A B C D
1. MAKE THE BOW
A. SHAPE THE BOW’S CENTER
Using a small axe, split the bamboo into 1"-wide
strips (Figure A). You’ll need 4 straight, cut, and
trimmed sticks in total. From the ground, measure
the length of the bamboo against the intended
user, mark the spot at the user’s forehead, then
cut 1 piece of bamboo to that length, 1 to half that
length, and 2 lengths in between (Figure B). When
the 4 are clumped together, the center should be
about 1" square.
B. SMOOTH OUT THE STICKS
Trim the bamboo sticks with the trimming knife,
then sand them down with the sander (Figure C).
Make them all as even in thickness and width
as you can.
Also sand the internal knobs of the bamboo to
make it smooth all over. Sand and whittle a little
until the pieces lay flat against each other. Bamboo
edges can be sharp, so you may want to wear
C. NOTCH THE ENDS
Use the trimming knife to make the notch at each
end of the longest bamboo stick (Figure D) for the
string to sit on. By cutting just outside the bamboo
knot at each end, you’ll minimize splitting later.
D. TIE THE STICKS TOGETHER
Starting with the 2 longest sticks, lash together
each piece of bamboo firmly as you go, using strong
twine such as jute, hemp, or linen (Figure E). Knot
firmly using a whip finish knot. Test the symmetry
of the bend by flexing the bundled lengths.
E. MAKE THE ARROW REST AND HANDLE
Wrap a stiff, thick nylon cord around the center
section of the bow and use a hidden whip finish
knot to make a smooth finish (Figures F and G).
This does double duty as the arrow rest and the
handle; make it slightly bigger than the user’s hand.
F. MAKE THE BOWSTRING
Use a nylon or polyester cord to make the bowstring
(thin enough to fit the small arrow you’ll make, but
not so thin that it will cut small fingers). Tie one end
of the string with a hitch knot, then the other end
with a loop formed by a bowline or figure-eight loop.
Use trial and error to get the length just right.
G. STRING THE BOW
Fasten the hitch knot over 1 notch and place that end
of the bow on the ground. Hold the other end up and
bend the bow to slip the loop over the top notch. It’s
best to unstring the bow when it’s not in use.