Also called an arm brace, an archery arm guard protects your arm from the irritating slap of a released bowstring. You can purchase commercially manufactured arm guards, but it is relatively easy to make one yourself. The simplest arm guards are little more than a piece of fabric and a few laces used for tying it on, but if you install metal grommets, your arm guard will last much longer.
Measure the length and width of your forearm with the tape measure to determine the dimensions for the arm guard. The arm guard should cover the entire width of your inner forearm, but it does not have to cover the entire length as the string will rarely contact your arm near the elbow. Subtract a few inches from the length of your forearm to make your armguard more comfortable. An average arm guard is about 7 inches long and 2 ½ inches wide.
Measure and mark your chosen length and width on the leather with the marker and tape measure. Draw an outline for the guard with the pen and cut it out with the scissors.
Lay the leather piece on a flat surface. Place male grommets along the edges in paired sets, so that there are four grommets on the left side of the leather and four grommets on the right side. Use the tape measure to ensure the grommets are spaced evenly. Trace a circle in the hole of each grommet with the marker to note their positions. Remove the grommets for now, while you prepare the holes.
Slice an “X” through the middle of each circle with the craft knife. Flip the leather upside down on the table, so that the protective side of the arm guard faces the table. Push the male side of each grommet through the leather from the bottom and place the female component of each grommet on top of the male grommet, sandwiching the leather between them.
Place the anvil under the male end of the grommet and line the grommet setter up with the matching female half of the grommet. Strike the setter with the rubber mallet three or four times to connect the male and female components together. Repeat this process for each of the eight grommets.
Thread the leather cord through the finished grommets as you would lace up a shoe. When it is time to wear the guard, slide your hand through the guard, adjust the position to suit your taste, then tighten and tie the cord.
- amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images