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Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length (Read 1249 times)
Eino
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Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
May 2nd, 2023 at 11:16pm
 
Hello,
This is not really a strict or detailed tutorial, just something that I've been playing around with and would like to share Smiley

To make the staff sling, I used:
- A stick (I used a 4’ (1.2m) one, I’m probably going to make a new 6’ (1.8m) staff)
- 550 Paracord (or some other type of cord)
- Sports tape (for wrapping the grip, maybe for the pouch)
- A knife, lighter, scissors, etc.

First, prepare the stick. Use stop cuts to carve a notch near the tip of the stick, about as deep as the diameter of the cord you are using. A grip can be added to the handle end with sports tape by twisting a section, wrapping that around the handle, and putting a layer of tape over it. This makes a ridged grip.

Next, prepare the pouch. This can be any type of pouch, as long as there is a loop at either end to tie the cords to. I ended up making a woven pouch.

To make the cords, cut a length of paracord a few inches longer than the desired length (my cords ended up at about 2' or 60cm in the end). Tie a loop that fits over your staff on one. This will be your release cord. On the other, tie a small loop and put the cord through it, creating a slipknot. This will be your retention cord. To keep the retention cord snug and in place, ridges such as those on the grip can be created with sports tape for the cord to rest in between. Furthermore, a knot can be tied to catch on the loop at a certain spot, preventing the slipknot from loosening.

Now, the sling is pretty much done. All that is left is to tie the cords to the pouch, making sure that the pouch hangs even. A single knot will suffice for this.

Since the cords are tied onto the pouch and not permanently fastened, you can adjust the length of them by tying higher or lower. You can also switch out staffs. I made this in an afternoon, and after a bit of testing and fine-tuning, it worked really well and was a lot of fun.
- Eino
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Once, Toivo and Eino were building a house, but as Toivo worked, he would occasionally throw a nail over his shoulder. When Eino asked why he was being so wasteful, he said, “The heads are on the wrong side!” Eino looked at him and said, “You dummy, those are for the other side of the house!”
 
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David Morningstar
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #1 - May 3rd, 2023 at 8:54am
 
That looks good, especially the carved hook.
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Eino
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #2 - May 3rd, 2023 at 10:06am
 
David Morningstar wrote on May 3rd, 2023 at 8:54am:
That looks good, especially the carved hook.

Thank you!  Grin

I noticed that you used a different hook shape in an earlier thread (http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1272993139), and I'm thinking of trying it out when I make a 6' / 1.8m staff.
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Once, Toivo and Eino were building a house, but as Toivo worked, he would occasionally throw a nail over his shoulder. When Eino asked why he was being so wasteful, he said, “The heads are on the wrong side!” Eino looked at him and said, “You dummy, those are for the other side of the house!”
 
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joe_meadmaker
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #3 - May 3rd, 2023 at 9:25pm
 
Nice work!  And good idea to use a removable pouch.

I have a couple staff slings that I don't use nearly enough.  Although I did have one out this morning.  I'm working on another one with a unique design too.
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Eino
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #4 - May 3rd, 2023 at 9:59pm
 
joe_meadmaker wrote on May 3rd, 2023 at 9:25pm:
And good idea to use a removable pouch.

Thanks! As it turns out, you need to either tie the pouch on really securely, or at least check the knots occasionally, though. The pouch came off of the retention cord, and it flew about 25 yards / 21 meters Cheesy Maybe some tape would help.

I did some testing with the taped and duct-tape pouches, and they worked about the same as the woven one.

joe_meadmaker wrote on May 3rd, 2023 at 9:25pm:
I'm working on another one with a unique design too.

Cool! Good luck  Grin
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Once, Toivo and Eino were building a house, but as Toivo worked, he would occasionally throw a nail over his shoulder. When Eino asked why he was being so wasteful, he said, “The heads are on the wrong side!” Eino looked at him and said, “You dummy, those are for the other side of the house!”
 
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StaffSlinger
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #5 - May 3rd, 2023 at 10:34pm
 
I find you don't need to cut a notch at the tip...  That way I don't weaken the tip when walking with the staff. I use a longer retention cord and toss 3 or 4 clove hitches of it a couple inches below the tip before tying the loose end of the hitch off on the main line of the cord.  If you're into Turk's head knots that works too. 
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Eino
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #6 - May 3rd, 2023 at 11:59pm
 
Thanks for the advice!

I'm definitely going to experiment with longer cords when I make a longer staff, and I'll do some testing with a unnotched tip vs. notched tip. I guess if the notched tip breaks, I just have a slightly shorter staff with an unnotched tip.

Maybe if dowels at Home Depot are cheap enough, I'll just get two to test the other notch shape and unnotched.
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Once, Toivo and Eino were building a house, but as Toivo worked, he would occasionally throw a nail over his shoulder. When Eino asked why he was being so wasteful, he said, “The heads are on the wrong side!” Eino looked at him and said, “You dummy, those are for the other side of the house!”
 
