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Baleric Sling (Read 5431 times)
Dan
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Baleric Sling
Dec 23rd, 2011 at 8:55am
 
I have been thinking about making a good "War sling" somthing that weighs a lot, will last awhile, and snaps like a 22.

And the Baleric sling came to mind. Does anyone know where I could get some raw sisal fibers?

Also never really worked with sisal or baleric style slings so any advice as to construction or ensuring the tassle won't dissipate overtime and finishing the release cord.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #1 - Dec 23rd, 2011 at 10:49am
 
these knot I use for mine slings.
3,10min
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfIjaKazVzU
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #2 - Dec 23rd, 2011 at 11:05am
 
I've only seen one or two videos where it shows the maker feeding in wisps of fiber.  The braid looks like that 5 strand herringbone or fishbraid.  It looks like the pouches are the same thing.  This weekend I'm going to make a hefty flatbraid with woven pouch out of sisal and will post a picture of it.  I'm liking the sisal idea because I think it will make a sturdy war sling.  Hopefully you can get some good replies from the Master Makers.  This will be interesting.
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #3 - Dec 23rd, 2011 at 2:27pm
 
traditionally the slings are made from 5 groups of fibers that are braided together. i personally find slings made from fibers a pain in the butt, especially when you've got a lot of fibers- like in a balearic sling. 5 groups of thick fibers tangling together just gives me a headache. however, done right the finished product is really nice.


to the horror of jaegor, i would just take 6 long strands of sisal twine, braid a finger loop, fold in half to get 12 strands and a do a three strand braid from there. about 3inches from where you want the pouch to start working in a short 1ft long strand onto each group of strands. do this by laying a single short strand over a group of existing strands per each braid until you have 24 total. get to the pouch split it apart, and  make the pouch. when i braid it, i prefer to go non traditional and braid it into a flat braid.

lay the 4 strands of each group side by side, and braid it so that the braid is flat. normally when you braid you would fold the strands over and make it as tight as possible. now you want to bend the strands so that it is much flatter. it should look like this:

...

the rest is pretty self explanatory. make sure the pouch doesn't get over 5 inches. although it might look small, any larger and it will be too easy to have the pouch drop stones.

here's a good article, minus the adding in strands part. it also goes over the flat vs round 3 strand braid in detail http://slinging.org/index.php?page=making-a-braided-sling-an-illustrated-guide
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #4 - Dec 23rd, 2011 at 11:01pm
 
Two cents, cent one: I get the raw fiber versus twine thing. I like the look, like a braid of hair, smooth and even. But why sisal, necessarily? I have only made Balearic-inspired slings from jute, and that was twine as well, but I figure if you're looking for fiber, it might be sisal, but why limit yourself? The braided fiber slings from the 'orcas are as likely to be made from pita (agave?) as anything else, I think, and this fiber seems like it is remarkably smooth and soft compared to sisal. I am educated by YouTube, so don't quote me as an expert. Is sisal actually the fiber of choice? I hear it's scratchy. David Morningstar said he wouldn't put it. . .nevermind.

Cent two: I always hear the lining of the split pouch with leather being touted as a good way to protect the pouch from wear. While this may well be the case, my leather lining in a split pouch does wonders for making the split braids behave like a solid pouch with a gap in the middle. Very stable - it can be spread open somewhat to accommodate larger projectiles, but naturally draws back together when not necessary. Obviously, thicker leather will exaggerate this property, as will cutting and sewing the leather with less roominess, or "slack".

OK, cent three: I haven't tried it, but the same properties that allow a twine or yarn tassel to turn into a fluffy whip-cracker should provide for turning twine or yarn into fiber. Untwine the twine, eh? Too labor-intensive? I don't know.

Cent four: I think whatever material you use, the entire release grip area will wear out over time, but the beauty of the fiber versus twine idea is that you can unbraid beyond the worn area and add fiber and rebraid out to the end. You can do this with twine, too, but it's a lot harder to make a gradual splice or graft with a twine of fibers at a time. Especially if you've tapered the release down to very thin.
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #5 - Dec 24th, 2011 at 1:07am
 
Pita is the fiber of Agave Americana and Sisal is the fiber of Agave Sisalana. Both are used in Spain because both plants have been imported the Ballearic Isles but ONLY agave fibers are used in Spain AFAIK (but I'm no expert). The fibers are nearly identical in pictures with pita being slightly paler.

While sisal rope is rough, that doesn't mean sisal will make a rough sling. I really like my sisal slings, and just made a new one today. The trick is to wet and untwist the cord or rope and then braid the individual fibers, discarding any fibers shorter than about 1/2 meter (or a little over 1.5 feet). It's the ends of short fiber in sisal rope of than make it rough. If you spin it yourself and use longer fibers that won't be a problem. If you're lazy then you can still make a decent sling by braiding the twisted cords together and then singeing the sling to burn off the rough fibers. Tomorrow I'll post a side by side picture of 2 slings made by each method.

I've seen youtube videos of a man named Diego Camuņas that show how to make traditional, Balearic, 5 strand braided slings made from raw fibers. I've also seen a tutorial on the Federacion Balear de Tir de Fona website (Balearic Federation of Throwing using a Sling) that shows a traditional, Balearic, 3 strand braided sling made from spun cord. Both are correct.

I find that sisal is kind of slippery, so I've always thought that the leather lining was to improve stone retention before the cast, but it isn't necessary to have a functional sling. None of my sisal split pouch slings have leather on them at all. To be authentically Balearic the sling should have a leather reinforced split pouch and a leather lined finger loop.

