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Anyone here use one.

Don't care for Youtube references unless it is yours.

Make your own atlatl and darts?

Suggestions on design/materials?

Sites with technical design details, dimensions, materials.

Any suggestions, need something new to try and I prefer to make my own.



Don't limit your challenges . . .
Challenge your limits


 
Posts: 4101 | Location: TN USA | Registered: 17 March 2002Reply With Quote
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Louis, I make and use atlatls, although I have not tossed any darts in about a year.
You are in Tennessee, I take it, and that should give you access to river cane for dart material. I prefer red osier dogwood for this as it yields a smoother dart with a natural taper. With river cane, you will need to add a "foot" section of wood that gives you more weight forward, unless, that is, you plan to tip your dart with a flint or obsidian point.
Most of my atlatls are simple modifications of the classic basketmaker. The simple one in the center, of juniper, is my favorite.



The World Atlatl Forums here at Paleo Planet are ground zero. Great stuff. Go to the tutorial section for more info.

http://paleoplanet.net/

Thud's Cave is also great. The throwing board in the photo is based on a plan from this site.

http://www.thudscave.com/npaa/designs/

I can say I have hunted with an atlatl -- unsuccessfuly -- for rabbits. Mostly it was an excuse to wander around in the sage brush in nothing but mocs and a loin cloth. Inner child stuff.

Cool


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14773 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Funny you should mention the cane as that is waht kind of got my interest piqued. I was driving down SR 840 the other day and saw a patch growing and thoutht, that would make the shafts for darts.

Then the other day I was bang around in the woods here and found some heart cedar and something told to remember where it as as I would have a use for it in the future.

I will also include some bison leg bone in it.

Some of the "branches from my hazelnuts seem to be pretty straight, although they may be too flexible.

Gonna go cobble something together to test and then figure what I need to provide finesse.

Thanx,



Don't limit your challenges . . .
Challenge your limits


 
Posts: 4101 | Location: TN USA | Registered: 17 March 2002Reply With Quote
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Louis, good luck. Atlatls are still cool tools all these millennia later!
Hazel makes a pretty nice shaft, too, by the way. Most of the willow I have messed with doesn't want to remain straight once straightened, but heat straightening might be a more permanent treatment.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14773 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Just a couple of things. I don't work with atlatl, but I know guys who do and I researched it a lot for a while. Atlatls are far more difficult to use well than a bow and arrow. It all about experience and skill. A bow and arrow is much more of a plug and play tool.
The dart and throwing stick all need to be tuned to work together just like with a stick bow and arrow. Guys often stand their potential dart on a scale and press down in it until it bends. I *think* they often like about 6 lbs of pressure to get it to bend. That gives it the right spine. Anyway, I'm just saying it is not as uncomplicated as it looks at first.






Sand Creek November 29 1864
 
Posts: 1511 | Location: cul va | Registered: 25 October 2004Reply With Quote
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Frank, I like my darts to "spine" at 7 pounds. You are right: getting a matched set to work well and consistently takes some effort, then there is actually learning to throw accurately.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14773 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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I was talking to a doctor recently who says he wants to get a recurve to shoot just for the enjoyment of it. He said he thought he would enjoy it more than a compound, more natural, but he was having a hard time putting into words what he expected. I explained that I have home made stick bows and arrows and also shot a compound in competition for years. I do indeed think there is something that feels more "natural?" about shooting a wood bow vs a compound. It's sort of like all of that bowhunting our ancestors did is built into our genetics and so shooting a stick bow is very familiar and comfortable for reasons I don't really understand. I think the atlatl goes further down that path where it is a human using a flexing stick and the brain starts doing a hundred calculations per second to make it go into just the right place. And when done well it is very satisfying. I wish I had your patience. I've seen some guys make some great shots with atlatl. And I've seen video of australian natives hitting kangaroo with them, LOTS of penetration. It's a really good "one gun for the whole planet" kind of thing. Please post pics and stuff if you are inclined. I find it fascinating.






Sand Creek November 29 1864
 
Posts: 1511 | Location: cul va | Registered: 25 October 2004Reply With Quote
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I think my first one may well end up being like the fourth from the left in Bill/Oregon's picture.

A lot will depend on what I find when I wander the woods tomorrow.
I cut some cherry from a down tree yesterday, but may wait and use it when I have a little more knowledge what I am doing and what "feels right" in my hand.

