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One man’s trash is another man’s treasure — these are words to live by for survivalists. In an emergency situation, you probably won’t have access to big-box retailers and hardware stores, so you’ll need to use the tools you already have and improvise the rest. That means re-purposing items most people might see as nothing more than trash.
If you know where to look in any junkyard, truck repair shop, or even a new car dealership, you’ll have no trouble finding dozens of leaf springs. These curved steel bands are bolted onto the rear axles of most trucks, vans, and trailers, as well as some pre-1980s cars. We’ve seen them turned into knives and swords on shows like Forged in Fire, but one YouTuber known as Jake’s Custom Knives recently documented an especially appropriate use for this scrap steel: making a compound bow.
This is clever, since instead of reshaping the metal, it’s using the spring’s existing properties to create an improvised weapon.
With an angle grinder, Jake cut off the cylindrical bushings from each end of the spring and narrowed the bow’s limbs for added flexibility. He then cut a series of notches to serve as an arrow rest and grip, and removed the steel’s rusty finish and smoothed its edges with a belt sander. The bow was finished with a contoured rubber grip.
In order to make this a compound bow (as opposed to a recurve bow), Jake added simple pulleys to each end — these provided a much-needed mechanical advantage and reduced draw weight to 60 pounds. The end result is powerful enough to shoot through thick plywood, and seems like it could be a great tool for hunting small game if SHTF. Check out the full video below: