A bow is an ancient weapon of war and a valuable tool in hunting. Most commonly, the bow was made of wood, or of wood backed with sinew. In Asia, many bows were made of easily obtained bamboo. When it's the right size, bamboo is both strong and flexible. It makes a fine bow. You can even make arrows of bamboo. A bamboo bow can be made in almost any size; the larger the bow the greater its strength and shooting distance. A simple version can be made with relative ease.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 7 or 8 bamboo stalks, 4 feet long
- Wood glue
- Strong cord or bowstring
Take several bamboo stalks of equal thickness and bind them together with twine, in several places to create a secure fit. The bamboo bundle should be the thickness of an average bow. The individual bamboo stalks must be thin enough to be reasonably flexible.
Bend the bamboo bundle into the shape of a bow. Secure in place with braces or clamps.
Fill the gaps between the bamboo stalks with glue. Let dry.
Cut a notch near each end of the bow and on the inside of the curve of the bow. Wrap the cord or bowstring around each notch to get a sense of the length it has to be. The cord must be strong enough to spring back into place when pulled.
Snip off any excess cord. Unwrap the ends of the cord or bowstring and tie them into small loops. These must be able to fit snugly over the notches. String your bow by placing the loops over the notches. Unstring by releasing the bowstring at one end.
Tips and warnings
- Make arrows from similarly shaped but shorter lengths of bamboo. Either carve the ends into a point, or attach metal or stone arrowheads.
- Make your bow easier to manage by attaching a small bamboo handle to the middle portion of the outside of the bow.
- Do not aim arrows at people or animals. Even a simple bow can cause serious injury.
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