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The Impossible Bow: Building Archery Bows With PVC Pipe Paperback – September 19, 2011


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The Impossible Bow: Building Archery Bows With PVC Pipe + Simple PVC Pipe Bows: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Forming PVC Pipe into Effective and Compact Archery Bows + Take-Down Archery: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Building PVC Take-Down Bows, Take-Down Arrows, Strings and More
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Levi Dream (September 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098324815X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983248156
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nicholas Ikaika Tomihama was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a young child, he would occupy his free time by making his own toys from assorted houshold items, often causing messes and minor chaos. His very first bow was made at the age of five from steel coat-hangers that had been straightened and taped together with a rubber-band string. His father, a now-retired jeweler and former president of the Hawaii Jeweler's Association, encouraged his meandering interests in making things. Nicholas had a love of archery as a child and his father bought him his first bow, a lil' Banshee compound when he was ten.

At the age of 14, and with his father's help, Nicholas began his own business crafting and marketing handmade Koa wood pens. During this time, he made many attempts at building knives and spears, and occassionally steel arrowheads. In highschool, he had little interest in archery, and in his senior year at Mid-Pacific Institute, met his soon-to-be wife Angela. After graduating, he attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo with the hopes of pursuing a degree in Business Administration. After one semester and an internal awakening of a passion for the primitive, he returned to Honolulu.

Back home, he started looking for a job and was hired by Sam's Club as a Home Meal Processor. With a job and a fiance, he attempted to start a custom knifemaking business which did not make it out of the gates. After moving from his parent's house, and subsequently losing access to his father's plethora of power tools, Nicholas found himself unable to make knives or pens.

Without much to do, he turned to archery, making use of his father's fiberglass hunting recurve bow. After shooting for a few months, he began building his own bows with simple hand tools, teaching himself as he went. After some time, he was asked by a friend to make a bow for him. It was broken when another friend pulled it too far, and thankfully nobody was injured. After that, he prayed and asked God what he should do.

He had always made things to sell, but after much prayer, he now had a different calling. He contunued to build bows in his backyard, eventually teaching a few others to build their own bows. With that under his belt, he took his own experiences in making bows and began writing the Backyard Bowyer to help others who were interested in making bows but didn't know where to start. On July 6, 2009, he and Angela were married. Shortly after completing the writing of the Backyard Bowyer, his first son, Levi Tomihama, was born. The rest is history.

How to Contact Me

Email: backyardbowyer@gmail.com
If you have read my book and have any questions, comments, or pictures of your own bows, I would love to hear from you!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John R. Edgerton on May 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The book contains well-written instructions and good photos on how to construct bows from PVC plastic water pipe. The author shows how to construct, with minimal tools and time, inexpensive and attractive bows from easily obtainable PVC water pipe and turn it into bows usable for both children and adults.

I have been involved in archery for over 35 years and I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in making good, but very inexpensive bows. The author gives step-by-step instructions supported with clear photos for each step. He has put expanded information on the process on You-Tube. His method, unlike some, includes recurving and thickness tapering the limbs, which makes for a more efficient, faster shooting bow. The book also includes instructions for making Eastern style bows with siyahs (ears) like the one on the cover.

I think the author, Nicholas Tomihama, deserves congratulations for making this information available so that more people can afford the ancient and fun sport of archery.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By T. Piatek on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nicholas Tomihama, the Backyard Bowyer, has opened up a world of fun for my family and I with this simple, easy-to-digest tome. While not the creator of the idea of using PVC for archery, he's certainly refined the process of turning plumbing into bows in a way I never thought possible!

YouTube has much of the same information available, as another reviewer mentioned; nevertheless, for under $10 (eBook edition), you really can't go wrong with this. The instructions on YouTube are thorough, but it's often hard to find out exactly where in the video he mentions specific measurements, and so on - here, you're really set up for success from the get go, with no fuss beyond reading the chapter you're interested in. Really, the videos are a great supplement, but that's how I used them - when I wanted to try a different technique for forming, assembling, and so forth.

He doesn't go into string-making, and for my first few bows, I purchased strings. The bigger difficulty was that suggested string lengths weren't to be found - I had my wife measure between nocks when I bent the bow to give a brace height of about 5-7 inches. Other than that, there's no shortage of good information on tap.

Of particular interest are the more advanced flattened recurves present, including the "Banded Krait". They're fast, beautiful when decorated, and... did I mention cheap? I mean, I've made a good dozen bows now, spending under a dollar a bow in the form of PVC pipe. The paint probably comes out costing more per unit. But the bottom line is that you'll have lots of fun, and without spending very much money.

I'm truly grateful to the Backyard Bowyer for opening up this world of possibilities! In fact, I already purchased the Dowel Arrow Handbook as well, and it's a great match.

Have fun, and happy bow-crafting!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Axel R. Santiago-rivera on January 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, my friends, I did not belive a bow could be created by a PVC pipe, so before I bought the book, I started to create one bow, just to see if it could be possible, to my sorprice, it could, so I decided to try a look at the book. First, my congratulations to Mr Tomihama, the book is clear, precise, easy to follow, with good use of pictures. More understandable than many books on the creation of bows. I have tried some models from the book and other from my own creation, if you planned a try on the PVC bows, bought the book first, so you can follow Mr Tomihama counseling, and avoid some errors I made in my start.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Locke on July 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a well written instructional guide for anyone who would like to make fun,inexpensive archery equipment. It provides the reader with enough information and photographs to not only build what is shown but also innovate and create their own unique designs. Theres no " this length/ diameter= fps/draw weight" chart, but using the given dimensions for the included projects and basic arithmetic the reader can quickly increase or decrease the power of their bow. Great book, I used to have a compound bow, but i gave it away in a move, so this book was perfect for me. I now have three beautiful bows ( made for less than 25 dollars!).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Arwythur on March 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nic has allowed us to follow along with him as he walked a path of personal discovery in the modernist creation of the PVC bow. This book is a good introduction to the process, and although some would have you skip to his other, (as in last most recently published), book on the subject, I can tell you that each of his tomes has within them bits and pieces of helpful tips, guides, and answers to just about any situation that may pop up in the building process. In trying to recreate his work, I myself have had the same troubles and issues with the materials, and he almost always has the answer right where it needs to be when "fixing" a mistake or a failure. Add his Youtube videos, and you can be building a bow in a day... I'm making one a day now, and giving them to children who would not have ever had a chance at archery before. The most expensive outlay is still the arrows, but the rest of the equipment can be made from this amazing plastic. Watch, see, learn, and try it yourself! Yes, I bought ALL of his books, and they are great for Scouts to Preppers, Novice to the Experienced. Buy them, enjoy them, and shoot straight....
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