Welcome to Boomtown!

aLAcrity Boomerangs is a group of boomerang enthusiasts from Los Angeles. At the moment, it is comprised of three people: Manny (a.k.a. v12aero), phnxhawk and Charles (a.k.a. hey_kuya).

Manny and I (phnxhawk) started this blog to share our interest in boomerangs--throwing and tuning, making our own rangs, as well as unraveling the science behind them. As we continue our journey into the world of boomerangs, we hope to make new friends and to expand our horizons. In this blog, we will post such things as videos from our regular throwing sessions, musings and lessons learned from throwing, and thoughts on making our own rangs.

Manny and I started throwing boomerangs since Spring 2009. It has been a long road as we developed a semblance of technique for throwing 'rangs. Nevertheless, after many a bruised hand or windy day, our fascination with these returning throwing sticks remains undimmed. We most certainly have more to learn about boomerangs, but we'll keep at it as long as we continue to have many happy returns.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

--by phnxhawk--

Happy holidays from aLAcrity!

I carved a few boomerangs while on my holiday vacation; look out for a post on those soon!

"Putting my spin on boomerangs..."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Carver's Corner #2 - Finnishing Time

--by phnxhawk--

So, I know.  Long time, no see.  Suffice it to say that times are tough on the work front.  The weather this year has not been particularly cooperative, either.  "How can the weather ever be poor in sunny SoCal?" one might wonder.  Well, the winds have been consistently calm at our usual boomerang throwing times at the beach for the last several months.  This, of course, is not a terrible thing.  We certainly are able to continue throwing, and it is good practice to adapt to different conditions.  However, our heavier, more wind-loving boomerangs have been sitting in the bag for month after month.

But on to the topic at hand.  Last weekend, I came down with the fever, the sort that drives a man to spend a day carving three boomerangs and then the next, applying the finishing touches.

As I mentioned last time, I acquired a "small" quantity of 5 mm Finnish birch ply from Anderson Trading.  My latest creations are my first using the higher quality material and are also the first to involve the flush installation of weights.

The Boomerangs

For this run, I set out to make a copy of the Rainier, Eagle and Diabolino.  The Rainier has so far been my baseline boomerang against which I measure my results, and it continues to serve in that capacity.  I chose the Eagle for its relatively simple geometry and its circular flight with an easy throw.  The Diabolino was selected at the request of Manny, who regards it as one of his top, go-to boomerangs for its impressive, low and round flights.

New Materials

Again, the main change for this run is the application of the Finnish birch.  My initial set of Rainier replicas were cut from 3/16 in hobby-type plywood from my local hobby shop.  The new material is the sort of which fanciful tales are told and that figures prominently into the advertising lines for
some of my favorite boomerangs.  I oriented the outlines in a similar fashion to Rainier V0002 so that it would be easier to bend the wings to add dihedral than it would be to twist them.

Both the Eagle and Diabolino models call for the installation of weights in the wingtips.  The Eagle appears to feature a single 1/4 in diameter full-depth lead weight in the lead wing.  My Diabolino 2011, on the other hand, appears to have three 1/2 in diameter full-depth lead weights, one in the tip of each wing.

Rather than scrounge for lead shot, I decided to procure brass rod, which I could then cut into slivers of appropriate length.  Brass is, however, a less dense material, so I would need more of it to obtain the same weight.  (Lead is about 30% more dense than brass.)  To this end, I opted to buy a 5/16 in diameter rod as a substitute for the 1/4 in weights.  For the 1/2 in diameter lead, I stayed with 1/2 in diameter brass, as I was concerned that larger weights might take up too much space for them to fit neatly in the wingtip without some shaping work on the contoured side.

(In case you are curious, I picked up my brass material from M&K Metal in Gardena)

New Tools and Manufacturing Methods

Cutting the brass rods to size turned out to be less painful than I expected.  I read in some forums elsewhere on the Internet that a hacksaw would cut through brass rods "like butter."  So, I picked up a miter box and a hacksaw to add to my tool chest.  It was relatively painless and quick to make the cuts; I was probably finished with four pieces of each diameter in about 30 minutes.

