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Simple Atlatl (Read 5145 times)
kentuckythrower
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Simple Atlatl
Feb 5th, 2012 at 3:09am
 
My very first spear thrower was nothing more than a maple sapling. I found one in the woods that had a small branch growing off one side and cut the sapling off just below the branch. Then I cut the small branch about a quarter inch from the fork and whittled a dull point to form the "hook". Next, I measured the sapling from my shoulder to wrist and cut it to length. It worked like a dream!!! I cut some cane to use as "spears" and was in business for the better part of a day...talk about having fun!!! Nowdays, folks are making and selling all sorts of atlatls and darts, but my stick and river cane seemed to work just as well as anything on the market.
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David Morningstar
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #1 - Feb 5th, 2012 at 5:49am
 

Yep, simple spearchuckers are a blast  Grin
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kentuckythrower
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #2 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 3:26pm
 
As with many of the prehistoric tools and weapons, the simpler they were to make and use, the better. I don't mean to step on anyone's toes here, but all the additional bells and whistles really don't add up to a hill of beans insofar as performance goes. Take bows for example, one can be made from a stick for next to nothing and will produce the exact same results a $400.00 to $600.00 compound bow set up. The fact of the matter is, I went hunting with a fellow that had to have all the latest scientifically designed equipment before he could even think about taking to the field...I carried a homemade set...stickbow and bone tipped arrows. Despite all that 21st century equipment, I'm the one that brought home some meat. Now tell me, which one of us came out ahead in this deal?
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LukeWebb
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #3 - Feb 8th, 2012 at 9:27pm
 
  I would love to see one of your bows and your arrows!  I am making stickbows right now myself, from saplings leaving the bark on as a backing.  So far in 3 months I have had 3 duds due to flawed wood, (can't have too many knots...) and 5 successes though a couple aren't completely finished but are tillered.
   I love making atlatls from a branch, I really see no drawback in distance, speed or accuracy from a fancy atlatl to a branch atlatl.  I even made one while I was out hiking one time, I made the atlatl from a birch branch and then I went to a defunk beaver dam and found a dried out spruce sapling that was straight lying near the dam and oila! beaver made atlatl dart, it was well balanced as it was and hit point first nicely, I was rather surprised.
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Jabames
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #4 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 9:49am
 
I made a simple one before too,  just out of willow branch and a straight thin sapling,  boyyy did the dart go far,  no fletching or anythin coudn't find the dart,  all I had was a small knife to make it twas amazing.
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kentuckythrower
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #5 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 12:54pm
 
This is exactly what I was driving at. It seems to me that nowadays we get too wrapped up in technology and have a tendency to forget simpler designs work just as well as those with all the additional bells and whistles. Some of the modern spearthrowers I've seen are works of art, but when push comes to shove, nothing can beat my forked stick.
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Rat Man
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #6 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 2:07pm
 
Good post, kentuckythrower.  This is exactly what I like about slinging.  All you really need is a piece of string or a bootlace and a rock.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #7 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 2:16pm
 
Thumbs up to what KT wrote!
How do you think they made these throwers of which I sent you pictures? Man, they date to 25'000 years ago, they carved bones with a stone blade! That's amazing!
Greetings,
Mauro.
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kentuckythrower
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #8 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 2:30pm
 
Precisely!!! The beauty of slings, spearthrowers, bows, etc., is their inherent simplicity. I personally rail at seeing all this modern archery gear and the attendant literature guaranteeing it's effectiveness...WAKE UP!!! Why in the world would I want...or need to spend my hard earned money on something like that when I can cut a bow from a log or plank for next to nothing? All I'm looking for is basically a spring that will shoot an arrow into my target at xyz range with some degree of certainty. If my .50 cent weapon works just as well as one going to $500.00, I'll stick with my sticks...they bring home meat too.
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Jabames
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #9 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 2:34pm
 
Good point,  personally I wanna sell my compound bow,  they seem complicated to maintain,  spent $350 for it,  ahhh the things we do to waste money -_-
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kentuckythrower
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #10 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 2:45pm
 
Truth be known, my very first bow was one made from an old ash tobacco stick. My dad made it for me when I was five or six years old. I used small canes as my arrows and it worked like a dream. I honestly cannot see spending several hundred dollars on hunting equipment when I know for a fact I can make something with my own hands that works just as well.
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #11 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 3:23pm
 
My first bow was a rattan one who a guy sold me for 125 (about 100 bucks more or less).
The bow served me well for a couple of tournaments and then bended inexplicably!
I then bought some rattan for the astronomical expense of 7 Euro (5 bucks?) and made 2 bows and a crossbow's bow with it.
I gave away one of the bows and am still using the other one, 2 years after I built it with an axe and a rasp Smiley
No way I make my self arrows, though: I usually grab one or two from someone else's quiver Grin
Greetings,
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EDIT:
Dave, why don't you post pictures of your self made hunting gear? I'd like to see it!!
Make new posts or use existing ones  Smiley
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kentuckythrower
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #12 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 3:35pm
 
As soon as I get one of the computer wiz kids around here to show me how to do it, I'll get some pictures and video's posted for everyone to see. I am about as computer illiterate as they come and my friend's say I was born about 1,000 years too late.
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #13 - Feb 10th, 2012 at 7:30pm
 
kentuckythrower wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 3:26pm:
Take bows for example, one can be made from a stick for next to nothing and will produce the exact same results a $400.00 to $600.00 compound bow set up.


I'm going to go against the majority and say this sounds a little far fetched.  I think you're mixing up your skill at bowhunting with the quality of the bow.  Many people will try to make up for lack of skill with technology.  However, when you have both, you have a combination that's unbeatable.
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thabaill
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Re: Simple Atlatl
Reply #14 - Feb 10th, 2012 at 7:43pm
 
Hi

Some years ago I persuaded a friend that is a carpenter for making an ash wood longbow, the same type as the English Medival war longbow. That bow was really terrible as we broke at hte first shot our homemade arrows we used a wooden mop pole as an arrow. The bow was so powerful that it worked. We made it go through a 20mm chipboard.

The problem was that the wood was fresh and not very well seasoned and it bended more and more with use until the bow became a circle.

Some years later my friend bought a 60 lbs. compound bow but it was a nightmare. When you buy a compound bow you begin to spend more and more money in things that the bow need. It is really very  expensive. As I am a poor man I always shooted with a bow that someone lent me.

I am not enough tough (or hungry) to be a hunter, so I don't know very much about it. In Nothamerica you have dangerous animals that are a dream for hunters, not like here that the deers we have are the size of a goat and the animals are raised and hand-fed for hunting (I'm sorry but they are not actually wild, some are like pets left alone in the country and even they approach to you asking for food). I have read in a book about bowhunting that you must shoot not very far (the farthest about 30m).  A range that I think that someone can almost reach with an atlatl. The main difference is that with a bow the shooted animal don't know what happens and with an atlatl it can charge on you as it can see you moving your arm and body, if not, it will run away when you begin to throw or perhaps it can avoid the dart as it flies slower than an arrow.

Watching this videos I think that if they had used an atlatl they could have killed the moose. What I am not so sure is that if the moose could have charged dangerously.

http://youtu.be/c_6RH6u5_1Q

http://youtu.be/2433vrL8qVs

http://youtu.be/gZ5JDXhWvVw

Excuse me if I am wrong.

I miss the Pleistocene megafauna too. Specially sabre-toothed cats.

Greetings.
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