Things to do with a Leatherman, #47

This is mr Kioko, who is going to show us how to make a catapult.

First he cuts the lining from the tongue of an old show that I found by the roadside in Tala.
Then he cuts round holes in the leather.
And trims it to shape.
To make the, erm, bit where the stones will go.
Then, he takes a cleft stick …
… and cuts it to size …
… and whittles the ends so that they will not tear the rubber.
Next, he takes some strips of bycicle inner-tube rubber…
… and arranges them over the stick …
… With their long ends hanging evenly over the forked parts.
Then, he takes another strip of rubber …
… and binds the stick with the long strips inside.
Taking care to tie the end tightly.
The second fork needs binding separately with another strip.
When that’s done, the loose ends hang free.
He splits one of the rubber strips…
… in half, to make a really thin strip …
… which he uses to tie the rubber to the leather.
He simply pokes the rubber through the hole in the leather …
… and binds it with his thin strips.
Somehow this is strong enough to allow him to pull the catapult without the leather coming off.
The finished article!
Wait! Don’t let that stupid Mzungu loose with it!


  1. Tyg Says:

    What’ja get? What’ja get? A bunny rabbit???!!!???

  2. Drew Says:

    A photo story,
    that was great.
    Is this like the generation game, we each have to post up a picture of the one we made trying to copy him?

    Drew 🙂

  3. natty Says:

    Hey, that’s a slingshot, not a catapult!

  4. Mark Says:

    "Good game, good game, hope you’re playing at home"

    I think this is a Erasers vs Rubbers vs Condoms question.

    Once I was driving through the Rockies en route from San Francisco to Boulder (via Salt Lake City). Up there in the midst of mountains I came upon a sign that said:


    I was contemplating this, how unlikley it was that the road should have a pavement up there in the middle of the mountains, and thinking: "I guess those hikers are just gonna have to walk on the verge", when I hit the dirt doing about 55. (obviously I drive within the speed limit).

    In England (and therefore by colonisation, also in Kenya) these hand-weapons are called catapults rather than slingshots. Onelook lists the "Y-shaped stick" meaning for both words but also lists the "trebuchet" meaning for catapult.

  5. The Pedant Says:

    Oh, and see what The Oxford Dictionary says!

  6. daixus Says:

    its really nice of it all coz it seems that every
    down of a new day u learn more congrats!!!
    Me have been to this place long enough bt ave never seen
    one leave along making it so keep on the spirit coz no other option.

  7. Cad Says:

    How good is that!!
    What else can he make I wonder?

    How about a "Blue Peter Advent Crown" out of a treacle tin – or am I thinking of computer interface?


  8. Mark Says:

    Cad! :laugh: Where have you been? Ive missed you!

    (It was a Joystick for the spectrum, from a Golden Syrup can and a car gear stick. I’m not making this up)

  9. Chris Mbean Says:

    What, they made a Speccy joystick on Blue Peter?!

    Talking of DIY, I have in my possession the first issue of O’Reilly’s MAKE magazine… lots of interesting projects, including a DIY steady-cam for US$14, stuff about building aerial photography rigs for kites, and lots of hackety hackety hacking!

    I’m going to put the URL in now, hope it doesn’t mess up again:

  10. Mark Says:

    No, not on blue peter, but **I** made a speccy joystick out of a treacle tin and a car gear stic, a cork and some pieces of brass. It worked too! I painted it black, of course. :hehe:

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