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Message started by Hondero on Jan 24th, 2009 at 12:19pm

Title: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Jan 24th, 2009 at 12:19pm
I don´t know if you have seen this video on a maker of slings from the Balearic Islands, Diego Camuñas, that in addition is an excellent slinger, champion of the Balearic Islands in 1988 and 1989, and besides owner of numerous trophies in diverse competitions. Diego is from a village in the north of Mallorca (the main island of the Balearics). The video is in Spanish but I´ll summarize the content. Diego speaks about the manufacture of the slings, possibly as they were made in ancient times. The first sling that he makes is of sisal, and begins by the obtaining of vegetal fibers from the plant. It is the best sling and the one that more manufacture time needs, around ten hours, including the extraction of vegetal fibers. The second sling is of esparto-grass, that previously is crushed to make it flexible. This sling needs one hour and is very rustic but very effective. The third is of a native plant of the Balearic islands, very rustic also but very resistant and its manufacture is very old. Later he speaks of the throwing technique, that is easy to understand seeing the video. All the family participates in the demonstration, although only he is a good slinger.

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=-ouNR6djZy4

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by David Morningstar on Jan 24th, 2009 at 3:19pm
Amazing video! Thank you :)

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Rockman on Jan 24th, 2009 at 3:29pm
I saw it and rated it 5 stars. Awesome video.

This guy even make his own cords, I buy mine at the hardware store  :-[ lol

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Jan 24th, 2009 at 7:23pm
This is the best on youtube and any other place I have been able to find.  Thank You!  From studying photographs of these slings I knew that is how they were making them.  I would love to see more like this.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by curious_aardvark on Jan 25th, 2009 at 11:58am
Good video.
teach those kids fig8 and they'd be half decent ;-)

Fascinating to see sling making from first principles.
So just how do I start making my own paracord ? lol

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Jan 25th, 2009 at 1:15pm

Curious Aardvark wrote on Jan 25th, 2009 at 11:58am:

teach those kids fig8 and they'd be half decent ;-)


They try accuracy not range, I think fig 8 is a bad style for that art   ;)

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on Jan 25th, 2009 at 5:55pm
Does he give the name of the Third plant Hondero?
Also isthier anyway to get ahold of him? Yeah I'm looking for several slings actaully made in the Balaeric Islands.

Marc Adkins


Hondero wrote on Jan 24th, 2009 at 12:19pm:
I don´t know if you have seen this video on a maker of slings from the Balearic Islands, Diego Camuñas, that in addition is an excellent slinger, champion of the Balearic Islands in 1988 and 1989, and besides owner of numerous trophies in diverse competitions. Diego is from a village in the north of Mallorca (the main island of the Balearics). The video is in Spanish but I´ll summarize the content. Diego speaks about the manufacture of the slings, possibly as they were made in ancient times. The first sling that he makes is of sisal, and begins by the obtaining of vegetal fibers from the plant. It is the best sling and the one that more manufacture time needs, around ten hours, including the extraction of vegetal fibers. The second sling is of esparto-grass, that previously is crushed to make it flexible. This sling needs one hour and is very rustic but very effective. The third is of a native plant of the Balearic islands, very rustic also but very resistant and its manufacture is very old. Later he speaks of the throwing technique, that is easy to understand seeing the video. All the family participates in the demonstration, although only he is a good slinger.

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=-ouNR6djZy4


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by wanderer on Jan 25th, 2009 at 7:21pm
That's certainly the best video I have yet seen as far as the manufacture is concerned. I wish I could cope with the language ;).

Thank's for the post, Hondero.




Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by ElliotB on Jan 25th, 2009 at 9:16pm
Made quite a crack, didn't it?
My only question is how he managed to get his pouch to be so stiff, so that it would not flex and let the projectile drop through. Maybe a property of the juices from the plant he used?
Any other answers? I'd kinda like to be able to do this as it would mean I wouldn't have to weave a pouch every time for mine  ;D

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on Jan 25th, 2009 at 9:45pm
Sisal is a pretty stiff fiber. I have to work mine a bit before i start casting after I have braided a new one.

Marc Adkins



ElliotB wrote on Jan 25th, 2009 at 9:16pm:
Made quite a crack, didn't it?
My only question is how he managed to get his pouch to be so stiff, so that it would not flex and let the projectile drop through. Maybe a property of the juices from the plant he used?
Any other answers? I'd kinda like to be able to do this as it would mean I wouldn't have to weave a pouch every time for mine  ;D


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by dork on Jan 26th, 2009 at 11:44am
I relly like the use of three different fibers. That man knows his stuff. Awesome video

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Jan 26th, 2009 at 12:33pm

winkleried wrote on Jan 25th, 2009 at 5:55pm:
Does he give the name of the Third plant Hondero?
Also isthier anyway to get ahold of him? Yeah I'm looking for several slings actaully made in the Balaeric Islands.

Marc Adkins


Yes, he give the name of the third plant but it is a local name that I have never heard. He braid the sling with the rind of the plant, that says it is as resistant as the leather. Perhaps you can recognize the plant in the video, I  can´t. I´ll try to get in touch Diego as also I want to get some of his slings.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Alsatian on Jan 26th, 2009 at 7:19pm
Thank you Hondero !

Es una lástima que solamente comprendo pedazos de lo que dice Diego. No abre la boca con su cigarrillo.
Especially when he seems to give important information about the poach.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Rockman on Jan 26th, 2009 at 8:46pm
A quick translation for our spanish- challenged friends. Audio quality is rather poor. Ahhhhh!!! remember the good all days, when we used to save data on tapes?

2:10- This is the most expensive of all slings, on the work and price.

2:26- This sling need 10 hours of work, one man job, without a partner. (he later mentions the sling is 4 thousand pesetas)

2:55- This sling can last, being abused, up to ten years. The other ones last less.

3:20- We start here on the finger loop, braiding up, the same thickness all the way to the pouch. Dividing into 5 strand on both sides

3:40- The secret behind the pouch is this strand, this one right here. If this strand breaks, the sling falls apart. That is the reason the sling has this strand on the right side, because the left side is were the sling wears.

4:18- The release cord is fatter (refering to the place the slings wears). This side (loop string) we start with 5 strands, here we work with 10.

4:30- Then you start to reduce the strands up to the release knot.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on Jan 26th, 2009 at 9:45pm
Thanks, I'll take a closer lookand try to listen to the dialoge and see if I can understand the name.

Marc Adkins


Hondero wrote on Jan 26th, 2009 at 12:33pm:

winkleried wrote on Jan 25th, 2009 at 5:55pm:
Does he give the name of the Third plant Hondero?
Also isthier anyway to get ahold of him? Yeah I'm looking for several slings actaully made in the Balaeric Islands.

Marc Adkins


Yes, he give the name of the third plant but it is a local name that I have never heard. He braid the sling with the rind of the plant, that says it is as resistant as the leather. Perhaps you can recognize the plant in the video, I  can´t. I´ll try to get in touch Diego as also I want to get some of his slings.


