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Making my first atlatl (Read 217 times)
Slyngorm
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Making my first atlatl
Nov 9th, 2020 at 12:27pm
 
I started out by finding a stick with a "hook" thinking that its natural shape would be fit for making an atlatl with nothing else. Then I sharpened the hook so that it would hold spears. The next two days I painted my atlatl with rape seed and olive oil. It received about 15-20 something layers. Paracord was wrapped around the one end both to keep it from splitting and to make a handle. Now it was ready.


Aaaaand it didn't work very well.
The sticks I attempted to launch slid right out of the hook. In hindsight it might have been more of a question of my throwing technique but I end up first beating a nail into the stick and sawing the rest of the hook off. To add I very tightly wrapped more paracord around the other end to keep it from splitting and for the nail not to slide back out. 

Now this worked really well. After throwing small sticks I  found a long, slender "spear" and that really showed the atlatl's power.
With my extremely limited experience with the atlatl vs my extremely limited experience with throwing javelins the atlatl enabled me to easily throw the spear longer and with more power than by hand. I also managed to get a couple of pretty stable throws though most tumbled through the air. 

All in all using an atlatl is a really awesome feeling and I can definitely see that it can compete with the bow in some aspects. Using negligible effort, resources and time (in total: a few tips from here, a stick, paracord, a nail and 3 hours time over 3 days) I made a weapon that with a little more effort could hunt down a mammoth and I will definitely work more with this.


Now the nail got bent a bit so I may tie some more rope around it to not bent it further (that will work, right?).

Now, any tips for how one would go about making a better atlatl?
My atlatl was a little under 45 cm long but should an atlatl be longer?
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StoneHuevos
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Re: Making my first atlatl
Reply #1 - Nov 13th, 2020 at 8:21pm
 
Woah! Amazing! Did you video it?
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Slyngorm
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Re: Making my first atlatl
Reply #2 - Nov 17th, 2020 at 10:22am
 
No, not yet at least.
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Morphy
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Checkmate

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Re: Making my first atlatl
Reply #3 - Nov 18th, 2020 at 6:21am
 
Straight stick craved to shape is what I've done. I'm no expert Bill is the man you want to talk to on this one.
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The worst times create the greatest growth. Those beaten down the most eventually become strong enough to lift others up the most.
 
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Slyngorm
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Re: Making my first atlatl
Reply #4 - Nov 18th, 2020 at 8:42am
 
I've since making this post realized that the weight of the spear bends the nail. It probably wont hold but I tied another piece of paracord around the nail so it wont bend no more.

Morphy wrote on Nov 18th, 2020 at 6:21am:
I'm no expert Bill is the man you want to talk to on this one.

Bill Skinner I'll wager?
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Morphy
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Checkmate

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Re: Making my first atlatl
Reply #5 - Nov 18th, 2020 at 10:14am
 
Yep the man himself. He knows a lot about these types of things. And he grows old corn. You can't beat that kind of knowledge.
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The worst times create the greatest growth. Those beaten down the most eventually become strong enough to lift others up the most.
 
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Making my first atlatl
Reply #6 - Nov 18th, 2020 at 12:23pm
 
Go to Paleoplanet, all the way at the bottom of the sub forum section is a section dedicated to Atlatls. 

There are several How to's on there.

They will range from simple to pretty complex.

Also, they have articles about making darts, which is actually the hard part.
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vetryan15
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Re: Making my first atlatl
Reply #7 - Nov 20th, 2020 at 2:22pm
 
Here is a website with A TON of information

http://www.thudscave.com/npaa/index.htm
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Slyngorm
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Re: Making my first atlatl
Reply #8 - Nov 24th, 2020 at 5:17am
 
Thanks for the links!
Gonna read through them both.
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