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How to make a bow
Part 8 of 8

Making the Handle Grip.—The covering for the handle of the bow may be of any suitable material such as leather, velvet, sheet cork, or fish cord. It covers the 4-inch handle space de of Figure 6. Cut out three oval-shaped pieces of leather, the first being 3¾ inches long by ⅞ inch wide, the second 3¼ inches by 58 inch, and the third 2 ⅞ inches by ⅜ inch. Glue them, one on top of the other, on the back of the handle to fill out the flatness, Figure 15, C. The top of an old shoe can supply the leather for this purpose. Assuming that a serviceable cord grip is desired, secure a heavy grade of good quality fish cord, not less than 116 inch thick. Apply casein glue to the handle and wrap the cord tightly and evenly over the full distance from d to e of Figure 6. Pull the ends of the cord tight under the first and last three or four turns to hold them in place.

Finish the top and bottom edges of the cord grip with a half-inch band of leather, the upper band also carrying the arrow plate, Figures 16 and 15, D. The arrow plate is on the left side of the bow for right-handed shooters and should be so placed that about an eighth of an inch of its back edge will bend around toward the back. Wrap each leather strip around the handle to measure the exact length. Allow a lap of ⅜ inch. Scarf the ends for the lap and glue the strips in place. Wrap ordinary binding twine over the leather in close turns until the glue has set.

FIGURE 15. Bow Details at the Handle: A. Yew bow, showing dips; B. Lemonwood bow, showing dips; C. Layers of leather glued on the back of the handle; D. Completed handle with cord grip and leather arrow plate.
FIGURE 15
Bow Details at the Handle:
A. Yew bow, showing dips; B. Lemonwood bow, showing dips;
C. Layers of leather glued on the back of the handle;
D. Completed handle with cord grip and leather arrow plate.
FIGURE 16. Details of Leather Edging for Handle
FIGURE 16
Details of Leather Edging for Handle

The Finish Coat.—Using a very fine sandpaper or steel wool, rub down lightly the first shellac coat in preparation for the second and last coat, which may be another one of shellac or varnish or clear lacquer. Lacquer is desirable for its quick-drying qualities, but it is difficult to make a smooth job with it unless an air-spray equipment is available. Whether shellac or varnish is used, a beautiful eggshell finish may be obtained by rubbing the surface down with powdered pumice stone and oil. At least two days should elapse between the varnish coat and the rubbing. Twelve hours should be sufficient for shellac.

We now have a completed man's bow, except for the bow string.