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.