Woodworking Projects

Workshop tip: Drawing bow borrows tent-rope tightener

Some time ago I needed to draw fair curves for some Arts and Crafts furniture I had designed. I read an article about drawing bows, and the author’s advice was to use a taut-line hitch on the bowstring. I recalled struggling with that knot in Boy Scouts, and then remembered those little clips—made from metal or plastic—that serve the same purpose on tent ropes, but are much easier to use. So I made a few of those from wood for my drawing bows, and they work beautifully. Make the long wood battens from a clear-, tight-, straight-grained wood like maple, in several lengths and thicknesses, with a bowstring on each one, made from plumber’s string. Bend the batten to the curve you find pleasing or functional, slide the clip up the string, and it will stay in place while you draw. Small adjustments are easy as pie.

drawing bow with tent rope tightener

—LESLIE M. OHMART III, Brewer, Maine

Illustrations by Dan Thornton From Fine woodworking issue #301

Sign up for eletters today and get the latest techniques and how-to from Fine Woodworking, plus special offers.