When I was writing and drawing the pictures for The Thirteenth Hour, I thought I’d give Logan and Aurora, the main characters, some unique gear. Not to the level of James Bond-style stuff, just something a little distinctive. Kind of like how Indiana Jones had his whip and hat, Luke Skywalker had his lightsaber, Marty McFly had his Delorean and flying hoverboard, etc. I’ll cover some of these things in future posts, but this one will be on archery gear.
It’s not a huge part of the book, but I do have a few mentions about a three-piece takedown bow that Logan is issued (meaning a bow that can be broken down in to three pieces for ease of transport). I figured these special soldiers should have something special up their sleeves when it came to their armament. Something functional and compact, but with a bit of, how shall we say, elan (pardon the French). Bows are, by nature, kind of bulky, and despite characters on TV using their bows as maces and staffs for braining people, they’re actually kind of delicate in some ways: large dents in the limbs from using the bow as a club would probably compromise the integrity of the wood; the string and wood are subject to temperature and humidity changes; bows should ideally be unstrung when not used so the limbs don’t take a set (and so on). So I figured someone on the move without a lot of time to fuss over equipment would appreciate something that could be easily taken apart and packed in a backpack and wouldn’t be much longer than a quiver of arrows.
Hence, the three part takedown bow (nothing new from a modern perspective; but probably pretty neat in a less technologically advanced world, like the one in the book). Below is a picture of a generic Imperial Ranger with a typical loadout – note the bow in the upper left-hand corner.
So I figured, why not try to make one myself? Although this is another topic entirely, it’s not difficult to make a bow quite cheaply and easily using PVC pipe that is heated and bent into the desired shape. If you search on youtube (there is also a corresponding google+ community), you will find many such examples.
Although I’d made a number of PVC bows, the takedown ones never quite worked out until recently. Luckily, PVC pipe is so cheap that experimentation is fairly painless. In any event, this design, which did work, was so quick and easy I thought I’d share it. It doesn’t look like the one in the picture above (that’s for a future project), but captures the spirit of what I was going for in the design: quick to take apart and put together, easy to use, and compact.
This is an aside, but archery gear is, in my opinion, incredibly overpriced. I can understand paying for bows that are handmade or made using difficult-to-work with materials (like horn). No complaints there. But most archery tackle is produced on a larger scale and with prices in the several hundreds of dollars for a bow (much more for a competition or top flight hunting bow); it’s beyond the reach of most people. So although not related to the book, for this project, I wanted to make a bow that could be made quickly and easily out of readily found or re-purposed household items (in keeping with my roots of making bows out of household materials).
Here’s what you need to make it:
The youtube video below documents the process of making the bow:
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on it – via this site or through my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Interested in making more PVC takedown bows? I’d highly recommend looking for other examples on youtube as well as checking out the book Takedown Archery by Nicholas Tomihama for more details of making takedown PVC bows and more.
If you’d rather buy a takedown bow, there are, of course, many commercial examples to choose from. You can also buy handmade PVC takedown bows from the following sellers at very reasonable prices:
1.) LLBows and Archery (see the takedown option)
2.) Jaycubl (see “Takedown Survival Recurve Bow Set”)
Happy creating and safe shooting!
Before you go: want a free podcast on the creation of this takedown PVC-fiberglass rod bow? Click the picture above for more details!
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- Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
- Art: http://13thhr.deviantart.com/gallery, http://www.wipnation.com/citizen/13thhr
- Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpcIUpwTiFY
- Listen to a free podcast of the book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-thirteenth-hour-audio/id955932074
- Read a free excerpt at https://medium.com/@13thhr/in-the-army-now-852af0d0afc0
- Purchase The Thirteenth Hourfor Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/The-Thirteenth-Hour-Joshua-Blum/dp/1505792673/ref=as_sl_pc_tf_til?tag=thethihou-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=UDBZIFI4NFSPCHG6&creativeASIN=1505792673
- Purchase a print copy at https://www.createspace.com/5202564
- Interested in a free electronic copy? Just email me at email@example.com for more details!