Welcome, Guest. Please Login
SLINGING.ORG
 
Home Help Search Login


Pages: 1 2 3 
Send Topic Print
Tutorial: Balearic Sling (Read 23438 times)
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Tutorial: Balearic Sling
Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:48pm
 
Here's a more image-heavy adaptation of my Balearic sling tutorial from The Slinger's Guide.
The text is basically the same rough draft I sent to Dan and them, so the final product in the Slinger's Guide will likely be more polished up and such.
Enjoy


===================================
Of all the cultures throughout history known for their slinging prowess, the Balearic islanders were among the most skillfull--and to this day, remain the most famous for it. In fact, the very name of the islands comes from the word “balearides”, which translates to “stone slinger.”

A slinger's career started very young, and involved some rather spartan training during their upbringing. One notable method involved placing a child's food out of reach, which left the child with two options: knock the food down with a slingstone, or go hungry.
Later on they would graduate to sending stones through small hoops placed at various distances. The result was highly competent slingers that were in high demand throughout the ancient Mediterranean world—much like the archers of the British isles during the Late Medieval and Renaissance period. Even after the Romans managed to conquer the islands, the Balearic slingers became a well-paid asset in the Roman army.

Balearic slingers had some interesting traits when it came to war.
In addition to their normal, medium-length sling, they were known for carrying two others: a short one stowed-away as a headband, for rapid slinging at shorter ranges; and a long sling for long-range bombardment wrapped around their waist.


------------------------------------------


The slingers of the Balearic islands were [and remain] fond of rather heavy stones, sometimes as large as the slinger's fist. This is pretty huge by most other slinging culture's standards, and their slings definitely show it--they are usually much beefier than most slings. As a result, Balearic slings require more material on average than most other designs, so don't be a cheapskate and skimp on cordage. It's dirt-cheap anyways.

The most popular of the traditional materials of choice are pita, hemp, and esparto. Pita, otherwise known as "sisal", consists of the inner fibers of the agave plant that you're left with after scraping the soft flesh away. The fibers look like blond hair, but can be a little more coarse than most other fibers. However, they are rather tenacious and abrasion resistant, and make a very resilient sling. 
Esparto is a type of grassy plant native to the Balearic archipelago. It makes a more rustic sling. It's a very obscure type of fiber, so good luck finding any commercially available anywhere outside the islands.

Traditionally these slings are made from loose fiber, with additional material braided into the sling as needed. The process is much like basket-weaving. When made properly, slings braided from loose fiber tends to look nicer, and can be more seamless than bundles of pre-spun twine. Although braiding loose fiber can be more time-consuming and tedious, the good news is that you don't have to worry about cutting your strings too short!

For simplicity's sake, this tutorial will assume you are working with pre-spun cordage. However the process is largely the same if you're working with loose fiber—just add more or less fiber than usual as you braid to get the same tapering effects. (I can already hear the woeful moans from the purists Roll Eyes )



Prerequisite skills necessary:
*5-Strand braid
*splitting and rejoining braids
*splicing additional material into a braid (increasing volume and make it fatter)
*Ability to taper a release cord (removing material, slimming the braid)

Materials necessary:
*At least twice the material you would normally use. The thickness of the retention cord (The only part to remain consistent it's entire length) will be around 1.5 cm thick (1/2").
*Scissors/pocket knife to trim with.
*Clips of some kind, to keep your work from unraveling when not working on it. (Clips for potato chip bags work well)



To start with, you will want to measure your strands at 3 times the OVERALL length you want the sling to be. (from loop to tassel.)
Since this tutorial is based on the 5-strand braid, you will want your material divided into 5 groups of cordage. Naturally, the number of strands per group will vary depending on your choice of cordage. To see if you have the right amount, hold the groups together, and give it a twist. The thickness of a classic yellow pencil should be just right, although it's fine if it's a wee bit thicker. This will give you a rough idea of how thick your fingerloop's braid will be. Just add or remove strands until you're satisfied. However, I'd recommend that you keep an even number of strands in each group.