I am making one SWAG that correct feel will be just like with a knife handle . . .
Many will work, but some feel "right, NOT unlike how someone taught me how to determine if a rock is/was a hammerstone, of just a rock with some surface fractures.



Don't limit your challenges . . .
Challenge your limits


 
Posts: 4101 | Location: TN USA | Registered: 17 March 2002Reply With Quote
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Louis, the fourth one from the left is hazel. After I finish carving these, I like to burnish them with horsetail (equicetum), a plant which being mostly silica makes a marvelous finish sandpaper, then tickle them a bit with a torch or over a fire, and finally rub in either beeswax or beaver oil.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14773 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Bill could you make darts from hardware store bought hardwood dowel?


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Posts: 7610 | Location: Bloody Queensland where every thing is 20 years behind the rest of Australia! | Registered: 25 January 2001Reply With Quote
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Tony
IF thinking Tas Oak dowel ..............the difficulty is finding some straight grained , otherwise the first major impact on the practice field & it will shear down the grain.

The longer the dowel the worse the problem.

The beauty of cane is the longitudinal grain .
 
Posts: 493 | Registered: 01 September 2010Reply With Quote
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I don't think we have a suitable cane down here. Maybe I should look for some bamboo?


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Posts: 7610 | Location: Bloody Queensland where every thing is 20 years behind the rest of Australia! | Registered: 25 January 2001Reply With Quote
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Bakes, bamboo will work fine. You may have to weight the "foot" or add a foot made of heavier hardwood to get proper flight characteristics.
Hardware store dowels are a huge disappointment and fly like bricks. You want a sinuous dart snaking through the air.
You have some of the best atlatlists in the world in Australia, of course.
Here, Tom Mills is throwing darts of arrundo donax. Watch closely and you will see them flex.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGFuOgVG3js

More great shots:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGhnZ3tHU08


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14773 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Thanks Bill. We actually have our combat survival school here at my base. I'll ask them whats around that will be suitable. I want to make an atlatl and hunt a pig with it.


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A mate of mine has just told me he's shagging his girlfriend and her twin. I said "How can you tell them apart?" He said "Her brother's got a moustache!"
 
Posts: 7610 | Location: Bloody Queensland where every thing is 20 years behind the rest of Australia! | Registered: 25 January 2001Reply With Quote
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One of the fellows on Paleoplanet -- "Fiddler" from Alaska -- killed a moose with his.
By the way, Bakes, I have had good results with darts that "spine" at about 7 pounds or 3.1 kilograms. You test this by putting your dart tip on a scale and pushing down on the other end with your finger, looking for the weight where the dart starts to bow out.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14773 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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cool thanks Bill. I did see that on a you tube clip. Sort of like looking for the spine on a fishing rod.


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A mate of mine has just told me he's shagging his girlfriend and her twin. I said "How can you tell them apart?" He said "Her brother's got a moustache!"
 
Posts: 7610 | Location: Bloody Queensland where every thing is 20 years behind the rest of Australia! | Registered: 25 January 2001Reply With Quote
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Hey, Bakes and Bill! Was just now being tempted to embark on a similar mission! My old mate from Bulman used-to kill buffalo with his woomera and spear when he was a young bloke... Thought I'd like to try it.
 
Posts: 1077 | Location: NT, Australia | Registered: 10 February 2011Reply With Quote
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Ben, please document your woomera journey and share it!


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14773 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Ben I got these off a mate who is a nurse in Arnhem Land. Some of the locals made them up for me. They should do the trick for buff Wink



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A mate of mine has just told me he's shagging his girlfriend and her twin. I said "How can you tell them apart?" He said "Her brother's got a moustache!"
 
Posts: 7610 | Location: Bloody Queensland where every thing is 20 years behind the rest of Australia! | Registered: 25 January 2001Reply With Quote
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https://youtu.be/WNq_pqUEcb8


577 BME 3"500 KILL ALL 358 GREMLIN 404-375

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Posts: 27492 | Location: Where tech companies are trying to control you and brainwash you. | Registered: 29 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Boomie, great video link. Thank you for posting it.
It costs but $15US to join the World Atlatl Association, for those with an interest.
https://worldatlatl.org/


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14773 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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