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I set out to make a natural fork, but something other than the usual. I started with a (birch?) natural fork that Frodo (THANK YOU
) kindly sent to me and immediately I loved the way it fit my hand. My strategy was to work from the natural fork and to keep the fundamental grip of the natural fork, but to enhance what was right about it and to fix what little I didn't like.

As you can see the grip remains fundamentally as it was. The first thing I did was to reshape the tips. I have made then flat at the front, straight at the tip and they curve away gently at the back. This gives a sweet release, long band life and keeps the same structural strength. You can see that the forks are not triangular in cross section, representing less weight for similar strength, and are ergonomically better fitted to the hand providing support with the maximum contact area.



The strength of the grip is greatly enhanced by allowing all the fingers to curve around the fork and shaft. The forefinger and thumb rest in a shallow depression that helps locate the fingers. The shaft is kept full width to provide maximum palm support.



I have carved a great deal away from the shaft, but nothing structural, and I left everything that is in contact with the hand. it really fills the hand, because I have accentuated the curve of the back of the shaft.



In the pictures above and below, you can see the front an back grooves used to locate the band ties.



There is some cant to the shaft. It is biomechanically better this way, as it drops the elbow a bit.



This last image shows how radically I have carved away at the shaft. You can see that the finger grip rail slopes down as it nears the fork. This naturally bunches the fingers together against the top of the deep middle finger groove (ooo err
). It doesn't need individual finger grooves; I find these can form pressure points and are best avoided. However, you can also see the gentle undulations where my finger tips fit.



A friend of mine who runs a toy factory came over to visit today and he said it would make an ideal mass-production plastic casting with a punched steel insert inside. I'll pass on that for now as this model is a bit over-fitted to my hand and might not fit a western sized hand well. It's not a commercial design and I don't mind people copying it or any design elements that are new. Anyway, I hope this gives you some new ideas as to things you can do to a natural fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just black spray paint. I didn't take the time to lacquer it at the wood was discoloured in the microwave drying process. This will be a user.
 

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Yup it's optimised for flatbands. The tips are both an inch across.

It's a dedicated side-shooter.

The natural fork is a good source of wood, being strong and light and big enough to carve down.
 

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Cogito Ergo Armatum Sum
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Very well done! That's the kind of free style carving I wish I could do. Did you work it with traditional carving gouges and chisels, or a die grinder? Perhaps the hard way with a pocket knife? The black paint looks good on it, gives it a stealth weapon look. I wonder how a traditional urushi finish would hold up on a slingshot?
 

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Very good job!

Regarding the discoloration, you can use my ink method to color the wood any way you want. The ink will cover the discolorations easily, and still show the wood grain. Then you can laquer it or use linseed oil, just as normal.

Naturals are amazing, aren't they?

Jörg
 

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Philly
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Very creative Dan. It does have that "Stealth" look.
Philly
 

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Dan you made a grate job of that i like the look of the fork tops the grip is very similar to one i have been working on for my farther inlaw who has atheritec only i used a walking stick top?
designed for people with atheritec .i bet it fit grate very nice .I think i may be getting the natural BUG
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dan you made a grate job of that i like the look of the fork tops the grip is very similar to one i have been working on for my farther inlaw who has atheritec only i used a walking stick top?
designed for people with atheritec .i bet it fit grate very nice .I think i may be getting the natural BUG
If you cannot curl the end joint of your fingers (especially your pinkie), you cannot grip with full strength. There is a nervous reflex that prevents you from breaking your fingers and associated tendons. I am not sure how this applies to arthritis, but it is definitely possible to make a fully ergonomic grip, even with a natural fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dan
That is very nice.surprising what you can do with a natural fork.
Thanks Jay. There's not much left to identify it as a natural fork so I called it 'Unnatural'. In fact the only characteristics remaining are the strong comfortable grip, natural shooting action and superior strength to weight, all of which are enhanced.

I have two more forks from Friedrich. One is silver birch about the same size as this one and the second is a much larger fork. Unless Chepo objects, I'll probably make one like his with thesmaller fork and do a detailed carving with the other. I wouldn't say I've switched over to. naturals though, as my only source is Friedrich's generosity.
 

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lookin' good!
 

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STUNNINGGGG!!! love these natural forks wish i could find some like this lol
 
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