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Red cedar Flatbow (Read 3633 times)
Johnny
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Red cedar Flatbow
Aug 24th, 2004 at 8:24am
 
I made this bow for my Doctor. 70 inches long. 55#@28inches.
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TNslinger  
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #1 - Aug 24th, 2004 at 9:12am
 
Now that looks very nice.  I've never been a fan of arrow-ledges, but that looks just right.  And the wood looks to be free of knots.  Lovely.
 On a side note, I was looking in my Field Guide "Trees of North America", and it seems that eastern red cedar is of the juniperus family, (juniperus virginiana to be precise), whereas western red cedar is of the thuja family (thuja plicata).  That certainly explains why western red cedar is good only for arrows and eastern is good for bows.  
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Johnny
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #2 - Aug 24th, 2004 at 10:22am
 
You are correct.
Eastern Red Cedar is great for bows.
Western Cedar is good only for arrows.
I hated giving this bow away, it was a fast shooter!!
Johnny
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #3 - Aug 24th, 2004 at 10:25am
 
It looks it.  Do you take the wood straight from the tree, or do you buy it?  Because it looks like good wood.  And what is the handle wrapped with?
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Johnny
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #4 - Aug 24th, 2004 at 10:43am
 
That was made from a tree cut down off of a friends farm. As you can see, it is made from the sapwood. The tree yielded many fine staves free of knots, very straight grained. The handle is wrapped with hemp cord. I then sealed it with a mixture of acetone and epoxy glue(I know, not traditional!) for the ultimate waterproof finish. I think Jay Massey came up with this(Bowyers Bible series). I generally do not use arrow rests, but since this bow was for a beginner, I thought it would be a little helpful to have one.
Johnny
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Johnny
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #5 - Aug 24th, 2004 at 10:50am
 
Another pic:
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Hobb
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #6 - Aug 24th, 2004 at 11:31am
 
Gorgeous work!  I'm impressed!  What's the draw weight?
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Johnny
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #7 - Aug 24th, 2004 at 11:54am
 
I made this about a year ago, and I think the draw weight was around 55 pounds.
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #8 - Aug 24th, 2004 at 4:41pm
 
Looks like a tiny bit of heartwood showing on the handle.  The bow as a whole looks very well tillered, apart from maybe a little bit on the upper limb - was that the position of a knot, or something like that?  Because if it was, then the tillering looks better than I thought before.
  Looks like a nice smooth shooter.  I haven't liked flatbows for very long (I always assumed they'd be low power) but they are great weapons.
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Johnny
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #9 - Aug 24th, 2004 at 8:24pm
 
Yes, the stave had a slight "dip" in it. That's why the upper limb tip has a stiff look to it.

The good thing about wide limb bows is you can use most any kind of wood and make a hard hitting bow. One guy even used pine at 3 inches wide and it performed very well! English style tiller is good only with certain types of wood, mostly conifers. Although many folks have had  success with osage believe it or not!
Johnny
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Re: Red cedar Flatbow
Reply #10 - Aug 25th, 2004 at 4:54am
 
The English style is good for elm, birch and ash as well, but all three of those also perform well as flatbows, especially ash.  Osage makes sense, considering it is straight grained and stacking makes sense with it's structure.  Hickory won't make a good longbow, but hickory flatbows are great.  I have used one once, and it was great.  Hickory is not native to the UK though, so it is expensive and I don't like paying to do things primitively.  I used willow to make a flatbow when I was just starting out and had no idea what wood to use.  It wasn't bad, really.
   I think the three best bow woods are yew, osage and mulberry, but all three need a lot of preparation.
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