Monday, April 30, 2012

First pics from the MK2 Sawblade shooter

As I mentioned before, the Discovery Channel wants to film my saw blade shooter and asked for improvements.

Well, here it is - it shoots well! It is basically a clay pigeon shooter attached to a rifle stock.

The blade is held in place by a magnet. I found that the blade will drop to the left after each shot, but I solved that problem by attaching the throwing lever angled to the right. Now it shoots beautifully straight, with a nice spin!

The power house behind this is a very strong spring. 

This locks in place like a break barrel air rifle. It has a veeery simple, but functional trigger. Kicks like a mule!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Microscopes are fun!

I achieved great results by using a strong flashlight, shining in at different angles.

Here, the proboscis of a tick (that is the hollow sucking spear that the insect rams into your skin to suck the blood out of you):

Here is the leg of the tick:

And here is the eye of an ant:

I think it is amazing what this little 130 Euro microscope can achieve. The flashlight lighting brings out the colors and detauls - amazing!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Microscoping Thera Band Gold

OK, after the successful but a bit silly "office supplies weapons", back to science.

I always wanted to microscope rubber, and found a cheap but powerful microscope on amazon.

See the product on

It has an LCD screen and can save pics and vids to an SD card, it even has a USB port.

When it arrived, I first tested it with some of the preparates that came with the product.

Leg of housefly at 400x:

Onion, at 200x and 400x:

Pine wood, at 10x, 100x and 400x:

My own blood, at 400x up to 1600x:

Not so bad!

So I went along and made two preparations, one from stretched rubber and one from relaxed rubber. I had to put the stretched rubber between two pieces of scotch tape so it would stay stretched, of course.

The result is stunning! See the coiled up fibres (those can't be the polymers, you need an atomic microscope to see those):

Now see the stretched TB Gold, again in various zoom factors (the last one is 1600x):

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Discovery Channel ante portas: Thoughts about shooting circular saw blades

In about a week, a camera team from the UK will visit me in order to shoot some footage for the Discovery Channel International.

They love the circular saw blade shooter, and I agreed that I will try to enhance it for them - so they can show stuff that has never been seen before.

The obvious way to enhace this humongous and next-to-useless thing

is to get rid of the wooden dowel.

But how to do that? Well, I think a whole new approach is required.

My new concept follows the principle of simple one-shot clay pigeon throwers. Basically a spring loaded lever that swings out, shooting the saw blade like the clay pigeon thrower shoots clay pigeons.


Of course I want to make a "rifle" that can be shot from the shoulder. 

I already did some tests, with two boards and a bit of rubber. It works! I have ordered some really strong springs and did some sketches. Will put the weapon together over the long weekend (Tuesday is a holiday, and I have a day off on Monday).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to weaponize office supplies

A while ago, I was asked by the popular format "Businessweek" to make a "How To" for their series of such articles. My specific task was "How to make weapons from office supplies".

Now an office is paradise for the eager makeshift weapons maker! Lots of heavy, sharp things around. So I started to play a bit - here are the results.

A part of the video - the pencil shooter - was actually published by them, the other weapons have probably been too effective (= scary lawsuit magnets) - they did not use it.

Watch it on

But for my true fans - here is the full "director's cut"!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Slingtaurus

This new frame is my (off the record) entry for the great zodiac sign slingshot contest!

Find the rules and prizes here

It is also one of the prizes for the winner of this month - "The Bull".

The handle is European Dogwood, almost fully covered with cow hide. The leather is glued on creaslessly, the seam is fused. Rock hard.

The "face" is Thuja wood, with Svarovski crystals as pupils.Painted the eyes and nostrils alarm red.

The fork is Multiplex. I inked and oiled it so it matches the color of the Thuja.

This whole design is based on this picture of a male African buffalo - monsters that  can weigh 1,000 kg (2200 lb).

This is a very functional hammergrip shooter - actually, the grip is really comfortable. 

My take looks like this:

Friday, April 20, 2012

A new era?

I just picked up a parcel from customs... the guys at sent me a prototype of their upcoming "Raptor" compound slingshot.

Wow... just wow!

This is a well designed, perfectly machined cutting edge compound bow.... but it uses rubber as energy storage media, and it shoots steel balls (held by a rare earth magnet) as well as arrows!

