Friday, January 14, 2011

GUEST BLOG POST: Free Craft Project: Boomerangs from Boxes by David Erik Nelson, author, Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids

Winter time--with its inclement weather keeping kids indoors, and scads of newly emptied boxes cluttering up the back hall from the holidays --is the perfect boomerang-building season. Cheap styrofoam toy-store boomerangs have given generations of American children the mistaken impression that building and throwing boomerangs is very difficult. This flies in the face of reason: Using less-than-ideal materials, human beings have been building, throwing, and catching boomerangs for more than 11,600 years. Boomerangs are absurdly easy to make--this is an ideal project to keep kids busy in a pinch. Learning to throw one is just a little tricky, but most of the trick is in properly tuning the boomerang.

The easiest boomerangs for beginners to craft and throw are quad-bladers. Project 18 from my book, Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred includes two quad-blade designs. The first is a poster-board fast-catch boomerang. Fast-catch boomerangs usually have more than three wings and are characterized by a tight flight pattern and quick return. This boomerang can be made from an old cereal box, department store clothes box, or similarly stiff poster-board. It's ideal for indoor boomerang play, and also good for juggling (catching and tossing two boomerangs in sequence so that one is aloft at all times). The second design is a slightly heartier cardboard cross-stick boomerang, made from light corrugated cardboard (i.e., a pizza box) and suitable for outdoor use. Cross-sticks, as the name suggests, are made from two separate wings connected at the hub, rather than being cut from a single piece.

Either boomerang just takes a few minutes to make; more importantly, the downloadable project includes clear, detailed instructions on tuning and throwing the boomerangs.

1) Download the free project: http://www.nostarch.com/download/SnipBurn_project18.pdf

2) Make the crafting go even faster with these downloadable print-n-trace boomerang templates: http://www.davideriknelson.com/sbsb/2010/11/printnsnip_boomerang_template.html

3) Questions? Get help online at the Snip, Burn, Solder Blog: http://www.davideriknelson.com/sbsb/

4) If you like this project, then check out my book Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids http://nostarch.com/snipburn.htm

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7 Comments:

Blogger Peter said...

Good information, enjoyed reading them :)
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I liked the project and also want to check the book.
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Blogger Anuj said...

Being a part of the project will be an honor to me and I would love to check out the book.
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Blogger anuj kumar dubey said...

Really great stuff to read here. Thanks for posting. Would love to check out your book.

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