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About Nicholas Tomihama
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
If you have read my book and have any questions, comments, or pictures of your own bows, I would love to hear from you!
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Titles By Nicholas Tomihama
Welcome to Simple Knife Making! I’m Nick, and I’ll be your guide as we jump into some of the basics of making your own knives. Before we get started, here’s a little bit about myself and how to get the most out of this book.
I built my first knife over nine years ago. It was crude and extremely ugly, cut and ground from an old rusted butcher’s knife. That knife was a bit of a stepping stone for me, a pivotal moment in my life. I had always loved the idea of building things with my hands, of creating beautiful and functional works of art.
Yet I always felt as if it was out of my reach. I couldn’t afford the right tools or find the right steel. I really felt like I didn’t have the right anything. It was at that point I decided to make do with what I had, even though I didn’t have any experience. It wasn’t a beautiful or graceful start, but it was a start.
Even as I built it, I knew that first knife was poor for many reasons. I had read several books, watched countless videos, watched many great knife makers at work. I had even handled lots of knives.
The problem was that while I knew all these things, I had no idea how to translate that to making a knife. I had never done it before and didn’t really know how to put everything I had learned into practice. It wasn’t until I had finished that knife that it all clicked, like somebody turning on a light.
The next day I set to work with the same meager set of files, a drill, and an angle grinder. With a better understanding of what I was doing, I built my second knife. This one looked and performed much better than the last one. It was a knife to be proud of. It felt good in the hand and worked well.
After that, I was hooked. Soon I started making more knives, eventually working with stainless steel and having it sent out for heat treating. I began selling my work and kept improving. I had amassed quite a few tools and was all set up to start production. But after a big move, I had to give it up and start over again.
I went back to the basic tools I had started out with and learned how to forge knives using a hammer and anvil. I also began building archery bows and other primitive tools and weapons. I enjoy these simpler things and It’s the idea of starting out simple that is the core of this book.
The information in this book is broken up into two different types. The first is mostly words with a smattering of pictures and diagrams. In these, I’ll be explaining aspects of making knives in detail as well as giving examples and suggestions not covered in the main build-alongs.
The build-alongs are mostly pictures of the steps I’ve taken to build something in particular. If you follow along, you should be able to build something very similar to what I’ve done. It’s a great way to get started with a first knife or for trying out something you haven’t done before.
The three main knife builds each go over different knife styles, shapes, handle materials, and tools used. That way you get a good idea of what some of the different methods and styles look like in use so that you can mix and match parts from the different builds when coming up with your own designs or finding what style you like best.
There are many ways to make a knife and as many different approaches as there are knife makers. I believe the best way to try something for the first time is in the simplest way possible. In this book, I’ll show you how to use inexpensive tools to make a few knives in different styles. While using such tools can make the work more time-consuming and difficult, the reward and lessons learned make it all worth it.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
PVC plumbing pipe, with its unique blend of qualities, offers both the experienced and beginner archer an opportunity to build their own dependable bows without any previous experience.
Simple PVC Pipe Bows shows you how build a solidly performing bow with little in the way of equipment, work space, time and material cost, whether it’s one or hundreds.
Youth Recurve :
A small and light bow at home in the backyard as well as on the range. It’s
perfect for women and teen archers with its shorter draw and compact size.
While geared for young archers, this bow can hold its own as a short pack bow or training bow for an archer of any age.
Horse Bow :
This reflexed bow reminiscent of the short bow of the nomads of Central Asia and Eastern Europe is ideal for learning the art of mounted archery.
With a smooth draw and compact size, this bow is a sweet shooter on foot as well.
Snakey Recurve :
Designed after wooden bows which work with the natural contours of gnarled wood, the snakey recurve is an ideal bow for the hunter of fisherman looking to craft his own equipment.
Its serpentine curve brings the string in line with the center and tilts the handle making for a bow that is more accurate and comfortable to shoot.
Easy to read and follow steps go down to even the smallest detail in the design and construction of basic archery bows. Learn to craft fine wooden bows without huge investment in equipment and materials, and without being bound by location and limited workspace.