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Rueben on Jan 26th, 2009 at 11:08pm
That is an awesome video, thank you for pointing it out Hondero.

I expect that the standard braided design is quite old. I noticed that one of the slings he made had three straps and is similar to the sling described in Reconstruction of Etruscan sling. I wonder how far back in time the sling making methods he uses could be traced?

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Alsatian on Jan 27th, 2009 at 8:01am
Thanks rockman,

but what does he say after 8:03 about the poach ? Seems important.

And why does he say that the women use another style than the men ? I don't see the difference.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Jan 27th, 2009 at 10:06am

Alsatian wrote on Jan 26th, 2009 at 7:19pm:
Es una lástima que solamente comprendo pedazos de lo que dice Diego. No abre la boca con su cigarrillo.


Ja ja, yo tampoco le entiendo bien a veces. Tienen un acento entre balear y andaluz, quizás cubano.
Besides, the echo of the room makes more difficult to understand him.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Jan 27th, 2009 at 10:12am
"A quick translation for our spanish- challenged friends. Audio quality is rather poor. Ahhhhh!!! remember the good all days, when we used to save data on tapes?"

Thanks for your translation to the English, Rockman, you are better bilingual than I.

Gracias amigo.
Hondero

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on Jan 27th, 2009 at 11:22am
They and the Children throw at diffrent distances than the men.

Marc Adkins


Alsatian wrote on Jan 27th, 2009 at 8:01am:
Thanks rockman,

but what does he say after 8:03 about the poach ? Seems important.

And why does he say that the women use another style than the men ? I don't see the difference.


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on Jan 27th, 2009 at 11:28am
Ok other than that pouch is what the Balearics call an "Egyptian" pouch and it seems to be favored in the Middle of Mallorica.
I know I can document the braid to the medieval period based on a fragment that was found in England.

Marc Adkins



Rueben wrote on Jan 26th, 2009 at 11:08pm:
That is an awesome video, thank you for pointing it out Hondero.

I expect that the standard braided design is quite old. I noticed that one of the slings he made had three straps and is similar to the sling described in Reconstruction of Etruscan sling. I wonder how far back in time the sling making methods he uses could be traced?


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Rockman on Jan 27th, 2009 at 1:43pm
[quote author=Alsatian link=1232817549/15#16 date=1233061307]Thanks rockman,

but what does he say after 8:03 about the poach ? Seems important.


8:03- If the rock is fat, the pouch is more open. With smaller rocks, the pouch is more closed. You have to put the rock in the middle of the pouch, if we put the rock in the middle, it´s perfect (pointing the release cord). If this is too long, when we throw it hurts you here (pointing to his wrist).
The good stuff with the sling comes when the pouch is even.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Alsatian on Jan 27th, 2009 at 3:12pm
Thanks Rockman,

but in English I don't understand it either. :D

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Rockman on Jan 27th, 2009 at 3:59pm
Yo tampoco entiendo todo lo que dice Don Diego. Su acento es mas parecido a un cubano que a un Espanol.
El llama "pala" al lugar donde se aloja el proyectil. Aqui en Peru le decimos "bolsa" o "canasta"

Dice algo asi:

Si la piedra es gorda, abrimos la pala. Con piedras mas pequenas, cerramos mas la pala. Tienes que poner la piedra en el centro de la pala. Si la pones en el medio queda perfecto.  Si esto es muy largo, cuando lanzas te lastima aqui. (Apunta a su mano)
Lo bueno de la honda viene cuando la pala esta igual.  

Saludos a Espana.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Jan 27th, 2009 at 10:46pm
Does anyone know if Diego is selling these slings?  If so, how do I make contact with him to make the purchase.  

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by wanderer on Jan 27th, 2009 at 11:48pm
Thanks to the Spanish speakers for their help in decoding the comments. :)

It's a tremendously interesting video.


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Jan 28th, 2009 at 2:44pm

justgeorge wrote on Jan 27th, 2009 at 10:46pm:
Does anyone know if Diego is selling these slings?  If so, how do I make contact with him to make the purchase.  


I have phoned Diego about the selling of slings. He is a very busy man since it makes the slings for the Balearic Sling Federation and he does not sell them directly except at his home. He says that the best way to buy his slings is through the Federation, so I´ve spoken with Mateo Cañellas, the President, and he confirms to me that there are any problems, just to send an email to the Federation and they send the slings to you. If you want that the sling is customized, of a particular length or adapted to the stature of the slinger, just indicate the messures. Evidently a customized sling can take a little more to be made. Diego recommends the sling made of sisal and a plait of five elements, that is very nice and durable.

The Web of the Federation is:  www.tirdefona.org/index.htm

and it has a version in English, in which you will find easily a contact email.

Luck,
Hondero

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on Jan 29th, 2009 at 11:36pm
Sweet, Going to have to look into it

Marc Adkins


Hondero wrote on Jan 28th, 2009 at 2:44pm:

justgeorge wrote on Jan 27th, 2009 at 10:46pm:
Does anyone know if Diego is selling these slings?  If so, how do I make contact with him to make the purchase.  


I have phoned Diego about the selling of slings. He is a very busy man since it makes the slings for the Balearic Sling Federation and he does not sell them directly except at his home. He says that the best way to buy his slings is through the Federation, so I´ve spoken with Mateo Cañellas, the President, and he confirms to me that there are any problems, just to send an email to the Federation and they send the slings to you. If you want that the sling is customized, of a particular length or adapted to the stature of the slinger, just indicate the messures. Evidently a customized sling can take a little more to be made. Diego recommends the sling made of sisal and a plait of five elements, that is very nice and durable.

The Web of the Federation is:  www.tirdefona.org/index.htm

and it has a version in English, in which you will find easily a contact email.

Luck,
Hondero


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by lobohunter on Jan 30th, 2009 at 3:02pm
very impresive definily added it to arcive thanks

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Unsapien on Feb 2nd, 2009 at 6:08pm
Very nice!

Though sisal always seems to chafe my fingers

-Unsapien

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by mrboss on Feb 2nd, 2009 at 7:08pm


I have phoned Diego about the selling of slings. He is a very busy man since it makes the slings for the Balearic Sling Federation and he does not sell them directly except at his home. He says that the best way to buy his slings is through the Federation, so I´ve spoken with Mateo Cañellas, the President, and he confirms to me that there are any problems, just to send an email to the Federation and they send the slings to you. If you want that the sling is customized, of a particular length or adapted to the stature of the slinger, just indicate the messures. Evidently a customized sling can take a little more to be made. Diego recommends the sling made of sisal and a plait of five elements, that is very nice and durable.

The Web of the Federation is:  www.tirdefona.org/index.htm

and it has a version in English, in which you will find easily a contact email.

