Sunday, June 4, 2017

7A-9 A Bamboo Bow and Arrow

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Our project was a bamboo crossbow, but that proved too hard in the time given. Our first idea was to  buy a piece of bamboo on Amazon, and try to bend it to make the bow. But then we quickly realized that dried bamboo is nearly impossible to bend. So we got a fresh piece of bamboo. The fresh bamboo was a lot thinner than the dried piece of bamboo, but it was still usable, and bendable.  The way we thought we could bend the dried bamboo was by soaking it in water for a day, but then, we realized that that only worked for fresh bamboo. So we made a mold for the fresh bamboo and put it in for about a day.

As it was bending, we made the string for the bow out of artificial sinew by twisting it over itself. After we took the bamboo out, it was bent and ready to string.

To string it we drilled holes on the ends of the bamboo and then we zip tied the extra piece of artificial sinew through the hole to the piece of bamboo, which surprisingly, held pretty well.

In the process of making the bow out of fresh bamboo we wanted to see if we could use the dried bamboo at all, so we took one of the extra pieces that had not been cut and just tried bending it by using a bench, which as expected, started cracking. We thought at this point that nothing could be done with the cracked piece of bamboo, except a little afterwards we realized that now that the bamboo was cracked in the middle, it was more flexible and able to bend a little bit. After discovering this we decided to make a second bow using the same artificial sinew for the first bow. The second bow did not work nearly as well as our first, but we didn't have very high expectations because it was just an experiment.

Despite not being able to make a crossbow, there were many other things to take away from this experience.  For example, we learned that dried bamboo was very hard to bend and maybe we could have done a little bit more research and planning before we started this project.

-Duncan and Niles

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