Learn to construct:
A classic target flat bow, an English Longbow suitable for hunting, and even your own strings and arrows for traditional and
PVC plumbing pipe, while an unlikely bow material, allows for compact and effective take down bows to be made. With just a few simple techniques, a simple pipe can be transformed into a powerful and compact traditional bow that can easily fit in a pack or bag.
Take-Down Archery will show you how to build your own bows, put together take down arrows, make strings and other essential tools for your own portable archery kit.
Take-Down Bows :
Form PVC pipe into effective archery bows that break down to a compact size. These bows can be made to fit easily in a bag or pack, making them great for camping, hiking, travel or just transport without worrying about a large bow.
Take-Down Arrows :
Convert commercial arrows into break-down versions that fit right alongside a take-down bow. Also build a jig for putting feathers and vanes on your own arrows at home or in the field.
Bow Strings :
Build the jigs and tools to help make your own durable and efficient bow strings. Learn to make an endless loop bow string, a basic but efficient and precise string for any traditional bow.
Release Aid :
Make a simple release aid that saves your fingers and increases accuracy with shorter bows.
Arrow Rest :
Shoot both feathers and plastic vanes with a simple flip style arrow rest.
What if you were told that there was such a bow? That hidden in the ground, in the heart of buildings, on the shelves of most hardware stores, and perhaps even in your home, there was a material that made it all possible? Would you believe it? Well it is true, and that material is PVC pipe, the white or gray plastic pipe that can be found virtually everywhere. It is possible with only a minimal investment and an hour of labor to make a fine bow for target archery that performs just as well as bows worth more than ten times as much. A bow that, if given a little more time and effort, can be made into an efficient hunting tool or serious target shooter.
The Impossible Bow shows you how to construct your own PVC pipe bow, with bows ranging from the incredibly simple to the incredibly complex. Learn to build simple bows that require a minimum of tools and little time, more complex bows that can be modified to fit the target archer as well as the experienced hunter looking for more of a challenge, and finally a bow that accurately replicates the weapons of war of the steppe nomads. The best part is that even the most complex bow should cost no more than 10 dollars and be completed in a day, yet can hold up to the rigors of daily use.
Don't let anything hold you back from enjoying one of man's oldest and most noble of sports. Join the backyard archery revolution with your very own bow that will defy everything you know and will baffle anyone who sees it. Join me in building an impossible bow.
The bows in this book are great for kids of all ages, from the young to the young at heart. Because of the ability of these bows to mimic many historical bow designs, this book is great for re-enactment archery as well as for the target archer. If made well, one design in particular works well for hunting, and can be modified to work just as well as many primitive hunting bows. This book covers how to make the generic PVC pipe bow that has been the mainstay of do-it-yourself archery for some time now, as well as a couple designs which bring out the hidden performance of PVC as a bow material.
These bows also work well for survival situations and can be made small and can be kept virtually anywhere out of the sun. In the trunk of a car, in a boat, in a hunting cabin, your basement, your attic, the list goes on and on. This book goes over how to make smooth shooting bows from 30 to 70 pounds of pull that can perform well if taken care of. While they aren't top performing bows, they can certainly be used for hunting, fishing, and target archery.
Full color images which make instructions clearer and easier to follow.
Large image size allows for greater detail.
Easier to read, left-aligned text.
True to paperback formatting and font style where possible.
Working table of contents.
Developed during World War II, paracord is one of the most famous types of cordage used by the military even today. It is strong, light, and can be used for thousands of different tasks, from the practical to the fashionable. Heavy on pictures, Adventures in Paracord will guide you through the basics of paracord weaving and its uses every step of the way. Learn to make survival bracelets that contain up to 20 feet of paracord for emergencies, stylish bracelets for both men and women, rugged and durable watch bands, keychains, lanyards, handle wraps, and even more!
This fun book introduces and reinforces number names and the count sequence.
Hermit Crab loves to count, but can only count to five. Can you help him count to 100? Learn alongside Hermit Crab as you explore his home by the sea together. Search for seagulls, plant coconuts, ride a fish, even help baby sea turtles get to the ocean.