My methods of carving and sanding did not change for this run, but the additional plies in the new wood material made it easier to evaluate the progress of the contour shaping.

For this set, I cut the holes for the weights after completing the airfoil sanding work.  I was initially unsure what configuration of weights I would use on the Diabolino, and I opted to make the call after I had a chance to weigh the boomerang post-contouring.  Since I do not have a drill press, I was forced to cut the holes with the Dremel, which resulted in some misshapen holes. Fortunately, I was able to fill in the gaps by slathering more epoxy into the holes when gluing the weights into place.

For future editions of these boomerangs, and for any boomerangs for which I am sure of the weights to use, I intend to cut the holes prior to the contouring work (to make it easier to draw on the boomerang the outlines to follow).

Surface Protection and Finish

For this set of boomerangs, I applied a few initial coats of Bulls Eye Shellac finish and sealer.  I then applied four coats of clear satin Minwax Polycrylic spray as a top coat.

I am quite pleased with how the coatings turned out.  The Shellac adds a nice color to the wood, and the Polycrylic adds what feels like a solid protective coat.  The true tests, of course, will be time and wear, but I like the initial result.

The Result

From Carver's Corner #2

From Carver's Corner #2

From Carver's Corner #2

More pictures are included in this album.

Additional Post-Woodworking Comments

I found that the boomerangs, after applying all the coatings, were consistently heavier than the originals by 6 to 7 grams.  The exception is the Diabolino, which turned out to be the same weight as the original (because I used quantity and diameter of weights, but of less dense material).  Even without the coatings, the boomerangs were slightly heavier than the originals (by about 3 grams).

I rushed the power sanding work on this set, having started cutting wood at about one o'clock in the afternoon on Thanksgiving Day and continuing well into the evening.  The rush is certainly evident in the uneven contouring and the multiple nicks and cuts that remain after completing the hand sanding.  Still, I think the boomerangs turned out reasonably well.

Initial Testing

Manny and I took the boomerangs out for a test drive this past Sunday.  They seem to fly pretty well.  The Rainier and the Eagle have flight behaviors like the originals except that they tend to want to keep flying on the return, just like Rainiers V0001 to V0003.  I chalk that behavior up to the more complete airfoil contours, which might impart better lift-to-drag ratios.

The Diabolino has a somewhat more elliptical path than the Diabolino 2010, but note that the original Diabolino 2011 has heavier wingtip weights and wing undercutting than its predecessor.  The difference in weight between my Diabolino and Manny's 2010 is apparent when they are in hand.  For a better flight comparison, I will have to fashion a Diabolino using the 5/16 in diameter brass weights.  Nevertheless, my Diabolino flies quite nicely, and I think the more efficient airfoil shaping helps the boomerang to sail back to me on the return.

All in all, it looks like these boomerangs were a success!

"Putting my spin on boomerangs..."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Runway Catch Premiere

Hello all!

After a very long hiatus on my part I have finally published this video that has been many months in the making.  These clips were shot late last year but the video was delayed due to some computer issues and just overall procrastination on my part.

Take a look:

In case you are wondering, no, I am not naive enough to think that I am the only person to have made that catch ha ha.  However, I looked online and didn't find another video or evidence of someone else doing it.  As such, I thought it would be fun if I touted this as a mini "premiere" of sorts.  The boomerang I used for this segment was one of a set of two "Turbo" doubler boomerangs made by Kendall Davis.

The "Runway Catch" idea arose one day while practicing my trick catches.  I was trying to come up with a new catch that might one day be used in boomerang competitions.  I wondered why there was not a "no-hand" catch, but I quickly remembered that there was already a foot catch that qualified as a no-hander.  After further thinking I thought to myself, "If there is a two-handed back catch and also a one-handed back catch, why not a no-handed back catch as well?"

