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For Sale - Traditional Hickory Longbow


35-40 lb Traditional Hickory Longbow - $180

Design wise it is a Eastern Woodlands Flatbow, a style of bow popular amongst Native Americans on the East Coast.

Bow and bowstring in mint condition.

Inquiries from Toronto, Canada welcome. I am selling it locally. I have no interest in shipping it.


I am selling this bow and possibly several other bows, including a vintage longbow from 1952, because my wife won't let me buy any new bows until I sell some of the bows I don't use that often. And since I don't use this bow that often, or the vintage bow from 1952, I have decided to sell them both to make room for new bows on my wall rack.

The 1952 bow is a black "Roy Rogers" collectible longbow for children. It really is meant for a kid who is between 5 to 10 years old. I am selling it for $100. No photos yet. That is on my To Do List for later.

Homemade Crossbow with Decorative Leather

 Above and below are photos of a homemade crossbow which were posted on Facebook (I don't know who the original creator was). What is interesting however is how they used decorative leather on the crossbow limbs and also on the foot stirrup.

I also really liked trigger, as it looks like it was handforged out of iron. Altogether this is awesome looking crossbow. Just look at the stitching on the leather!

The Homemade Stemmler Crossbow, Part I

Stemmler Logo
A few years ago I found a broken Stemmler recurve bow in the garbage at the Toronto Archery Range.

At the time I decided it was worth salvaging. Possibly to repair it or turn it into something else.

Years later, I am currently working on a new project to turn the old broken Stemmler recurve bow into a homemade crossbow. Hence the title: The Homemade Stemmler Crossbow.

Part I. It is going to take multiple posts to cover this story. Subscribe to Project Gridless if you want updates for when more posts on this subject appear. I will likely do a video of the finished crossbow too, so you can also subscribe to Project Gridless on YouTube.

My goal is to make it into a folding crossbow, so the limbs can unlocked from their position and be folded towards the stock for easy transport. It won't be very powerful (the original limbs were 45 lbs) and I am using part of the working limbs to attach it to the stock, so I am losing about one fifth of the working limbs. When it is eventually a crossbow it will also be losing a good chunk of its draw distance, so I am expecting the final crossbow to only have a draw weight of 25 lbs - which means it will effectively be a toy crossbow.

But whatever. I am having fun enjoying my winter working on this project. When I am done I will have a "Stemmler Crossbow" and have turned a piece of garbage into a working crossbow.

Below you can see the two broken pieces of the Stemmler, and see where the upper limb snapped off from the previous owner. Was it old? Did the previous owner overdraw it? Who knows. We shall see what happens.

Using a saw, I trimmed the broken limb for a smoother edge. I then measured it compared to the other limb and cut it in the same location, so both limbs are now the same length.

I still need to epoxy part of the broken limb as part of it has delaminated.

I will also need to reinforce part of the working limbs, as putting pressure on that section without reinforcement could cause it to snap again. So the section of the working limb where it will be attached to the crossbow stock needs to be reinforced - I am thinking of using oak, and I am thinking I should reinforce both the front and back.

Once that is done I need to drill holes for bolting it to a mechanism for attaching to the crossbow. The mechanism needs to be able to be locked into position, and to be able to be easily unlocked. So I need to research possible designs. I am currently thinking of using a steel deadbolt approach.

I have a stock I was making for a different crossbow I could use. But I am also thinking maybe I should make a new stock just for this project, and use a different style of trigger mechanism this time around. Previously I have used a drop-pin mechanism, but now I am thinking I should try using a Roman-style rolling trigger.

If I do make a new stock, I think I will make this stock wider than last time by laminating two pieces of oak together. It will be more comfortable to shape the handle and stock.

I could also in theory use a spring-loaded trigger, but I worry the spring would not be strong enough. Plus springs get weaker over time, and I would prefer a mechanism that doesn't need a replacement spring years later.

I am thinking I will use a steel stirrup this time around, for faster reloading - and it will double as a bipod for more accurate shooting. I also want it to fold for easy transport too.

