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Your first wooden bow (Read 3164 times)
Hellfire
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Your first wooden bow
Sep 1st, 2005 at 12:18pm
 
To everyone. I did not write this. Mr.Tim Baker did. Everyone give him a round of applause! Cheesy.. .. Well, Tim's a great guy, so he wrote (a little while back) about making a wooden bow. I saved it, since it seemed very simple and informative. Here it is for all to read. Thanks Tim.


"YOUR FIRST WOODEN BOW

Making your first bow can be a discouraging hurdle. But it doesn’t have to be. Following is a 40-50lb design that is easy and quick to tiller, is durable, accurate and fast, and costs about six dollars to make.
This bow is the length of your finger-tip to finger-tip wingspan. Its side-view shape is that of an English-tillered longbow. This design’s grip is part of the working limb itself, making the bow easy to layout and easy to make. It stores more energy than shorter bows, draws with little stack, and is more stable and accurate than most. It may have a larger number of good features than any other design. These instructions call for a lumberyard hardwood stave. With such a stave it’s possible to read this in the morning and be shooting your bow the same afternoon. Not likely, but possible.
If you don’t have access to such lumber do this: Cut a straight hardwood tree, split it down to four-inch wide wedges, take the bark off without damaging the wood surface. With saw or hatchet reduce the stave to your wingspan plus a few inches. Reduce it to two-inches wide from end to end, 1” thick at the grip, ¾” at midlimb, and 5/8” at the nocks. Set it horizontally in the warmest, driest part of your house and wait a month. Allow air to move freely over all its surfaces.
Selecting a lumber stave: Use any of the medium-weight or heavier hardwoods. White ash, rock maple, hickory, pecan, mulberry, red or white oak, yellow or white birch, black walnut, etc. Seleect a board whose face displays almost perfectly straight ring lines, with no meanders, islands or kinks. Pay no attention to ring lines on the side of the board; they can be misleading; they don’t need to run straight. Although on the rare perfect board ring lines will run straight on both sides and back. Viewed from its butt end, the board’s rings can be flat or angle through the board. Beginners should avoid boards having vertical ring lines. You will likely have to look through 50 or more boards to find a sufficiently straight-ringed stave.
Tools: A hatchet and a rasp are all that’s absolutely needed. But a spokeshave and coarse and medium rasps make the work faster and easier. A block plane is helpful if used carefully. A bandsaw saves about two hours of roughing out.
Front-view layout: With a sharp pencil and a straightedge draw the bow 1 3/8” wide from midlimb to midlimb. From there draw a straight taper to ½” nocks. Reduce the stave to these dimensions. Don’t stray past the line. Create smooth, square sides. Smooth out the slight angle created where the midlimb begins its taper toward the tips.
Side-view layout: Draw these lines on both sides of the stave: Let the center six-inches be 3/4” thick. Moving toward the nocks, let the next two inches taper to 5/8 then to 9/16” at midlimb, then to ½” at the nocks.
Reduce the stave to those dimensions. Don’t stray past the lines. Let thickness changes be smooth and gradual. Remove the wood from one side of the belly at a time, with the tool at a slight angle, such that when both sides are done a slight crown will have been created along the center of the belly. Then remove the crown. It’s important to reduce belly thickness this way. Otherwise at some point you’ll dip below the line on the opposite side and ruin the bow. This method also averages out any errors of reduction. It’s also easier than trying to remove full-width wood.
As you remove wood down to the pencil lines frequently sight along the length of the limb from a very low angle and make sure your work is smooth and uniform, with no dips or waves or dings. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF BOWMAKING--if thickness taper is smooth and gradual it’s difficult to break a bow.
Narrow the belly side of the grip just enough to cause a nocked arrow to rest square against it. Do this on both sides of the grip. Round all corners of the grip.
Tillering Cut string nocks with a rattail file or similar, then string the bow with a slightly slack string. Set the center of the grip on one end of a tillering stick--a 30” one-by-three board or similar--and place the string in a notch cut into that board, causing the bow to bend about five inches. Lean this rig against a wall then back up and inspect the curve of your new bow.
The shape you are seeking should not be part of a circle, but more the shape of a satellite dish antenna-an only slightly bending grip, with each portion bending slightly more than the last as you move from grip to mid outer limb. Elliptical tiller. The last ten inches or so bend should be a bit stiff, with less bend than midlimb.
It would be good to draw this shape on paper and have it ready to refer to while tillering..
If your bow does not take this shape, or if the limbs are not curving equally, make pencil marks on the belly where the limbs are too stiff. Remove wood from these stiff areas, first on one side of the belly, then the other, then remove the slight crown created. Do this with long sweeping strokes, creating no dips, waver or dings, frequently sighting along your work, as above. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF BOWMAKING.
When the curve finally suits you brace the bow about five-inches high with a proper-length string and inspect it again. Mark any stiff portions and reduce them as above. When content with the curve draw the bow to half its intended draw weight, measured by your best guess or a scale. Set the bow on the tillering stick at this length of draw and mark any stiff areas and remove as above. Re-check the tiller, re-mark, remove wood, etc. until perfect curvature is reached.
Now draw the bow to full draw weight. If full weight is reached at, say, twelve-inches of draw you need to remove medium amounts of wood all along the bow’s length. Do so by above methods, check for proper curve on you tillering stick. Correct where needed.
Again draw to full weight, now at possibly fifteen-inches of draw. From this point on remove only paper thin amounts of wood at a time. Pull to full draw weight after each curve check, setting the string into ever farther notches on the tillering stick as draw length increases. But only for a few seconds at a time. Once within five inches or so of full draw inspection time should drop to just a second or two.
This process of drawing to full weight after each tiller check--Jim-Hamm tillering--insures that you never come in under intened draw weight, the most common failing of new bowmakers.
Continue this process until about one inch short of intended draw length. Smooth all surfaces to your taste, slightly round the corners, and you’re done. The bow will settle right into its intended weight.
If using hickory, pecan or rock maple 50lbs is a safe weight. Redoak or ash or elm will be safe at 45lb. If birch or black cherry stay at 40lb. As your tillering skill improves these weight can rise several pounds.
When tillering is near complete, and if the tips are straight-causing the braced string to sit centered over the grip--narrow the last ten-inches of outer limb down to 3/8”. This softens any hand shock and increases cast. If the string is slightly off center narrow the tips only on the offending side. This will bring to string back toward center.
Nock the arrow just above the center of the grip. The arrow will fly more accurately with one limb or the other as the top limb, but this may change over the life of the bow.

