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Greetings from the "sunny" south shore of Lake Ontario (Read 273 times)
kgsaturn
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Greetings from the "sunny" south shore of Lake Ontario
Dec 4th, 2023 at 12:49pm
 
Hi, my name is Keith. I stumbled upon slinging through a circuitous and accidental route. I develop odd interests and hobbies through coincidence and tangents. I saw a video of a Ren Faire performer doing a show using whips. The YouTube algorithm being what it is, more whip videos, and then whip-making videos, started showing up in my feed. That seemed intriguing, so I started down the path of my Side Quest of making paracord whips. This led to more whip-making videos, some specifically on making whip crackers. Major tangent: putting whip crackers on slings! I already had plenty of paracord on hand from making paracord whips, so I made a couple of slings (one for me and one for my girlfriend), and we set out to sling rocks and black walnuts into Lake Ontario. The design I followed for making these slings had a crown knot about six inches down the release cord from the pouch to reduce the strands from six to four. The black walnuts stained the slings and showed me that the crown knot on the release cord was interfering with the projectiles. So I started applying what I learned from whip making to go from a flat braid to a round plait and reduce strands by dropping them to the core one at a time to get a smooth taper. So, as you see, my Side Quests feed each other...

I am amazed that what I once thought was a niche weapon from a Bible story is universal. It's interesting to discover each culture that used slings and how their designs were determined by the materials they had on hand. I look forward to learning more as I dig and read through the forum.
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kgsaturn
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Re: Greetings from the "sunny" south shore of Lake Ontario
Reply #1 - Dec 4th, 2023 at 12:54pm
 
The blue and yellow was my first sling, made for my girlfriend in the colors of her choice. I followed a YouTube video that used crown knots to reduce strands. We later discovered that the crown knot at the six strand to four strand reduction interferes with the release of the projectile.

Here is the video I followed for the first and third slings: https://youtu.be/7SsEmSyphkw?si=Y5drUJdxSx6pwouE

The second was made with scrap leather and leftover blue paracord. I made it with long strands with the idea of experimenting with the length by adjusting the finger loop and release knot positions. The leather is stiff, so it didn't hold the projectile well until I dampened and shaped it.

The third sling I call my "Avocado Sling" (because of the color, I haven't tried slinging avocados with it.) I made a critical error in starting with strands that were too short. Since it is paracord, I was able to fuse extensions where needed and I staggared them to reduce the chances of a critical failure. Both the and the blue sling were made with a simple split pouch and I later added a Practical Paracord style "smiley" to each to help with retaining the projectiles (beach stones and black walnuts at that point.)

With the orange sling, I took my observations of the failings in the design of the blue and avocado slings and applied techniques I learned in making paracord whips to gradually taper from a six strand (three pairs of two) plait to a round plait, dropping strands to the core until I got to four strands with no core, finishing with a fall hitch as a retention knot. I left one strand long and added a popper to it, but haven't been getting cracks when I sling. (I'm still learning to sling, I'm focusing on accuracy more than power, so I'm not concerned about cracking.) This one grips the projectiles well, so I didn't add the smiley.

Sling number five. My girlfriend liked the orange sling, and had me make the black one for her, with a "smiley." Noticing that the part of the smiley that connects the two strokes of the "X" would sometimes wrap around (a minor annoyance, but could interfere with the ammo) I added a stitch to the middle of it. It kinda puts a snaggletooth in the smile.

Noticing that the plaited slings were heavy and a little stiff, I took another page out of the paracord whip making book and removed the cores from the paracord. I like how this one turned out, but the lack of the cores did change the way the six strand (2x3) plait laid making it rounder than the others. I also tried a six strand plait from the pouch to the release, but it wouldn't lay flat (I suspect due to an even number of strands vs. an odd number of strands. I unbraided the flat braid and replaited it 2x3, the transition to a five strand round plait, and reduced strands in the same way as the orange and black slings. Although the split pouch is the same length as the orange, tennis balls fell through the slit, so I added a "snaggletooth smiley."

Not pictured are my two attempts at an Egyptian style sling made by twinging over twigs. I'm not really happy with how they came out...
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joe_meadmaker
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Re: Greetings from the "sunny" south shore of Lake Ontario
Reply #2 - Dec 4th, 2023 at 5:35pm
 
Welcome from Pennsylvania!

Great story about how you came to find slinging. Thumbs Up

And nice looking slings.  Sounds like you're applying new techniques each time, which is certainly part of the process.
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Caspian
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Re: Greetings from the "sunny" south shore of Lake Ontario
Reply #3 - Dec 4th, 2023 at 8:44pm
 
Welcome from California! Very nice slings!

That's cool that you came from whipmaking; I've always wanted to try making a paracord whip but I've never gotten around to it. Might be a handy skill for me to pick up hehe.

Indeed, slings do have a rich history across many many cultures throughout the world with fascinating differences. Could study slings for ages and still have things to learn!

Glad to have you here!
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For thus says the LORD: “Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it.”
 
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Rat Man
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Re: Greetings from the "sunny" south shore of Lake Ontario
Reply #4 - Dec 5th, 2023 at 8:20am
 
Good looking slings.  Welcome to the forum from New Jersey.
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Eino
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Re: Greetings from the "sunny" south shore of Lake Ontario
Reply #5 - Dec 6th, 2023 at 10:04am
 
Welcome, and great looking slings! 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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Rat Man
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Re: Greetings from the "sunny" south shore of Lake Ontario
Reply #6 - Dec 6th, 2023 at 3:22pm
 
And a new guy made his picture actually fit on the page.  Sweet!
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