After you have carefully selected the tree, cut it down, and (hopefully) had time to age the wood it is time to prep the bow staves. Prepping bow staves is a fair amount of work but made easier with the right tools and a little experience. The examples below aged for nearly seven years in … Continue reading Prepping Bow Staves
A pictorial step-by-step of the bow-making process. This quick look isn't intended to replace the one-on-one learning of a real teacher or to cover all aspects of the art that come from years of practice. Expect both success and failure and don't let either one dominate your learning. Education is a process, not an instance. … Continue reading Making a Self-Bow
Dowel Cutter - A useful tool for large-scale production A version of this post appeared here in 2012 but here is an update as prelude to a coming post. I've been using a Veritas dowel and tenon cutter to rough out arrow shafts from planks. Quite a while ago I posted about the jig I … Continue reading Arrows from Planks
Several years ago I starting documenting some of the arrow-making I do. I wrote the original version of this piece in 2012 but as it always draws a lot of interest I have re-edited it and am posting it again. Arrows have been much on my mind after seeing how ratty some of mine have … Continue reading Bamboo Arrow Construction
Some Thoughts on Making Arrows, an Underappreciated Art - I have been making my own arrows from scratch for a couple decades (since 1987 to be precise) and thought I'd showcase some I have made over the past few years. I don't generally make them to sell and I rarely hunt these days but there … Continue reading Arrowology
Satire on archery from 1794. More at the British Museum.
More bamboo arrows from the leatherworking reverend.
I’ve been doing a little consulting to my nephew*, who has been making a Mongolian bow for a school history assignment. His theory is that the Mongolian bow gave the advantage to the Mongols during their invasion of China in the 14th century, so he’s making one and testing it out. I disagree in a greater part, but it’s more important that he can research, develop and coherently defend a theory. I offered to make him some contemporary bamboo arrows to go with the bow, partially because I knew he wouldn’t have time, and partially because it was an opportunity for me to learn some new skills working with bamboo. He’s also going to be a little more forgiving than a paying client if I make a couple of mistakes while I’m learning, or take some shortcuts.
Paleotool has an excellent two parter on making bamboo arrows, I…
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A sheef of pecok arwes, bright and kene, Under his belt he bar ful thriftily, (wel koude he dresse his takel yemanly: His arwes drouped noght with fetheres lowe) Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, Prologue, The Yeoman, lines 104-7.
Some epic archery shooting here. Lars takes it to an extremely high level. http://youtu.be/BEG-ly9tQGk
I just posted a "how to" for bamboo arrows on Instructables. It is impossible to teach a complete class in this way but I've done what I can. If you have an interest in arrowsmithing, have a look by clicking the arrows above.
Thanks to those who participated in our bow making class this year. I failed to get many photos so if anyone would be willing to share theirs with me, I would be most grateful. Email me at zcoyotez (at) yahoo.com. We made very traditional flat bows. This is a straight-forward, predictable design that is easy … Continue reading Winter Count Bow Makers
The winds slowed, the killer dust settled and I was able to get back to the bow. A few minutes with the power planer took the rough shape down to a nearly finished product. The calipers are useful and can save a lot of guesswork when making the same style bow over and over. Above, … Continue reading Hickory Bow part 2
The next hickory bow. I have a barn full of aged staves languishing that need to be made into bows. Today the weather was good and I had some free time so I jumped on the opportunity to get back into production. Over the last three years I've only made about one bow per year … Continue reading Hickory Bow