The Archery Library
Old Archery Books, Articles and Prints
Home > Books > Bows and Arrows > Bow Making—Concluded
Chapter V
Bow Making—Concluded
Part 5 of 7

fig. 11
Click for a larger image

A. Showing nock above the extremity of wood: (wrong Construction).
B. Wood extending up into horn safely beyond nock.
     1. Nock in horn for string.
     2. Extent of wood up into horn tip.

Last, comes adding the horns and the handle. The horns are from the tips of cow horns, turned to suitable form and size. These tips can be obtained unturned from pipe makers' supply houses, horn being used for pipe bits. The charge is the same, whether bought turned (finished) or untouched—a pair for 75 cents. File down the ends of the bow, obliterating the temporary nocks, and having shaped them to a good deep, snug fit in the horns, secure with glue. (See separate instruction concerning glue, page 78.) Then when the glue has set, file the nocks on the horns for the bowstring. Be sure to file them on the wood; that is, so the bowstring will pull on the bow itself, not on the horns out beyond the ends of the bow. (See diagram, page 71.)

The handle may be made to suit the individual preference. Take a flat piece of pine, white-wood or what you like, size 3/8 + 1-1/8 + 4 inches. Glue it on the back of the bow at the handle. Let the glue harden, then round off the pine and the square edges of the back side of the grasp with a rasp, to a comfortable shape for the hand. The additional bit of wood to round out the handle (the rounding of the belly at the grasp of completing the round) is necessary, as without it the bow would be hard to control. Cover the handle with leather or other material. A good foundation for this is a few turns of adhesive tape coated with waterproof glue.

Just so is the first bow finished. I say first because it is strange if, having made one bow, the archer goes no further. The third bow, like the novelist's fourth book, is usually the first by which the amateur bow maker may fairly judge his success.