Tim Baker"

Thanks Tim! This ought to help someone out here. I don't know if I posted this before.. probably did. Now all you need to know about is arrows. I would recommend going to George Tsoukalas's website (forgot it-do a google search) Read up "pine arrow hints" and "shoot shafts. This ought to help anyone interested.

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Douglas_The_Black
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Hakkaa päälle!

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Re: Your first wooden bow
Reply #1 - Sep 1st, 2005 at 9:16pm
 
cool Smiley
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i live in a maze of typo's&&&& popularity is for dolls a hero cannot be popular-Ralph Waldo Emerson&&&&DTB-master of the corny vest, and crappy carpet!
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Hellfire
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Re: Your first wooden bow
Reply #2 - Sep 12th, 2005 at 8:05pm
 
I think this could help a lot of people if you put it in that sticky thread. This is some great stuff.
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Douglas_The_Black
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Hakkaa päälle!

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Re: Your first wooden bow
Reply #3 - Sep 12th, 2005 at 8:26pm
 
got cha Smiley
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i live in a maze of typo's&&&& popularity is for dolls a hero cannot be popular-Ralph Waldo Emerson&&&&DTB-master of the corny vest, and crappy carpet!
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grey_wolf
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Re: Your first wooden bow
Reply #4 - Sep 16th, 2005 at 1:27pm
 
Thanks for the instructions.  I think I might actually use them. Smiley
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ben_banned
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Re: Your first wooden bow
Reply #5 - Sep 16th, 2005 at 7:09pm
 
welcome to the forum grey wolf Smiley
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zero tolerance=zero intelligence
 
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Douglas_The_Black
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Hakkaa päälle!

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Re: Your first wooden bow
Reply #6 - Sep 17th, 2005 at 7:40am
 
ben banned is happy to meet another wolf fan Smiley
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i live in a maze of typo's&&&& popularity is for dolls a hero cannot be popular-Ralph Waldo Emerson&&&&DTB-master of the corny vest, and crappy carpet!
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Re: Your first wooden bow
Reply #7 - Sep 17th, 2005 at 10:58am
 
ben banned is surprised to meet a wolf fan
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zero tolerance=zero intelligence
 
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beaverbutt8
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Re: Your first wooden bow
Reply #8 - Sep 18th, 2005 at 1:46pm
 
Definately some usefull information !  Grin
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Re: Your first wooden bow
Reply #9 - Oct 16th, 2005 at 3:28am
 
Arent we meant to be talking about bow making not posting pictures saying racist comments? hahaha Grin
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survival weapons rule!!!!!
 
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