Friday, May 25, 2012

Custom Longbow: Intro & Arrow Construction

For my first Project post, I will be walking through the process of creating from scratch a "Primitive" Longbow.  This is my first attempt that this type of weapon, but I am very pleased with the results.  The end product is a 65in Longbow, with a 60lb pull at 28in.  More importantly, it puts arrows down range just like it should.

Project Index

The belly of the bow is made of Red Oak, and the backing is a strip of Hickory.  I was able to obtain the Red Oak locally, but had to order the Hickory backing online.  While I was waiting for it to arrive, I went ahead and made a few arrows and broadheads.  I started with a chunk of 2in wide x 1/8in thick steel, and drew out the pattern for the broadheads.  Using a hacksaw and my Dremel tool, I began the (long) process of cutting them out.

I then began to file down the sides to a fairly good cutting edge.  They turned out well, and are very durable, but each one took me about 30-45min to make.  Soon after I found some steel broadheads online that were fairly inexpensive at $17 for a set of 6 "Trading Points".  At that price, it was really hard for me to justify spending so much time on making my own broadheads.  I was happy with the few I ended up making, but decided to purchase the rest online.

The Trading Points were a bit longer at 3.5in, and not as thick, but still very durable and can be filed down to a razor sharp edge.  They will work great for target practice and small game.  Using artificial sinew and archer's hot melt glue, I secured the broadheads to the arrow points.

Once that was complete, I cut some feathers in half and used them for fletching.  Again I used hot melt glue and artificial sinew to secure them to the shafts.  I used the right helical method on all the ones I have made so far, giving the 3 feathers a "rifled" look along the shaft.  They work quite well, and make a slight whistle when released from the bow.

I also made a few arrows called "Small Game Thumpers".  The construction is the same except for instead of broadheads, you slide a spend 410 shell over the end of the arrow shaft and hot glue it on.  The brass end of the shell gives you a nice blunt-force trauma arrow for small game / birds, that won't get stuck as easily in trees.  I have yet to use it, but have no doubt of its effectiveness.  Next up... bow construction.

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