How to Make an Improvised Wrist Slingshot
Wrist slingshots are arguably more powerful and accurate than hand-held ones. While you can choose from many different commercially-available products, you can also make your own out of wooden dowels, rubber material and some other common items. Let’s take a look at an example of a project that you can do on a weekend afternoon in your workshop.
2 6 ½ inch long dowels
2 5 ½ inch long dowels
2 5 1/8 inch long dowels
2 3 ½ inch long dowels
2 5/8 inch long dowel segments
2 12 ½ inch long pieces of surgical tubing
1 1 ½ inch long screw with bolt head
1 1 ½ inch long flathead screw
2 3 ¼ inch long eyelet screws
1 4 ¼ inch long flathead wood screw
8 2 inch long flathead screws
1 piece of 4 x 3 ½ inch rubber
1 piece of 3 x 1 ½ inch piece of leather or duct tape
About 40 or so nails
Making the Main Frame
The first step is to insert one eyelet screw into the end of each of the 3 ½ inch dowels. Screw them in so that only the loops are sticking out from the top. Next, take one of the 6 ½ inch dowels and drill a hole through the sides near the top. Insert it over the long screw. Then, take one of the dowel segments, cut another hole through the middle of the flat sides and slide it over the screw so it rests against the dowel. Next, drill similar holes into one of the ends of both of the 5 1/8 inch long dowels. Slide them onto the long screw so they are next to each other and against the dowel segment.
Attach the other dowel segment (with hole drilled) against these two pieces and then finish it off by sliding on the other 6 ½ inch dowel. Secure everything with the washer and nut, but keep it slightly loose so you can adjust the position of the pieces. What you want to have is the long dowels laying on a flat surface while the shorter ones are sticking straight up at a 90 degree angle. Tighten the bolt to hold everything in place.
The next step is to take the screw with the nut-top and drill it in the center of the two dowels that are standing up. Then, take the 1 ½ inch flathead screw and drill that into the dowels near the bottom, just above where everything connects to the long screw. Next, drill two holes into the center of each of the 5 ½ inch dowels, about an inch apart. Make sure that they are centered. Attach these two pieces to the tops of the vertical dowels you’ve just fashioned with two of the 2 inch long screws.
Finally, attach the dowels with the eyelet rings by sandwiching each one between the two dowels you’ve just attached to the handle. Place them about an inch from the outer edge of both sides and secure each of them in place with two 2 inch long screws.
Assembling the Sling
Attach each piece of surgical tubing to the eyelets and tie off in a knot. Then, you need to make two holes in the piece of leather about ¼ inch above the edge of both of the shorter sides. This will be the basket for the sling. If you are using duct tape instead, layer multiple strips of tape on top of each other until it is sturdy enough to replace the strength of the leather. Cut out the holes on the tape in the same fashion. Attach the other ends of the aquarium tubing to their respective holes and tie them off.
Now, we need to attach the rubber to the arm portion of the frame. All you need to do is place the rubber material over the two dowels in order to cover the gap and give yourself a cradle. Place the rubber over the frame so that one edge is touching the outer end of each dowel. Start nailing the rubber in as many spots as you need to secure it in place. You can end up using anywhere from 20-40 nails depending on your preferences.
The slingshot will be able to fold down for easy storage, and the size of the projectile as well as the distance it can travel will be determined by the quality of the surgical tubing. Feel free to improvise and make improvements to this rudimentary design, but it will work. Try it out for yourself and see what you come up with. You may end up with something that is just as effective, yet more affordable than commercial slingshots.