Friday, May 25, 2012

Custom Longbow: 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.

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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