Luck,
Hondero
[/quote]
i visited the site but i dont know the language, and i really want to buy a sling from them, what do i do??????

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Feb 3rd, 2009 at 4:02pm
[/quote]
i visited the site but i dont know the language, and i really want to buy a sling from them, what do i do??????[/quote]

Didn´t you find the contact email? It´s: federacio@tirdefona.com
Just try to communicate in english with them, I think they understand a little.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 3rd, 2009 at 8:05pm
I sent an email to them last week and have not heard back.  

I have been playing with some sisal and have already made my first sling.  There is a learning curve making it from fiber, however, I have played with cordage and spinning fiber in the past.  So I have been able to fill in some gaps that cannot be seen in the video.  I made alot of mistakes with my first one and a will make a second one soon.  I think my disadavantage is that I have to take apart sisal twine by soaking it in water to make the fiber straight.  The fibers take alot of work before you can even start making the sling.
Knowing how I am, I would more than likely take the sling I order apart just to see how it was made and end up with a pile of junk that my wife would then try to vacuum up.  Of course the vacuum would break because the sisel is tough stuff.
So I hope I will have it figured out before they get back to me ;D

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Feb 4th, 2009 at 2:57am

justgeorge wrote on Feb 3rd, 2009 at 8:05pm:
I sent an email to them last week and have not heard back.  

I have been playing with some sisal and have already made my first sling.  There is a learning curve making it from fiber, however, I have played with cordage and spinning fiber in the past.  So I have been able to fill in some gaps that cannot be seen in the video.  I made alot of mistakes with my first one and a will make a second one soon.  I think my disadavantage is that I have to take apart sisal twine by soaking it in water to make the fiber straight.  The fibers take alot of work before you can even start making the sling.
Knowing how I am, I would more than likely take the sling I order apart just to see how it was made and end up with a pile of junk that my wife would then try to vacuum up.  Of course the vacuum would break because the sisel is tough stuff.
So I hope I will have it figured out before they get back to me ;D



Ha ha, islanders are peaceful and take some time to answer. Besides, the Federation office open only one day in the week, so you have to be patient. Or perhaps they are not very trained with english. If they don´t answer to you after some time I´ll ask for a sling for me in spanish and we´ll see if they are quicker    ;).
Meanwhile you will have to continue practicing with the sisal fibers (pita). I also have braided some slings with sisal fiber undoing cords and wetting the fibers, that are much more simple than to get them from the plant,   :) , although the results seems to be something worse. The trick to work well with the fiber is to handle lengths not too long and to be adding fiber when necessary. The Balearics generally makes the retention cord of equal thickness, with a plait of five elements, and just before beginning the cradle they add more fiber to form the two cradle strands of five elements each too. Finished the cradle, they join the fiber of both strands forming a braid also of five elements, that is obviously double thickness than the retention cord. Little by little they are clearing fiber so that the cord falls progressively of thickness until the tassel end. This is very useful for the projectile not to be blocked too much lengthways by the cord when released, and  besides to give the release cord the configuration of a whip that makes that characteristic crack.

Luck
Hondero

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 4th, 2009 at 9:17pm
Hondero,
Thank you for your help and also for the videos that you post on youtube.  I am going to post two photographs of the sling I made out of sisal fiber.  You can see alot of mistakes as I was experimenting with the twist on the single ply fiber.  I think I have that figured out now; however, my question right now is this.  When adding fiber I can't seem to make it flow.  You can see each time I add fiber.  Each time I add fiber you can clearly see the break in the braid pattern.  
I also put some of the fiber in the photo (with the sling) that I have straightened and I think that the reason it does not work as well as Fibers that are harvested from the plant is beacause the ends of the fiber start and end at differnt locations.  I also think that the fiber used from the rope I am using is very cheap poor quality.  I end up throwing about half of the fibers aways.  
Maybe it just takes alot of practice.  I know that I learned alot from this first attempt.
DSC00056.JPG (132 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 4th, 2009 at 9:20pm
Did not get the 2nd photograph to post, here it is:

DSC00055.JPG (132 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 6th, 2009 at 2:36am
Started on my second Balearic sling tonight and I am growing blisters on my finger tips.  I am not going to stop until I have it figured out.  I think the second one is turning out better but still learning alot and have a long way to go.  I am still thinking that I need a new source of fibers.
DSC00057.JPG (127 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 6th, 2009 at 2:39am
Ok, why is it only posting one photo?  I need my oldest son to come back home to help his computer challenged dad.  I will just post one more.
DSC00063.JPG (150 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Feb 6th, 2009 at 2:59pm
The plait looks fine, congratulations  :)

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Rockman on Feb 6th, 2009 at 8:01pm

Hondero wrote on Feb 6th, 2009 at 2:59pm:
The plait looks fine, congratulations  :)


Second that. When you get good at braiding baleric style, I'll be a beauty.

Can't you finbn the same fiber, but a single long string? It might be cheating, but save you a lot of effort.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 6th, 2009 at 11:42pm
Yes and no!  It is very hard to explain, as I don't completely understand what is going on.  I make very simple patterns out of hemp and jute twine and a few other types of fibers (complete lenghts of string) and they work well.  But making the sling out of fiber before it is plied into what a spinner would call yarn (string, is single ply to a spinner) and gives you freedom to easily add/subtract fibers so that you can control the thickness/weight at any point durning the construction of the sling.  It is like making a custom rope and sling at the same time.  I have played with the idea of making the string/cordage different thickness so that you would have more fiber at the pouch but it just did not work well.  I was convinced that sling makers were making the sling as if they were making a rope but until now I could not make it work with other fibers.  I tried sisal/pita in the past but did not take it apart and straighten the fibers and the sling always had a mind of its own (meaning it would twist, etc...).  I have been able to make some nice slings with many lengths of string added and taken away where needed but still they never compared to the slings the Balearic sling makers are making.  They make works of art.  I can't wait to get my hands on one of their slings and study how each fiber is placed.

If some one has any information that would help me get this art mastered, PLEASE share it!

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Rockman on Feb 7th, 2009 at 1:40am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XENlaEIHTGI&feature=channel_page

There was another video, looks like this one is from 2008.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Feb 7th, 2009 at 8:33am
Cool! I haven´t seen this new video on Diego Camuñas, just published. Diego looks older here, time pases.

The debate on braiding is becoming very interesting and I agree with Justgeorge about the advantages of fibers. The only effective way to vary the thickness of the cords is making the braid with fibers. If you make it with strings, adding more strings to increase the width, the braid will end up undoing with the wear, besides showing the ends of string additions. Nevertheless, when braiding  with fiber, the thickness vary of imperceptible way since the fibers are mixed progressively and the braid is completely resistant. For that reason, braiding a sling with fiber is not simply a pastime or an ethnological curiosity to do it just as it was made in the antiquity, but it is an essential technique if we want the cords of the sling to be of variable thickness. And the variable thickness is very interesting since the more thin is the braid at the ends that the hand holds, with more facility revolves the sling and better accuracy has the shot. On the other hand the release cord must support the wear of the projectile when released, and it must be quite broad, mainly near the cradle. So we are lead to the variable thickness of the braid.


