There is nothing more fun that flinging objects out of a giant slingshot. Well, a little more fun than that, is making your own. For this project we used some scrap wood, a couple of 2×4’s and an exercise band to make a giant slingshot that shoots surprisingly far.
Watch the video:
What you’ll need
- (3) 2×4’s @ 8 feet long Piece of Plywood (we had some scrap laying around) (anything over 3×3 should work fine)
- Pine board (also scrap) (we used this for the cross support)
- Exercise Band
Make sure you check out the video, it shows a bit more of each step than the images do. Please enjoy and if you make it or something like it, we’d love to see it. Share it with us on here or on Facebook, Google+, etc. NOTE: At the end of the video there are some shots of us launching golf balls out of this slingshot.
Step 1: Making the Arms of the Slingshot
We started out by cutting the main part of the arms. This takes (2) 2×4’s. The length of this is roughly 40 inches each. This will leave enough left over to make the clamping pieces for each side. We laid out the exercise band to see how large we should make the clamping pieces, marked them out and then cut them on the table saw. These get attached with construction screws flush to the end of each of the main arms that were made. To make them a little more kid-friendly, the ends were rounded over on the band saw. We then figured out at what angle we wanted the arms to lean back. Using a bevel gauge we marked this angle out on the bottom of each arm and then cut them on the table saw. NOTE: When marking the angle; mark it in such a way that the clamps are facing the outside of the entire contraption.
Step 2: Attaching the Arms and Bracing
We used an old scrap piece of plywood as the base. I don’t remember the exact measurements, but anything over a 3′ x 3′ piece should work fine. The arms get attached to this sheet using screws that are driven in from underneath. Once the arms are attached, they will need to be braced. Braces will be needed to support when the band is pulled back and one will be needed to keep the arms rigid so they won’t spread or cave in. For the side braces, we lined up some short pieces of 2×4 and marked out the angles from the back side. Then, using the jig saw we cut each marked angle. You can screw these in from the top at an angle and also drive some screws in the bottom. Drilling pilot holes is recommended. Once the sides are done, you can measure the length of wood you’ll need for the cross brace that runs across the front. To keep everything square, measure the distance between the arms at its lowest point and then copy that length when spreading the arms and securing the cross brace. This also gets attached with construction screws.
Step 3: Attaching the Band
To install the band, you need to back out the screws you had driven in back in step 1 for the clamps. You won’t need to back them out completely, just enough to feed the band through. Tighten one clamp down onto the band, trying to keep the exposed part of the band as flat as possible. Once that clamp is tight, then you can stretch the other end through the other clamp and tighten. The tighter you stretch the band the further it will launch. NOTE: We also added a duct tape pad in the middle of this band once we were done. This helps add some stiffness to the middle and keep the band relatively flat. You can see it in the next step.
Step 4: All Done!
There really isn’t much to this project. It can be made in less than an hour and if you have enough stuff to launch out of it, you’ll have hours of fun. We tested it out by firing golf balls into a nearby field. The furthest distance achieved was roughly 50-60 yards with the band pulled back about 70%. With a thicker band and stretching it even tighter, this thing should be able to shoot pretty darn far.
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