Q:

How do you make an osage orange bow?

A:

Quick Answer

To make an osage orange bow, gather two long osage orange wood billets, a steel tube, metal pins, a vice, a draw knife, a wood file and a drawstring. Use wood that has been fully dried.

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Full Answer

  1. Attach the billets

    Measure the steel tube. It should be a little more than one inch in diameter and four inches long. Round one end of the billets using the draw knife so that they fit perfectly inside the tube. Drive the metal pins through the tube and the wood. Drill a hole about one inch from the tube on both sides and insert a metal pin.

  2. Shave off the bark

    Put the bow stave in a vice and take off the bark with the draw knife. Follow the wood grain to prevent cracks. Continue shaping the bow with the draw knife and smooth the back with a wood file. Allow the knife to create divots and lumps if this is where the wood grain goes.

  3. Measure the bow

    Measure one inch from the end of the metal tube. This is the bow's true center. Measure three feet on either side from this point and cut off excess wood.

  4. Shape and test the bow

    Carefully shave more wood from the bow until it is a little more than one inch thick in all directions. Taper it at the end to create a smooth arch. Press on both ends of the bow to test its strength. Tie the drawstring to the ends and practice stretching it out before use.

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