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by wanderer on Feb 7th, 2009 at 9:53am
Just George,

I believe that 'balearic sling' also makes slings in similar style, and might be able to help with the subtleties of introducing fiber. I think he also makes them for sale, at least from time to time.

I have used fiber from the various agave spp. growing wild in the Southwestern desert. As I recall it was much finer than the sisal one can reclaim from a rope. I don't know if this is because the coarse stuff is used for rope or because it comes from a different species, I've heard various explanations.

I don't know if you have access to Agave where you are (somewhere in Utah, but maybe too far north?!) but perhaps that is the way to go for decent fiber?


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by David Morningstar on Feb 7th, 2009 at 2:49pm
I did some throwing today in the style used by Diego. A few slow spins in a sort of parking orbit low and well back then a lift into the final spin and a sidearm throw. The results are amazing distance with no tendancy to pull to the left like my previous balearic style attempts. Its the lift into the final spin that is the key feature.

This is my new favorite distance style. I tried it with a 28" and 40" sling and it was great with both. I'm really chuffed :)

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 7th, 2009 at 5:01pm
Rockman, Thank you for the info. about the new video showing Diego.  I added it to my favoites.

Wanderer,  I do live to far north.  However, I have seen the stuff you are talking about as I am a survival freak and always keep an eye out for usefull plant life where ever I might be.  I was going to harvest some the last time I was down south but my wife dose not share my passion for making cordage when you can just buy string in the store.  The stalks I remember were not as big as the ones that Diego was using but it could still work.
I have found ways of making the sisal twine I am working with line up better and this makes a cleaner looking sling.

Hondero,  you explian things much better than I do.  

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by wanderer on Feb 8th, 2009 at 8:43am
I finally got around to checking out something that had been bugging me about that Agave that Diego was using.

Since it was presumably introduced from Mexico, ie. after the Spanish conquest, it would not be appropriate for the ultra conservative Roman period reenactment types ;)

There is a nice site on the plant species in the Balearic Islands here: http://herbarivirtual.uib.es/eng-ub/especie/4558.html

Amongst other things it has lookup by Spanish and Catalan common names. Perhaps it might help with identifying the other fibers seen in the video? Hondero mentioned he knew the common name for one of those plants.

I wish I knew what he did to prepare that leaf to pull out such nice clean fiber, it worked a whole lot better than when I did it.  ;)

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by David Morningstar on Feb 8th, 2009 at 10:55am
A clip of me trying to emulate Diego's style: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l297i5Q3Pw

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by timann on Feb 8th, 2009 at 12:45pm
I was just now suddenly able to do some distance slinging, and found that when I was able to sling in the correct direction, I could win a few meters over my normal overhand throws.  But I wold need a lot of practice to avoid all the "flyers", wich goes in all kind of directions :)

The video(s) has given me many ideas for the time in the future when I shall try to make a sling from stinging nettle fibres.  Wonder when that will be? ;)
timann

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Feb 8th, 2009 at 2:45pm

wanderer wrote on Feb 8th, 2009 at 8:43am:
I finally got around to checking out something that had been bugging me about that Agave that Diego was using.

Since it was presumably introduced from Mexico, ie. after the Spanish conquest, it would not be appropriate for the ultra conservative Roman period reenactment types ;)

There is a nice site on the plant species in the Balearic Islands here: http://herbarivirtual.uib.es/eng-ub/especie/4558.html

Amongst other things it has lookup by Spanish and Catalan common names. Perhaps it might help with identifying the other fibers seen in the video? Hondero mentioned he knew the common name for one of those plants.

I wish I knew what he did to prepare that leaf to pull out such nice clean fiber, it worked a whole lot better than when I did it.  ;)


Finally I´ve found the name of the third plant that Diego braided and that winkleried was interested in. In the second video appear the name in the text. It is the spanish "Torbisco" and english "Spurge flax". In the herbal site you mention is this plant: http://herbarivirtual.uib.es/eng-uib/especie/4647.html


The second plant I think is well known, "esparto", and this the link: http://herbarivirtual.uib.es/eng-uib/especie/4030.html

Happy braiding  :)

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 8th, 2009 at 5:32pm
This has been one of the most informative posts yet.  I have watch diego making the pita sling at least 50 times while at the same time making my own sling.  He has lunched my sling braiding skills light years from where I was.  I will have to post some video clips on youtube showing how to get around some of the obsticals I incountered that others might be stuck on.
Agian, thank you!

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on Feb 8th, 2009 at 10:06pm
I thought the second one was esparto, thanks for confirming it. Spurge flax, Going to have to look that one up. Thanks

Marc Adkins


Hondero wrote on Feb 8th, 2009 at 2:45pm:

wanderer wrote on Feb 8th, 2009 at 8:43am:
I finally got around to checking out something that had been bugging me about that Agave that Diego was using.

Since it was presumably introduced from Mexico, ie. after the Spanish conquest, it would not be appropriate for the ultra conservative Roman period reenactment types ;)

There is a nice site on the plant species in the Balearic Islands here: http://herbarivirtual.uib.es/eng-ub/especie/4558.html

Amongst other things it has lookup by Spanish and Catalan common names. Perhaps it might help with identifying the other fibers seen in the video? Hondero mentioned he knew the common name for one of those plants.

I wish I knew what he did to prepare that leaf to pull out such nice clean fiber, it worked a whole lot better than when I did it.  ;)


Finally I´ve found the name of the third plant that Diego braided and that winkleried was interested in. In the second video appear the name in the text. It is the spanish "Torbisco" and english "Spurge flax". In the herbal site you mention is this plant: http://herbarivirtual.uib.es/eng-uib/especie/4647.html


The second plant I think is well known, "esparto", and this the link: http://herbarivirtual.uib.es/eng-uib/especie/4030.html

Happy braiding  :)


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 12th, 2009 at 10:12pm
I finished my second Balearic sling last night.  just as I was getting toward the end I accidently got fibers from one plait in the wrong plait.  AND it work great.  This really makes things alot easyer.  Before I learned this I tried to plan ahead so that fibers would be added to make things flow just right.  I reviewed Master Diego making his sling/art once again and I think he did that at least once during the video.  I still need work on the split pouch (well the whole thing).  I did pick up a few tricks for number three.  Another thing to pay attention to is keeping the same tension and twist to each plait.  when I study the braid closely I notice that my right hand is making the twist a little tighter.  This was never a problem when making braids from string.  Now I have to go give it a test run.  


DSC00065.JPG (158 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 12th, 2009 at 10:13pm
Top view
DSC00066.JPG (142 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by wanderer on Feb 13th, 2009 at 7:25am
Justgeorge,

That's very nice work! It seems perfectly reasonable to mingle fibers between the different strands, but it didn't occur to me that it might be a deliberate feature of the manufacture,  

I'm still a little puzzled about the 'critical strand' that was mentioned in the video. Any ideas about that?  