Brass sights. Yup. I wanna make a brass sight for this one. Should be fun. V-shaped sights.


Yes, what you are reading above is basically a To Do List / Checklist for my own personal use. I find this is useful during the design process so I can plan out each stage of a project. Helps get it done faster by creating goals I can set and then do.

Crossbow Bowstrings


"Crossbow Repair"
I need a new string replacement please call or text me at [phone number removed for privacy reasons].



Hello Lance!

I don't make crossbow strings, but I do know who does.

Go to Ballistic Bowstrings in Angus, Ontario.

Charles Moffat
Follow Up Email
Thank you!

So yes... I don't make crossbow strings for clients. But people keep contacting me asking me this same question or similar question.

  • People looking for crossbow strings.
  • People looking for crossbow replacement parts.
  • People looking for crossbow repairs.
So yes, I do make my own crossbows - and I do repair compound bows. But I currently am not in the business of repairing crossbows. (And yes, there is a difference between crossbows and compound bows... and compound crossbows.)

And I do make my own crossbow strings, for my own private use. I do not sell them. Ever.
I also make / repair my own bowstrings, but I do not sell bow strings either.
So whenever people come asking for bowstrings (for regular bows or crossbows or compound bows) I always point them to Ballistic Bowstrings. For the following reasons.
  1. They make excellent bowstrings.
  2. They make all types of bowstrings. Regular, compound, crossbow. Custom jobs.
  3. Their prices are reasonable. Not cheap, but not expensive either.
  4. They are right here in Ontario. Not far from Toronto. And I prefer to support local craftsmen.

Regarding crossbow replacement parts...

I do buy old compound bows and take them apart for their parts. Typically I offer $15 to $25 for your old junker compound just so I can strip it for parts.

I am not *currently* in the business of buying / selling crossbows or their parts. Not yet at least. This might change in the future. But for now, just assume that I don't have any crossbow parts at all.

Regarding crossbow repairs...

I am not currently in the business of repairing crossbows either. I can restring a crossbow if need be, but I don't currently do any other kind of crossbow repair. I am focusing solely on compound bows. Not crossbows.

How do I know if my crossbow or compound bow is a junker?

Honestly, here is how you know:
Try to sell it.
If the only offers you receive are people interested in buying it for the parts, or if you receive zero offers period, that means it is not worth repairing and is essentially junk. At which point it really should just be sold for parts.

So if it is a compound bow, let me know and I can make you an offer.

If it is a crossbow, I am currently not interested. Maybe in 2020 I might change my mind and get into the business of repairing crossbows / buying junker crossbows for parts, but at present... nope. Not interested.
Also to anyone thinking their old junker is worth more than $25... nope. It isn't. Old junker compounds are basically a dime a dozen. And they are buyer beware too, as they are used and could have unforeseen problems. Getting $15 to $25 for your garbage is generous as I don't even use most of the parts. Most of them end up in a box, unused.

In other news...

I am currently working on a new project to turn an old broken Stemmler recurve bow into a homemade crossbow. My goal is to make it into a folding crossbow, so the limbs can be folded towards the stock for easy transport. It won't be very powerful (the original limbs were 45 lbs) and I am using part of the working limbs to attach it to the stock, so I am losing about one fifth of the working limbs. When it is a crossbow it will also be losing a good chunk of its draw distance, so I am expecting the final crossbow to only have a draw weight of 25 lbs - which means it will effectively be a toy crossbow.

But whatever. I am having fun enjoying my winter working on this project. When I am done I will have a "Stemmler Crossbow" and have turned a piece of garbage into a working crossbow.

Happy Shooting!

12 Examples of Watery Off Grid Architecture

So back in September and August I did two posts on the following topics:

12 Examples of Earthship Off Grid Architecture
12 Examples of Off Grid Home Architecture

During which one of the images featured a round egg-ish shaped home surrounded by water. This one:

Which got me thinking.

What other off grid architecture exists that is surrounded by water, built on / very close to the water?

