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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been contemplating cutting my own bands and tying my own pouches just because it's another aspect to the hobby and I'm a tinkerer. I've done the research on band thicknesses, cutting mats, roll cutters, pouches, etc. and I think I have sufficient information to order up the necessary materials to get started on my DIY project.

I was browsing on slingshooting.com and found a lot of raw materials there. One of which is the ability to have a custom made band cutting template. I just learned of the "sharpened taper" band shape that has a tapered bottleneck shape. I know tapered bands tend to offer greater velocity, assuming similar amounts of band surface are compared to a straight band. Has anyone tried the sharpened taper shape? My goals are to see what tapers and thicknesses will give me the best mix of speed, longevity, and ease of draw for my shooting style. I'm a bit leery of buying a template since I have no idea what I like and don't want to be locked into a shape that is not my ideal. I'm guessing a relatively cheap adjustable jig can be made from some rulers, a few screws, and maybe some polycarbonate sheet?

How is the lifespan of sheet latex? I am of the understanding that air and UV will degrade latex so I plan to store it in a sealed bag in a Rubbermaid box that is opaque. If stored properly, how long can I expect the sheet to last? I'm planning on ordering up the Precise brand sheets since I have some bandsets from Pocket Predator and really like how well they shoot.

Part of me is thinking to not bother with the DIY bandsets as ordering up a set of 10 from Pocket Predator is relatively cheap and they last quite a while. However, the tinkerer in me wants to mess around to see what I can come up with. Hoping some of you here can either talk me into jumping into this, or talk me down from the ledge.
 

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See The Target
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Ray Rowden
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I'm guessing a relatively cheap adjustable jig can be made from some rulers, a few screws, and maybe some polycarbonate sheet?

It can be much easier to cut flat latex. Many of us use a quilting ruler. The legendary Can Opener (Randy Knapp) gives a great demo in this vid.

 

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You are wise to not buy any templates until you really know what you like! Anyway, you could easily make yourself a template out of any rigid material. Or you can get one of those taper rulers that are adjustable. Everyone has their favourite tapers and some would use more than one taper depending on set-up and bands for a given ammo. Best to just cut your own taper. You might find that you want to adjust tapers for different elastic to get the most out of it.

Straight cuts will last the longest but most of us prefer tapers to encourage breaks at the pouch-end when a bandset eventually fails. After you go through a few bandsets, you might start looking for performance and joy of use rather than focus on longevity because bandsets only last so long anyway... might as well just get the best out of them while they last.

As for the bottle taper, I am not convinced there is much advantage and would rather just stick to straight tapers.

Or... you could shoot tubes, they last much longer and are a lot quieter to shoot but for a given draw weight, they are never as fast as flatbands... Or just shoot tubes sometimes... Welcome to he rabbit hole!Enjoy!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the great replies! The Btoon cutting guide is very nice and I think I’d go with that one when I do get around to cutting my own bands. Yes, I would want a break at the pouch end. I’ve already had two bandsets fail on me in the draw, both snapping at the pouch tie. I routinely inspect my bands and never saw any nicks or tears. The band just snapped suddenly during a draw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I made myself a pouch tying jig for when I get to making my own bandsets. Not as nice as the jigs with a lever to stretch the bands, but it cost me less than $6 for the two clamps. I already had the scrap plywood laying around and some screws to hold it all together. Just need to get the band materials and cut guide and I should be good to go.
 

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