Invented by Australian aboriginals, boomerangs are wide sticks shaped like half-moons. Traditionally, boomerangs were made from bent, sanded wood and used in sport. According to the Boomerang Association of Australia, hunting and throwing sticks are not the same as using boomerangs since the latter are designed to return to the thrower -- though only when thrown properly. The novelty of this object has been enjoyed globally since the 1970s, and today boomerangs are made from a variety of materials, such as aluminum, polycarbonate and plastic, as well as different types of wood. Cut the basic shape of a returning boomerang from a piece of plywood following an approximated boomerang pattern.
Items you will need
- Large piece of paper (22-inch by 34-inch)
- 2-foot by 4-foot piece of plywood, 3/4-inch thick
- Wood clamp
- Hand saw
- Sand block
Draw a traditional boomerang shape with two arms that come together at a curved apex on a piece of 22-inch by 34-inch paper, filling the entire piece of paper. Either purchase your own pattern or freehand draw following an available model, such as published by the Boomerang Association of Australia (see Resources). Cut out the shape and set aside.
Lay the piece of plywood on a flat surface, such as a work table. Find the grain on the wood and orient it so that the grain is running vertically from top to bottom.
Lay the paper boomerang pattern on top of the wood. Place the tip of the pattern at the center of the grain at the top of the piece of plywood. The arms of the boomerang will extend out with the grain.
Trace the pattern onto the wood using a pencil.
Place the wood into a wood clamp on a saw table.
Use a handsaw to cut out the pencil pattern, beginning with the apex of the boomerang and going along the arms.
Saw the exterior of the right hand arm first with little to no incline. This is the exterior leading edge of the boomerang and is characterized by a very steep incline. Let the ply
Keeping the plywood clamped, saw the left hand exterior arm of the boomerang at an angle so that the arm will taper up along the side. This is the interior edge of the boomerang.
Turn the boomerang around in the wood clamp. Begin to saw the insides of the arms. Saw the interior of the right hand arm, which has the exterior leading edge, into a long taper. Rotate the saw and cut the interior of the left hand side into a sharper, steeper include to make the interior leading edge.
Remove the boomerang from the wood clamp. Finish the wooden boomerang by sanding down the sides.
Tips & Warnings
- Mark in pencil which arms are the right and left to avoid confusion when sawing.
- Adorn the boomerang with paint or wood gloss.
- Use caution and wear gloves when operating machinery, such as hand saws.
- The design of a returning boomerang is crucial to ensuring the object has the ability to return to the thrower; however, the way in which either a paper- or a wooden-cut boomerang is thrown will determine whether it will return.
- The Paper Boomerang Book: Build Them, Throw Them, and Get Them to Return; Mark Latno; 2008
- Davro Boomerangs: History
- Boomerang Association of Australia; What is a Boomerang; Tony Butz
- Made How; Boomerangs; Loretta Hall
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images