Woodworker's Journal 101-Projects-for-Woodworkers, страница 19




Woodworker

Two Boomerangs

There's something almost magical in the flight of a boomerang. It is merely a piece of wood, but yet, when shaped and thrown properly, the boomerang will take off" on a straight line, go into a climbing swing to the left, and then drift back to its point of release. Each boomerang has its own unique flight characteristics, and seemingly identical models will perform in different ways.

Although similar types developed separately in Africa, India, and among the Hopi Indians of Arizona, the familiar boomerang is invariably associated with the Australian aborigines, who used them for hunting. Actually, there arc quite

a few wooden devices that will describe a circular flight and return to the thrower. Of these devices, which we shall refer to collectively as "boomerangs," the Australian model is perhaps the least predictable in its behavior. It is also the most difficult to make, and certainly the most dangerous to use, for it is capable of inflicting serious injury.

Simple cross-stick and pinwheel boomerangs can be carved from thin pine in a matter of minutes, and will outperform the Australian types with respect to accuracy and precision return. (Jnlike the heavy, fast-moving Australian boomerang, the cross-sticks do not require a vast open space for throwing.

Australian Boomerang

The Australian version must be made of clear, even-grained hardwood, and oak, maple, or ash is suitable. Lay out and cut the shaded portion of the boomerang from or 1" stock: then rip the piece lengthwise to get two perfectly identical wings. A band or scroll saw will cut a narrower kerf, leaving two pieces of about thickncss. Cut a half-lap joint on each piece, leaving the top lap a little thicker than the bottom to allow for the shaping of the top surface. Glue the two wings together using a form with two V blocks to force the wings into a permanent upward deflection of Yk" to Sand or plane a bevel on the bottom of each leading edge as indicated by the

dotted lines on the drawing. Remove no more than 'At" of wood for a distance of 5" from the tips.

Now turn the boomerang over, clamp it to the bench, and plane and rasp the top surface from about %" thick at the center to '//' thick at the wing tips. Round the top surface into a smooth curve with a sharp edge as shown in the cross section. Smooth up with sandpaper.

The curved boomerang is thrown in a vertical position. Hold it at the end of one wing tip, with the curved top side facing you and throw it straight forward at shoulder level, giving it wrist action for a fast spin. An average boomerang will

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