Learn How to Make a Slingshot By Following These Simple Steps

How to Make a Slingshot
A slingshot, also known as a catapult, is one of the most ancient weapons developed by man. It is very easy to build. This article will give you an insight into making one of your own.
HobbyZeal Staff
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
A sling shot on a white background
If you are a fan of 'Dennis the Menace', you know what a slingshot is. Being one of his favorite toys, it is always tucked in the little devil's pockets. If you are the kind of person who gets a kick out of making new things and experimenting, you will enjoy this activity. I will show you how to make a slingshot, from simple things, available around you. Shooting projectiles with it, is an art. If you have a good eye, you will pick up and learn fast. Some people take it up as a hobby or sport. There are even slingshot championships in some parts of the world.

Making a Good Slingshot

Step 1 : One of the first things you need to do is scout for a piece of wood, shaped in 'Y' form. Look around for branches with a fork shape. Any type of wood will do. The things you should look for in the piece of wood are sturdiness and thickness. They should be thick enough so that they do not bend. You can make your slingshot in any size but a 7 inch to 9 inch long one is good enough for all your 'targeting' pursuits. A thickness of around 2 inches is good enough.

Make sure that you select a piece, which is as smooth as possible and without cracks. This is very important, as otherwise, the slingshot may snap at the wrong place and hurt you. The two 'teeth' of the fork or the Y-shaped wood need to be symmetrically long. This has more of an aesthetic purpose. So, if they are not symmetrically long, saw the longer one off.

Step 2: If the wood is young, that is still green, you must let it get seasoned. That is, let it dry in the Sun so that it toughens up. Skin the wood by peeling off the bark. This will make it smooth. Then, you can give a coat of varnish on it, if you want to prevent decay.

Step 3: This Y-shaped fork forms the firm firing base we need. Next thing to look out for is the firing mechanism, which has to be a thick long elastic band of some type. Rubber is the most easily available elastic material. So, you could either do with a really long and thick rubber band or bunch many thin and long bands together. I used a piece of the bicycle tube as it is long, elastic, thick, and rubbery. If you are using a rubber band or a tube, cut it into two pieces.

Step 4: The next thing to make is a pocket. The pocket is a square cut piece of rubber or any other material, which won't tear easily. Next, tie the rubber band pieces to the two arms of the wooden sling and attach the pocket at the other end of both pieces.

Make two holes in the pocket, which are equidistant from the border. Then, slip the pieces of rubber band in both holes, make a loop, and tie them up. It should be tied in such a way, that no matter how much you stretch the pocket or rubber band ends, they should not break. More importantly, they should be of equal length.

Step 5: The next step is tying the rubber band ends to the arm of the fork. Make sure you secure them well and put a tight knot. Again, make sure, after you tie the two bands, that they are of equal length. Secure the bands to the arms of the wooden fork, with electrical wiring tape. If you have followed all these instructions to the letter, your slingshot should be ready.

The way to use one is to put your launch 'projectile' in the pocket, stretch, aim, and fire. You can use peanuts, small rubber balls, or paper balls as your projectiles. Slingshots are ideally suited for shooting down fruits, from a tree. So, go ahead and have some shooting fun.