My First Natural (actually my 2nd)

Discussion in 'Show off your homemades!' started by Withak, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    Okay, here's my first natural reveal. It's actually my 2nd, because the first is on its way to Dolomite for the Global Trade 2013. I have been working on these side by side.

    This piece is from a fig tree in our yard. I wasn't sure how this wood would do for a slingshot. It was really wet when I cut it. As some of you may recall, I attempted my first speed dry in a microwave, which worked out really well - no cracks in the fork whatsoever. There was also concern expressed that fig may not be strong enough for a slingshot, but I can tell this is plenty strong. I've currently got it banded with a single layer of TBG, but I think it could handle at least a double layer.

    I've got finger grooves cut for TTF shooting. I finished it with several coats of BLO as well as several coats of spray poly, with some sanding in-between coats. Finally, I finished it off with some 0000 steel wool to give it a very smooth finish as well as to knock down some of the glossiness of the poly.

    I call this one the White Flame. The fig wood doesn't have a lot of character itself, it's kind of a plain wood. Even BLO doesn't do much to it, it stays very light in color. As I was filing and sanding, I decided to leave some of the sub-layers of bark to give it more interest. At the base there was an area of this remaining bark that kind of ended up in the shape of a flame. It was completely accidental, it just formed as I was sanding, but I liked it, so I left it alone.

    Let me know what you think.

    The original cut:

    [​IMG]

    Initial stripping:

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    Drying - it lost quite a bit of water weight:

    [​IMG]

    Pre-finish - you can see the 'flame' at the base:

    [​IMG]

    The finished slingshot:

    [​IMG]

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    You'll have to wait until the Global Trade reveal to see my first natural via Dolomite. Until then, I'd love to hear what you think. It's no Saderath natural, but I'm pretty pleased. And yes, it shoots great!:D
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  2. dolomite

    dolomite Banned

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    nice! can't wait to get mine:cool:. btw, nice binding on the bands. progressing quickly you are (i guess yoda quotes don't work well without the voice).
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013

  3. Arturo Borquez

    Arturo Borquez Administrator

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    wow, amazing results, congrats to the builder and the happy new owner :D, for sideways I bet a very good shooter ...
    Cheers
    Arturo
     
  4. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    Thanks Dolomite. I have no problem filling in the Yoda voice for myself! I do hope you like yours, I can say for myself I was very pleased with how it turned out.

    As for the bands, I can only claim the work on the fork end. This particular band set was one I bought pre-made before I got my own pieces of TBG and some pouches from Rayshot. The bands on your are my first complete band sets from scratch, so I hope they live up to the standards many others have set.
     
  5. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    Thank you Arturo! I can only hope to develop my shooting skills up to your level some day.
     
  6. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    Thanks AngelicScars! We'll look forward to seeing your first share.
     
  7. Brazilviking

    Brazilviking Thread Hijacker

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    I Like the assymetrical frame! Can be usefull for shooting! Nice one!
     
  8. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    Thanks BV! I had originally intended it to be strictly a side shooter, but when I took it out for testing, found it was just as comfortable OTT. I seem to have a large number of asymmetrical forks in my yard, so I'm learning to work with what I have. Still looking for a really nice symmetrical fork up in the trees somewhere :)
     
  9. dolomite

    dolomite Banned

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    look to the oaks for symmetry. don't know if you have live oak up there but it isn't crazy hard to find perfection, also don't worry about a couple wormholes in live oak as it's still structurally strong with them. I am also reminded of the girl who said, "momma you dun tot me gud" right before being pushed down a well...symmetry(bo burnham).:D
     
  10. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    We do have oaks here, but I'll have to look for those away from my property. I've got access, just on my property (about 1/2 acre) to: maple (various varieties), douglas fir (probably not a good choice), apple, pear, fig, chestnut, cherry, rhododendron, and even a large wisteria that may provide some usable forks. I will keep an eye out for oak though, they do grow in our area. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  11. dolomite

    dolomite Banned

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    Sorry,I meant to say "california" live oak, they only get about a foot across if they're huge. and shiny bark like somewhat like fig. if you have those that's where the good oak forks are. It'll dull a saw chain right quick, it's so hard. If you don't have 'em, I'll send you one when my wallet recovers a bit from international shipping,lol.
     
  12. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    Not sure if we have those here. Most of the type I've seen (we had one in our yard growing up) is the Oregon White Oak. I've never tried to make anything from them, so I don't know how hard it is on tools. I can say the cherry I have here is really hard on my tools. It is really tough to shape. I'm working on a piece right now and I'm having a tough time working my way down into the wood, I'm hoping it will be nice when I'm done.

    I can appreciate the shipping cost thing. I do Ebay sales occasionally, and I've messed up on my shipping cost estimates before, which means I cover the difference for my customers, and overseas, that can be costly. If you like the extra unfinished fork I sent you with your slingshot, maybe we can trade an unfinished fork - something I have that you may not have access to for one of those live CA oak forks - when both wallets are ready, of course ;)
     
  13. Jeremy

    Jeremy Senior member who totally rocks a pink Scout! Pink

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    I wish I had access to natural forks, I live in suburban hell with very few trees.
     
  14. bigjim

    bigjim New Member

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    I like it .
    Nice and smooth .
    :):):)
     
  15. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    Though I've got good access to tree forks, someone suggested to me to look at things such as large rhododendron bushes and other hardwood bushes. I've got a large rhody in my yard that has a few decent forks in it (I'm just not allowed to cut that deep just yet). I would expect in Utah you wouldn't be too far from an area where you might be able to find a few. I've been to Utah, I seem to recall seeing some nice trees off in the distance from the city. Hopefully you can track some down!
     
  16. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    Thank you. Lots of sandpaper and finally 0000 steel wool to finish of the poly.
     
  17. dolomite

    dolomite Banned

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    E, sounds good to me. I'll start looking for a good one. I don't have a microwave but i've got 40lbs of rocksalt. BV's manzanita made the salt wet to the touch, it was raining when I found the fork.
     
  18. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    I don't think you'll have to worry about drying the spare fork I sent you. It's already quite dry, should be ready to work right away. The fig I worked for this slingshot, I think I could have squeezed water out of that one.
     
  19. dolomite

    dolomite Banned

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    That manzanita was so wet that 4 forks with ends sealed with wax detonated while sitting on my bench at room temp. Cracks were so big you could fit theonewhoshallnotbenamed's ego in them:eek:. slab material now. the oak was in salt the whole time and is in perfect shape.