Hey everyone, I hope you are all doing well and staying safe. A couple weeks ago I went out to an almond orchard and got some tree forks from some branches that were laying around cut (with the owner's permission, of course). A couple days ago I also found a piece of scrap wood cut from a 2x4. I don't know what kind of wood it is, but it's pictured below with the forks:
I have gone all in not just on slingshots, but on tools for woodworking. I have been stocking up on things that I think I will be able to move reasonably (nothing larger than a circular saw), and when I move I'm interested in setting up a small shop. I have been looking up some things to learn the craft and my coworker's dad offered to show me some things if I was ever in his area, which is a huge privilege. He also offered to donate some scrap wood to me to make slingshots.
Right now I am thinking of what to do with these materials. I am thinking of what diagram to draw on. I really need a compass and protractor for curves, so I'll pick one up tomorrow. I've mostly practiced shooting OTT, though, so it will most likely be that kind of design.
As far as the branches, I'm probably going to work on them in this order: 2, 1, 3. 2 I cut the branch a little short at the bottom, and I wish I could make the handle longer. I don't know how good of a material almond is, but I understand it's a very hard wood. It's very common here; almond orchards abound in central California where I'm from. Hopefully it does not crack as it dries, and things like that.
I have a question for 1. I want to ask about whether different-width forks are a possible thing. My intuition tells me it is not, but the size of the right fork compared to the left makes me think of a crab claw, and it makes me want to practice my woodcarving by forming it into a semi-crab claw shape. I don't think it would be practical, though. Having one fork be larger just seems like a recipe for fork hits. The alternative though is to keep both forks the same width, but keep one longer than the other - like this, forgive my crude sketch over my picture in Paint:
The more I look at the sketch the more I think that it would be a silly idea to try something like a slingshot that looks like a claw. If I want to practice my carving, I can do nice inlays on the handle.
The last slingshot, the design hit me like a clarion call. Check out this crude Paint sketch:
This is the perfect branch for a chunky offset OTT shooter. I can't wait to work on this one, and I'm going to do it last, when I've got some experience.
I think I may work on the 2x4 cut this weekend. I'm looking forward to cutting it all up. (Though realistically it will mostly be a lot of rasping and some use of a coping saw.) This weekend maybe I will pick up some more wood from the hardware store too. There are a couple other things I need there, too.
This is unrelated to the rest of the topic, but related to slingshot building. I have a question about the pouch cutting dies like the kind I recently bought from GZK China. I just can't seem to get enough force with a hammer (rubber mallet) to cleanly cut fabric using the die. I'm using the block that was supplied with it to prevent damage to the blade, but I think I'm so worried about damaging the die that I'm holding back. I need to be firmer with my hammer. Alternatively, I recently got a bench vise, so I could set it all up in the vise and press it together gently. I had more success clamping the whole rig together than I did using a hammer, but I imagine this isn't the best thing for the blades unless you're really careful to clamp symmetrically like I was trying to do. The easy answer is to get a cheap arbor press, but I think that's a little too heavy to pick up before my move. Even the circular saw is pushing it.
Any input or thoughts anyone would have is appreciated. Thank you all so much. <3