I began to practice and after many attempts finally got it.  The name "Runway Catch" was inspired by the planes passing overhead (we throw near LAX airport), and the fact that the boomerang is kind of like a plane coming in for landing on my back (the runway).  Extremely clever I know.    ;-)

Happy throwing!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Colorado Boomerangs Are Coming Back

--by phnxhawk--

It would seem that the old pun continues to deliver.  The folks who picked up the Colorado Boomerangs brand have started re-releasing models from that classic line; in fact, these are the same people in charge of boomerangs.com.

The owners have been releasing new editions of some of the original Colorado line for "over a year," according to a post in the Boomerang_Talk Yahoo! group by Dana Larrabee of boomerangs.com.  Models currently for sale at boomerangs.com include: Yanaki, Rainier, Eagle, Condor, Seagull, Tri-Blader, Matterhorn, Aspen, Glacier, Delicate Arch Special Edition (SE) and Carlota (a Gel Girvin design).

Larrabee stated that the new editions are largely the same as the originals, with the most significant changes being related to the painting process.  In particular, he reiterated that the quality of their manufacture remains top-notch.

The new Colorados are still carved from "airplane grade plywood imported from Finland," he said.  (Most models are built from the 5 mm thick plywood.  The two exceptions are the 6 mm Condor and 4 mm Aspen.)  They also continue to use the same templates as well as most of the same routers and jigs as were used with the previous generation of models (ostensibly from the Richard Pollock-Nelson era).  They no longer use belt sanders, however, but instead sand each boomerang by hand.  He said the new process yields a product that seems to look more pleasing to the eye and that also seems to fly better.  Indeed, he said he finds their "wood cutting and sanding processes are right there with previous results if not better."  For the painting process, they now use an "airbrush system" instead of paint cans.  With the new process, Larrabee said they can achieve "smaller, more precise dot size with more artistic control in the art process."  He said the new paint looks better except in the case of the Delicate Arch SE, the art style of which has been difficult to replicate.

Fans of the Colorado brand can also look forward to the return of more classic models in the near future.  Phoenix, Alpine, Everest and Delicate Arch are expected to be re-released "later this month," according to Larrabee.

As I have recounted in previous posts, my first boomerangs were the Rainier and Phoenix.  They are such terrific and reliable performers that, despite their worn-down paint, I throw them almost every time I go out to throw sticks.  In the intervening time, I have filled out my collection with the remaining standard models from the Colorado line (except for the elusive "Fast Catch").  So, it would be an understatement to say that I am excited to see new editions of Colorado boomerangs on sale.  I suppose this means that I need to stop slacking with my Colorado retrospectives....

Boomerang_Talk (Post #10400)
boomerangs.com (Colorado brand listings)

"Putting my spin on boomerangs..."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Blue Day

--by phnxhawk--

A grim bit of news has been making its way through the boomerang community over the last week.  Volker Behrens, the man behind the Blue Star line of boomerangs, recently passed away.  I first saw mention of it in a notice from Ted Bailey regarding upcoming changes to his catalog.  Further discussion quickly followed in the Boomerang_Talk Yahoo! group (topic starting with message #10371).  I thought I would post this to the blog in case any of our readers have not yet heard.

Manny, Charles, Larry and I were quite saddened to hear the news.  Larry was particularly perturbed by his passing, as his favorite boomerangs are all Blue Star models.  According to his profile on the Blue Star website, Behrens was captain of the German Boomerang World Cup team and was a record holder for long distance throwing.  Of course, I know him best as "the guy who makes those paxolin and G12 boomerangs."

I started out this part of my post by trying to recall when I first heard tales of the Blue Star brand.  As it turns out, my memory of this is quite poor.  Fortunately, Manny and I both use G-chat, and enough of our idle chatter was recorded for me to piece together part of the story.  In late 2010, at what was arguably the height of our initial obsession with boomerangs, we were both still customers exclusively of The Boomerang Man and boomerangs.com.  By this time, we had picked up the majority of the remaining available models of Colorado brand boomerangs and were trying models from other brands that they carried.

