Make a Boomerang

Staff enthusiasm has prompted MOTHER EARTH NEWS' researchers to compile a few tips on how to make a boomerang.

| September/October 1981

  • 071 make a boomerang - outdoors
    If successful, after you make a boomerang it will look something like this.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 071 make a boomerang 2 filing undercuts
    [2] File away the undercuts from the bottom leading edge of each wing.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 071 make a boomerang 3 rasp designated areas
    [3] arefully rasp the designated areas. The middle section should be a uniform curve.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 071 make a boomerang 1 rasping lines
    [1] Mark rasping lines on the blank.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 071 make a boomerang 4 rasp designated areas
    [4] A cross-section of the arms should have more the shape of an airfoil and taper to a 1/8" edge.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 071 make a boomerang 5 filing designated areas
    [5] You could also use a file.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 071 make a boomerang 6 rasp designated areas
    [6] After finishing one arm start on the other.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 071-066-01pix1-01
    Diagram shows the design and dimensions of Herb Smith's "Gem" boomerang.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 071 make a boomerang 7 decorated boomerang
    [7] Sand the boomerang smooth and apply several coats of clear lacquer. If you want you can add designs between the sanding and lacquering stages.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 071 make a boomerang - outdoors
  • 071 make a boomerang 2 filing undercuts
  • 071 make a boomerang 3 rasp designated areas
  • 071 make a boomerang 1 rasping lines
  • 071 make a boomerang 4 rasp designated areas
  • 071 make a boomerang 5 filing designated areas
  • 071 make a boomerang 6 rasp designated areas
  • 071-066-01pix1-01
  • 071 make a boomerang 7 decorated boomerang

A good many folks (including a number of MOTHER EARTH NEWS' staffers) found that the article "Making and Throwing a Boomerang" really sparked an enthusiasm for the traditional Australian sporting implements. (As you may know, return boomerangs are not—except in the most unusual instances—used as weapons. The heavier nonreturning hunting stick—or
kylie—serves that purpose.)

Well, as a result of your (and our) curiosity, we set out to find a good, reliable, do-it-yourself plans to make a boomerang. And, after turning out a number of fliers based on the "Gem" design (without a failure yet), we think that—when good quality, 1/4" five-ply plywood is used—it is about as foolproof as a boomerang pattern can be. (In the interest of economy, our readers may want to reproduce the returner in 1/4" masonite before making one from the more expensive material. The less costly boomerang should fly almost as well, but will be a good bit less sturdy.)

The Homing Instinct

To begin, draw a pattern—full size—on a sheet of stiff cardboard. (This design described here will produce a right-handed boomerang. Southpaws can simply make a mirror image of the plan, shifting the leading and trailing edges accordingly.) Once you're satisfied that the template is reasonably symmetrical and pleasing, check your wood for warps and—if any exist—lay out the pattern in such a way that the finished boomerang's top (rounded) surface will be formed by the concave warp of the wood (that is, the wings of the finished flier should either be absolutely level or turn up slightly at the tips).

With your boomerang-to-be traced on the board, you can cut out the pattern, using a jigsaw or scroll saw (a "finish" blade will leave much smoother edges). Then use coarse sandpaper to remove a small wedge-shaped portion from the bottom of the leading edge of each wing (this is the only shaping that will be done to the underside
of the boomerang).



Once that's done, take your wooden blank and—with a pencil—mark the to-be-shaved-away areas, on the top of the boomerang, as follows: The leading edges should extend 1/4" into the upper surface of the wood. The trailing edges should be smoothed back 1/2".  Both should be worked to a thinness of no less than 1/8" (which is, of course, halfway down the edge of the 1/4" plywood). Now, use a fine-toothed wood rasp (or a Surform tool) to gradually remove the extra material—as indicated by your penciled guidelines—letting the wood's plies, as each is revealed in turn, help you produce a uniform bevel.

At this point your boomerang will be in its final shape, and you can smooth it first with medium, then fine, sandpaper. Be sure to round off all sharp edges! The finished projectile may be decorated in any way you wish, but do waterproof the wood with a couple of coats of clear lacquer (our favorite) or polyurethane.






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters