Creating your own bow for hunting can be an arduous task, but it shows self-sufficiency, and being thrifty. Many begin hunting with a gun, but a bow will always remain a classic. Here’s why you should create your own hunting bow and how to make one!
Why You Should Create Your own Hunting Bow
Hunting is one of the most popular activities for people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. If you want to know how to hunt, it’s essential to be familiar with the tools for the trade. One hunting equipment commonly used is the bow, which is available in sporting stores but is also expensive.
Alternatively, even if you do not visit such stores, you may be stranded on a desert or merely in your back garden with the passion of creating your very own hunting bow and arrow. The good news is you can do this with a relatively small amount of bucks and some spare time on your hands.
How to Make a Bow
Here’s an easy way to make your own bow for hunting.
Step 1: Find Your Tree
Go for hickory, oak, and maple trees instead of pine and willow. Then, look for a diameter of at least 8 inches which will require less carving. Remember that bows are made from vertical slices of the tree.
Step 2: Cut and Split the Tree
A 9-inch tree offers six or seven bow staves. Leave enough room on the end of each stove to cut off roughly 6 inches, where the wood might have cracks. For example, if you’re going for a 68-inch bow, it needs a least a 6-foot piece of wood. The stave should be at least an inch wide from tip to tip ad an inch thick. Leave on the bark to reduce cracking as the wood dries.
Step 3: Let the Wood Dry
This can take a while, about three to four weeks. Some may even take up to a year. If you want to make sure that your wood is dry, buy a moisture meter and wait for a readout of 11 or 12 percent. The most flexible wood will warp int a bend called a reflex.
Step 4: Debark Your Bow with a Drawknife
Make sure to mark the shape of the bow’s broadside.
Refine it with a drawknife or a band saw. Then, use a pocket knife to finish things off.
Step 5: Lay the Bow Flat and Taper the Sides of the Limbs
Do this using your drawknife. The middle 5 inches, which is your grip, should be ¾ inch thick, tapering off to 1/2 inch when you reach the ends.
Step 6: Make String Grooves
Make string grooves with a chainsaw file at a 45-degree angle on the outside of both tips, approximately ½ inch from each end. Make extra grooves on the bottom limb for the bow stringer.
Step 7: Polishing
Sand down the edges and smooth the surfaces. Then, apply pressure to the top to create a slight bend. This process is called floor tillering. Inspect the bow for cracks and imperfections.
Step 8: Test Your Bow’s Flexibility
Do this by creating a tiller tree. Vertically secure a 2 x 4 to the wall. Starting 5 inches from the top, make a horizontal notch with a Skilsaw every inch until you reach 30 inches. String the bow loosely with parachute cord, center it on the top of the tree, and slowly move the string down the notches until it reaches the 28-inch mark, a typical full draw. At each step look for unevenness in the bend of the limbs. If they don’t bend equally, even them up by shaving from the side that doesn’t bend as much.
Step 9: Shorten the Parachute Cord
This will help you make a small bend in the bend, which is 5 inches between the center and the string. Repeatedly draw the bow in a mirror to see which side remains stiffer. The stiffer limb will be your lower limb. Then, use a sander to make a shallow indentation above the handle to the right or left, depending on which hand you use to shoot for the arrow.
Step 10: Final Polishing
Sand and finish the bow. Stain, dry, seal, and wrap the 5 inches of the handle with hemp cord and apply a coat of glue. Lastly, create a final bowstring with a new length of B-50 bowstring material.