Anyway, at the time, boomerangs.com's listings for the Blue Star line included several iterations of the Windeater with some glowing praise for the line. (Manny's Windeater 1 shown below.)

From Rangs

As I recall, we had several intense discussions attempting to justify the relatively high cost of one of these boomerangs.  (We were accustomed to picking up boomerangs for $20 to $30 instead of $50 to $60.)  Ultimately, we made the claim that we needed to fill out our higher-wind, medium-range boomerangs with some alternatives.  We went back and forth about these "paxolin" and "G12" boomerangs, wondering how these exotic materials would perform.

Manny was the first to bite the bullet, making several attempts to procure a Windeater 2...but eventually winding up with the aforementioned Windeater 1.  There was some...dissatisfaction with this boomerang, unfortunately.  (It tends to return fast, easily scaring me into hurling myself to the deck whenever it comes near.)  We simply chalked this up to the fact that it was not the Windeater 2 that had been the intended acquisition at the start of his adventure.

Nevertheless, the existence of the Blue Star brand was now planted in our mind.  About a month went by before one of us happened to expand our search for new boomerangs to other vendors--namely, the Blue Star website itself and Ted Bailey's Flight-Toys.com.  As we paged through their catalogs, we became enthralled by a new dream of having long-range sport boomerangs, soaring majestically over the sand against a backdrop of shimmering gold at sunset.  With Manny still recovering from his spending spree, I decided to pick up one representative boomerang for us to try.  I selected the Marathon Mini in paxolin for this task.  As I recall, it came down to a combination of descriptions recommending it for windy conditions and ranges in the 50- to 60-meter regime.

From phnxhawk's Boomerang Collection

The Marathon Mini was initially a somewhat temperamental boomerang for me, but after sitting idle in my bag for a couple weeks, it took on a new character as an excellent, far-ranging sport boomerang.  Now I am consistently pleased with its range and hover on return.  (I suppose it might have serendipitously warped its way into great performance.)  It was about this time that I met Charles and Larry, who were then able to demonstrate what great-returning Windeaters and Marathon Minis look like.  In addition, Larry allowed me to try his G12 Sussex Hook.

From phnxhawk's Boomerang Collection

From then on, I was hooked (pun now intended, but not originally).  I picked up several Blue Star 'rangs in the year since then and have not regretted it in the least.  (Okay, there was that one time that Manny and I lost a couple of them to the briny depths...but I was disappointed in myself rather than in the boomerang.)

Volker Behrens' boomerangs are a thrill to throw and catch, and I consider myself lucky to have become interested in boomerangs at a time when he was still producing them.  Indeed, I cannot ignore how he continues even now to define my life, even indirectly, by having brought me into contact with others who enjoy his designs, which have served as a springboard for me to delve further into this wonderful world of boomerangs.

 "Putting my spin on boomerangs..."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Great Occlusion

--by phnxhawk--

I was out throwing in the usual spot when a most disturbing and perplexing sign appeared in the heavens.

From May 20, 2012 - Partial Solar Eclipse

I have heard tales of this phenomenon: a so-called "solar eclipse."  Putting aside my fears that my less than stellar performance as a boomerang thrower had angered the spirit of the sun, I quickly cobbled together a device through which I might make observations of what was occurring.

From May 20, 2012 - Partial Solar Eclipse

I call it a "pinhole projector."  In my wanderings of this world, I have stumbled upon ancient tomes describing such a machine.  It is said that, with it, I could make observations of the light from the sun.  Once the projector was assembled, I was ready to witness what could only be described as an attack on the great, glowing orb that daily passes into the west.  To facilitate hands-free operation, I pressed my boomerangs into service to form a mount for the projector.  However, soon after this anomalous event started, it came to a quiet and uneventful end.

With the disappearance of that celestial distraction, I immediately began work on converting my observation machine into a death ray.  More than a match for poor Enterprise.

From May 20, 2012 - Partial Solar Eclipse

(A few more photos from my observations of the eclipse this past Sunday are available here.)

