Chapter 9: Nocks
I’ll be making self nocks on this bow, meaning there’s no overlay at the tips. Overylays can be very attractive and allow for lighter, narrower tips but are often an unnecessary complication. Self nocks can look just as nice and they’re plenty sturdy.
It helps to draw your nocks before carving them. Use the loop in the string as a template.
I like to make the top nock slightly further from the tip. This gives you a bit more of a nub to hold onto when you’re stringing the bow. You don’t have to do this, and if you’re making a symmetric bow then I wouldn’t.
Carve in your nocks at an angle, keeping in mind that the string will sweep an arc as you draw the bow.
I like to use this rattail needle rasp, and then I follow up with a finer cut needle file. Chainsaw files are easier to find and still work really well.
If you don’t have any thin files you can use a knife or a half round file instead. In that case, it’s easier to make pin nocks or diamond nocks instead of carving a groove for the string.
Clean up any rough corners on the backside.
On the belly side, blend the string grooves into the belly of the bow.
Test the string loop on the nocks, making sure nothing snags as you change the angle of the string, simulating drawing the bow.
Later on we’ll play with the aesthetics, but now have functional nocks. Back to tillering.