How To Make a Homemade Bow And Arrow Out Of Wood
The bow and arrows are one of the oldest weapons used by mankind since immemorial times, along the spear, still in use today in indigenous communities in the tropical regions, isolated from the modern human communities. The bow remains though a recreational instrument and, in exceptional circumstances, a weapon that can help you survive if you get stuck in the wilderness. Below are details about how to make a homemade bow and arrow out of wood, as seen on Wikihow.com, for those willing to go on a classic hunting session or just to let of steam by aiming at bull’s eye.
The first step is picking the right piece of wood for the bow. Avoid dead branches because they will break easily when trying to bend it. Find a piece of dry hardwood, such as oak, lemon tree, hickory, yew, black locust, or teak about 1.8 meters in length. The wood should be free of knots, twists or limbs, and it would be helpful if the branch is thick at its center. Avoid green wood for the simple reason it won’t provide the same power as dry wood.
After finding the right piece of wood, test its elasticity and identify its natural curve each branch has. To find the curve, place your wood on the ground, with one hand holding it in place at the top. With your other hand, press lightly against its middle. Then determine the handhold in the middle and mark it above and below on a three inch length. If necessary, using a knife or similar tool, shave wood off the unyielding spots on the belly only, until both the upper and lower limbs curve similarly to each other.
Now as the piece of wood looks fit aesthetically, cut the notches where the string will be tied, about 2.5 to 5 centimeters from each end of the bow. Do not cut to deep, but only deep enough to hold the string in place. For the string, some material possibilities are rawhide, thin nylon rope, hemp cord, fishing line, strands of cotton or silk from caterpillars and ordinary twine. Make your string slightly shorter than the length of your unflexed bow, so that both bow and string are taut.
For arrows, use straight sticks about half as long as the bow itself. If further straightening is needed, you can do that by holding the stick over hot coals, without burning it, and then holding it straight while the wood cools. The simplest arrowhead is simply a carved point on the front of the arrow shaft. You can whittle such a point with a knife and then fire harden it by gently heating it in coals. Add some fletchings at the other end of the arrow by inserting some feathers which will increase the pinpoint accuracy and improve the arrow’s range of flight.