QnD Tlingit Throwing Board
This is my (mostly theoretical) version of the Tlingit throwing board. The Tlingit live on the southeastern coast of Alaska, and I've seen images of 3 different throwing boards, but finally found the secret in pictures from the Smithsonian. They have a groove cut out on the bottom, and I assume there's a peg there, because a) throwing boards from that area usually do, and b) it works.
This is a QnD (quick and dirty) version, to give you an idea of how it works. The originals are beautifully carved and decorated, which I tried to do in my first two versions (and you can do on yours), but which is purely decorative and doesn't affect the function.
Wood, 14" x 1 1/4" x 3/4"
Dowel peg, 1/4" x 3/4"
- 6" from the handle end, drill the finger hole. I was able to use a 1/2" diameter drill, going down about 1/2" (only the index finger tip has to fit in). Slant it back towards the handle end.
- Cut down the top of the handle. Starting about 5" from the handle end, slope it down to 1/2" high at the end (see the side view).
- Thin the handle sides. Starting about 4" from the end, taper them in slightly so that the end is about 1" wide.
- Round off the tip end.
- Round off all edges and sand smooth.
- On the bottom (the peg side), mark out lines starting 1/2" from the tip and 3/8" from the sides. Run them out to about where the finger hole is on top (see bottom view).
- Using a chisel, cut out the groove. It should be 1/4" deep at the tip (where the peg will go), running up to flush with the board at the end by the finger hole.
- Drill a 1/4" hole at the tip end for the peg. Make it at about a 60 degree angle.
- Round off one end of the dowel peg and place it in the hole. Make sure that it does not extend over the edge of the board. If it does, trim it down a little. The idea is to have the throwing board lie flat on the groove side.
A genuine Tlingit Throwing Board
My first attempt
My second attempt
To use this, you need to use light darts. Put the tip of your index finger in the hole, then place the dart on the peg. Grip it between your thumb and middle finger, with your other fingers gripping the handle. Throwing with this doesn't require much more than a wrist snap.
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