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IronGoober
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #7 - May 4th, 2023 at 10:22am
 
Good idea. Having the ability to change the cord length would have a lot of benefit. I've only played around with a few staff slings. I find them harder to use than a normal sling, currently, but want to try to get proficient enough with them to do a side by side comparison of speed/energy of release between a normal and staff sling.  Having the ability to change the cord lengths easily would certainly help me optimize.
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #8 - May 5th, 2023 at 12:25pm
 
Just make the retention cord extra long and attach it to the staff with a three loop clove hitch.
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Eino
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #9 - May 11th, 2023 at 9:48am
 
Hello,

It has been a few days, but I finally got some 6' (1.8m) dowels. The dowels are 1-5/16" (3.3cm) in diameter, and I'm not sure if this is too thick. Testing will probably show if it is too thick or not.

I finished the unnotched staff (pictured below), and will hopefully test and improve it tonight. As per StaffSlinger's suggestion, I used a clove hitch to fasten the retention cord. This works really well, better than my original method. The retention and release cords are both long, so after tying them to the pouch, I folded them and taped them along themselves.

I will test this one tonight, and work on the notched version. I will post results when I am done. Smiley
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Once, Toivo and Eino were building a house, but as Toivo worked, he would occasionally throw a nail over his shoulder. When Eino asked why he was being so wasteful, he said, “The heads are on the wrong side!” Eino looked at him and said, “You dummy, those are for the other side of the house!”
 
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Eino
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #10 - May 11th, 2023 at 10:14pm
 
I did some testing, and the new staff did not perform very well, which I attribute to its thickness and weight (it is about 2.58 times heavier than my original, shorter staff. Per foot, it is still around 1.7 times heavier). The staff takes a bit too much energy to accelerate, throw the ball, and slow down before hitting the ground, so it cannot throw to its full potential. My farthest throw was about 125' (40m), compared to the previous staff throwing up to 180' (55m).

The dowels will probably need to be thinned to reduce weight. I'm thinking of using a rasp, belt sander, a knife, or rough sandpaper. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Smiley

I had another thought: would it work well if I tapered it along its backside? Removing mass closer to the tip would probably have the most effect, while hopefully compromising strength the least. I think I've seen this on a staff in another thread.

EDIT: In this thread http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1272993139, Rat Man references using bamboo. At some point I should cut my losses and start looking for some. If thinning the dowels doesn't work, I guess I have some big sticks to play around with. Cheesy
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Once, Toivo and Eino were building a house, but as Toivo worked, he would occasionally throw a nail over his shoulder. When Eino asked why he was being so wasteful, he said, “The heads are on the wrong side!” Eino looked at him and said, “You dummy, those are for the other side of the house!”
 
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #11 - May 11th, 2023 at 10:35pm
 
I was going to mention that staff diameter!  My walking sticks (I have several) run 48-60" (mostly 48-50) x 3/4" to 1" diameter (I use natural tapering branches rather than milled dowels.  I regularly get 100 yards with golf balls.  The staff pictured is right at 50".

I'd use a belt sander to round-taper the dowels

For the most lightweight staff, check out garden centers for 3/4" to 1" diameter bamboo poles.  Use the natural joints for the ends; or one end then cut to the length you prefer and carve a wooden peg to fill the cavity on the other end. 

When throwing, think about casting with a fishing rod, and force the staff to stop at waist high rather than following through.
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Eino
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #12 - May 11th, 2023 at 11:02pm
 
Thank you for the tips!

Since it's nice out today, and supposed to be nice tomorrow, I'll start on tapering the dowels on the belt sander.

I never thought of going to garden centers for sticks for some reason...my mind went straight to curtain rods... Now I know where to get my next staff!
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Once, Toivo and Eino were building a house, but as Toivo worked, he would occasionally throw a nail over his shoulder. When Eino asked why he was being so wasteful, he said, “The heads are on the wrong side!” Eino looked at him and said, “You dummy, those are for the other side of the house!”
 
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Eino
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #13 - May 13th, 2023 at 10:25pm
 
I haven't gotten around to belt-sanding the dowel yet, but I did go to home depot and got another staff. I looked for bamboo, but I couldn't find any of the correct diameter. Instead, I found a replacement tool handle that is 60" with a 1" diameter, so I got it to try out.

Once I get the pouch attached, I will do some testing and post the results.
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Once, Toivo and Eino were building a house, but as Toivo worked, he would occasionally throw a nail over his shoulder. When Eino asked why he was being so wasteful, he said, “The heads are on the wrong side!” Eino looked at him and said, “You dummy, those are for the other side of the house!”
 
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Eino
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Re: Making a Staff Sling with adjustable cord length
Reply #14 - May 13th, 2023 at 11:55pm
 
I got some tennis balls about 180-190'-ish (55-58-ish meters). Sometime, I will need to go to an empty park and try out golf balls, as they sound pretty fun to throw and would probably fit in my primary rock-sling.
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Once, Toivo and Eino were building a house, but as Toivo worked, he would occasionally throw a nail over his shoulder. When Eino asked why he was being so wasteful, he said, “The heads are on the wrong side!” Eino looked at him and said, “You dummy, those are for the other side of the house!”
 
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