Well, here are 12 Examples of Watery Off Grid Architecture...

Survival Schools in Canada, Alphabetical List

I made this list for several reasons.

#1. To provide an useful resource for other people who are into survival training to use.
#2. To help me research the competition, as I am starting a "Winter Survival Training" program. So this list is for my research. Essentially I wanted to find out what other survival schools are teaching, how much they are charging for their programs, what they offer during their programs, and so forth.

Note - If anyone in Toronto wants to sign up to be guinea pigs (aka, my first students) just email me (projectgridless {atsymbol} gmail .com) and we can set up some one-on-one survival lessons. I have been teaching archery full time for 9 years so I do have lots of experience teaching, but this is really a shift of topic for me. Teaching archery lasts from March to November each year, so I have been wanting to find something I could do/teach during the winter to bring in extra income.

Lessons would be on weekends only, by appointment.

My Winter Survival Training would focus on the following survival skills:
  • How to make cordage and knotmaking.
  • How to build a fire with no tools. (Only the tools you can make yourself.)
  • How to build a shelter with no tools.
  • How to find/make clean water during the winter.
  • How to forage for food in the winter / build hunting tools (survival bowmaking and arrow-making).
Each of the above skills is progressive. Meaning you have to complete the first to be able to effectively and easily do the next. It is possible for the individual to skip a step, but for example it is much easier to make a fire if you have cordage. Thus it makes sense to learn how to make cordage first, that way making a fire is so much easier and time effective. Likewise building a shelter is easier if you have cordage and know how to do knots, as is building effective hunting tools. Knotmaking is essential to many survival skills.

I am not sure how much I am going to charge yet for these lessons, but I will figure out a price later.

In the meantime I also planning to make a series of survival skills videos which will be available on youtube for free. You can subscribe by scrolling up and clicking the YouTube button at the top right of this page. (You will need to be logged in to YouTube for it work.)

Anyway, here is the list of Survival Schools in Canada. I have organized the list alphabetically so that there is no favourites. I cannot vouch for the quality of any of these schools, but they are most certainly more experienced at teaching said skills than I currently am.

Survival Schools in Canada, Alphabetical List

A to H

Honourable Mention

Coalcracker Bushcraft is an American Survival School located in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. They are not Canadian, but I have decided to give them an honourable mention because they are certainly worth looking into if you are serious about learning wilderness survival skills and bushcraft, and you are willing to travel to learn such skills. So if you are willing to travel, you should at least consider this American school as an option. Plus Americans might also be reading this, so they should also have an option for where to go.


And since they didn't pay me to say them, I will make a point by not giving any link to them.(Everyone in Canada however gets free links.) I am just mentioning them because I happen to like them and I am also a subscriber to their youtube channel, which is definitely worth looking into as well.

12 Examples of Earthship Off Grid Architecture

Last month I did a post about 12 Examples of Off Grid Home Architecture, and at the time I was making that article I came across many examples of Earthship Homes. Thus this month I decided to do a similar post, but this time focusing solely on Earthship Architecture.

Here you go!

12 Examples of Earthship Off Grid Architecture

Snake in the Grass Archery Target, Snake Hunting

Some people like to hunt snakes.

Possibly because of pest control. Or possibly because some people also like to eat them. They really do taste like chicken.

Myself, I like to "practice hunting snakes" on fake rubber toy snakes, like the kind you can find at the dollar store.


Because it makes for very good archery practice and it is fun. The snake makes a very thin target, so to hit it you need a good deal of precision. Thus as an archery target, it is a hard one to hit.

For extra fun, tie a string or cord to the fake snake's head and ask a friend to drag it closer to you, thus you now have a moving target which is both skinny and a moving target.

Also if you can feel free to prank a few friends when you arrive to see if they jump at your fake snake. Always good for a laugh when someone jumps away when they think a snake is real.

Bowhunting for Snakes - the Real Ones

Now there are people out there who do hunt snakes - and eat them. And they use the snakeskin for a variety of leather products.

