Ever notice how the cool action heroes all use bows and arrows these days? Katniss Everdeen, Legolas, Hawkeye, Lara Croft...Now you can join their ranks with this step-by-step guide to designing and building your own bow out of old cross-country skis!
I made this pair of bows at the artist residency, Grin City Collective
, in Grinnell, Iowa.
Skis are an excellent material to use for the limbs of a bow. First off, they are uniform. You won’t have to worry about inconsistencies in the material; you can expect both limbs of the bow to bend equally. This also eliminates the tedious process of tillering the bow. The front of the skis also already have recurved tips. All of this means using skis saves a lot of time.What you’ll need: Materials
Skis – cut down to become the limbs
Lumber – to be carved for the riser. Either a large block (at least 3"x3"x20") or scraps will do.
Couple of bolts, washers and wing nuts – to attach limbs to riser
Nylon twine (or any low-stretch string)- for the bowstringWhat you'll need: Tools
Hand drill with assorted bits
Chisel and hammer
Wood rasp or file
Glue or spray adhesive
The following tools are not required
to make the bow but will make the process a lot easier if you decide to make a more complicated riser (handle) for your bow.
-Tablesaw -Band saw
-Drill press -Belt/disc sander Cost?
Skis ~$10 at a yard sale or Goodwill.
Lumber -- scraps
Hardware -- less than $4
Twine -- $3 for a roll