30 September 2016

Project- DIY Slingshot

With all the responsibilities with being an adult, it is fun sometimes to seek our inner kid. I feel that the bicycle does this. As a kid our bicycles let us get that first taste of freedom and the adventure spirit. Today as adults we ride still seeking that freedom and adventure that we found as a kid only if its for an hour or if we are lucky a weekend trip.

I notice on some other blogs or just pictures posted on the web that some folks had slingshots with them on bikepacking trips or bikepacking/touring camp out events. I figured it was time for me to be like the cool kids (adults) that are on the popular online blogs and get a slingshot.

Now there are some cool looking slingshots what you can purchase online but I am not going to pay the Hipster price of $20-$40 for a slingshot. I thought back to when I was a kid we would have just made ourselves a slingshot from a tree branch. I set off one weekend to do just that and it was a cool 1 hour project.

** Disclaimer here** I am not an expert slingshot builder and what I am sharing is how I built my slingshot. You can also research how to build DIY slingshot on the web get other methods. Also remember that a slingshot is not a toy. It becomes a weapon with a rock in it. Also please read about the laws in your state about slingshots.

 DIY Slingshot
Look for a good hard wood branch that has a nice fork. I used a branch from a Dogwood tree. I found that the Dogwood just had better forks than the Oak trees in my yard. When you cut the branch from the tree make sure you cut it longer than you need. You can trim everything up later.

The next step in the process is to dry the branch out. If we just let the branch air dry it would take months to dry out. But with one modern day appliance we can take what would take months to about 8 minutes.

DIY Slingshot

Wrap your forked branch with a rag to protect the microwave. *Note to self, do not use a red shop rag like in the picture. The red will bleed onto the branch.* Use a something that is white. You will want to only cook the branch for 30 seconds with a 1 minute rest time between each 30 second cook. You can catch to wood on fire if you cook it for longer time periods. You will hear the water that is in the branch sizzle and when the sizzle is gone the branch is dried out. This took about eight 30 second cook times to dry my branch out.

The choice is up to you to leave the bark on or not. I think it looks better with the bark off. I just used a pocket knife to do this.

DIY Slingshot

Next I took a round file to cut a grove around the branch. This is where the rubber band or tube will go.

DIY Slingshot

 Go to the BB gun and slingshot section of your favorite big box sporting goods store and there you will find replacement bands for slingshots. The replacement bands should cost you about $4. You could also go to your home improvement store and you can find rubber hose to make the bands from. Three feet will run you $3. Then you will have to source some leather for the rock pouch.

DIY Slingshot

I used a binder clip to hold the band in place so I could wrap one piece of cord around the band to make the loop. I used one white cord from a piece of 550 cord. Each inter cord can hold 35 pounds.

 DIY Slingshot

There you go! One DIY slingshot. Fits in the back of my Wingnut Pack.


 

18 September 2016

A Look at the 2016 Banff Mountain Radical Reels Tour

Friday night I went to go see the 2016 Banff Mountain Radical Reels Tour. Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation has bought the Banff Mountain  films to the county for over 25 years.
Going to this show I had not seen a trailer of the films being shown. Eleven films for over two hours for $5! What a deal.
Go here to see this year's trailers here
Showdown at Horseshoe Hell was my favorite. Any film that has Alex Honnald does not disappoint!