Before you answer the poll question above, please read: Wow, some amazing builds presented this week by some great builders! I've actually got one to add myself, I hope you enjoy it. Now prepare for another lengthy Withak post! Greetings from the great Pacific Northwest! Withak here to reveal my latest build. As some of you may recall, I made my first attempt at micarta recently using jean material for my entry into Dolo’s Second Hand Store contest. You may also recall that my first foray into micarta was less than stellar. The results were quite disappointing, at least to me, probably to others too . I swore I would try and make some micarta again. I wasn’t sure what project to make, but it occurred to me that Independence Day (4th of July) is approaching here in the US, so why not make my next attempt something that reflects the country I’m so proud to be a citizen of. I knew I didn’t want to attempt something too advanced, I just wanted to get some decent results, something I could work with and apply to a slingshot project. So, I went with the 3 colors of the American flag: red, white and blue. This time, I used Bondo for my epoxy resin. Wow, what a difference compared to the stuff I worked with in my jean micarta attempt. The Bondo was nice and viscous, making it easier to work with. It also had a decent enough pot time that I didn’t have to rush. I had a hard time getting the paper I actually wanted for the project – getting heavier paper in those colors was actually harder than I thought. In the end, I finally found some acceptable colors. Making the micarta wasn’t too difficult. I went over some tutorials I had previously reviewed and made certain I had everything I needed in place before I began. The first few sheets of paper were a little dicey as I learned how to handle them, then things started to go more smoothly. I just kept going until it was all done, clamped it up and let it set. After about 2 hours, I opened up the form and voila, a half-decent piece of patriotic micarta! Now, what to do with it? I’ve had Joerg’s “Six Circles” design on my to do list for a while now. I really like the design. I was originally going to build this for myself as a test project, but as it turned out, I had a friend I wanted to send this to, so it became a project with a goal for someone else. That always helps me get things done – if it’s just for me, I’m likely to just let it sit, unfinished for long periods of time. I decided I would attempt to attach the micarta as scales to the Six Circles handle and see how it turned out. So, I got a copy of the Six Circle template, cut it out of some Baltic Birch Multiplex, then cut out the ‘scales’ from the sheet of micarta. I roughed up the side of the micarta and the plywood and epoxyed them together. When I released the clamps, it was clear the scales were there to stay. Next I started shaping the handle on a drum sander attached to my drill press (a dedicated drum sander would be nice, but not planned in my immediate future). As I worked my way into the handle, I could see the layers in the micarta were going to turn out fairly decent. I finished shaping the handles then went to work cleaning up the forks. It was there I made a foolish mistake, one that led to a fortunate change of plans. I did a stupid thing and grabbed my rasp rather than my file as I went to round the edges of the inside of the fork. If you’ve ever tried this before, you know the rasp will grab those upper layers and just peel them away from the lower layers. It makes for some ugly damage. Left with a face on the forks that was no longer nice and clean, I decided to try and laminate something else over the damaged area. I didn’t have much to work with – some extra multiplex, a few small pieces of oak that were the wrong size and a few pieces of scrap cedar. The cedar was already nice and flat, and since I don’t have a belt/disc sander, it would be easier to work with an already flat piece. Back to the epoxy and clamps to attach the scraps to the front of the forks. Once the cedar was secured, I carefully started to work it with my file (not my rasp) and started to form the final shape. I left the tops of the forks clear just to make attaching the bands a bit easier. Some more filing and sanding and it was ready to finish. I decided to go with tung oil on this one since I like having the polyurethane mixed with the oil, which helps me get this done a bit quicker. Prior to applying the finish, it looked a bit bland, but once that oil hit the cedar and the micarta, it really made the colors pop. I wanted to add a little extra flourish, so I decided to try something I’ve seen done on some other projects (though I can’t recall if I’ve seen it done on slingshots?) – and that was to attach the base end of a pistol cartridge – one that I shot – onto the slingshot. In this case, it’s from a spent .357 magnum cartridge. Considering the patriotic nature of this slingshot, it just seemed appropriate. When all was said and done, I could spot numerous places where I could have done a better job. There are some cut marks I just couldn't quite make disappear. Some of the joints were not as tight as they could be. But, overall, I am very pleased with the final outcome. I think the cedar actually looks pretty nice against the colored scales. As for the poll question. I need to give this a name. I want to acknowledge Joerg’s “Six Circles” as part of the name, but also want to capture the nature of the red, white and blue symbolism. So, after talking with Mrs. Withak, we came up with a few names for consideration. I’m asking for your input on the name before I make my final decision. The final name will be “Six Circles of ……” Now, on to the pictures. I hope you enjoy this latest build, I certainly enjoyed making it!