"Bow line"!

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Project by Dez posted 01-28-2013 06:08 AM 1465 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I don’t know what YOU might call it! My dad called it a Bow Line! (Not a boline, that is a knot)) I use it to fair a curve. Here is his design (and mine) simple and sweet, one piece of wood, four holes, one string!
Speak up, improvements? Caveats?

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

15 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113061 posts in 2395 days

#1 posted 01-28-2013 06:17 AM

These work fine.

-- Custom furniture

View redryder's profile


2270 posts in 1920 days

#2 posted 01-28-2013 07:20 AM

Make some arrows and you can also shoot intruders.
I like it…...................

-- mike...............

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2253 days

#3 posted 01-28-2013 08:11 AM

Actually Dez, I have one of them. I got mine from Lee Valley;,42936,50298&ap=2.
I remember also having one like it when I was an apprentice Draftsman years ago, it was a standard issue curve drawing aid.
They are very useful and provide quick results. Good to see someone else using one.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


15423 posts in 2494 days

#4 posted 01-28-2013 08:14 AM

Cool! But how do you get a consistent curve?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dez's profile


1139 posts in 2895 days

#5 posted 01-28-2013 09:12 AM

Jim, They do indeed and far cheeper than “paid for” versions!
redryder, They gotta be wimpy little intuders!
Roger/Rex, Mine cost less! Works the same! LOL!
Topa, If you use a uniform grained wood and are careful about the thickness you are pretty much assured a uniform curve – at least within the limits of the human eye!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View bryson's profile


18 posts in 779 days

#6 posted 01-28-2013 12:45 PM

Cool idea! What wood did you use?

View dustyal's profile


1238 posts in 2293 days

#7 posted 01-28-2013 12:57 PM

I have been meaning to make one of these… from some old wood venetian blind slats that I have salvaged and saved.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View GlennsGrandson's profile


433 posts in 1127 days

#8 posted 01-28-2013 02:03 PM

Nice of you to post this idea, it comes in handy.
I saw this on The Woodsmith Shop a little while ago.
And then I used it to make the curve on this shelf.

Click for details

Oh, and the I love the boline’s knot, learned it at fire training, everyone should know this knot.

-- Grant - S/N Dakota

View bob101's profile


199 posts in 2268 days

#9 posted 01-28-2013 02:28 PM

they are called drawing bows, and they are quite handy, youve made a nice one. you can make one for asymetrical curves as well by tapering the thicknes of the material from one end to the other, very usefull. if u make a wooden block with some holes in it, and run the line threw it u can have infinate adjustabillity.

-- rob, ont,canada

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 1109 days

#10 posted 01-28-2013 02:34 PM

I Like it! simple and effective.

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5423 posts in 2126 days

#11 posted 01-28-2013 03:19 PM

I have used these for many years and you can also copy and re-produce many curves easily. good to make them in different lengths.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpieceā€¦ because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View Dez's profile


1139 posts in 2895 days

#12 posted 01-28-2013 05:32 PM

This one is a type of Mahogany, not sure what kind though.
It is nice and straight grained which helps in getting a smooth curve.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Grandpa's profile


3238 posts in 1493 days

#13 posted 01-28-2013 08:52 PM

Like Rob said you should be able to adjust the curve by making them thicker or thinner down the length. Thinner should allow for more curving while thicker should resist curving. If you had a stick that was 1/4 inch thick on one end and 1/8 inch on the other there would be more curving on the thin end. This is a great tool. Thanks for sharing.

View gfadvm's profile


12093 posts in 1508 days

#14 posted 01-29-2013 02:20 AM

I always called those “fairing sticks”. Mine are Masonite as it has no grain and bends uniformly. I’ve also used an aluminum strip which works very well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Tedster's profile


2301 posts in 1029 days

#15 posted 01-29-2013 03:29 AM

I’m so glad you shared this, Dez. I have bent a piece of wood to get a curve, but this is a perfect example of how the simplest ideas often slip right past me… tie it with a piece of string! I imagine it would be a fun little project to make a set of these to accommodate a variety of ranges of curves.

-- I support the 28th Amendment.

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