"Well, back to the old drawing board"

This is (reportedly) a genuine Australian aboriginal boomerang from the 19th.c. It has a broken tip, because the owner's son likes to throw it. I am to repair the tip, and also make a replica so that the original can be preserved. The replica can be played with.


(Ignore the Indian-Head spinners. Another project.)

It took a while to get around to making the replica, but I gave it some thought. The original was clearly made from either a curved root or branch, with the grain running continuously through the bend. I thought that an epoxied lamination would be just as strong, perhaps stronger. My real concern was how to reproduce the aerodynamic form of this rather roughly carved primitive artefact.

First step: make a laminating form and cut some strips of suitable hardwood - in this case from a short plank of Jatoba that was hanging around with nothing better to do:


Then a trial lay-up without glue:


And after a weekend spent at a Scottish Country Dance workshop


it's all glued up and ready to shape. Dead easy, mate no worries! Tree roots, indeed!


A few hours with a jointer, a variety of spokeshaves and a pair of callipers produced something which was approaching the correct shape; the curves and twist of the original seemed to be accurately carved. A slight problem was that the edge of one lamination had lifted on the outside curve, so I simply mixed a bit more epoxy, taped it up and put it near the stove to cure.

(Scroll on down……….)

Twenty-first century technology is a wonderful thing: