wikiHow to Make a Flat Bow and Arrow

If done correctly, depending on its length, this bow may gave a draw a weight of a 40 to 60 pound bow, and created with nothing but a hunting knife. This is good for hunting. This bow is fashionable and it's useful.


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    Get some wood. Any number of woods can be used to make a good flat bow; however, hickory, oak, ash, teak or yew work very well. composite bows are the best, but they must be sinew backed and that is not covered in this article.
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    Check to make sure your wood is about one to one and a half inches wide and five eights of an inch thick. When you're done it should be about one centimeter thick and three eights of an inch wide at the end and the same as what you started with at the base where the limb and the handle meets. There can't be too many branches on the limb -- branches mean weak points. Shave all the bark off of it except for the back of the bow which is the the outer part of the curve. Put your hand where it will normally be and mark it with a pen. Once this is done, put a second mark over the top limb's mark. The arrow will go in between these marks.
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    Begin shaping the wood. Do not cut into the handle part. Use a thin hide, such as rabbit or squirrel hide. Wrap it tightly and use either fletching glue or hide glue. This will stay the same way it is so that it can support the limbs. To make this process go faster you can hack rather than whittle the wood. The best to use is a coarse sandpaper. Make the thickest part of the limbs at the base and make it narrowest at the end. Both limbs must be the same thickness or the bow will not bend right, making it worthless.
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    Understand that you must leave the bark on the back of the bow (the side that faces away from the archer) If removed, it may crack and break. Make the notches for the string on the sides of the bow, cutting them diagonally facing down on the belly. Make the string two inches from the notch.
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    Making the bowstring. Braided sinew works good. Nylon string works ok. paracord works well. You must take three strings and twist them together. And if that still isn't enough then repeat this procedure two more times and finally twist all three of them together. Make the individual lines about 5–10 inches (12.7–25.4 cm) longer than the bow is. Keep in mind you will also need extra string for loops and string gets shorter when it is braided together
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    Make the string three inches longer than intended to be so you can make a loop for stringing and un-stringing.
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    Start taking a fourth string that is two inches longer and twist it around it.
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    Begin making loops for stringing and un-stringing. The final part of making the string is to make a primer so that the string does not wear out.
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    Take a long string of the same material and wrap it tightly around the string only where you are going to nock your arrow.
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    Let your bow dry before stringing so that it does not warp and lose its springiness. Once it has dried, put some bow finish on it. Without bow finish, it will crack and break from rotting.If you put the bow finish on before it dries out, it will lock the moisture in. This will cause the bow to warp. So it's wise to be patient and let it dry.
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    Understand there is a faster way to make it dry. First, don't try putting it in a hot attic. You'll leave it there and forget it or overestimate the time it needs to be in there. The heat box is a better method. Find a long enough box for your bow. Then cut a hole on the wide side on both sides. Take a 125 watt light bulb and fix it to dangle in the box without touching the box. Do not use a cardboard box! It will catch fire. Use a nonflammable box. The way a heat box works is it pries the moisture out of the bow and the moving current through the holes carries the water away.
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    Make arrows out of cheap dowel rods. Before purchasing, roll them on the floor and if they roll they are straight. If they are not straight, they won't fly straight. Don't sharpen the ends of the arrows.they will become dull within a short amount of time.instead use glue on triple point broad heads. There is a cheap military issued broad head called M-A3-L. Some archery shops will sell these.
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    Know that the longer the bow the more power it can have and the easier it is to make, Depending on your height, you may want to make it as tall as you are. For about a 45-60 pound bow, it should be four to six feet tall.


  • To pull back an arrow on the string, put three fingers on the string and put the arrow under the top finger and over the bottom two.
  • Don't go cheap on the string.If it snaps it could break the bow,or if you have drawn the string back it could slap your eye and you would be in the hospital for weeks. Avoid using metal strings.
  • unstring your bow when done. The bow will lose strength if left strung for a period of over one day. You can shoot all day with no problem, but don't leave it strung at night.
  • If you buy an oak board at a hardware shop for ten bucks and craft it into a professional job that performs well, you can resell it on eBay for $250, but it must look absolutely flawless.
  • Run the bow through the fire a few times to dry it. Take note this will also add a significant amount of weight to the bow. Some of the looseness in the wood will also fade.
  • Put wood finish on when dry so that it does not start to rot and weaken.
  • If you can't get fletching or are making arrows out of sticks, you can split the arrow at the end where the fletching is going and put cardboard or wood shavings in the split end and then tie it tight and cut it with scissors until it is the right shape. You can also use duct tape to make fletchings.


  • Do not point and shoot at any animal unless you intend to eat that animal . Only shoot at game animals that are in season. Even so, it's recommended to use a "surer" way of hunting that will be less likely to only maim.
  • No one but yourself is responsible for any legal or medical problems caused by this article.
  • Give yourself extra string length: braiding takes away length
  • This bow is a weapon and should be treated with respect.
  • Misuse of this bow can cause serious injury and most likely death.

Things You'll Need

  • Hickory, Oak, ash, yew, teak or any suitable wood
  • Dowel rods and cheap fletching and fletching glue
  • Bow finish or sealer
  • cardboard/feathers/plastic fletching
  • glue on broadheads

Article Info

Categories: Archery | Hunting