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 13th, 2009 at 11:36am
Funny you should say that!  As they all look critical to me.  I still don't know if I have the split correct.  I really need to get my hands on one constructed right.  There is one strand that looks prone to wear, I just don't know at this time.  My first sling of this type is not even worhty to put a rock in.  I will put this sling to the test even though I see a number of problems with it.  In time if I can't learn more about the 'critical strand' I will start cutting to find out.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Rockman on Feb 13th, 2009 at 8:15pm
The sling looks fine. Very nice for your second attemp.
The hard part is over.
Now you must master the technique with, say, 40 years of practice. (A guess of the time Diego has made slings)  

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Feb 17th, 2009 at 12:36pm

justgeorge wrote on Feb 13th, 2009 at 11:36am:
Funny you should say that!  As they all look critical to me.  I still don't know if I have the split correct.  I really need to get my hands on one constructed right.  


As it seems that the Balearics slings take a little in arriving :(, I have asked a friend who lives in a town near Madrid, and that knows how to braid slings Balearic type, some photos of one of his slings. According Diego the transition part between the retention cord and the pouch seems to be most weak and difficult to made, and I don´t know if the sling of my friend is made with the proper technique at this part since the photo is not very clear for me there, but in any case the sling has a wonderful look. I´d like to be able to braid slings like him.







[right]


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by lobohunter on Feb 17th, 2009 at 1:32pm
wow now thats a sling I want one hmm time to start making one i guess very nice love the leather freaking nice

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Feb 17th, 2009 at 1:56pm
Very nice looking sling!  It looks like each plait has less twist then the slings made by Diego.  The sling flows very nice.  Alot of attention to detail from start to finish.  After seeing this one up close I would think that like hand writing a trained eye could tell who made it.  This sling looks like something that should be displayed under glass.

Ok, I am going to send another email to the federation.  Or does anyone know someone I can contact about purchasing or even just borrowing a quality sling from.

Thank you for posting the photographs

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Elthore on Mar 11th, 2009 at 3:37am
any word on this? id like to get my hands on one of Diegos slings

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Mar 11th, 2009 at 9:04pm
I still have not heard back from the federation.  I have been able to make slings that look something like they are making.  I think I still have a long way to go.  Attached is my third sling.  I have made positive changes with each attempt and it is very easy to feel and see the sling improving.  This third sling is a pleasure to use.  Tennis ball crack down range and sound like they were fire from a gun.  The stones in the photograph are 4 3/4 to 7 1/4 oz. and work real well.  
DSC00122.JPG (144 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Mar 11th, 2009 at 9:08pm
This is a better view of the pocket with stones and tennis ball.
DSC00124.JPG (154 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Mar 11th, 2009 at 9:22pm
I forgot to say that I am trying to wear this sling pocket out to see what issues someone might have.  I know the photograph is not of the pocket area but after sling between 300 and 400 stones and maybe 700 tennis balls I can see very little wear on the pocket.  Wear can be seen but not what I would have thought.  Most of the stone were shot with a good amount of force.  I think with maintenance a sling like this would last a very long time like Diego said.  

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by wanderer on Mar 12th, 2009 at 7:45pm
Justgeorge,
There is some very nice looking work there. I don't know where you find the time ;)

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Rockman on Mar 12th, 2009 at 8:03pm
Justgeorge, your new slings are wonderfull.
A suggestion: A little leather on the left side of the pouch, on the release cord,  like you did on the fingerloop.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on Mar 14th, 2009 at 4:38pm
Ok, I am a very happy father!  Attached is the sling that was made by my 13yro.  It took him about a month of working on it off and on.  I gave him a little help deviding up the fibers for the pocket.  He did everything from preparing the fiber to wipping the release cord.  He is also teaching his friends.  The other day I came home from work and he was teaching his friend a five plait brade using jute twine and it was looking real good.
I wish I was doing what he can do at 13.

almost forgot, YES I think leather is needed on the sling and you are right, that is the location you can see the wear.  

Time, well it takes me a long time just to get the fibers ready to braid.  Diego was saying it takes about 10 hours from start to finish.  I think this last one was close to 15 hours maybe longer.
DSC00160.JPG (153 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Fundibularius Eifliensis on Mar 16th, 2009 at 8:11pm
Maybe this leads a bit too far, but for those of you who tend to allergic reactions: be very careful if you think of extracting your own sisal fibres from agave leaves yourselves.  
A few days ago, I tried to squeeze or scratch the juice and fruity parts out of the leaves more or less like Don Diego did on the video, and not more than a minute after getting in touch with the liquid, I had a very irritating and intense itching/burning reaction of the skin which got worse after the contact with water.   It only ceased gradually when I treated it with baby oil (yes, that was what was at hand, thanks to my little son).  
It is possible that the reaction depends only on the variety of agave (or "piteira", as they are called here in Portugal). I had used the ones with yellowish seams on the edges of the leaves, not the entirely green plant you can see in the video. Anyway, for my slings I'll stick to sisal from the shops in the future, or to palm fibre from the trees around. Or cotton. Or... or...or...


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by balearic-sling on Apr 30th, 2009 at 7:06am
Very nice work on the slings ! are very similar to the balearic sling! well done!

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Thearos on Apr 30th, 2009 at 5:27pm
Fundibularius: ouch ! Anti-histamine cream time.

What beautiful slings

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by wanderer on Apr 30th, 2009 at 6:03pm
If Fundibularius' experience was anything like mine, topical treatment would have meant covering most of his body!

I should have told of my experiences a little earlier and might have saved him some misery, I hadn't seen this post before I mentioned it on another thread yesterday. I'm not prone to 'allergies' in general, and had worked with agave several times before it bit me back.

I suspect you'll get the same effect from pretty much all the agaves one sees around, there's a lot of cultivars used around the U.S. for landscaping as well as the wild types.


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Fundibularius on May 1st, 2009 at 11:28am
No problem. My tears have dried in the meantime. Well, a few of them.

Wanderer, I am interested to know which variety of agave it was you used. Was it an entirely green plant or one type with a yellowish seam?

Did it affect your whole body? With me, it only irritated the skin parts that had been in touch with the moisture (hands, arms, chest, as my shirt had become soaked).

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by wanderer on May 1st, 2009 at 1:28pm

Fundibularius wrote on May 1st, 2009 at 11:28am:
No problem. My tears have dried in the meantime. Well, a few of them.

Wanderer, I am interested to know which variety of agave it was you used. Was it an entirely green plant or one type with a yellowish seam?

Did it affect your whole body? With me, it only irritated the skin parts that had been in touch with the moisture (hands, arms, chest, as my shirt had become soaked).

