Is anyone else a fan of the bow and arrow? For the past two months I've been archery-happy, spending most of my free time target shooting in the back yard, making arrows, fixing arrows, making bowstrings, googling the subject and shopping for archery stuff at the weekend swap meets here. It's a thing that's been at the back of my mind for years and years. A while ago I finally picked up an all-wood bow at the swap meet along with three old arrows. I wanted wood for a "primitive" feel. The archers I admire are not the modern ones with their overdone compound contraptions. I took this wood bow out back and shot the arrows at an old cushion. From just 15 feet away, it was surprisingly easy to hit with a vague general aim in it's direction. I therefore kept backing up, and got bolder with the bow, drawing it further and further back for more distance and power. On about the 20th shot I drew the bow back so far it snapped in two and became a whizzing angry mess of string and shards in front of my face. Cheap, crap bow. Googling revealed that an all wood bow has to be made carefully following the grain of the limb from which it's constructed, or, it has to be prevented from developing any initial splits by the application of some tough, flexible coating on the front with good tensile strength. The Native Americans used animal sinew fibers glued on with a gelatin-like glue made from boiling various animal parts. Further googling revealed that almost all ancient and primitive peoples were extremely advanced in engineering their bows to prevent them from doing what mine did, and spent months slowly gluing them up from a variety of carefully chosen composite materials. The myth of the whittled stick dies. Someday I may make an all-wood bow from scratch in the primitive manner by gluing sinew on the front, but for now I've settled for wood and fiberglass composite bows that I've been able to pick up at the swap meet for peanuts. (The same general bow I pick up at the swap meet for ten dollars turns out to sell new at the archery store for $250.00. I'm stealing them.) I have four now: a longbow, two medium recurves, and a small, mean, surprisingly powerful recurve. My arrows are a mixed bag of wood, fiberglass, and aluminum shafts. I ground broadhead points out of steel for the wooden ones. Factory made screw in points for the aluminum ones are cheap and work well. For a while I was putting plastic vanes on the aluminum ones that needed repair, but I'm switching them all over to feather fletching and they are behaving much better with it.