To make and throw a boomerang, Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills, Creativity, Craft A3 A Brief Boomerang History: People generally associate boomerangs with Australia and the Aborigines. However the boomerang dates back many thousands of years and has been found in many countries around the world including India, parts of Africa, Arizona, Europe and Egypt. Boomerangs have even been depicted in cave drawings. One boomerang that has been found in a cave in Poland was dated by archaeologists at some 2,400 years old. Twenty boomerangs were also found in the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt.
• ‘Boomerang Blank’ template
• Half round files, coarse and fine
• Sandpaper, coarse and fine
• Ball point pens
• Felt tip pens, coloured
• Polyurethane varnish
• Small paintbrush, say 72 inch wide
• ‘Details of Aerofoil Sections’ template
• ‘Examples of Boomerang Decoration’ template.
A Brief Boomerang History:
People generally associate boomerangs with Australia and the Aborigines. However the boomerang dates back many thousands of years and has been found in many countries around the world including India, parts of Africa, Arizona, Europe and Egypt. Boomerangs have even been depicted in cave drawings. One boomerang that has been found in a cave in Poland was dated by archaeologists at some 2,400 years old. Twenty boomerangs were also found in the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt.
There are three types of boomerangs — non-returning boomerangs called kylies or killing sticks), returning boomerangs, and boomerangs. The kylie travels in an almost straight trajectory from and was used for hunting. It does not return.
The ceremonial ceremonies, and clapper sticks at (sometimes ceremonial the thrower boomerang was highly decorated and was used for tribal sometimes used for beating out rhythm time when used as tribal occasions.
The returning boomerang is not a weapon and was used by the Aborigines for sport and games and to train hunters. The only hunting carried out with returning boomerangs was catching flocks of birds by throwing above them and scaring them down into suitably placed nets. The word ‘boomerang’ comes from the Turawal Tribe of Aborigines who lived near the Georges River area near Sydney and may have come from the Aboriginal word for wind.
The first explorer to meet the Australian Aborigines and see boomerangs was Captain James Cook who landed at Botany Bay in 1770.
Today there are boomerang groups and clubs around the world, and World Cup completions with a variety of events are held every four years.
• Distribute pre-prepared ‘Boomerang Blank’ templates.
• Inform young people they are to make working boomerangs that they will later be able to throw outdoors and fly some competitions.
• Mark the top of the blank lightly in pencil with a letter T, and an arrow to show the direction of rotation when thrown. (This is anti-clockwise for a right handed thrower and clockwise for a left handed
• In pencil, carefully mark on the blank the aerofoil shapes as shown in the ‘Details of Aerofoil Sections’ template. (This shows a right-handed boomerang. For a left handed boomerang, use a mirror image of that shown.)
• Clamp the blank to a firm, flat surface using a 0-clamp. Carefully shape the aerofoils as shown. The plys of the plywood act like contour lines as the wood is removed to show the shape of the aerofoil. Work with a file towards the edge of the blank to remove wood. (Take care that young people avoid damaging the table or surface on which they are working. A ‘Workmate’ or similar is ideal.)
• When the rough shape has been obtained with the coarse sandpaper and then a fine file, use coarse and then fine sandpaper to obtain a smooth finish. Avoid producing sharp edges on the boomerang.
• When the required shape has been obtained with a smooth finish, the boomerang can be decorated. This is done on the top surface only to help correct throwing later. The decoration can be simple or elaborate. A simple way is to draw lines with a straight edge and a ball point pen and then to colour in between using felt tip pens. Distribute the ‘Examples of Boomerang Decoration’ template.
• The fiat underside is traditionally left plain and signed by the maker and dated.
• The boomerang then needs to be coated with polyurethane varnish and allowed to dry. When dry it should be sanded down with fine sandpaper and given a second coat of varnish. This protects it from damp when thrown outdoors.
Tips / Advice:
It is important that the plywood blank is of good quality and fiat. If there is difficulty obtaining ply of the required thickness with uniform plys, this can be made by laminating up 1.5mm ply using a suitable wood glue (e.g. exterior wood glue) and uniform pressure. Plywood with thin outer plys and thick inner plys is not strong and unsuitable for boomerangs.
Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
• Take care with polyurethane varnish. This must be carefully supervised.
• These boomerangs are NOT suitable for throwing indoors and must be thrown with supervision in a suitable open space free from obstructions and people!
For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Skills, Creativity, Craft A3
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