Introduction: Miniature Archery: the Penbow
This is a different take on the method of crafting a penbow. Unlike the traditional way, this process won't require any dismantling or punching holes in the pen itself. A convenient thing if you'd like to use it for writing something later.
I believe this type of penbow is a valuable asset to any writer's arsenal. It's particularly effective against boredom and that pesky writer's block. So, are you ready to become a desktop archer?
Step 1: Supplies
- Two Pens with Removable Caps
- Duck Tape
- Rubber Bands
- Brass Fasteners
Step 2: Capping the Pen
I chose to show two different types of pens in this project, but the result will remain the same for them both.
First cap both ends of the same pen.
Capping the ends will not only give the bow symmetry, but it will also allow for "stringing" and "unstringing." I'll explain the purpose of unstringing further on step eight.
Step 3: Setting the Rubber Band
Place your rubber band over both ends of the pen. The wider the cap, the easier it will be to set the rubber band.
*A fresh rubber band won't run the risk of breaking as much as an older one.
*A thicker rubber band will add more power to the shot and make it easier to "nock" an arrow.
Step 4: Securing the String/Rubber Band
This part will give your bow the appearance of having reinforced limbs.
To secure the rubber band, tear a strip of duck tape down the center and into relatively equal strips.
Tightly wrap each strip around the cap several times.
The further down the cap you wrap, the stronger the shot will be. Keep in mind the maximum draw of the rubber band will decrease when you do this.
How much draw vs power you want is really up to you and the type of pen and rubber bands you choose to use.
Step 5: Adding an Arrow Rest
To make the arrow rest, wrap an even smaller strip of duck tape around the center to act as a reference point.
When done, bend a single brass fastener around the center tape.
Any part of the brass can be used as an arrow rest, but I suggest leaving one of the prongs jutting out.
Secure the arrow rest by adding two more strips of tape on the exposed pieces of brass.
Step 6: Completing Your Bow
Your finished penbow should now look something like this. When pulling back on the rubber band, hold the bow by the bottom cap. This will keep your fingers from interfering with the rubber band.
We're not done with the project just yet though!
Step 7: Making the Arrows
To make the arrows, simply take a few toothpicks and cut or break off the tips on one side.
You now have a special type of arrow called a Pick-Arrow or Splinter-Arrow!
(Pick/Splinter arrows are characterized by their small size, frightening speed, and lack of fletching.)
Fletching isn't a necessary addition to a Splinter-Arrow as it can tend to get in the way of the rubber band and/or get smashed by fingers when holding a pinch draw. Fletching also won't increase the accuracy of a shot in this case.
I highly recommend using brightly colored toothpicks. This makes them a little easier to find during retrieval.
Step 8: Storing Your Bow and Arrows
In an actual wooden bow, typically a recurve, the weapon is unstrung when not in use. This is because the weight of the string will eventually warp the wood and damage the bow.
Penbows aren't at risk for warping like actual bows, but unstringing them can help keep the rubber band from getting stretched out overtime. It will also allow you to use the pen function when you need to write something.
When storing your bow, always unstring it by removing one of the caps.
Once unstrung, you can place the cap back on the other pen, or allow the empty cap to act like a quiver for your arrows.