Originally Posted by Scratchammo
I'm interested in learning to make a good bushcraft bow. What wood do you use? Can paracord make a good bowstring? Do your arrows spiral? How much draw weight is recommended? What do you make arrowheads with? Anything else?
I made a homemade crossbow when I was in high school metal and wood shop. Back in the 80's, about 100 years ago.
In wood shop I made a "rifle stock" with a channel groove and a very basic slot for a trigger mech.
In metal shop I took a leaf spring and cut it at about 30" and then down the middle with a torch. I ground the hell out of it to clean it up and cut a couple of notches in the ends along with a hole in the center at the dead center. I also made a very, very primitive lock and roller type of trigger mech to lock the cord back.
Took them it all home, assembled it with an actual crossbow string and was able to take doweling from the hardware store, notch the end and sharpen the tip with a standard pencil sharpener.
After 2 or three times the bow string would split the doweling from use, but for the first couple of firings, even without fins on the back of the "bolts" the thing would put that doweling almost completely through a hay bale.
I made a home laminate bow one time but it never produced the kind of torque or accuracy that the homemade crossbow did.