Make a Bow for Under 20 Bucks

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Introduction: Make a Bow for Under 20 Bucks

Make a hardwood bow with no special tools, setups or working space for under 20 bucks. Everything was purchased at Lowes.

Step 1: Glue Together Wood

I went to Lowes and got these thing.

48"X1/2" Oak trim piece
24"X1/2" Poplar trim piece
bottle of gorrila glue
Stanley hand planer
bundle of jute rope (In the future, hemp would probably be better)

The hand planer from lowes turned out to be just the ticket for shaving down the bow arms to what I needed. Its only 6 bucks and its about 3"X1" big. Any bigger would probably turn out to be too unweildy. Any sort of wood glue would work really.. as a matter of fact, gorrila glue is probably not the best one to use. The wood was just some project wood or you could use trim wood too, I guess.

This is pretty self-explanatory, just make sure you get the glue more evenly spread than it is in this picture. Use sticks and rope as a clamp and the piece until its cured enough to release. This should actually take a few hours but since I'm really impatient, I waited for half an hour and then started carving. Dont do that, it just messes things up in further steps. Whatever you do, don't try bending the bow until the glue is dry either. This just makes them pop apart.

Step 2: Plane Down the Wood

This is not really a hard step, but its pretty critical. Try to keep both sides the same and shoot for a shape like one in the diagram. I think The pictures can do a better job of explaining this than I can. So just ask me if you have any questions.

Step 3: Add Handle

It might look a little complicated but actually is just a rope wound around the handle in a spiral fashion. I soaked the rope with glue too so it would stay there. This does a good job as a handle and a reinforcer for the two pieces of wood.

Step 4: Cut the Ends

You need a place for the string to rest, so in two steps, cut notches at the ends like they are in the pictures. In the first step, cut the profile of the notches, and then smooth them out in the next step.

Step 5: Bamboo Bows

Heres a picture of a bamboo bow that I made.

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293 Comments

Hello, I am 12 years old, is this too big of a bow for me?

How much is the pull weight? How heavy is the bow?

Thanks!

7 replies

and now you're 17.. jeez

looks like im not the only 12-year-old around here. as a matter of fact, im a girl as well. i think i might try this project, or maybe a bamboo bow since i know a place where a whole shootload of bamboo grows.

You can cut down one thick peice of bamboo it should be almost as tall as you unstrung I'm 11 years old and I've already made a few bows

Thanks :) I found a piece even taller than me and already cut but it was stuck between the fence and rest of the bush :( obviously, I would have cut it a bit but thanks for the advice :) if I used a branch, would it work even if it was straight but still bendy? Gosh, I type too much. Haha one of my friends found a bow in a forest and the wood was thicker than my forearm and she said it worked XD

Come check out my instructable with explainations on what I said before.

Ill try to put up a thingy to explain... Three different bows

Well, It would depend on how tall your are, and your strength. You could always change the design around a bit, you're the one making it.

Hickory wood is the best for a bow. You can bend it double without breaking. I made one, using a draw knife. I used to climb hickory trees, lean out and ride them to the ground. Carefull not to get stuck half way down. Pick a skinny tree.

The Indians used hickory.

can you please make a tutorial on how to make a compound bow? Thanks

This is not an Insructable rather an add for his site.

What did you use for a bow string?

What is the draw weight of this bow? I am trying to make a 50 pound draw weight bow for myself but nobody ever puts the draw weight in their instructions

1 reply

i made a piramid longbow and it is 75 lbs at 28 this is probably 30-45

How do you bend the bow? Your tutorial doesn't say how to.

also what is a good tool besides the planer to use?

when i click on ur website it doesn't show me the detailed description??

DON'T use any soft woods pine poplar e.t.c only use hard woods oak cherry osage e.t.c

I remember long ago, when people used to make bows from a single piece of wood.

Is fir tree wood goo for making bows or should I buy another kind of wood?