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How to Make a Bow and Arrows

How to Make a Bow and Arrows

What do Robinhood, The Hunger Games and the new TV series Arrow have in common? All hit stories involve one of the most popular weapons in history, a bow and arrows. As a child I was always attracted to Indians rather than cowboys. I can’t really explain why. I guess the Indians were more mysterious than the guys who wore hats and slung pistols on their hips. And maybe because American Indians are experts in using a bow and a set of arrows.

If you’re into hunting and the great outdoors, here’s a real treat for you. Let’s discuss how you can make a bow and arrows. Let’s aim to make one that can shoot as far as 275 meters.

Make The Bow.

Carefully select a long piece of sturdy but flexible wood for the bow. You can select from the following list: white woods elm, ash, hazel, lemon tree wood, oak, hickory, yew, black locust, or teak. There are some important points to consider when choosing wood for your bow. Get a piece that is about one meter long. Your choice should be almost perfect; without limbs, twists or knots.

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Pick a wood that can bend to your satisfaction. That way, when you release arrows, the string won’t slap the side of your hand. To avoid a painful incident like this, pick flexible choices such as juniper or mulberry—they’re recommended for this purpose. However, I highly recommend bamboo: my personal choice. My advice is also to choose a piece of wood that will fit your grip. A young bamboo stalk is a perfect choice because it’s strong and flexible. Bending it will be easy breezy!

Shape the bow.

The middle of an ideal bow is sturdy, so it’s usually thicker. A bigger center makes a better handle. Moreover, it’s advisable to look for a piece of wood with a natural curve. It’s easier to bend when shooting arrows.

Shave off portions of the wood on the inner part of the curve with a knife, or carve out the side that faces you when shooting an arrow. Make shavings on the thicker half of the stick until its width is identical with the other end. Balance is a crucial factor in this step. If your stick has roughly the same diameter from end to end, it’s recommended that you shave both ends. Your goal is to have a bow with a thick, sturdy center bordered by two slimmer, and more flexible edges that ideally have the same length and diameter.

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Create notches for the bow string.

With a knife, make small notches about one to two inches from each end of the bow. The notches should be shaped like a half moon and located outside of the bow’s curve.

Choosing a bow string.

For the string, you can use nylon rope, hemp cord, rawhide, strands of cotton or silk from caterpillars, fishing line, or ordinary twine. If those materials are not available, then you’ll be forced to use vines or sinew. Let’s imagine you’re stuck in the wilderness, in this scenario it could be difficult to look for material for a string. You might need to do a series of trials and errors before you can settle on a choice that meets your needs. A bow string should not stretch too much since, basically, the power comes from the wood, not from the string.

We’re done with the bow. Now, how do we create arrows?

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Choose materials wisely for your arrows.

Ideally, arrows are straight; the straighter the better. Look for the straightest sticks you can find. While a dead wood is not recommended for the bow, the wood for your arrows must be dry. The length of the arrows is preferably 50% shorter than the bow, or as far as the bow can be drawn backwards. It’s not wise to have arrows that can’t be drawn back to the bow’s full potential. Additionally, you must take these items in consideration:

Construct the arrowheads.

The arrowhead can simply be a point carved out on the front of the arrow stick. Whittle a point with your knife and then harden it by heating it mildly on coals (be careful, don’t burn the wood). Find the right distance from the heat to do this.

You may also choose to construct arrowheads from metal, glass, bone or stone. You can then attach them to the arrow’s tip by notching them to the wood. How? Cut a notch across the tip of the arrow shaft and insert an arrowhead into each notch. Next, to make sure the arrowheads won’t fall off, tightly fasten them to the wood with a strong cord.

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Fabricate the arrows.

Whittle the wood with smooth cuts around the arrow’s circumference. You can harden an arrow by heating the shaft over hot coals gently and then hold the arrow straight while the wood cools down. Create a tiny notch at the back end of the arrows to suit the bow string.

Create fletchings.

Fletchings improve the arrow’s flight. Some will say it’s optional, but personally I suggest you make them. Feathers are the best material for fletchings: simply glue them on the ends of the arrows. Another way is to make a small split at the back of every stick, slide in a feather, and wrap a thread around the fletching.

Now, you can smile. Your bow and arrows are ready for a hunting party. Just make sure you exercise extreme care!

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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