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Bow Box (To Build a Bow Pt.1)

October 6, 2008

IMG_2462, originally uploaded by

One of my passions as a young J. was archery. To me, it’s a beautiful, difficult thing to master, and something that I’ve been meaning to pick up again for…oh, the last 20 years or so.

To that end, I bought a bow making kit a few years ago from Bingham Projects. Then I left the country for a year, and forgot about it. Then one day this last spring, I received an e-mail from the company that I bought the kit from asking me where the hell I’d gone, and if there was an address that my purchase could be sent to, and that this would be the last attempt to contact me.

When I received it, I was completely stoked! The bow should be absolutely beautiful when it’s completed. To me, that was part of the challenge: to be part of the age-old art of bending wood to cast arrows.

Then N. and I moved back east, and my plan was put on hold as we began our new lives; N. with learning the business world, and I with the job search. However, this last weekend I was able to gather all of the ancillary supplies necessary to begin construction, and began constructing.

The first stage of the kit (at least the order of stages that I went in, anyway) is to build a box that will, when fitted with two 200 Watt bulbs, allow the glue applied to the wood laminate and fiberglass laminate to cure in a recurved shape (kind of like a Nike swoosh) forming the limbs of the bow.

Since I’m without table saw, I needed the good people at Lowes to cut my wood for me. As it turns out, Lowes doesn’t charge (at least ours doesn’t) to cut wood. This is good, since I had planned on about $20 to make the 25 or so cuts necessary to make the box. That in conjunction with the wood being on sale, and the entire box project as well as the wood for the mold was less than $80. I was also able to save on the wiring. Instead of purchasing 25 feet of raw 14 gauge wire ($21.50), and all of the plug tidbits, I found a “plugged” 14 gauge wire (a wire with a plug already attached) for $12.00 Since I was planning on $120 or so, I’m quite glad.

Box assembly. There are lots of ways to make a box. I chose the easiest, albeit least scientific method: screw stuff together. Since I measured the cuts to pretty specific lengths, everything actually fit quite well. That’s not to say that I didn’t make my fair share of contributions to the swear jar. For those of you not familiar with this idiom, it is often customary for groups of people to put money in a jar for every profanity uttered in the presence of the group. Yesterday, as is often the case with my little projects, I could have pre-paid with $20.

Phase Two: build the mold itself.

Stay tuned for more adventures, and possibly the misadventures of this project.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. alliesanswers permalink
    October 6, 2008 7:51 pm

    Wow, that’s really cool that you’re making this yourself!


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