How to Make a Bow Out of Dowels




Introduction: How to Make a Bow Out of Dowels

About: I sadly took a (really) long break from Instructables since creating my account. Joined the military, gained some knowledge, and hopefully I'll be putting out some up to date Instructables soon!

This Instructable will show you how to make a bow and arrows out of dowels.  For those who dont know much about bows, when you make a bow you ideally want to cut a length of wood, shape it, and let it age for a year.  If you make a "green" bow, it looses its power after a few days.  This Instructable will show you how to make a bow that is quick and easy to make, very inexpensive, requires no tools or experience, and can be made by almost anybody.  It also can be experimented on with different sizes, shapes, number, etc. of the dowels.
---Note: the arrows shown are improvised....... i will make an instructable for arrows later....

Step 1: Materials

You will need:
--5/16" x 36" dowels (x3)
--3/16" x 36" dowels that are as straight as possible (x as many as you want they are arrows) these   would just be until you could make some decent arrows that would be light enough to work
--scotch or duct tape; i used scotch because it is easier to work with
--shoe laces (x9) i use shoe laces because they are just the right length, and they have that little thingy on the end that makes them easier to thread
--golf tees (x2)
--a large cork
--a ruler/measuring tape
--scissors or a knife

Step 2: Starting the Bow

First, take two of the 5/16" x 36" dowels and mark their centers.  Then take the third one and mark it in quarters. 
Okay now line up the dowels so that the one marked with quarters is in the center and the halves of the first two dowels line up with the outermost quarters of the third one... see the picture this is a confusing step.
After you line up the dowels, tape them in place so you can tie them together more easily.  they should be in a pyramid/triangle shape after they are taped, NOT flat.

Step 3: Tie the Bow Together

Now you need to tie the bow together.  Its kind of hard to explain other than you need to make sure it is very tight and make sure your knots are secure.  You could also use glue to hold the knots in place if you want.  Its easier to explain with the pictures.

Step 4: Add the Arrow Rest

This step is completely optional, but i dont like either options of wearing gloves or getting splinters in my hand, so i made an arrow rest.  Basically, the cork needs to have the wide side up, and be on the opposite side of whatever hand you hold the bow with.  Lace it on.

Step 5: Bend the Bow

Now you need to bend the bow into an actual bow shape.  This can be done by propping it in between two things that are stable, and can be left overnight, and arent going anywhere.  I used two shelves.  It shouldnt be bent very far, just enough so the bowstring wont be right up next to the bow--it can be adjusted after the bowstring is in place. 

Step 6: Add the Bowstring

This is another step that is kind of hard to explain.  Looking at the pictures will be much easier than trying to follow the directions. 
------Now you need to attach the bowstring.  To do this I used golf tees, but you could use almost anything that is wider at one end then the other.  The washer has no real function, i just put it there for good luck ;) just tie it on the same way you tied everything else. 
Now to make the actual string itself.  To do this, take two laces and tie one end of them to each golf tee.  Then, tie three half hitches or any slip knot that will not slide when you don't want it to around one string with the end of the other. Repeat this for both ends.  This will allow you to adjust the bowstring without retying it.

Step 7: Conclusion

Now the bow is done!!!  I have found that this particular version is not particularly pwoerful, and It probably couldn't be used for any heavy duty uses, but you never know.  Try experimenting on the design and post your comments!

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    why would you bend the bow so much? You do know that a self bows loses power when kept in shape too long, rite? a bent shape is a bad thing. Thats why they tell you to unstring it when not in use.

    Experience: constant traditional bow shooter


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I suppose the bow's effectiveness depends on the type of wood of the dowels. Are all them equal?


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    i would agree. to tell the truth i know the different kinds of wood are not equal, and yew is a very good wood to use for bows.  they dont make yew dowels though, at least not @ hobby lobby.  the dowels i used were from hobby lobby and i looked on the site and the label and all i could find out was that they were "hard wood"....  im not really an expert, but i think you would want something that is "springy"  (like yew) and that wont snap.  i found that one dowel just broke, and wasnt very powerful, so i solved that problem by tying more together.  my guess is that more, smaller dowels would be better, but i dont really know for sure until i try it............ 
    i hope that helped somewhat...


    12 years ago on Step 3

     Very well written, and easy to follow!  I like!!