Instructables

Step 1: Materials

The materials list is as follows:


1.A long, straight stick about your height. Not bigger than about an inch and a half in diameter and preferably with as few knots as possible. Best woods would be hickory, elm, osage, yew, or certain types of ash.

2.String/cord. Preferably nylon cord or other strong, manmade materials that won't stretch out or get destroyed in wet conditions, but twine works too. I used kite string for it's strength and availability.

The only tool you absolutely need is a knife, but a hand plane is much better and safer.

Step 2: Preparing the Stick

Alright, now that we have everything we're going to need it's time to get started. The first thing we need to do is to find the center of your stick. I have always just guessed and done fine but for beginners you will want to measure the stick with measuring tape and mark the center somehow.(I use a little pocket knife slash) Now go out a good 2-3 inches on either side of the center and make a little line that goes all the way around your stick. From here we start shaving off the bark. Try not to take off much wood, if any, during the shaving. I forgot a picture of this stage so here's what it should look like when your done.
1-40 of 140Next »
Do u go to arroyo seco?
MWoodruff71 year ago
Sorry Bro but your bow could use a lot of work.
And why does the bow have a hinge on the top limb?
No offence but there's no such thing as a real homemade bow as long as it was made by you even if it was made out of fibre glass it's a home made bow
You should use a thicker peice of wood,.. so that you can allow for spots you think the woods structure would require to be thicker,... You can take wood off,.. but its a lot harder putting the wood back on.
A bows poundage is directly proportionate to the length of the bow.
That is not true. I realise this is a very old comment but I had to say something.

The draw weight at a certain draw distance will be less if you make the bow longer because the wood will not have to bend as far. It would be more accurite to describe bow length and draw weight as inversely proportional, but that wouldn't be true either because I don't think it is always a linear thing.

A longer bow of the same draw weight can provide more impulse because it can handle a larger draw length, so the force will be applied for a longer time.
in the book "The Traditional bowyer's Bible" it says that making a bow twice as wide makes it twice as strong, and twice as thick eight times as strong. length has a complicated formula, but each 1 % increrase in lenth makes it 5% safer from exploding
Sorry, but that appears to be incorrect. A thicker bow would create a stronger poundage in the bow, right?
by poundage i mean the strength required to pull back the string which is related to how powerful it is.
Yes, but a short bow could have a stronger poundage than a long bow.
poundage is related to many things like materials length thickness (as you said) string type and string tension but one of the most obvious way is to make it longer. i was thinking more to the fact that my recurve bow only seems to increase in length when i upgrade the poundage. i was however over simplifying
(removed by author or community request)
Then the bow's poundage is not dire... you know, I'll just leave it there.
It's more a function of the taper from the riser (handle) to the tips. This taper can be introduced to the thickness (such as with the European longbow), to the width (as with North American flatbows like those used by the plains Indians), or to both (many Asiatic bows tapered both ways). While increasing the length, width, or thickness allows for a different taper, poundage is not directly proportional to any of the three and anyone thinking it is has an overly simplistic idea of what a bow is & how it works.
I see, thanks!
try the Quicks website thinking about it
cr34t1ve2 years ago
first off young sir, if it shoots arrows fast enough to pierce a cardboard box then it is a real bow and arrow.
A lot of people don't understand that by going outside and making a bow and arrow you are doing something that connects you with our ancestors, all the way up to the neanderthals or Cro-Magnon man.
Secondly, i have recently made a bow, i will be making a quiver, firing glove and armguard but mthis is not just a hobby.
picture this, the end of the world comes,
all the ammunition for all the guns are gone, but you never had to worry about that, you have a bow, and a renewable source of ammo as long as there are straight trees or other straight rods.
my bow is shoddy, it's homemade, but that was my first try,i WILL get better because i know i can, i will also be posting photos of the making of my first one with my own instructable. bravo sir
and congratulations you're now smarter than a monkey.
kterr5 years ago
how many pounds is the drawback, on this?
it looks to be about 10lbs to me lol
could be which, isn't bad for a homemade bow...
aweis nwagner3 years ago
my bow was about there, but i was not satisfied with it at all. so i am making a new one, this time with an instructable.
11richie214 years ago
for my hand grip i used a strip of sliced bike tube which is a good material for making sling shots too, I tied it really tight around the bow and its flexibility makes a great comfortable grip =)
MOBucky6 years ago
This is really a question: what keeps the wood from drying out if you don't seal it? Any ideas what people did about this before hardware stores? I thought maybe animal fat.
Lindseed oil works pretty well.
i made a bow and took your advice and my bow is still pretty flexible and hasn't dried out
ive used bacon fat that works quite well /when you take it out in the rain it you get little dropplets of water on the bow doesnt penertrate the wood.
homebowyerboy (author)  MOBucky6 years ago
if you don't seal it it does dry out but it holds its shape and strength nicely. I know that native americans (excluding plains indians who used horn bows) generally used a mixture of animal fats and brains. Inuit generally used seal or whale oil and Europeans used to oil their bows with any animal based oil quite regularly.
homebowyerboy (author)  homebowyerboy6 years ago
and whatever you do, DON'T TRY VARNISHING IT!!! It's like heat treating steel, it makes it harder but for brittle
(removed by author or community request)
homebowyerboy (author)  PLUCK YEW6 years ago
varnish doesn't like to bend, it will just crack all over anyway even if it doesn't wreck your bow, and cracked varnish is useless varnish, so why bother?
this is a long bow.made from yew tillerd correctly sorry mate what you got there is a stick with some string on ,not wishing to be rude
no offence but this isnt a REAL bow and arrow.
i agree with you its terrible,100 yard more like 100 feet lol,at least he tried
im sorry but what kind of bow is that lol
u try it yet i made a bow 100 yards 1st shot that prolly go 2 yds maybe it sucks
cezzie5 years ago
so, i didnt read through ALL of the comments, just some of them. So, a few questions. What is sealing a bow? and how important is it to seal a homemade bow? I'm in the process of researching on how to make my own bow. If anyone has any good tips I'd be happy to hear em :)
Tylertjt5 years ago
hey you said you would post how to make arrows I just wanna know when ok? my arrows with home made bow was catnine tail stems and a nail for the tip and two card board box cononers i should post it i made my bow from a willow tree and im makeing a cross bow soon
sharlston5 years ago
my way to bend sticks is to boil them in water then bend them and wait for them to dry
cool i like it i am working on a sick bow maybe i will post it later
1-40 of 140Next »