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Please forgive the cheesy thread title. I think a better name for this is the "Silk".

A long while ago, making your own laminate slabs was all the rage on britishblades.com, my favourite custom knifemaking forum. I experimented with several materials and one of the results was a 6mm slab of coarse-woven raw Thai silk in Araldite 2-ton epoxy. The laminate was laid up sheet by sheet and hand pressed between sheets of plastic with silicone paper acting as a release agent. The result was a dirty dark green and the surface finish was pocked, so I chucked it in the off-cut bin for a year or so where it sat until rediscovered earlier this week.

I originally intended to make a simple board cut pocket shooter in a slightly more ergonomic profile than The Shootist, which was in turn based on the classic curved Y-shape of my Forged Iron and desert Ironwood. As such it represents another step in the evolution. I cut the board and had lots of spare laminate, so I built up a think handle with two sheets on the front and four on the back I then shaped these blocks for comfort and support before affixing them to the main board. The shape has almost coincidentally turned out like The Shootist. Athough I didn't refer to my earlier model, it was shaped to fit the same hand. The key difference is the more asymetrical forks and the deep forefinger cut-out.



I used hollow 3/8" aluminium tubes as pins, but they are mostly for show as there is no way this would delaminate, unless crushed by the force of a steamroller (or more). There's about 150 layers of silk bound by 2-ton epoxy.

This finger position is more comfortable than even The Shootist. The thumb fork lacks a big thumb pad, but has all the support it needs from the rear block and the thumb fork. Additionally, the forks are much lower and centred on the crook of my thumb. I wouldn't want to get much lower as they barely clear my thumb and forfinger knuckle. Thankfully, it seems to shoot well, with no fork (i.e. finger) hits and light bandslap on the thumb.









I had previously abandoned the laminate because of its poor appearance, but I discovered that the sanded board turned white as the undyed silk was exposed. The silk is a very strong fibre that gives the board rigidity. The direction of the forks is along the grain and has good tensile and torsion characteristics. The laminate had no voids between the layers at all. I found that the sanded laminate had a texture somewher between MDF board and soft compressed silk. The sanded laminate is absorbant. I dyed the finished laminate with black leather dye and then oiled and waxed it heavily. Tiem will tell how it lasts out in the elements and I won't be using it on knives just yet, but it made a fun toy which I shot over the weekend.

The frame would handle Hunter bands well, but I decided to drop the power a bit. The bands I'm using are a blue coloured exercise band of a thickness between Thereband silver and gold. I used two strips of 1"wide and 9" long. This allows me to get full power (about the same force as Hunter Bands) drawn a little behind my head, or about 70% to the cheek or 60% to my left shoulder for greatest accuracy with light ammunition. At full draw, there's almost no bending moment about the wrist. It shoots accurately and powerfully.

 

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"Southern Flip Style"
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Nice ZDP!!! I think you should call it something like "Silk Stealth" or "Midnight Silk" or some other dark but sexy sounding name.
 

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This evening I 'downgraded' it, changing to a lighter band so that I could enjoy target shooting indoors at my workshop.

Theraband Gold is 0.75mm (sorry metric) thick and Theraband Silver 0.55mm. The blue bands I use are 0.65mm thick and the red bands are 0.50mm. Therefore, these bands are about the draw length of Hunter Bands, but being effectively a little longer and a touch faster (being thinner), they lob a lightweight BB roughly as fast or faster.



The red band is 16" long, doubled lengthwise which reduced the dead weight at the pouch end. I also cut a 40% taper from 1" at the forks to .60" at the pouch.

The next modification is the use of a smaller piece of vegetable tanned leather rather than the chromium tanned leather I usually use. I wet moulded this around a 16mm (0.63") steel ball bearing. Again, it's a modification to help shoot smaller ammo, like 6mm copper BBs. It still shoots 15g (0.5oz) lead sinkers and 16mm steel ball with a flat trajectory, but this configuration is more versatile and less extreme.
 

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Member, Brotherhood of Slingshot Nutz
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Z, your work is really original and I like it. BTW that last pic, where it looks like black/red combo: Man, that's attractive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dayhiker, want a selection of these red/blue band elastic? PM me your address.
 

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Great slingshot; unfortunately, all that is overshadowed by the fact that I now have that **** song stuck in my head (after sooo many years of trying to forget it!). You, sir, are truly evil!


 

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Great slingshot... that **** song stuck in my head (after sooo many years of trying to forget it!). You, sir, are truly evil!


Yes indeed! Very nice S'shot!

Ooh a sing-along !

Bangkok, Oriental setting
And the city don't know that the city is getting
The creme de la creme of the chess world in a
Show with everything but Yul Brynner

Time flies -- doesn't seem a minute
Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
All change -- don't you know that when you
Play at this level there's no ordinary venue

It's Iceland -- or the Philippines -- or Hastings -- or --
or this place!
One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
You'll find a god in every golden cloister...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great slingshot; unfortunately, all that is overshadowed by the fact that I now have that **** song stuck in my head (after sooo many years of trying to forget it!). You, sir, are truly evil!


Imagine how the Thais feel every time a Tourist shows up and demands they play the song, even if his every move is among the purest.
 

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ZDP-189, Nice, very nice piece of functional art,
It's great as is, this is Just an 'armchair quarterback' thought that I had;
since it is of silk, and is black, you could call it the black widow,...
...and possibly inlet something like this into the handle;
http://cgi.ebay.com/2-Hole-Beads-Filigree-Hourglass-Red-Swarovski-7-/270467606685?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Craft_Beads&hash=item3ef920289d

The attached thumbnail picture shows eight emblems for sale, you would only need one, or two?.
Keep up the good work, I like to see all of the nice workmanship on this website. If I ever get around to creating something I will be sure to share it here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's clever. I have lots of red materials that I could inlay. I'd have a fresh go at it though and make something more spider themed.
 
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