Wrapping a Bow Limb with Sinew

Sinew is a staple in any bowyer’s toolkit. Here I show how to make a quick patch in a weak area of a limb by wrapping it in sinew.

The sinew is shredded and soaked, and a light coat of glue is applied to the area around the weak spot. The strands of sinew are wrapped tightly around the limb, then smoothed over with more glue. It’s allowed to dry for at least a day – more if it’s humid.

Normally this fix is applied to cracks along a limb’s grain. This particular weak spot is caused by a compression fracture around a pin knot. I don’t yet know whether this will help the compression fracture, but it’s a quick enough fix that it’s worth a shot.

Using Dry Heat to Reflex a Bow: Lessons Learned

Using Dry Heat to Reflex a Bow: Lessons Learned

I recently bent reflex into an Osage stave and learned a few lessons. These may be obvious to the seasoned bowyer, but I want to share my growing pains in case the reader is interested in trying to bend wood with dry heat themselves. The lessons are stated in bullet points at the end of the post for those not interested in my rambling.

The Osage stave in question was roughed from a small diameter tree and has a slightly crowned back. It’s 52″ tip-to-tip and tapers to 1/2″ over the last 8″ of each limb. I most likely wouldn’t have reflexed it had it not demanded it. But after roughing it out I was left with one limb reflexed about 2″ and the other dead straight. I hadn’t had much luck reflexing bows before, but it was time to face the music: this bow would be reflexed, or it wouldn’t be a bow. After reviewing the Bending Wood chapter in The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible, Vol. 2, I cut a form out of a 2×8, fired up the heat gun (pun slightly intended, sorry), and set to work.

Continue reading

DIY .38 Blunt Arrow Tips

DIY .38 Blunt Arrow Tips

Tipping an arrow with a spent .38 cartridge is an old trick. It’s a cheap way to blunt your arrows for hunting small game. Some even put nails through the cartridge after it’s glued to the arrow to keep the arrow from burrowing when stump shooting.

Tools needed for tipping a blunt arrow with a .38 cartridge.

Tools needed for tipping an arrow with a .38 cartridge: arrow shaft, lighter, hot glue, the cartridge, some pliers, and a cold one in your favorite koozie.

Not long ago I broke a judo off my stumping arrow and was lucky enough to capture it in slow-motion:

Continue reading

DIY Underwater Kayak Lights

DIY Underwater Kayak Lights

Update: You can see the underwater lights in action in a clear freshwater lake here. The lights come on at about the 2:00 mark.

Introduction

Many claim that bowfishing is strictly a nighttime activity. While I certainly don’t hold this belief, I still like to take a bow into the darkness from time to time in search of fish. That’s why I decided to build an underwater light setup for my kayak.

Continue reading