- From : Odessa Valyrion
Howdy people. As most of you know I used to teach the kiddos about ranged weapons. As a true markswoman I learned a thing or two along the way as I managed to survive some crazy shit in this apocalypse.
One useful thing that can save your life both IG and IRL is knowing how to fletch bows and arrows. That's right. I will tell you some of my secrets to creating your own bow!
Disclaimer: Odessa, nor World of Walkers is responsible for things you do and stunts you pull outside of our website. Be sure to be careful when working with sharp objects. These crafts are harmless as long as you are careful and don't use them on others!
Before I spill all the beans on makings the bow (and arrows), you need to assess what kind of wood piece you’re going to use. This is a personal process. Everyone has their own preference. You need to find a branch that is slightly flexible. The best branch would be from oak tree, hickory, teak,black locust or thin bamboo. Bamboo canes can be thick, be sure to use a thin cane, younger canes tend to be even more flexible.
The branch should be a dead and dry one, but not cracking. We don't to around woods, tearing limbs from trees (threatens with poisened dart) It should be about a man’s height, about 6 feet (1.8 meters). Women can use shorter branches, but I would't reckomend it. If you're a giant above 6 feet (1,8meters) find one that is close to your own height, but still shorter than you are.
Your next step is to determine its flexibility and natural curve. To do that, place the wood piece on the ground and press your left hand on the middle of the branch. Meanwhile, pull one end of the branch with your right hand upwards, so you start to curve the branch. Do it carefully and pull lightly. You don’t want to break the branch by pulling it too hard. Even the most flexible wood can break at some point.
Ok, you found a branch you like? Checked it out? Perfect. This week I will teach you how to make a bow out of this and next week... you'll get some amo!
you have to estimate your handhold on the bow. This may look like an unnecessary step, but it’s actually crucial. If you’re in a heated situation or you need to react quickly you don’t want to look for where to hold your bow in order to make the perfect short – it needs to be obvious immediately. This is why you’ll have to set marks. Let me show you how it's done:
Determine the midpoint of the branch and measure three inches (about 7,5cm) up and down the branch from that center point. On these two places (above and below the center), set marks (either cut small indentations, or mark with a felt-tip marker, etc). Make sure they are permanent and clearly visible.
Another important step in shaping your bow is to determine the harder spots of the wood piece. Place one end on the ground and hold the other end with your hand at its top. Start curving the branch, hold the bottom end with your leg and keep holding it with your hand as well. Determine which areas seem to be less flexible and shave wood off of them. Cut carefully and in small bits. Do this (preferably) with a pocket knife. Remember to be careful! We are not responsible for any cuts or lost fingers!
You might wonder why we do this. Well... this way you'll have a bow that is evenly flexible. Every now and then, check your progress. You don’t want to overdo this step, since it’s very easy to ruin the entire wood piece. When you shave the wood, also keep in mind to remove only bark, not the inner and softer area of the branch. Otherwise, you compromise the bow and it may break easily. You should end up with a bow that has similar diameter evenly across the branch, and similar curve and flexibility.
One exception though: You must keep the center area (for your grip) the hardest and keep it as thick as it was originally. Basically, shave wood only on the two ‘limbs’ that are above and below the hand-hold area that you marked. Your hand-hold area should be the hardest, thickest and least flexibile part of your bow.
Now after shaving you need to polish your bow with sandpaper. This will remove any hard areas on the surface that can hurt your hands while holding it. Preferably use different grits, and begin with the roughest one and gradually change to grit with finer surface (rough grits have lower number, e.g. 12 grit is very rough, and you can begin with it; 220 grit is a very fine and soft grit; use that for the last polishing touches)
Cut two notches at each end of the bow. This is where you’ll tie the bow strings. Be careful not to cut the wood too deep for the notches, or you compromise the bow’s strength.
Next you have to choose the bow string. Each bow string has different properties, but overall several options can be equally good. The string must not be elastic. The strength of a bow comes from the elasticity of the wood limbs, not the string. When you’re in the wilderness you may have a hard time finding a suitable substitute for a string, so preparation beforehand is the best option. Otherwise, here are our suggestions: nylon rope, hemp cord, twine, rawhide, finishing line, etc. Remember though that nylon can be heavier and the arrow may not get the strength to fly far. You definitely need a light and strong string. Preferably, use several strings and tie them to each other along their length. You’re thickening the final bow string this way, by using not just one string, but several.
The final step of preparing the bow is to tie the string around it. So, use the notches to tie around each bow’s end. Make a knot at each end. What you’re aiming at is to keep the bow and string taut. This can be achieved by having less of the string’s length untied, compared to the bow’s length.
And all done! They may not look as fancy as storebought weapons, but they will do the trick!
Draven Delaney Yes!! Idk how great I would be and I might even end up smacking myself in the face from failure to fletch and hook it up all right, but I'm a good shot. :') I think we used Oak in school. So I'd probably try that. Thanks, Dess.
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