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Adventurer
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Buy the Bowyer's bible. Volume 1 covers everything you need to know, though the second and third volume are valuable as well. Good shooting.
I second this the bowyers bible series will walk you through it step by step and cover many different construction/ bow types from around the world and get progresivly more itricate designs as you go along
 

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Anyone have good plans to make your own archery bow and arrows? There doesn't seem to be much out there!!
You are not looking in the right spots. There is a ton of stuff out there.

Go over to palioplanet.com or primitive archery.com or the wildwood survival site.

Three Rivers Archery has excellent supplies, as well as others.

Do not look under archery bows and arrows. Google primitive bows, self bows or "how to make bows and arrows". You will get about 20,000,000 hits with detailed instructions.

Be carefull! Bowmaking is a time consuming addiction that suckers you in because it is nearly free. It is almost worse than smelling black powder for the first time.
 

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Custom Knife Maker
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229 Posts
My suggestion is to buy a 3 piece takedown recurve and pack that instead. You can also call around and find a bow maker near you that wouldn't mind showing you the do's and don't's of bow making. Still pick up a couple of books on it and find one thats more generalized for your area as far as choices of wood. There are also books on how to make a bow in a survival situation.
 

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Try Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival
and
The Complete how-to Book of Indiancraft by W. Ben Hunt
The Bowyers bible as mentioned
Remember Ishi"s uncle's sage advice,"Any fool can make a bow, the wise man makes the arrow."
If you are going to use feathers,don't mix the wing feathers. A right wing feather will make the arrow rotate right, a left wing to the left and mixing them will make the arrow wobble. good luck
I can see why you are thinking to building one. When I go into a sporting good store, all I see are compounds. And i don't see any good bows in the flea markets.
 

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Interesting how people thinking in terms of social meltdown start thinking about building bows from scratch. The nature of the social collapse has much to do with available materials after the fact. Say an asteroid wipes the planet "clean" then yes, those few who survive will need the knowledge of how to make bows from fairly rudimentary sources. On the other hand if society melts down due to political mismanagement there well be ample sources of raw materials that can be used or adapted to making bows.
On the other hand consider this....one can easily lay-in a stock of 10,000 rounds of .22 Long Rifle ammo and a gun to shoot it...all packed in waterproof bags. One can just as easily use the time we have now to select the ideal .22LR "tactical rifle" and obtain proper suppression for it which means in the post-apocalyptic world that person would be in a position of extreme power. Bows and arrows are nice but the brutal reality is that even the lowly .22LR is a better option.
The astute survivalist will of course package technical books that can be used to rebuild a technological base, but will also realize that having a "bullet launcher" albeit small, beats arrows and spears.
 

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Bear in mind a homemade bow does not necessarily need to conform to the standards of classic, or modern bows. The key is to start with a length of "riven" wood, that being where the tree is cut and then split down its grain to liberate appropriately sized sections. These can then be draw-knived and shaved to whatever size, or one can create flexible limbs which will be affixed to a solid center section.
Unfortunately the "right answer" is to have whatever you think you will need ahead of time.
 
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