This is brutally fast (haven't clocked it yet), and totally accurate (thanks to the professional 3D sights).

I believe this weapon takes slingshots to a new level. Can't wait for the weekend, for further tests!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Two new videos

Two short videos instead of one longer version, simply because the content is so different.

First, my take on shooting paintballs with the slingshot... believe it or not, I got 102,5 m/s (336 fps) with a conventional frame (extremely tapered TBG, one layer).

Next, here is the video about the new "Three Spikes" design:


Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Three Spikes" - steel meets black palm wood

When I gave Lynn Thompson (founder and owner of Cold Steel) his aluminum Moorhammer, he immediately said "Can't you add a spike to the handle?".

I said sure, but you loose some of the compactness. We discussed the issue no more.

But then I thought about the idea. It has been a while since I made my last welded steel frame, so I decided to give it a shot.

This three spiked hand weapon has a Hammerhead handle, simply because it is the best. I had to modify it a bit to accomodate the 12 mm (1/2") stainless steel rod, but it still is the real deal.

This frame required a different band attachment, Over The Top does not work for obvious reasons :)
I chose a through the fork design, slightly angled so the bands do not touch the main fork arms.

It is a fearsome hand weapon, really. And it shoots really well!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A birthday well spent

New video is online! It was my birthday, and I we drove over to Tobias's place for some fun shooting and a full blown party later on.

The walkback slingshot was presented in an earlier video already, but due to the lack of space it wasn't tested with steel balls before.

This test - requested by many viewers - was now performed. Watch how the team warms up and the reliably hit the hay bail from 44 yards distance!

The heavy steel ball goes in about two feet.

This weapon is highly portable and very powerful.

Also, as requested by the audience, the chest plate "Massacre Master" slingshot is tested on longer distances, too - with nice results.

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Massacre Master" upgraded

I upped the rubber for the chest plate crossbow.

It now has 68 kg (150 lb) of a draw. Major speed improvement! I am still not at my limit, but this by all means is a heavy draw weight. 6 bands of TB Gold per side, 10 cm (fork) and 6 cm (pouch). That means a total of 60 cm x 36 cm. Or 3,5 full TB Gold sheets per side.

I made my own crossbow string from Dacron. This one has 115 strands! It is as tough as a horsewhip.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Home made crossbow string

The pencil shooter and its big brother, the chest plate crossbow, both need a string to propel the projectile.

I used paracord until now. But truth be told I wasn't happy with the results. The inevitable chafing killed the string far too early, even though I polished all surfaces the string comes into contact with.

So I went to the arbalist guild forum and found the solution: The trusted traditional method.

Watch a master at work here

I made myself a miniature crossbow string rig. This is needed as the procedure requires that the string is under strain why you wrap it. Then I took my 40 kg polypropylene string I always use for pouch attachments, and made this first version of a mini crossbow string from six strands, "served" with a seventh.

It is amazing how it feels, very very hard, and you can even bend it into shape like it would have a copper wire core.

Well waxed, it should survive a long time. I have ordered genuine Dacron, which is a lot thinner, and should give me even better results.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Slingshot Channel's New Truck!

2005 Dodge RAM SRT-10, 506 hp, 10 cylinder (Viper) engine.

Dodge did to the pickup what I did to slingshots...

I LOVE that car. Just love it. Always wanted it. Now I have it. Yipee!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Natural "inked" dogwood shooter

One more frame from the bunch of dogwood forks I harvested last year. This time, the fork was much smaller with less room for carving, and the fork was irregular with one arm thicker than the other one. 

I made a small, but distinctively "hammerhead handled" piece. It may not look like it, but the height over the head is the same as on the Hammerhead - it looks higher because of the width of the Hammerhead fork.

Dogwood is dense, heavy and strong, but very pale. Almost like bone. So I inked the frame with blue ink and repolished - I just love that blue look, like a satellite photo of an island group in the Carribean. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Making of" pics

The barrel - a length of aluminum tube, with one side partly cut out. 

Glued into a multiplex rod.

Here you see the magazine, roughly finished. 

 The underside of the magazine before the glueing to the barrel assembly.
 The semi finished slide assembly.

 Handles attached. Release nook glued in place.
The bolts - aluminum rods, turned stainless steel tips, heat shrunk insertion

 Finished bolts