots. A narrow, yet high fork seems to me quite inefficient. So if I would make a natural frame, I would shape it "finger and index finger on the fork" style, or find one with a wide angle between the fork branches and keep the fork really low.

Hope this helps!

Jörg
 

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Thanks Joerg! I've wondered about power and fork width. Seems to me that a wide fork would need more rubber length for the same draw length as a narrow fork, but wouldn't this be a good thing? To grossly exaggerate, a fork that is three feet wide would need six feet of rubber just to go from one fork to the other. Seems like a person could go ahead and pull that back, as is, to full draw and have no dead rubber. So... the narrow fork has the most dead rubber to reach full draw. Wouldn't the wide fork be more powerful?
This kind of stuff torques my brain!
I'm sure, like you said, you've done lots of testing on the subject, but I'm always exaggerating to try and understand this kind of stuff myself. Doesn't what I'm saying make sense?
The sling-bow that you made seems to me like it would have less dead rubber and thus have more power than a regular slingshot. Same thing with your pulley slingshots that reduce dead rubber to increase power. I can't get past the dead rubber stuff. Help!
 

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Forks on my starship are about 7 inches wide. This slingshot is capable of high power and is also pretty acccurate. Probably more accurate than my Barnett Diablo which has no fork extension and much narrower forks.

For those who want to experiment with fork height, check out Jorg's video about the slingshot with the threaded eye bolts for forks which allows the fork height to be easily adjusted with a spanner.

My slingshot use the clamp on method and the clamps and forks are high. I can use use unfolded flatband strips which are 4 inches wide (high) at the fork. Can also put tubes or narrow flatbands down very low in the clamps. This fork is crude and ugly looking though.
 

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My wider models are easier to shoot accurately than my narrow ones. Not sure if that is the standard for everybody, but that's how it works out for me.

Great stuff Jorge thanks for posting!
 
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