Setting up Your Own Basement Bow Shop
It’s probably every bow hunter’s dream. Imagine having all the archery supplies and bow tools you could ever need in your very own bow shop. It would be a place where you could store your hunting bow, various targets, fletching supplies, broadheads, and all the pliers, Allen wrenches, and anything else you could require. Heck, there might even be space to proudly display some antler sheds or European mounts.
Now sure, most of us probably can’t afford to fund a physical retail space just for the fun of it. But you really don’t need to! If you have a basement, spare room, or even a section of your garage you can use, you’ll have all the space you need to have your very own professional-looking bow shop. The only disclaimer we’ll give is to watch out which of your friends you show. You may find that they suddenly want to borrow your tools and space for 80% of the pre-season months. And it will get old.
The simplest answer to the best location for your shop is anywhere you can fit it! Though we’re calling it a ‘basement bow shop,’ it can really be anywhere. Most of us have a corner of a basement or a section of an insulated garage that we could convert with just a little cleaning and some re-organization. The ideal location should have ample outlets, good lighting, adequate wall space, and be heated so you can work on your bow without getting cold fingers. In extreme cases, it will also have space where you can blind-shoot at targets indoors. Blind-shooting is a great shooting practice to develop a surprise release. You’ll also need a location where children or pets will steer clear of, if possible. It will just make it easier in the long run.
Depending on what you’re starting with, it may or may not be a lot of work to convert your space into your dream bow shop. You’ll definitely want to install a work bench where you can lay everything, install a few tools and mounts, and just have a solid and flat work surface. You can build one fairly easily using some 2×4 boards for framing and screwing a plywood or particleboard sheet on top for a work surface. Add a shelf below the work bench surface to store various items. Obviously, you could build a much nicer one if you have the disposable income, using some cabinets and installing a nice hardwood work surface. But for what most of us use it for, some simple lumber and a plywood sheet work just fine.
The next thing you’ll want is a peg board to hold various tools and archery supplies. Mount it to the wall above your work bench. That way, everything will be within easy reach while you’re working on your bow. You’ll also need plenty of shelving to store your bow hunting gear. Install shelves on the walls and put up shelving units to have ample storage space.
Essential Archery Supplies and Tools
Now that your shop is set up and ready for some action, you’ll need to fully equip it with the right tools and gear. After all, what’s the purpose of having your own bow hunting cave if you’re not going to stock it with essential gear? G5 has you covered in that respect. The A.S.D. is a small tool that you can use to de-burr your arrow shafts, square off the ends, and ensure your arrows and broadheads spin flawlessly. An imbalanced arrow is a major source of inaccuracy in the field or at the archery range. Stock up on some G-Lock Blu-Glu for re-fletching arrows. It sets within seconds, and the blue color will help you see exactly where you apply it, even though it dries clear.
There are plenty of other bow hunting accessories that you’ll want. If you’re fairly bow-savvy, you may want to install a bow press on your new work bench. Many archers don’t feel comfortable enough to do that and should bring their bows to an archery dealer or pro shop. But you’ll definitely want a bow vice so you can be free to use both hands to mount your new sights or tie in a new peep. You probably already have them, but if not, you’ll need an assortment of Allen wrenches to adjust most of the pieces on your bow. Keep handy a few other staples, including wrenches, pliers, utility knives, etc. These are just a few of the tools you’ll find useful.
The next step in the process of creating your ideal basement bow shop is organizing all your tools and gear into a good system. Don’t just toss them all on a shelf and later ask yourself, “Now where did I put that?” Every time you do that, you waste more of your precious time running around than accomplishing anything. You could use a sharpie marker to outline tool profiles on the peg board so you know exactly where to hang them. Organizing your tools in this fashion allows you to see where everything is and what’s missing when your kids find their way into your lair. Utilize your shelves for larger items, such as hunting gear, bow cases, targets, or smaller items organized in bins. Use PVC pipes of various lengths and diameters installed vertically to store arrows.
Over time, your system will inevitably crumble a bit, and you’ll almost certainly misplace tools at some point. That’s why it’s critical to start with a good system and check in occasionally to re-organize. At least yearly, preferably after your primary hunting season, take a quick inventory of your shop. Are you low on any fletching materials? Are all your tools hung up in their proper places? After this simple checklist, you’ll have it put together again in short order.
Using these simple steps, you’ll be proudly sitting in your very own basement bow shop in no time. As you see, it’s really not all that complicated. But it will really pay off in terms of personal enjoyment and efficiency.