Monday, September 16, 2013

Roughing out a few Atlatls

Maple atlatls with antler spurs
I set aside the Beothuk bow project for the day and switched to atlatls and ochre staining.  I have a couple quick jobs that I want to finish up before I return to the bow later in the week.  One of these atlatls will be going to a client in Alberta, but I'll be hanging on to the others for the time being.  I'm hoping that some of these will be used in a public event here in St. John's in a few weeks, but I can't say for certain now. I'll finish a couple with epoxy and artificial sinew to make them a little more durable and weather-proof and the others I'll tie together with gut and hide glue.   I'll probably make a stone weight for one or two of them as well.

The four atlatls are all similar designs based on plains atlatls and are all more or less the length of my forearm, from the tip of my fingers to my elbow.  They are made from maple, with moose antler spurs.  At this point they are roughed out enough that I can duct tape the spurs in place and test them out on darts to make sure that all the spurs work.  There is usually a little bit of tweaking to make sure that the spurs stay in contact with the dart for just the right amount of time.  Once they are tuned, I'll attach the spurs permanently and add the leather finger loops.   When I test the spurs, I'll also be judging the field where the event might take place to make sure its big enough and that there won't be any danger to cars or pedestrians if we go ahead with the toss.   I'll let you know how it works out.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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