Tips for Bowhunting Snakes

#1. Make sure any venomous snake is dead before you interact with it. Sometimes snakes can play possum, so if in doubt chop its head off with a machete or an axe before picking it up.

#2. Wear gloves when interacting with any venomous snake's head. Even though it is dead, if you accidentally pricked yourself with the fangs you could still get poisoned. (Some people even collect and preserve the snake venom, which is useful for hunting bears, wolves and large predators. To do this you have to milk the venom glands, which can be done by massaging the glands manually while the snakes fangs are grasping a glass jar, or you can do the same thing using electricity instead of massaging the glands.)

Note - Milking a venomous snake is also a method for creating antivenom. Venom also often has multiple medicinal uses.

#3. Beware of other snakes in the vicinity. Where there is one snake, there is often many more of them - all gathered in one spot because of an ample food source, a great location for making dens, or because they are breeding.

Foraging for Food - Part Eight, Dandelions

Every part of dandelions is basically useful for something.

The flowers, the leaves, and especially the roots.

But actually digging dandelion roots out of the ground is tricky. Collecting the flowers or leaves, that is easy. The leaves are practically brittle, they rip clean from the root very easily.

The roots however...

They are surprisingly deep and hard to dig out.

I discovered this back in July this year when I went foraging for dandelion roots for the first time and I had neglected to bring any ideal tools for the task of digging.

What I found on the way there was a large sharp piece of granite, which I thought would suffice as a digging tool. Boy was I wrong...

So I was digging away, getting very little actual root and lots of leaves, the granite rock I was using ended up snapping in two.


Not kidding.

The dandelion root was so strongly held in place that it snapped a granite rock in roughly in half.

I then proceeded to use the slightly large half of the rock to continue digging, before eventually calling it a day. It was 7:45 PM and I needed to go.

I had lots of leaves and a little bit of root to show for my efforts. No flowers, they weren't blossoming at that time.


Update this another day.

The Secret Hideaway Home / Underground Bunker

Imagine you wanted to build an underground bunker (I hesitate to use the words bomb shelter), what is the quickest and easiest way to do that - and do it off the grid?


Large enough to fit in one or more shipping containers. Really depends on how big you want your bunker to be.

Easiest way to dig the hole is by using a tractor, backhoe, or similar machinery.

Make the hole with a large ramp so that the shipping container(s) can easily be taken down the ramp and placed in the position you want them to be in.

Once done, cement a floor at the bottom of the hole.

Note - Before choosing where to dig the hole, make sure the location is not on a flood plain. Last thing you need is your bunker to flood. You should also try to avoid any area that is swampy or has a water table.


Search for used shipping containers online that you can buy locally and have delivered. As-is containers starting at around $1,500 and like-new or modified containers will cost between $5,000 and $8,000. Make sure whomever you are buying from also delivers.

One shipping container itself will probably not be enough unless it is meant to be a short term bunker only.

If it is long term bunker, for 2 or more people, then you need to be thinking a lot bigger. Possibly as big as 3000 square feet, including a 400 sq foot greenhouse which will supplement the food supply.

Once you get them, tow the shipping containers down the ramp and into position.


You will need air vents, water, sewage disposal, and possibly electricity unless you are okay with using candles/lamp oil.

Build everything you need during this step, including:
  • Entrance
  • Secondary Exit
  • Air Vents with air filtration, multiple.
  • Water source and filtration
  • Sewage
  • Optional - 2nd shipping container with all your electricity and utilities.
  • Optional - Underground Greenhouse for growing food.
  • Everything else you think you need.
You need to make the shipping container "livable" on a permanent basis before progressing to any of the steps beyond this one.

If it is meant to be a long term bunker with a supply of food, you need to determine the logistics of how much food you need, for how much time, and how you disposing of your bodily fluids.

If you are building an underground greenhouse (and possibly using your waste as fertilizer) then you need to work out the logistics of that and get it working properly, and solve any problems first.

You will also need to store everything from light bulbs to food to cooking oil to anything else you might need, and storing all that stuff requires a lot of space.


