Nicolarson Cave Atlatl
Based on an atlatl found in Nicolarson Cave, Lake Winnemucca, Nevada. Possibly 8000 years old.
Wood, 23" x 3/4" x 5/8"
Bone hook, 4" long
Soapstone Atlatl Weight, 7 1/2" long
This is a difficult one, involving wood, bone, and stone. Hope you're up for a challenge!
- Starting 13" from the handle end, begin tapering the sides of the shaft to 9/16" at the peg end.
- Starting in the same place, cut the bottom so it slants up to 9/16" at the peg end.
- Round off the tapered area. 5" from the peg end, it should be a circle.
- Flatten off the last 3" from the peg end, tapering down slightly. This is where the bone hook will attach.
- Cut a small groove in the back of the peg end, about 1/4" in. (See picture below).
- The original atlatl had grooves cut into the handle, up to about 4" in. This was for a better grip. It's up to you.
- Round the edges and sand it smooth.
- Take your bone blank and carefully shape the hook as shown. The back (away from the peg) should be flat so it lies on the atlatl. Don't make the point too sharp, or it will break the end of your darts.
- Using glue and artificial sinew, attach the hook as shown.
- Shape the soapstone as shown. It should be 7 1/2" long, 3/4" wide, and about 3/4" high when done, rounded and tapered on top with grooves on either end. The back has to be flat to lie against the atlatl.
- Using glue and artifical sinew, attach the weight as shown.
An article about this atlatl can be found at http://www.atlatl.net/lostandfound.asp?found=2.
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