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Bow Backing (Read 5244 times)
Thunder Chief
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Bow Backing
May 31st, 2012 at 7:54pm
 
Okay, so I'm looking to build a new warbow in the next couple weeks and I need backing material.  I'd like to use bamboo or hickory, but the only people who seem to sell backing slats (3Rivers Archery) only has them in lengths of 72".  The bow I'm going to build is going to be around 78".  So my question is, where does one go about getting backing in above average lengths?
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Bikewer
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #1 - Jun 1st, 2012 at 7:40am
 
Couldn't you use two?   Joined at the handle, there's little or no flex, and you could use a scarf joint for more strength.
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Dan
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #2 - Jun 1st, 2012 at 8:33am
 
You shouldn't need any backing for a 78in bow! That'd have something like a nice smooth 32in draw.  Smiley

Make it a self bow and you'll be fine. You can even use lumber. I've seen wood veneers used as backing though it won't be traditional anymore. I've never tried it but I think Bikewer idea is sound too.

MY suggestion, go to paleoplanet and buy a 78in yew stave. Make a traditonal english style war bow with horn knocks, and you won't be dissapointed.
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #3 - Jun 1st, 2012 at 11:00pm
 
I'll probably see some tomorrow at the Howard Hill Bow Shoot.  If I do, I'll try to get a card or some type of contact info.

If I were going to back a 78 inch bow, I would use hickory over bamboo.  Or, depending on the type of wood I was going to use, I would use a piece of linen or silk, both are lighter than wood or bamboo and won't slow down your tips.  Are you planning on making a Mary Rose style longbow or an English Longbow Society type long bow?  The specs are more precise for the ELBS but the Mary Rose has a little more varity.  I don't believe either will accept anything for a backing except wood.
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #4 - Jun 3rd, 2012 at 10:05am
 
No joy, Jaap was not there.  Contact Yumi Bows and see if he can help you.  Shipping is going to be a problem, 72 inches is usually the top length, after that you have to pay a surcharge.
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Thunder Chief
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #5 - Jun 4th, 2012 at 1:06pm
 
I don't want to use two pieces because it will be bending through the handle.  I foresee (perhaps incorrectly) the two pieces separating when bent.  I guess I'll just have to be extra choosy with my wood.  On a related topic, can anyone post a picture of a good grained piece of maple and/or birch? Both end on and sideways?  I know how to judge oak, but that's about it.  Thanks.

Also, I'm going to have to do a little more reading on exactly what style of warbow I want to build.
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Dan
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #6 - Jun 4th, 2012 at 1:55pm
 
If you have a 78in bow you'd probably be okay with a stiff handle.  Wink

Again, I'd really suggest making a self bow. I've never seen a bad tree of birch or maple unless you are talking boards in which case I have no clue. I'd also suggest a harder wood than maple for war bows. Hickory, yew, black loucst, and Osage are your best bets IMO.

If I were you and I (you) am making a 78in war bow I'd buy a 78in Yew stave from paleoplanet trade forums and back it with rawhide and add horn nocks. the total will be less than 80 bucks and you'd have a bow that if probably made will last a lifetime of shooting heavily armored enemies. You should probably be able to make it in the post 100s range in poundage and not have too much of a problem drawing it because the stack will be pretty much non exsistant.
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #7 - Jun 5th, 2012 at 10:18am
 
I would go to Primitive Archer and ask on the English Warbow section of the forum, there are several professional and many amature boyers who have used all different types of wood and backings.  From what I understand, the preferred woods are yew, ash and backed hickory, pretty much in that order.  Osage is used in tri laminated bows but is too heavy to be used by itself, it tends to have lots of handshock.  Red mulberry is very similar to osage but is much lighter, it may work better for the weights you are looking to get without the handshock.  To my knowledge, if you make a mulberry bow, you will be pretty much the first to do it.
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Morphy
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #8 - Jun 10th, 2012 at 5:40pm
 
Bamboo is hard to beat TC. That's what I would use.

http://www.bambooandrattan.com/catalog/bamboo.htm
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Thunder Chief
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #9 - Jun 10th, 2012 at 10:09pm
 
Morphy wrote on Jun 10th, 2012 at 5:40pm:
Bamboo is hard to beat TC. That's what I would use.

http://www.bambooandrattan.com/catalog/bamboo.htm


I'm not actually sure how to prepare a raw piece of bamboo.  Advice?
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #10 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 11:28pm
 
I have a piece that someone gave me with a piece of ipe.  I haven't gotten around to cutting out the bow and gluing it up.  I don't know if this is the way to do it or just his way but here goes.  It is a strip 64 inches long, and 2 inches wide.  The outside is  untouched, he has planed the inside perfectly flat.  The thickness of the strip is 1/8 at the center of the strip, the edges are razor sharp.  This was probably a huge piece of bamboo, at least 4 or 5 inches across at a minimum.  He said to draw out my bow on the ipe, bandsaw it out, clean it up then trace the ipe on the bamboo.  Then bandsaw the bamboo, it will be slightly on the large size because you cut outside the line.  Degrease the ipe and the bamboo with alcohol, score both with a hacksaw blade, degrease again.  Glue up using Titebond and lots of clamps or a bicycle innertube.  Put it in your car, park your car in the sun and roll up the windows and go away for 8 hours.  Take it out and let it sit for 24 hours.  Clean it up, remove the excess glue, sand the edges flush, smooth out the handle, cut the arrow pass if you plan to use one.  Tiller, do it outside as a lot of people have a reaction to the dust from ipe.  That's how he explained it to me, he has some nice, flat shooting longbows, so it works for him.
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Morphy
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #11 - Jun 13th, 2012 at 3:39pm
 
I sand the outside of the bamboo after applying it but you want to be careful not to take off too much.  It's been awhile since I've made a boobow, as in like 10 years so I would follow Bills advice, or better yet, go to paleoplanet and ask around.  I pretty much stick with silk or self these days.
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #12 - Jun 14th, 2012 at 6:45pm
 
I have chased a ring on the last five bows that I made.  Osage grows all around me, it's not hard to get some.  What kind of poundage are you shooting for?  And at what draw length?
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Thunder Chief
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #13 - Jun 15th, 2012 at 5:24am
 
Bill Skinner wrote on Jun 14th, 2012 at 6:45pm:
I have chased a ring on the last five bows that I made.  Osage grows all around me, it's not hard to get some.  What kind of poundage are you shooting for?  And at what draw length?


The draw I'm looking for is something like 32 or 34.  I'm less sure on the poundage, maybe 70?
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Dan
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Re: Bow Backing
Reply #14 - Jun 15th, 2012 at 9:07am
 
Bah, the stack will be so low on a 78in bow you should go for 100 lb. Make it 1/4in wider and a little thicker and you'll have a near super bow, also be sure to make the tips really narrow. A 78in bows can be actually be made slower than a 72 in bow so tillering has to be spot on and tips have to be very narrow.
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I was pretty good at slinging like 10 years ago.
 
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