You can make this sling entirely out of off-cuts if you want, but this way is a bit quicker, easier, and you won't have to splice more strands in than you need to. For example, The last sling I made was out of 2-3mm cotton butcher's twine I found at a local hardware store. I used 4 strands per group of 5—a total of 20 strands altogether. Once the finger loop was folded over, each group doubled in thickness, and so did the rest of the sling.
Back to top
« Last Edit: Oct 25th, 2013 at 12:24am by Donnerschlag »  

image_080.jpg (941 KB | )
image_080.jpg

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #1 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:49pm
 
Take these strands, and start braiding from the middle.
Back to top
 

image_081.jpg (941 KB | )
image_081.jpg

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #2 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:49pm
 
Once you have enough to make a comfortable finger loop, finish your finger loop by folding the braid over on itself.
Back to top
 

image_082.jpg (1040 KB | )
image_082.jpg

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #3 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:49pm
 
Match each pair of groups together, and blend each of them into larger groups.
Back to top
 

image_083.jpg (1101 KB | )
image_083.jpg

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #4 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:49pm
 
Match each pair of groups together, and blend each of them into larger groups.
Back to top
 

image_084.jpg (1204 KB | )
image_084.jpg

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #5 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:49pm
 
Now you may begin your retention cord, which will be twice as thick as your fingerloop.
At this point, I recommend hooking the finished loop onto something sturdy to keep some tension on the braid--like a peg, a doorknob, or even a toe! (Since this one's white, and intended for someone else, I'm using a little something to loop over my toe instead. It keeps any potential toe-dirt from getting on the loop. Wink)
Keeping your braid taught will make it much MUCH easier to keep the braid tight and consistent.

Now that you've started braiding your retention cord, continue braiding your retention cord until you're 2-3 inches from where you want the middle of your pouch to be. That will be where your pouch will start, and it will be where we split the groups in half once again.
Back to top
 

image_085.jpg (950 KB | )
image_085.jpg

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #6 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:49pm
 
Some Balearians call this part of the pouch the “knee” due to how this side of the pouch flexes to properly cradle your ammo. (And in a way, the little “X” sort of looks like a little knee-cap, but that's just me.) With a Balearic sling, this side of the pouch will be far skinnier than the thicker and stiffer release side, called the “belly.” This is done by adding more material immediately AFTER the knee is formed.

Braid to where you want the pouch to begin. Make sure you stop when the braid leaves you with two strands on the left, and three strands on the right.
Back to top
 

BL01.JPG (364 KB | )
BL01.JPG

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #7 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:49pm
 
Take the group at the top-right, and split it into two. Take one of these groups, and continue the braid like you normally would, taking care to leave the other where it is.
Back to top
 

BL02.JPG (360 KB | )
BL02.JPG

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #8 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:49pm
 
Now do the same with the upper-left side.
Back to top
 

BL03.JPG (355 KB | )
BL03.JPG

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #9 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:50pm
 
Repeat once more with the middle group on the right.
Back to top
 

BL04.JPG (329 KB | )
BL04.JPG

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #10 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:50pm
 
Here's where thing's get interesting: take the remaining unsplit group on the left (Should be the third one down), and pass it over, placing it below the upper two groups on the right. (The previously split ones.)
Back to top
 

BL05.JPG (303 KB | )
BL05.JPG

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #11 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:50pm
 
Mirror with the remaining unsplit group on the right side by passing it over so that it's the third group down on the left. The result should leave you with a most glorious “X” shape. Bow in reverence, peasant.
Back to top
 

BL06.JPG (425 KB | )
BL06.JPG

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
squirrelslinger
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


peace through superior
firepower

Posts: 2870
Ky, USA
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #12 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:51pm
 
Uuuuhhhh.... why are there no pics?
EDIT- my internet is bad and they werent loading. Awesome tutorial!
(now that pics have loaded....)
Back to top
 

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
"You don't think the electricity is off. You check it 3 times to make SURE its off"
"Remember, this is not a scalpel. It is a steel wedge that you will be slamming into knotty wood. Hone accordingly."
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #13 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:51pm
 
[I said BOW I REVERENCE, PEASANT! Angry]

Take the groups on the left side, and split the two groups as shown. Make sure the two groups below the “X” strands are on one side, and the rest the other. Take the top-most group and pass it over.
Back to top
 

BL07.JPG (2331 KB | )
BL07.JPG

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Donnerschlag
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


I put the 'K' in "Kwality"!

Posts: 1040
Portland, OR
Gender: male
Re: Balearic Sling Tutorial --Image Heavy--
Reply #14 - Oct 24th, 2013 at 4:51pm
 
Now you may continue with a normal 5-strand braid. I'm braiding these sides further than necessary for clarity, but normally 2-4 plaits should suffice. Now clamp it off, and work on the right side.
Back to top
 

BL08.JPG (307 KB | )
BL08.JPG

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that shows you tried."
-Bob Ross
 
IP Logged
 
Pages: 1 2 3 
Send Topic Print
(Moderators: Rat Man, Mauro Fiorentini, David Morningstar, Bill Skinner, Chris, Curious Aardvark, Masiakasaurus) - (Moderator Group: Forum Moderator)