The particular one which caused my reaction was Agave Americana , very much as grows wild in parts of Mexico and Southern U.S, but is also used as a garden plant.  I think there are ornamental varieties of this species with yellow stripes (maybe Timothy Potter can tell us since I think he is in the landscaping business(?) ), although the one I was using was the plain dark green 'wild type'.

My impression is that for me it was more than a contact effect. The reaction was bad enough that for the only time in my life I took (large) doses of Benadryl to cope with it. I had reddening over pretty much everywhere I could look!

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Timothy Potter on May 1st, 2009 at 2:38pm
Here’s a site with listings of Agave varieties:

http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Agavaceae/Agave.html

It’s interesting that it says Agaves were brought to the Mediterranean in the 17th century, so the Balearic slingers must have adopted the fiber since that time.

As to the irritation, I’ve read that many Agave varieties can cause it, but you would have to look up the exact variety that you have to know for sure.

http://books.google.com/books?id=C8xJE2NfQpIC&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=agave+irritation&source=bl&ots=CubZDl_1-p&sig=XLyeTzzUimY62aS9TYXfrrxaj0w&hl=en&ei=Ozr7SfL-FJ30tQPckYzqAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3

This book has a section on Agave sisalana, the Sisal plant, and it says that it can cause skin irritation. Agave Americana, commonly called Century Plant, is probably the most common Agave that I see here in Southern California, and it causes irritation too.

In the San Gabriel Mountains near my home, there are a lot of Yucca whipplei, or “Our Lord’s Candle” Yuccas. Yuccas are in the same family as Agaves. The leaves from these produce a strong, usable fiber, and they don’t irritate the skin (or at least not my skin). In fact, when rubbed in the hands, the crushed leaves work like soap. I haven’t got around to making a Yucca fiber sling, but it’s been on my mind for a while.

On a slightly side note, here’s video of Sisal rope production that might be of interest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ztA1Ea03g0&feature=related

I wish I had one of those handy put-the-leaf-in-take-the-fiber-out machines, or whatever they’re really called.

-Timothy Potter

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Fundibularius on May 1st, 2009 at 4:51pm

Quote:
My impression is that for me it was more than a contact effect. The reaction was bad enough that for the only time in my life I took (large) doses of Benadryl to cope with it. I had reddening over pretty much everywhere I could look!


Looks like I was still quite lucky in comparison. I think we've both got away from the idea of growing our own sisal...  :-[

TP. thank you very much! That is a lot of valuable information. I'll browse through the (long) varieties list and try to find the one that I worked with.


Quote:
It’s interesting that it says Agaves were brought to the Mediterranean in the 17th century, so the Balearic slingers must have adopted the fiber since that time.


This is what comforts me a bit. Slingers from the Balearic Islands in the centuries before Christ and until the discovery of the Americas must have used other materials anyway, maybe the plants Diego mentioned, or other fibers (nettles, palm, ...), if not rawhide. So, for absolute purists, the "sisal project" goes more to the Aztec (or Apache?) fraction...  

From what you wrote, yucca sounds like a very good alternative. It's a pity you don't find it here at all.


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Steven on May 4th, 2009 at 9:25am
Have you considered growing and using flax for your fiber source .... when spun becomes linen ... but from viewing the various videos looks like you can braid straight fibers.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Fundibularius on May 4th, 2009 at 9:44am
Thank you, yes, that would be really authentic. Never thought about it. I think I'll give it a try after moving north in summer.


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Et Cetera on May 4th, 2009 at 4:13pm

Hondero wrote on Jan 25th, 2009 at 1:15pm:
They try accuracy not range, I think fig 8 is a bad style for that art   ;)


So you think figure 8 isn't the best for accuracy? What would you suggest instead? I'm still working on hitting a bucket from 10 feet  :-[

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on May 9th, 2009 at 7:56pm
I use Sisal and Jutte when I am making prototypes for my braided historical slings. For my full blown Historical balearic Slings I use Hemp. Now my hstory and yours are probably several centuries apart :)

Not surprisingly I came up with the same conclusion as you did.

Now I use my prototypes for my everyday slinging as well. In short it's all about what ya are looking to do. The modern Balearics seem to love thier Sisal and Related plant Slings.

Marc Adkins



Fundibularius wrote on May 1st, 2009 at 4:51pm:

Quote:
My impression is that for me it was more than a  that I worked with.

[quote]It’s interesting that it says Agaves were brought to the Mediterranean in the 17th century, so the Balearic slingers must have adopted the fiber since that time.


This is what comforts me a bit. Slingers from the Balearic Islands in the centuries before Christ and until the discovery of the Americas must have used other materials anyway, maybe the plants Diego mentioned, or other fibers (nettles, palm, ...), if not rawhide. So, for absolute purists, the "sisal project" goes more to the Aztec (or Apache?) fraction...  


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on May 9th, 2009 at 7:59pm
Around Central Oklahoma it was Yucca glauca. Haven't seen much Yucca up here in NE Oklahoma. Back home ou could see some of the fibers coming off of the leaves.

Marc Adkins



Timothy Potter wrote on May 1st, 2009 at 2:38pm:
Here’s a site with listings of Agave varieties:

http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Agavaceae/Agave.html

It’s interesting that it says Agaves were brought to the Mediterranean in the 17th century, so the Balearic slingers must have adopted the fiber since that time.

As to the irritation, I’ve read that many Agave varieties can cause it, but you would have to look up the exact variety that you have to know for sure.

http://books.google.com/books?id=C8xJE2NfQpIC&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=agave+irritation&source=bl&ots=CubZDl_1-p&sig=XLyeTzzUimY62aS9TYXfrrxaj0w&hl=en&ei=Ozr7SfL-FJ30tQPckYzqAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3

This book has a section on Agave sisalana, the Sisal plant, and it says that it can cause skin irritation. Agave Americana, commonly called Century Plant, is probably the most common Agave that I see here in Southern California, and it causes irritation too.

In the San Gabriel Mountains near my home, there are a lot of Yucca whipplei, or “Our Lord’s Candle” Yuccas. Yuccas are in the same family as Agaves. The leaves from these produce a strong, usable fiber, and they don’t irritate the skin (or at least not my skin). In fact, when rubbed in the hands, the crushed leaves work like soap. I haven’t got around to making a Yucca fiber sling, but it’s been on my mind for a while.

On a slightly side note, here’s video of Sisal rope production that might be of interest:

[url=[/url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ztA1Ea03g0&feature=related]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ztA1Ea03g0&feature=related[/url][/url]

I wish I had one of those handy put-the-leaf-in-take-the-fiber-out machines, or whatever they’re really called.

-Timothy Potter


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Fundibularius on May 13th, 2009 at 5:23pm
Hemp must be ok, even in the eyes of superpurists.  ::)

So many "authentic", so many possible materials. One of a hundred aspects that make the sling so fascinating.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on May 13th, 2009 at 6:56pm
Absolutely, particularly for those of us intrested in historical slinging

Marc Adkins


Fundibularius wrote on May 13th, 2009 at 5:23pm:
Hemp must be ok, even in the eyes of superpurists.  ::)

So many "authentic", so many possible materials. One of a hundred aspects that make the sling so fascinating.