"Putting my spin on boomerangs..."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Carver's Corner #1 - phnxhawk's Prototypes

--by phnxhawk--

Well, folks, my work schedule has quieted down for now.  So, I can, hopefully, get back to throwing sticks and writing about all the great things I learn while doing it.  For this, my inaugural post for the throwing year of 2012, I will discuss my introduction to the world of carving boomerangs.


I started flying remote control airplanes a few years back.  I mostly fly craft of the park flyer class--at one of the athletic fields where I now sometimes throw boomerangs, of course.  When I started, I learned to fly on an Easy Star, a prefabricated kit that was essentially ready to fly out of the box.  (Some minor assembly required for the RTF version.)   Many of the RC planes in my fleet are similar: great-flying airplanes that arrived at my doorstep already built.  Nevertheless, I have often said to myself, "You know, such-and-such would be an awesome airplane to fly.  If only someone made one like it!"  A couple years ago, I finally became fed up with waiting for those great airplanes to show up in stores and started cutting out my own versions of them.  They were crude and sometimes a terrific (and unintended) challenge to pilot, but full of all sorts of cool that only my imagination could imbue onto a few hunks of foam sheet glued together. 

Similarly, I was possessed last year by the notion that I should start creating my own boomerangs.  At once, my mind was filled with visions of the possibilities.  I could make my own Colorado replicas to supplement the precious few originals in my collection.  Or...I could implement my own intuitions for design into boomerangs that could be flight tested.  Or...instead of desperately searching for one boomerang or another to fit a certain niche in my collection, I could, with some effort, at least in principle, create it myself.  For all these reasons and more, this seemed to me to be a natural step in my development as an avid boomerang enthusiast.

Since this would be my initial foray into making my own boomerangs, I knew I would need a standard to which I could compare my creations.  I needed a boomerang whose performance was predictable and with which my technique was already mature.  In other words, I needed to generate a replica of a boomerang with which I am intimately familiar.  Fortunately, in my relatively short period of throwing 'rangs, I had developed an almost preternatural sense for achieving excellent returns with my Rainier and Phoenix.  I ultimately opted for the Rainier, boomerang #1 in my collection and my go-to warm-up boomerang.

From phnxhawk's Boomerang Collection

Preparation: Materials

Based on my initial research into the materials of choice by various boomerang carvers, it seemed to me that anybody who's anybody uses Finnish or Baltic birch plywood.  However, at the time, the 5-mm thick variety was out of stock with my prospective supplier, Anderson Trading, and I was bent on starting sooner rather than later.  So, I settled instead for a 2 ft x 1 ft sheet of 3/16 in thick, 4-ply birch from my local hobby shop.  Although it was not the ideal material to use, it would serve well as a test piece on which to test my carving techniques. 

Incidentally, I also gave some thought to the application of 3-D printers.  I consider myself an able CAD (computer-aided design) software driver, so I was understandably curious how I might leverage that skill in making my own boomerangs.  The grand dream, of course, is to model the boomerang in CAD software, export that data to some sort of computer-controlled manufacturing machine, and watch with detached glee as a boomerang popped out the other end.  This ought to be a topic for discussion another day, so suffice it to say that I am not yet convinced that 3-D printing is a cost-effective way for me to go.  (Among other things, I have no room for setting up any machinery in the long term.)

Preparation: Tools

Speaking of tools...every other year or so, I get this strange hankering to buy a scrollsaw and power sander not unlike the ones that got me through my student years.  2011 was no exception.  On the other hand, I already had a Dremel rotary tool in my toolkit.  With the routing/cutting bits and the various sanding drums, combined with careful handling, the Dremel could do the lion's share of the work.  After some quiet debate, I decided to put off the acquisition of the scrollsaw and instead picked up a folding work bench, the Dremel Workstation, and a generous amount of sandpaper.

