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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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