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by wanderer on May 13th, 2009 at 10:21pm

Fundibularius wrote on May 4th, 2009 at 9:44am:
Thank you, yes, that would be really authentic. Never thought about it. I think I'll give it a try after moving north in summer.

Have a look at the following link:
http://www.primitiveways.com/bowstring.html

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Fundibularius on May 14th, 2009 at 5:02am
Great, that looks easy and effective. Thank you!

Makes me look forward to becoming a flax farmer. Of course, only if "She who must be obeyed" will grant me a little corner in the garden to use for the "slinging obsession".  :-X

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on May 15th, 2009 at 12:52am
I planted flax last year and got very little to try and do anything with.  This year it has filled in and looks very good.  Even if it does not work out it still looks good in the herb garden.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by HHornblower on May 17th, 2009 at 10:34am
Justgeorge,

On  these Balearic slings, how do you introduce the extra fiber without the ends ending up outside the braid?

Regards,

Hornblower

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on May 17th, 2009 at 10:59pm
Once you get about 5 inches into the sling you have fibers ending until you finish at the other end of your sling.  I think the secret is that you give the fibers a good twist to the outside or away from the sling as you bring the group of fibers into the next braid.  The twist helps but even with that you will still have some fibers poking out that will need to be pulled or trimed.  Now if you are talking about the middle of the fibers sticking out where you add them I think the twist to the outside makes all the difference.  That is the best I can give you.  I have had no real training other then trial and error and watching video.
Good luck!  Or if you don't believe in luck spend alot of time getting your fiber just right before starting and then practice getting the fibers in when and where you need them.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by slangdeg on May 21st, 2009 at 3:20pm
is there a tutorial showing how to do the 5 strand balearic braid?

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by HHornblower on May 21st, 2009 at 5:18pm

There aren't any tutorials for the 5-strand Balearic sling yet, I'm eagerly waiting for one too. Unfortunately I don't have any time to experiment myself (Exams).  I am very interested in the action of taking multiple strands to create a single, thicker strand, and consequently still have 5 strands left with the same thickness!  I really can't think of a way. Justgeorge, you are an authority on this subject, have you got any pictures of the increasing thickness process?

Cheers,

Hornblowerr


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by justgeorge on May 21st, 2009 at 8:04pm
I am am not even close to an authority with only three of these completed.  I could put together something and maybe in the process someone could give some true help on the subject.  
I am still trying to wear out my last sling and so I have not started another.  Maybe its time! I still learn things everytime I watch Diego brading.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by HHornblower on May 29th, 2009 at 5:14pm
I took a good look at the beautiful sling posted by Hondero on page 4, and if i'm not mistaken, it seems that the two splits have a thickness very similar to the first part of the sling (the part with the fingerloop, which has the same thickness from top till bottem). This implies that extra fibre was added during or just after beginning the split. We can see that the retention cord is nearly twice the thickness of the part before the splits. Could this be a viable way of getting very solid and broad splits in the pouch area?

Cheers,

Hornblower

The original post by Hondero:

Hondero wrote on Feb 17th, 2009 at 12:36pm:

justgeorge wrote on Feb 13th, 2009 at 11:36am:
Funny you should say that!  As they all look critical to me.  I still don't know if I have the split correct.  I really need to get my hands on one constructed right.  


As it seems that the Balearics slings take a little in arriving :(, I have asked a friend who lives in a town near Madrid, and that knows how to braid slings Balearic type, some photos of one of his slings. According Diego the transition part between the retention cord and the pouch seems to be most weak and difficult to made, and I don´t know if the sling of my friend is made with the proper technique at this part since the photo is not very clear for me there, but in any case the sling has a wonderful look. I´d like to be able to braid slings like him.







[right]



Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Timothy Potter on May 29th, 2009 at 9:15pm
HHornblower,

I think your observation is correct. It agrees with what Diego says on his video, and looking at the pictures Hondero posted I'd agree with what you noticed. So now the question is:

How do you double the amount of material being braided all at once?

I wonder if the middle of the fibers being added is placed across the braid. If this is the case, then there would be no ends to hide or trim off until the tapering of the release cord, where they wouldn't show as much.

-Timothy Potter

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by HHornblower on May 30th, 2009 at 5:00am
Timothy, I was thinking along the same line. In the video you can clearly see that Diego adds some fiber using that very method you suggest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ouNR6djZy4&feature=related

At 2:03 and following. You can see he takes the middle of the strand he is about to add and subsequently puts it in place.

I must say it is some very clever thinking.

Regards,

Hornblower

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by HHornblower on Jun 6th, 2009 at 3:08pm
I've just experimented with different ways of adding more fiber and I concluded that adding the middle of the new strand is the way to go. When you add a fiber and fold it in half, you effectively get two strands. The trick is to add one half of the strand to one of the 5 plaits, and leave the other. There is a way to add that second part of the strand without interrupting the braid, but I'll need to experiment with coloured strands in order to give an exact formula (e.g. x = plait of the first half of the strand and x -/+ a = the plait where you add the second half without interrupting the braid, with a = difference in order between the two plait.)
If you add thick strands the point in the braid where you added them will be noticabely bulkier. To avoid this effect thin strands are a necessity.  

I'll try to get some pics up in the near future.

Cheers,

Hornblower

Hans

Edit: I Think i've got the formula:
Add the middle of the new strand to the outside plait
Fold it as you do with a 5-plait braid.
Add the second half of the addesd strand to the plait, now the first in line to be folded over, which is on the same side as the plait you added the strand to in the first place.
So: plait 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, with strand added to 1.
Will become 2,3,1,4,5
Then add the second half of the strand to plait number 2, and all should be fine.


Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by HHornblower on Jun 8th, 2009 at 3:36pm
Hondero or 4accord or anyone with a balearic sling made by the federation or made by a professional,

Could you guys give me some exact measurements (dimensions) of your slings? I am particulary interested in the pouch area and I would love some detailed information on that part, even plait alignment if it isen't too much trouble.
My project has come to a bit of a halt (lack of fiber as well though, not only problems with the plaits/design).

Thank you,

HHornblower

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Hondero on Jun 12th, 2009 at 2:36pm

HHornblower wrote on Jun 8th, 2009 at 3:36pm:
Hondero or 4accord or anyone with a balearic sling made by the federation or made by a professional,

Could you guys give me some exact measurements (dimensions) of your slings? I am particulary interested in the pouch area and I would love some detailed information on that part, even plait alignment if it isen't too much trouble.
My project has come to a bit of a halt (lack of fiber as well though, not only problems with the plaits/design).

