The front bow stabilizer is a rod with a changeable weight at the end that counteracts the force of the string's pull, and makes it easier to steadily aim the bow, thereby increasing accuracy.  It can also help make the shot quieter and the bow vibrate less.  High end bow stabilizers can cost hundreds of dollars and are made of carbon fiber.  Even low end ones aren't that cheap.  What one wants in the rod is rigidity and low weight.

Bamboo doesn't quite have the rigidity per weight that carbon fiber does, but by my calculations it comes much closer to carbon fiber than steel and aluminum (at the same diameter and weight, a steel tube will suffer from 3.3X the same deflection in a cantilever than carbon fiber; aluminum 3.2X; while bamboo will be only 1.5X).  And bamboo is much cheaper, and stands up to dings better, since for the same weight, the wall thickness is greater.  In our region, it can be a weed, and you can sometimes get loads of it for free on Craigslist.  And it looks really good.

For those who don't want to read details, here are the instructions in a nutshell: (a) cut bamboo to size; (b) run 5/16-24 bolt through dowel; epoxy inside bow-end of bamboo; (c) put segments of pipe, held in place with drawer liner, around other end or attach a 1/4-20 bolt on that end for commercial weights.

I was making a stabilizer for a target recurve, and I wanted it long: about 32".  I used a nice piece of dry 1 1/8" outer diameter bamboo.  For hunting, I'd want a shorter piece.

There are two ways of making the stabilizer take on weights.  One way is for it to simply have a bolt with some standard 1/4-20 thread on the outer end for commercial weights to screw on.  I will discuss how to do that.  The other way is what I actually did, which was simply to attach segments of PVC or aluminum tube on the end, with some vibration dampening friction-fit.

Basic ingredients:
  • Bamboo stave, at least 1" diameter
  • 5/16-24 bolt or segment of threaded rod, approx. 2.5" long
  • washer with outer diameter roughly matching the bamboo
  • dowel of outer diameter as close to the inner diameter of the bamboo as you can make it, approx. 1.5" long
  • enough rigid epoxy (e.g., JB Weld) to fill the gap between dowel and inside of bamboo
For DIY pipe-weights and dampener:
  • tubing, steel pipe or PVC pipe/conduit with inner diameter somewhat bigger than the bamboo
  • drawer-liner material
For using commercial weights and dampeners:
  • 1/4-20 bolt or segment of threaded rod, approx 2.5" long
  • another dowel piece of about same size (unless the bamboo is significantly narrower there)
  • another washer
  • more epoxy

Step 1: Choose and cut bamboo

Choose a piece of bamboo that is as straight as you can get it over the required length.  Ensure that there are no splits.  Longer stabilizers may need to be thicker for more rigidity.  I went with 1 1/8" outer diameter at around 32" in length.

At the bow end, you want about 1.5"-2" of straight bamboo segment without septa (the septa are the joints) for the dowel that will hold the bolt.  At the outer end, you will want the same if you go for the commercial weights, or about 4" if you go for the weights made from pipe (and if you do that, you will have less effective length, so you may want to cut longer).  If the bamboo tapers in one direction, the wider end should be the bow end.

Bamboo is a kind of tubing, and I generally cut tubing by taping a wide strip of paper around where the cut line is and to the tube, and then I use a hacksaw (or for cardboard tubes, box cutters), trying to go all the way around before cutting through.  Use fine teeth on bamboo not to cause the bamboo to split, and be gentle.  
Already done: http://www.instructables.com/id/Acrylic-bow-sight/<br><br>I am now working on an Android bowsight app. It's almost finished--I just need one or two sessions at the range to figure out what more I want it to do. Currently, I'm just rubberbanding the phone to the bowsight from that Instructable, but before I release the app, I'll make an Instructable for a phone bowsight mount (very simple: just glue a phone case to a support).

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