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How to Sinew Back a Wooden Bow – Part 3

March 16, 2012

It’s been two weeks and the sinew on our bow is completely dry, so now it’s time to finish it out.  Pictured below: Bow with dried sinew backing

The first thing that we will do is to wrap the tips with sinew to keep the backing from coming lose at the tips.  You can just take a few strands of sinew and chew on them for a minute.  The chewing and the enzymes in your saliva will soften the sinew and activate the natural glue in it.  Wrap both ends and set the bow aside for an hour to dry.  When the sinew wraps are dry you can trim off the excess sinew that is lapped over onto the belly of the bow.  Pictured below: Bow tip wrapped with sinew

Next we need to make a string.  Sinew stings are very nice and very authentic, but they require considerable care.  Since this bow is for a little boy I am going to make the string out of waxed Dacron. It looks good and it is very durable.  Pictured below: Dacron string

The bow may require a little re-tillering after it is backed.  No matter how carefully you apply the sinew, you are going to get a little more on one side than the other.  It usually doesn’t make a great difference, so only a little tillering will be required.

Now the bow is essentially finished so we are going to apply a good coat of polyurethane to seal the wood and protect the sinew from moisture.  Let the polyurethane dry over night and then there is one last thing to do.  Pictured below: Applying polyurethane to the bow

It is by no means necessary, but a nice leather hand-grip gives the bow a finished look.  On this bow I decide to use tanned deerskin for the grip.  After careful measuring and cutting, I punch holes in the grip, apply some glue, and sew the grip in place.  Pictured below: Leather grip glued and sewn in place

And here is the finished product, strung and ready to wreak havoc on the neighborhood cats.  Pictured below: Finished bow

2 Comments
  1. Keith permalink

    This is a vary good guide thanks for taking the time to do it

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