Preparation: Boomerang Contours

The last remaining "first steps" were to generate a template from which to draw the blanks and to create a plan for fashioning the contouring that would give rise to the airfoil shape on the carved boomerang.  A Sharpie, some construction paper and a pair of scissors were all I needed to trace the Rainier's outline and generate a rough template, but the contour plan would require a little more effort.

I decided to draw once more from my experience as a CAD designer to fashion a rough 3-D solid model.  The surfaces would not need to be production quality--merely good enough for creating planar intersects corresponding to the interfaces between plies.  These would be adequate for producing a 2-D contour map that I could look at as I whittle away the excess plywood.

For the basic airfoil shape used in the 3-D surfacing, I used profiles based on the Clark Y airfoil.
From May 11, 2012

This is a relatively well-behaved airfoil that also happens to have a nearly flat underside, which, like the airfoil shapes I have seen on boomerangs I own, facilitates manufacture.  So, instead of committing time to carving both sides of the blank, I need only focus on the perimeter and the upper surface.  In general, I scaled this airfoil in height and chord as necessary to achieve the constant 3/16 in max thickness.  I also clipped the trailing edge to have a constant thickness of about 1 mm.  The trailing edge of the idealized airfoils looked too thin and would easily break; a nonzero trailing edge thickness would leave enough material so as not be as frail.

From May 11, 2012

From May 11, 2012

All in all, I was satisfied with how the 3-D model and 2-D contour map turned out.  They looked reasonably like the original, enough that I was willing to move forward with the real meat of the work.

Carving: My Humble Workshop

From May 11, 2012

For this "test run," I decided to cut three boomerangs from the plywood sheet (about as many as could be comfortably fit).  I labeled them Rainier V0001 through V0003.  (The "V" just clues me in to the fact that the next character is a numeral, even if I write it like an "O.")

To my surprise, simply applying the template to the wood sheet came with its own lessons learned.  In particular, it was not until after I had finished carving the airfoils into the first blank that I realized I had not scribbled the word "TOP" on the blank.  I had a 50/50 chance of choosing the wrong side when I picked up the blank to do the airfoil contouring, and as fate would have it, I chose poorly.  (The Rainier is not completely symmetrical about its "centerline.")  I was more vigilant in clearly identifying the top and bottom side with the subsequent versions.

From May 11, 2012

The second major lesson has to do with the grain direction of the plywood.  I had anticipated the plywood would have a pronounced grain direction and would be especially stiff in one direction (along the long edge of the sheet).  To explore the effect grain direction would have on the boomerangs, I laid them out on the sheet in three different directions.  (V0002 and V0003 were laid out and cut a week after V0001.)  After cutting the blanks, I was surprised by the degree of stiffness they exhibited.  V0001 is stiff along the trailing arm, which resists being bent to a different dihedral angle.  V0003 is the opposite, being stiff along the lead arm.  V0002 falls in between and is pliable along both arms.  All three seem to respond equally well to added twist.

Cutting the blanks was straightforward.  I used the multipurpose cutting bit for cutting the plywood and employed the cutting guide attachment so that I could focus exclusively on following the 2-D pattern I had stenciled with marker.  I took care to avoid diving inside of the lines and preferred instead to leave a small amount of excess material that I could sand down later.

From May 11, 2012

From May 11, 2012

I did all my Dremel sanding, for both refining the 2-D outline of the blank and working in the airfoil contouring, with the Dremel screwed into the Workstation, which was then securely clamped to my workbench.  I mostly used the 0.5-in sanding drum with the coarse sanding bands.  As you might imagine, I "burned" through a few of those bands over the course of sanding down three boomerangs.  I "eyeballed" my progress with the airfoiling by progressively comparing the in-work boomerang to my 2-D drawing.  After getting as close as I could to the desired shape, I smoothed out the curves by hand with finer grit sandpaper.

V0001 turned out pretty nicely.  V0002 and V0003 came out with a few dings and scratches from some overly aggressive power sanding.  (I cut and sanded both in the same afternoon...to the detriment of the final product.)  Still, all three were acceptable.  For these initial prototypes, I also applied a coat of wood finish and sealer.

