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Here's the result of received wisdom (thanks folks!): This is the new incarnation of my old Yellowhammer. The fork, gleaned from a bit of fallen timber and well seasoned, used to have Theraband gold bands tied on and a 4x1 inch pouch for large pebbles. As you can see from the dents in the wood (which I've yet to rub down) fork hits were a bit of a problem.

The screw eyes have widened the gap to 3.25 inches, 1.75 inches above the hand (hatchet grip) and offer the simplicity of Dankung-style band attachments. No more fork hits and the extra leverage on the wrist is only slightly noticeable. It's easier keeping the wider fork at 90 degrees to the shot but I'm having to get used to the extra height. I put a double constrictor knot in the old twine grooves in case the wood split.

The pouch on the catty is 2.5x1 inches and the spare, which will probably be about right for stones, is 3x1. Made from veg tanned kangaroo hide.

I was getting through the Therabands at a heck of a rate so followed a suggestion and bought a bag of 380 rubber bands from Staples for under 4 quid. These are very regular 89x6mm things and with 3 doubles and 2 triples each side give a brace height of about 7.5 inches and as much draw weight as I can comfortably handle. Release (flip style) is quieter than the Therabands; more of a rustle than a snap. Tangling is no more a problem than with any other bands I've tried. As to power, I haven't the means to measure but it seems a smidge down on the equivalent Therabands. Not much though.

The total cost, including all the bands, is about five-and-a-half quid. When a band breaks there's no risk of getting a face-full, it's a quick job to replace and costs about a penny a go. Great for longer shoots, weekends away etc.
 

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Just been out for a good blast with it. Draw, release and follow-through are lovely and smooth. Now that I'm getting used to the extra height (oddly, draw weight has been limited by my drawing arm, not my holding wrist) my accuracy is improving and it now offers as fast and predictable a shot as any catapult I've tried. Band wear at the loops is noticeable, though, so the doubles all needed changing after the second band snapped. The triples were fine and I talc'd it before today's shoot which seems to help. Might investigate dry silicone-based latex lubricants which should increase longevity and efficiency.

All in all I love it. I'm now using the 3 inch pouch which is perfect for a good range of ammo and offers an excellent grip. The only things I'd change - on a new fork - would be a slight decrease in fork height to about 1.5 inches and a reduction in width to 3 inches. I was really lucky with the bands as this set-up offers the ideal draw length and weight for me and they're available by the bucket-load, regular as you like, for buttons. I'm sticking with this band and pouch set up until something better turns up.

Might have a go with carbon fibre board, though, as per one of Joerg's but with dankung-style attachment and rubber bands. Any idea where I'd find 6mm carbon fibre board and what applications does it usually have? And while I have your ear, what fork height and width do you favour, and with what band set-up?
 

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I like it too !
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll keep an eye out for the smaller ones. I suppose you could get a better taper with them. Forgot to mention - next to no hand slap, even with small stones.
 

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I'll keep an eye out for the smaller ones. I suppose you could get a better taper with them. Forgot to mention - next to no hand slap, even with small stones.
I never got hand slaps when using the rings cos they are higher up, been using them for years, they are easy for changing your bands, and you can fit any elastic on them, the smaller bands i taper them down from about 7 at the fork to 4 on the pouch, jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here's an update on what's turned out to be my favourite catty so far: I shaped the handle, dropping the fork height to 1.5 inches - any more might have interfered with the strength of the wood - and trimmed the end by about 5/16". It's now really comfortable to shoot and I'm beginning to hit what I'm aiming at. Talc on the bands before a session improves the band life significantly. None broke today and no sign of wear.

I could possibly go for a lower fork as I've yet to ding the wood and I've got half an inch of the stuff between me and the gap (or is it throat?). Overall height is 6" and width 3.75". That's as big as will comfortably fit in the pocket of my shorts or big ol' farmer's trousers. Not easy to draw quickly but it fits inside the waistband just nicely, stays put and pretty much disappears.

I think I'm done mucking about with it for the forseeable future. Time to start work on a new stick.
 

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