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Monday, February 10, 2014

How to make a bow out of a bicycle wheel

While it is an amusing design for how to make a bow to practice archery with, I do NOT actually recommend the bow designs shown below.

My reasoning is fairly simple. I have been doing archery since 1989. I have over 12 bows myself, and two things I have learned over the years are the following...

#1. Decurve bows do not make good bows. (The designs shown below are definitely decurve.)

#2. The bow below isn't really a bow. It is really more a kind of complicated looking slingshot using a giant rubber band.

The end result is a slingshot that really is not a bow, doesn't really work that well, and would ultimately be a waste of time for anyone who is not into slingshots.

So if you are into slingshots, go ahead and use the designs below. If you are into archery I have suggestions to make at the bottom for how a person could make a proper bow - in this case a recurve bow - using bicycles parts.

HOW TO MAKE A BOW SLINGSHOT USING A BICYCLE WHEEL

You will need...

Old Bicycle Wheel
Giant catapult rubber band - $5. (You could use a rubber inner tube, but it isn't as powerful.)
Saw to cut the bike rim
Drill and drill bits.
Scissors / Tin Snips or some way to remove the spokes from the wheel
Metal file to tidy up the cuts
Pliers for bending
Eyelets + Retainers for the eyelets (plasterboard expanding grommets work well)



The design above is pretty much self explanatory just by looking at the photo. It is basically just a frame for holding rubber band for the slingshot. The bicycle wheel does bend a bit like a bow, but it is the rubber band that does 90% of the work.

Cut the wheel, smooth down the rough edges, drill some holes in it, add the eyelets, etc, attach the rubber band and you're done.





HOW TO MAKE A RECURVE BOW USING BICYCLE PARTS

#1. Cut the wheel into quarters instead of halves.

#2. Line the quarters up like below

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#3. Weld them together to make the classic recurve bow shape.

#4. Drill holes in the top of the bow and the bottom of the bow, roughly one inch from the ends.

#5. Using bicycle cable, string the bow between the two holes.

#6. Find a sturdy way to affix the bicycle cable to the bow. I recommend drilling the holes big enough to fit a bolt through there, wrap the cable around the bolts a bit, slide the bolt through the hole, tighten with a nut on the opposite side and make it super tight so the cable won't come loose. Repeat process both ends of the bow.

#7. Wrap bicycle handlewraps around the handle where you will be gripping the bow.

#8. Optional - Make an arrow rest using random parts from a scrap bicycle.

#9. Optional - Make stabilizer using random parts.

#8. Use a crimp to add a bead on your bowstring so your arrows don't slide up and down.

#9. Practice with your new recurve bow!

#10. Send me photos of the finished product so I can show others what you did!

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