You don't want your shipping container to collapse under the weight of any dirt or rocks you place on top of it. Thus you need to reinforce the structure so it can take extra weight.

Dirt weighs about 100 lbs per cubic foot. The amount of dirt above the shipping container can add a significant weight to the structure, enough weight that even 18 inches of dirt on top is sufficient to cause the roof of the shipping container to start caving in over time (see image below).

So how much structural reinforcement does it need?

Well it depends... how far down are you burying this bunker?

If you are burying it under 10 feet of dirt (1000 lbs per sq foot), then you should aim to reinforce it for 3 times that amount so that each square foot can support 3000 lbs if it needs to.

Even if you only bury it under 6 inches of dirt, you should still be reinforcing it in case any vehicles are being driven over the top or parked on top of the structure.


So here is the thing about dirt: Dirt is acidic, caustic, and wet - all of which causes steel to rust faster.

Wet, acidic and caustic dirt will slowly rust your shipping container away over a long period of time, causing it to eventually structurally fail. To prevent that eventual failure, what you need to do is place something in between the dirt and the steel.

Something like cement.

Now the good news here is that the cement will also serve to reinforce the structure, so you should take this into account when building it and determining how to reinforce the structure.

The bad news is that you better be done STEP THREE completely and everything can be repaired or replaced without needing to rip apart tonnes of cement, because one the cement goes in it will not be easy to bring back out if you need to conduct repairs.


Once everything else is done, everything works fine, then comes the dirt. Finally. This is the easy part. Just pile dirt on top of the structure and hope you did everything correctly...

Because the last thing you need is for the bunker ceiling to collapse in the middle of the night and kill you.


Can you make a shipping container bunker? Yes, but it is not ideal.

Should you? Not unless you are willing to put a lot of effort and money into it, because they don't actually make ideal bunkers. It would almost be easier to make a submarine than to turn one of these into a safe-to-live-in bunker.

So what about alternatives?

So you just used tonnes of cement to bury a shipping container, because by itself the shipping container cannot withstand the weight of the dirt, and the dirt and water will make it rust easily. When you really think about it, the shipping container is really a waste of time as a bunker. It is not ideal, as it is too small, not structurally sound, and rusts easily.

So why not just SKIP the shipping container entirely?

Option A. Just Use Cement

Build a round cement bunker. Or a square one. Whatever.

Design it with the greenhouse and living area in the middle and chambers around the sides for utilities like water, electricity, sewage, air filtration, extra living quarters, kitchen, bathrooms, machine shop, etc. For a family of 4 you will want at least 3,000 sq feet, including 400 sq feet for the greenhouse.

Option B. Buy An Old Nuclear Silo or Bunker

So in Northern Ontario there are a number of old nuclear silos dating back to the Cold War which have since been ripped apart and the missiles moved elsewhere. The properties have since been sold off and a variety of people now own such old missile silos.

Thus it is possible to just purchase an old missile silo or bunker. You don't need to build one.

Option C. Buy A Cave, Cavern or Mine

There are a number of places in Ontario which are privately owned caves. As well as old abandoned mine shafts. Buy the property, renovate and reinforce the cave or mine shafts to suit your needs.

Option D. The Ready-Made Bunker

There are companies that make and sell ready-made bunkers. More expensive? Yes. But this is also the fastest and easiest way to have a bunker made, and they could certainly build a giant underground home if that is really what you wanted.

Does your "bunker" really have to be underground?

Actually it does not.

If you are not near any place that is likely to be a nuclear missile target, then your "bunker" could be above ground and simply camouflaged and well hidden. You don't need to bury it.

You could paint it to blend in with foliage...

You could bury only part of it so that most people from a distance cannot see it, and add lots of trees, flowers, bushes, etc.

Or you could just build a normal "home" with them and trust that the trees on the property will keep away prying eyes. Why make it harder if it doesn't have to be?

The Final Say

Maybe just skip the bunker and build a home instead.

And if you are that worried about intruders or whatever, build booby traps and bear pits.

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