Lowes has sisal cord in various size spools. Last time I bought sisal, last spring, it was close to $15 US for 2000 feet. Some ornamental cactus plants are actually agave americana or agave sisalana varieties, so if you know anyone with an ornamental cactus that looks like this:
...
or
...
ask them if you can have any leaves that fall off of it.

On my slings, I've found that sisal doesn't fray at all. That means that the cracker won't fray or dissipate.
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Pikåru wrote on Nov 19th, 2013 at 6:59pm:
Massi - WTF? It's called a sling. You use it to throw rocks farther and faster than you could otherwise. That's all. 
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #6 - Dec 24th, 2011 at 9:22am
 
I think I'll probably start with the twine from Lowes, But next time I go down south there are a lot of such decorative agave plants and I could probably "prune" a few of the ones on public property.  Wink
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #7 - Dec 24th, 2011 at 1:01pm
 
As promised, here's the side by side. Both slings are made from twine I bought at Lowes. (I think it was the same spool.)
...
The sling below (on top in the picture above) is the older of the two, and was made by separating the twine and braiding individual fibers using a 5 strand braid. They did have a tendency to retwist as I braided, and I tapered the sling by adding/subtracting large bundles. In short, it isn't as pretty as it could be.
...
The one on the bottom I made yesterday in the style of La Mancha. I did not untwist the cord, used a 3 strand braid, and finished the sling by running a lighter over it to singe the stray fibers. I don't know if the picture does it justice, but this sling is actually less fuzzy than the other.
...

Tapering the sling is easy to do, to add strings just lay them on top of an existing bundle as you braid. Add a cord, braid a few centimeters, add another cord to a different bundle until all of the bundles have the same number of strands. Repeat if it's not thick enough. To remove strands do the same in reverse. As you are braiding pull a strand out of one of the bundles and braid for a few centimeters without it. Then pull another strand out of a different bundle  and continue braiding a little more and repeat the process until all of the strands are equal again. Then trim off any excess. Once you get good at tapering you can try splicing cords together or artfully hiding what you've done, but that isn't necessary to make a functional or good looking sling.

To get the pouch to naturally fold the way mine and Seņior Camuņas's do, wet the sling and hang it by the pouch to dry. If you want, tie a small weight the the hanging ends of the sling to aid the process. I usually put mine on my shower curtain rod overnight with no weight. Wetting and drying the sling has the added benefit of making it more supple and flexible. The sling may gain some twist as it dries, but if you twist the sling in the opposite direction and apply tension to it the twisting problem will go away.

Hope this helps!
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Pikåru wrote on Nov 19th, 2013 at 6:59pm:
Massi - WTF? It's called a sling. You use it to throw rocks farther and faster than you could otherwise. That's all. 
~Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily avialable, they will create their own problems.~
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #8 - Dec 24th, 2011 at 1:51pm
 
Thanks a lot bro, I got a spool of sisal from lowes today. I think I leave the cords twisted as is and I'll just do the lighter thing. Not sure if I'll use a 5 strand, 4 strand or 3 strand style braid but I'll probably make it later today, and I'll let you know how it tunrs out. In the meantime I am headed to the range to send some 45acp downrange.

Merry Christmas!
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #9 - Dec 24th, 2011 at 8:47pm
 
just took a look at some of my new sisal slings. they are braided using 6 strands. the crackers on them are about 3/4 the thickness of 6 strands laid next to each other. my crackers only have the toughest fibers- the short or weak ones are weeded out. therefore, if i were to braid a sling out of fibers only using twine i would strip two times the amount needed (thickness wise). so if i wanted a sling i would normally braid using 5 strands folded in half then in this case i would strip the fibers from 10 strands. although you only need 7 in the theoretical situation i just gave, you'll often have fibers fall out or snap when braiding so you'll notice that an amount of your fibers aren't actually in your sling.

in videos of balearic slings being made i see their fibers are about a whole yard long.
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Dan
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #10 - Dec 25th, 2011 at 9:57pm
 
Thanks for the advice. I used a 5 strand strand braid. 10 strings in the cord and added 10 more for the pouch. After the pouch it gradualy tapers to 3 strands at the end. Throws pretty great, snaps like a 22.

I'll be adding a leather pouch tomorrow, otherwise it looks pretty much identical to Masi's sling with the exception that I rubbed in some thin mud to give it a more natural aged look.

Thank you and Merry Christmas!
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #11 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 2:10am
 
Photos! Please.
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #12 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 4:31pm
 
...

Here is the pic of my baleric sling. I can't figure out how to make it part of my post.  Sad

So if someone could fill me in that would be great.

Merry Christmas

Edited:
Highlight the link and then click the "insert image" button. On the page where you type a reply, it's the button below the r and d of "standard" in the "message icon" window.
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« Last Edit: Dec 27th, 2011 at 12:12am by Masiakasaurus »  

"Like tying a stone to a sling is the giving of honor to a fool" Proverbs 26:8
 
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #13 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 5:21pm
 
Very good looking sling Smiley:)Smiley
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Re: Baleric Sling
Reply #14 - Dec 26th, 2011 at 7:33pm
 
Hey, Dan. Thanks for the photo! I have been using Photobucket, too. When you mouse over your image in your album, you should see a drop-down menu with some options at the top (share, edit, et cetera) and below those are four different options followed by code. You want the IMG code, which currently is the last option displayed when I do this. You can just click on that code, and will get a message that it's copied. You can then paste it right into your post here. Good idea to do a return (enter) before and after, to give the image its own line. Probably just how you inserted the link, just use the IMG code instead, and you're there.

Hope that helps, and good job on your Balearic sling.
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