When we laser cut our hardwoods for slingshots and products, we try and save the left over sprues (not true sprues but the best word to describe it) so that we can use the unused wood for smaller projects such as this. Since the laser is so precise and digitally controlled, we are able to carve out small chunks of premium woods to make interesting patterns and features.
The Hardwoods Sifaka BB shooter starts out with a 1/4″ baltic birch plywood core. If we stacked three of these together and finished them, it would become a regular production Sifaka BB. As you can see, our plan was to make a few of them, which generated a nightmarish pile of very tiny bits of wood that we had to sort.
After a quick sort and dry fit, the Maple, Rosewood and Walnut pieces were slowly glued onto the plywood core, staring with the fork tips. By aligning the fork tips first, any accretion of error could be sanded out, but as long as the holes for the bands remained true, the rest could be fitted accordingly.
We learned from making the Carcharo Rotary cutter that the kerf of the laser leaves a gap between parts, which allowed us to insert some real wood veneer. In this case, some red zebra wood and oak, giving a nice deliberate transition between dark and light woods, and a clean separation between the dark woods. We couldn’t take any pics of the gluing process since it involved 3 hands but it looked a little like this:
After clamping and allowing the glue to set up a bit, all of the faces were sanded flush using a variety of power sanding tools. A large belt sander for the front and back faces, a disc sander for the convex surfaces and a spindle sander for the concave ones. There is something about that semi finished state that we love the look of.
Looking back at the gluing process, everything else can can be approximated and adjusted, the only part that needs registering is the band holes. After flushing the surfaces, it was onto the router table to give the entire slingshot a 1/4″ radius.
After sanding the slingshot with a bunch of foam blocks with various grits, we hit it with a couple of coats of acrylic spray. We could use polyurethane but acrylic is faster to dry and has a shorter off gassing period. We can also use our most favorite tool, the nail buffer, to buff the coating to a nice smoooooooooth surface.
Those more seasoned slingshot shooter maybe wondering why this design doesn’t have quick change slots. Firstly, the design is much more simple without the slots and there isn’t enough meat on the fork tips to accommodate a slot. Secondly, these particular latex tubes last a LONG time, combined with a laser cut kangaroo ammo pouch, the need for quick change is not necessary. Thirdly, the modified matchstick method is reliable, safe and requires no special technique to shoot, unlike most looped tube slingshots. The red 2050 tubes that act as stoppers have two .177 BB’s inserted into each side so there is no chance it slipping back through the hole.
Time to go to the photoshop!
The final product, ain’t she a looker?!
We hope these are interesting and engaging, we always found it appealing when we could find out how our everyday objects were made.