From May 11, 2012
From May 11, 2012

Flight Performance: The Moment of Truth

First flight of the prototypes took place on a nippy day at the beach, and I can attest to the fact that they do, indeed, boomerang.  (Forsooth, my Boomerang Man bumper sticker reminds me daily that "a boomerang is not a boomerang if it doesn't boomerang.")  The first flights were not without some hiccups, however.

Rainier 0001 flies quite well.  In fact, it seemed to work the best out of the three, despite being "backwards."  Although the range does not seem quite as far as the original Rainier, the boomerang's flight path seems fairly typical and well-behaved, as expected.  The returns usually exhibit a large degree of hover and seem to have a propensity to continue spiraling in.  Rainier 0002 also flies pretty well.  Like the 0001, it still seems to "fly light," hovering extensively on the return.  Both benefited from the application of some rubber bands to serve as drag devices, which helped slow them down in the final stage of the return.

Rainier 0003 seems to have been laid down in a particularly unfavorable orientation with respect to the warping of the wood sheet from which it was cut.  The lead arm may have been bent too far down, but since that was also the arm aligned with the grain direction, it was also resistant to attempts to tune it.  Although its flight usually seems promising at release, it tends to promptly dive from a level return and into the ground.  After some aggressive wing twisting, this undesirable behavior was largely eliminated.

Charles also had a chance to weigh in on the prototypes several weeks later.  From what I could tell, he was quite pleased with the results.  Rainier 0003 gave him some trouble at first, but it was nothing that his "solar hands" could not tune.

From May 11, 2012
From May 11, 2012

Future Work

For the next iteration of Rainier replicas, I plan to utilize 5mm, 10-ply Finnish birch plywood, which I have acquired in the months since I made those first three boomerangs.  I will also try to produce a replica of a different boomerang; I am currently putting the Eagle at the top of that list. 
As I did with the plywood sheet I used for these initial boomerangs, I will want to examine how pronounced the grain direction is in the new material.  I also expect that having extra ply lines will help improve the fidelity of my airfoil contouring.

To reduce the excessive hover, I will transition from the airfoils to the flat plate of the elbow further out along the arms.  For these initial boomerangs, I took the airfoil contouring closer to the elbow than was present on the original.  At the time, I was unsure what the effect might be other than that it would improve the appearance.  If I have the time, I will want to do two versions, one for each variation of this detail, to investigate whether this has a noticeable effect on the flight characteristics.

I also need to continue my campaign to create a digital database of boomerang silhouettes corresponding to the 'rangs currently in my collection.  As with the Rainier, I scan the pen-and-paper outlines of the boomerangs and, with some manipulation in GIMP, create a digital version.  These have a variety of potential applications, such as facilitating advance planning of carving multiple boomerangs from a single sheet of plywood.  More directly, I use them to create 2-D outlines in my CAD suite from which I may generate the 3-D surfaces.

Overall, I am encouraged by these initial results.  Although I would be at pains to deliver replicas such as these under a tighter schedule, the tools and manufacturing skills I have suffice for my current purposes.  Furthermore, emboldened by the flight performance of Rainiers V0001 through V0003, I am eager to put together replicas of more boomerangs and to start working on my own designs.  Stay tuned for more news on this topic in future editions of the Carver's Corner with aLAcrity Boomerangs, and as always, feel free to comment below.

"Putting my spin on boomerangs..."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just dropping a line...

--by phnxhawk--

I just wanted to take a few minutes to write a post to let anyone following our blog know that we are, indeed, still alive and itching to put out more content. For my part, my work schedule exploded just after the new calendar year started. I have been so busy that I was quite surprised the other day to find that March was right around the corner!

Anyway, a brief boomerang-related update: I just acquired a small stock of 5.0 mm, 10-ply Finnish birch from which I intend to carve some boomerangs. My post about my initial forays into the carving world using hobby-grade stock is overdue, but will come soon. Hopefully, I will soon have more good news to report.

"Putting my spin on boomerangs..."