Thank you,

HHornblower



In February I called Mateo Cañellas, the president of the Federation, and he promised to send me one of the “pita” slings made by Diego, but till now I have not received it. Don´t know if somebody in the forum has had more luck than I. What I have from some years ago is one Federation sling of crushed “esparto”, probably made by Diego also, more rough than pita slings but very common too, although perhaps the braiding technique is a little different, being the pita fibers thinner and longer. The measures of  the sling are:

Retention cord:
Length = 60 cm
max. width =  1.5 cm
min. width = 1 cm

Realese cord
L = 80 cm
max. w. = 2 cm
min. w. = 0.3 cm

Pouch
L = 15 cm
Max. w. (each strand) = 1.5 cm
Min. w. (each strand) = 1 cm


Some pictures of the pouch:






Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by xxkid123 on Jun 13th, 2009 at 12:36pm
ooohhh pretty O.o

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Camo-sling on Jun 14th, 2009 at 1:41am

xxkid123 wrote on Jun 13th, 2009 at 12:36pm:
ooohhh pretty O.o


ill say!

Sisal slings look great.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by timann on Jun 14th, 2009 at 4:37am
I wonder why the 5-strand braid is used in these slings.  Things was easyer before, with just the how-to from the El Foners Balear page, wich shows a 3-strand braid.

By the way, in August, when I braided a cat-tail-like rope from nettle fibers; I thought about how it should be possible to make a sling without making individual strands first.  But this was before the Diego video. :(

I made a miniature 5-strand braid test-piece sling yesterday, from cut-offs after another sling.  
I sometimes prefer to experience  new difficulties in small scale before I start a full-scale sling project :D
timann
oles_bilder_202.jpg (110 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by HHornblower on Jun 18th, 2009 at 7:52am
Hondero,

Brilliant pictures there. Sorry for the silence, I was away for a week on a post-exam holiday. First I need to get myself some more fibers before I can continue, but hopefully I'll be up and running by next week. I must say this thread has become a treasure chest for everyone interested in making accurate balearic slings!

Cheers,

HHornblower

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by David Morningstar on Jul 12th, 2009 at 8:38am
Here is Ray Mears preparing fibres from Sisal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tILU0lvqqEM

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Donnerschlag on Aug 13th, 2009 at 9:26pm

Fundibularius wrote on May 1st, 2009 at 4:51pm:

Quote:
My impression is that for me it was more than a contact effect. The reaction was bad enough that for the only time in my life I took (large) doses of Benadryl to cope with it. I had reddening over pretty much everywhere I could look!


Looks like I was still quite lucky in comparison. I think we've both got away from the idea of growing our own sisal...  :-[

TP. thank you very much! That is a lot of valuable information. I'll browse through the (long) varieties list and try to find the one that I worked with.

[quote]It’s interesting that it says Agaves were brought to the Mediterranean in the 17th century, so the Balearic slingers must have adopted the fiber since that time.


This is what comforts me a bit. Slingers from the Balearic Islands in the centuries before Christ and until the discovery of the Americas must have used other materials anyway, maybe the plants Diego mentioned, or other fibers (nettles, palm, ...), if not rawhide. So, for absolute purists, the "sisal project" goes more to the Aztec (or Apache?) fraction...  

From what you wrote, yucca sounds like a very good alternative. It's a pity you don't find it here at all.

[/quote]
They are native around where I live. Same with Agave. (But knowing how California is, I'll probably get in some deep doo-doo if I cut parts off of them. :P) So, back to the drawing board for me.... Or, I could just buy some. :P

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Slingster on Jan 10th, 2010 at 8:41am
Balearic Sling Im currently working on
sling_jpeg.jpeg (216 KB | )

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by jax on Jan 10th, 2010 at 5:03pm
Slingster,

 Interesting "twist".Proper that you bumped this thread,as we have been reading 4Accord's translation of Hondero's work.It appears that no one else ever was successful in contacting the federation and receiving one of Diego's slings?Something else to do...

    Brett

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by thabaill on Jul 9th, 2011 at 5:49pm
Hello

I read something here about the video where Mr. Diego Camuñas made several types of slings.

http://youtu.be/-ouNR6djZy4

I am Spanish from Andalucia, and here the sling type used by goat keepers is very similar and perhaps is exactly the same.

The fibers used by Mr. Diego are form several plants. The first is "pita" Agave americana. This species is not indugenous from Spain and it was boght here about the 16th century from Mexico.

The second fiber he uses in a three plait braid with a three branched pouch and very rough sling is "esparto" Stipa tenacissima.

The third sling he made with the bark of a bush called "torvisca" also known as "torvisco" Daphne gnidium.

Mr. Diego in a different video http://youtu.be/XENlaEIHTGI where he wears a hat says that he cut the "pita" (Agave americana) leaves in full moon, so the plant has its sap down and he shows it rubbing the fresh fibers against his face without any allergic reaction.

The accent which Mr. Diego speak it is not the Balearic accent. In the comentaries of the fist video Orestes Pérez says that his accent is from Extremadura, and it is very similar to the typical accent of some parts of Andalucia.

I see that some of you master very well the technique of braiding slings.

One thing very important that Mr. Diego says is about the pouch. When you make a sling and make the pouch you must split the braid in two branches. You wil notice that there is one strand longer that goes from side to side of the width of the sling in that point. Where the two branches of thew pouch join there is the same kind of long plait. If that strand breaks the sling falls apart.

So you must be care in which side you put the stone. As the stone can break this strand.

You must put the stone in the same face of the pouch that you work when you braid the sling because the weak strand is in the other face and when you throw the stone, this will not touch that weak strand when it begins to fly.

You can see the weak strand at the right of this pic where the retention cord joints with the pouch.



The other weak strand is under the sling where the pouch joints with the release cord that is thicker.

So that stone is placed under the sling, and you must place the stone on the upper face of the sling to avoid that the weak strand breaks when shooting.

I hope don't bother you.

Best regards.

P.D. THE SLING IN THE PIC I VERY FINE, AND WELL MADE.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Arthur the great on Jul 15th, 2011 at 3:05pm
"cut the pita leaves In full moon"?
Is that some sort specail cut of does that mean he cut them at night??

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by Masiakasaurus on Jul 15th, 2011 at 3:10pm
Cut them at night when it's cooler. The plant's sap isn't as runny or messy that way. (I'm guessing here based on context.)

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by aurelio on Jul 15th, 2011 at 5:25pm
Spanish farmers, I do not know  in the rest of the world; believe that certain plants or trees, they will  to have different qualities, depending on moment of cut and lunar phases.

Title: Re: Balearic maker of slings
Post by winkleried on Sep 12th, 2011 at 11:59am
There is something similar in the United States amoung certain rustic farmers.

Marc Adkins


aurelio wrote on Jul 15th, 2011 at 5:25pm:
Spanish farmers, I do not know  in the rest of the world; believe that certain plants or trees, they will  to have different qualities, depending on moment of cut and lunar phases.


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