Making an Archer's Thumb Ring from a Silver Spoon

by Mike Richardson



The other day I had a spoon in my pocket and it felt just like one of my horn thumb rings. So I thought, why not make a thumb ring from a spoon. I chose a sterling silver spoon that was big enough to hold one of my horn thumb rings. After drilling a half inch hole, I filed the hole to an oval using a rat tail file. I kept the size smaller than it would fit so I could hammer out the band on a steel mandrel. I took my angle grinder to shape the sides before hammering out the band. When I got the band wide enough and fitting nicely, I heated and brushed soft silver solder (lead free) on the thumb ring. I made the tip thicker on the inside. I also placed a string stop with solder on the outside. You could make a thumb ring out of a stainless steel spoon, but making a band would be harder and thickening the tip with soft silver solder wouldn't work on stainless steel. Epoxy putty would be an option to thicken the tip.

The tab on the thumb ring is a second class lever and it makes holding heavy bows easier. I utilize a loop of cord under the string nock, which eliminates string twist so I can shoot off either side of the bow (see the "Archer's Thumb Ring" article for photos on how to use the archer's thumb ring). I used a shorter thumb ring tab, but found that a longer tab is much more secure, comfortable and just as accurate shooting when using a string loop.

If you can't find a suitable spoon, sheet copper or brass would work just dandy. Even a copper pipe would work. I would coat it with soft silver solder (use lead free) to keep it from oxidizing. I'm a plumber and I can think of a lot of copper fittings that have the concave inner surface, like 45 degree elbows, so you wouldn't have to hammer too much. If the metal is fairly thin, you will need to thicken up the tip of the spur with soft silver, so it doesn't hurt your second finger joint while shooting.

The spur should be wide enough to protect the sides of your thumb from the string loop. It should also be 1/8 to 1/4 inch longer than the tip of the thumb while it is under a load. It's best to start longer and shorten up as needed. The basic shape of the ring looks like a visor. Always slide the thumb ring tight up against your thumb joint before each shot or you might bruise the back of your thumb.

I anchor right under my jaw, palm down, with the index knuckle touching my ear lobe. Shooting with a thumb release is really a joy. I can hold my 74 lb. long bow at full draw (31 inches) longer than most people can hold their breath. It is very, very comfortable to hold and shoot. The release is just like flipping a quarter with your thumb.

"Thinking out side the box."


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from Cow Horn, Antler or Bone"




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Mike Richardson resides in Anchorage, Alaska.

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