Tom Mills' Basketmaker Woomera
An Australian/Southwestern U.S. crossbreed
This design is from Tom Mills, who describes it as a cross between an Australian Woomera and a Southwestern Basketmaker style. Sounds about right to me.
And, if you were lucky enough to see "L.A. 10,000 B.C." on the Discovery channel, you've seen this one in action! This is the very atlatl Tom used to demonstrate the power of the throws. Congratulations, Tom!
Wood, 22" long, 2 1/2" wide, 1/2" thick
Leather strap, 1" wide x about 24" long
- Descide which will be the peg end and which will be the handle end.
- Draw all of your cutting lines before you begin.
- Starting about 6" from the peg end, round in from both sides so that the tip is 3/4" wide.
- The "ball" of the handle grip is about 2" in diameter.
- The "waist" of the handle grip is about 1" wide. This continues out for another 5".
- From the grip, round both sides back out to about 10" from the peg end.
- Cut out your rough shape.
- Round off the bottom side of your atlatl. The "ball" should be very rounded, while the "paddle" part (the main body) should be more gently rounded up the sides. Round off the peg end and round it up from the bottom as well.
- Using a gouge and/or crooked knife, carve out the hollow in the "ball". The bottom center should be about 1/4" deep. Be careful not to get too close to the sides.
- Using a gounge and/or crooked knife, carve out the "paddle". Stop carving about 1" from the peg end (so you can carve the hook out). The bottom of the center should be about 1/4" deep. Be careful not to get too close to the sides.
- Cut/carve out the hook. You will need to undercut it so that a dart can rest on it. Carve around it on both sides so it sticks out far enough.
- Sand and smooth all edges and surfaces.
- Wrap the leather strap around the grip so it is more comfortable in your hand.
Atlatl Designs |