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Juniper Bow (Read 6187 times)
squirrelslinger
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Juniper Bow
Jan 17th, 2013 at 7:11pm
 
I have a bow-stave of ERC/Juniper I got when someone cut a tree down.
It was only 4 inches, and i got 4 pieces- 2 billit-things that i plan to make into arrows, a stave, and some miscallaniuos trash.
I have the ERC stave dried, it was cut a month ago, has been drying outside...
I am planning some sort of bow.
Not even sure yet. it is about 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick, it is about 60 inches long. I will post pics
I am going to guess that it is about 3 inches wide, but the edges are sorta splitting.
I am going to probably make some sort of longbow? Maybe a flatbow.
I have very limited time, a small hand plane, and a hatchet, as my tools...
i also have a pocketknife that I use for other things. Not really pocketkinife... more like a chunk of Tv glass that has a nice edge, knapped, of course...
I use it mainly for sling making.
It will probably be around 30-35 pounds and will be mainly for target shooting.
as long as it will shoot 20 inch arrows, I will be happy.
I will alos take pics of my black locust arrow blanks that i carve using the plane into arrows.
Thanks
Squirrelslinger
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“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
"You don't think the electricity is off. You check it 3 times to make SURE its off"
"Remember, this is not a scalpel. It is a steel wedge that you will be slamming into knotty wood. Hone accordingly."
 
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #1 - Jan 17th, 2013 at 9:08pm
 
Eastern Red Cedar that size tends to have lots of small knots.  It is very good in compression and not so good in elasticy.  This is the piece of wood to use your bamboo on and back.  Leave a layer of sapwood, (the white) and leave as much heartwood (the red) as you can.  You usually want about twice the heartwood to sapwood, if you back it with bamboo, thin the bamboo and thin the sapwood slightly more.  If you don't have any knots, ignore this completely.

ERC doesn't make arrows all that well, remember those knots?  And Port Orford Cedar is a cedar, not a juniper, and they were at least 100 years old when they were cut down and made into arrows. 

I would go with a bending handle longbow, the longer the bow, the less strain there is on it.

My tools for making a bow are a hatchet, a drawknife, a small plane, a spokeshave and 1/2 a scissor that I use as a scraper.  I rough out the bow with the hatchet, chase a ring with the drawknife and use the plane and the spokeshave to smooth the belly of the limbs til they are floor tillered.  Once the limbs start bending, I start scraping.  You can do the same work as the two tools (plane and spokeshave) with a 4 in 1 rasp, it will take longer.

I have never seen an arrow made of BL, I will be paying close attention to this.  It should work, watch your grain runout.
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squirrelslinger
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #2 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 5:50pm
 
Yes. I split my arrows.
BL makes good, strong, easyish to straighten arrows, but it is very heavy.....
It shoots good off  of my bow- 50 pounds at 28 inches recurve( Takedown fiberglass)
I have a large oak longbow made from a board.
It is good....
Will post pics.
Here is the bow-stave
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101_3884.JPG (1686 KB | )
101_3884.JPG

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
"You don't think the electricity is off. You check it 3 times to make SURE its off"
"Remember, this is not a scalpel. It is a steel wedge that you will be slamming into knotty wood. Hone accordingly."
 
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #3 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 6:15pm
 
Looks nice!! Is the upper end somehow broken?
Greetings,
Mauro.
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squirrelslinger
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #4 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 6:37pm
 
Not that I know of.
I cut nocks into the top ends.
Those might look bad....
Because I used a hacksaw.
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“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
"You don't think the electricity is off. You check it 3 times to make SURE its off"
"Remember, this is not a scalpel. It is a steel wedge that you will be slamming into knotty wood. Hone accordingly."
 
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #5 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 6:40pm
 
Yeah it's also a bit blurred and that may have deceived me  Wink
One has to be a master to make bows with hacksaw!
Greetings,
Mauro.
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #6 - Jan 18th, 2013 at 8:41pm
 
I don't like the looks of that knot about 3/4th the way down, it looks like the top of the knot ripped off?  Those are pin nocks, they work fine, I have one on the top of one of the osage bows I made.  The are more common in bows that were made with stone tools.  A round file works better for cutting your nocks if you can find one.  A chainsaw file will work but you will have to keep cleaning it as you use it because the fine teeth fill up with wood dust very quickly.
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squirrelslinger
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #7 - Jan 20th, 2013 at 12:19pm
 
I have 2 halves of a mill-baste file, a 8 inch rattail, and a hacksaw.
Not sure where the rattail is.
If i find it...
and the knot looks BAD to me.
I am thinking about backing it with bamboo, or would a cable-back be good?
I will try to resize pics!
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“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
"You don't think the electricity is off. You check it 3 times to make SURE its off"
"Remember, this is not a scalpel. It is a steel wedge that you will be slamming into knotty wood. Hone accordingly."
 
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Bill Skinner
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #8 - Jan 20th, 2013 at 1:40pm
 
ERC makes quite possibly the best belly in a backed bow.  It's great in compression, it looks great and it smells great while you work on it.
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Atlatlista
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #9 - Jan 20th, 2013 at 2:20pm
 
Bill Skinner wrote on Jan 20th, 2013 at 1:40pm:
ERC makes quite possibly the best belly in a backed bow.  It's great in compression, it looks great and it smells great while you work on it.


If you were going to go with a backing for an ERC bow, like bamboo or hickory or something like that, would you use the purple-ish heartwood of the ERC or the sapwood?
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #10 - Jan 20th, 2013 at 2:23pm
 
Who the hell deleted my post? Lol
Topic added in the Index!
Greetings,
Mauro.
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Dan
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #11 - Jan 20th, 2013 at 9:18pm
 
Quote:
Bill Skinner wrote on Jan 20th, 2013 at 1:40pm:
ERC makes quite possibly the best belly in a backed bow.  It's great in compression, it looks great and it smells great while you work on it.


If you were going to go with a backing for an ERC bow, like bamboo or hickory or something like that, would you use the purple-ish heartwood of the ERC or the sapwood?



I've seen a few bows where they had a little of both in the the sapwood and the heartwood. This is one of my favorites.
http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php?topic=34269.0
The contrast is beautiful IMO.

As you know I'm not a huge fan of backings but... If I had a really nice cedar or juniper stave, I'd back it. Sinew (and also rawhide which tends to be cheaper) backed ERC or juniper bows are near legendary amoung bowyers as a great combination and are quick and light in the hand.

Some closer pics of the knots would be great. Pin knots can be a pain and cutting across rings is a good way to break a bow. Keep us updated as you go.  Smiley
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I was pretty good at slinging like 10 years ago.
 
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Atlatlista
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #12 - Jan 20th, 2013 at 10:04pm
 
I really love the sapwood-heartwood combination look of ERC.  It's like poor east coast US yew.  But still, I've heard some people claim all sapwood ERC performs better, and I'm curious if for a backed bow if you want the sapwood or the heartwood for the belly or if it matters.
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Dan
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #13 - Jan 21st, 2013 at 2:35pm
 
I don't reall know either way, sorry. I personally haven't worked with it yet. You could probably get a better answer if you asked on Primitive Archer or Paleo Planet.

I know that the sapwood of yew generally makes it more snappy.

Honestly, at most (including my own) level of bow making, I don't think you'd see a big difference. Ensureing clean back, good tiller, design capable of taking the stress, and narrow tips are really the recipe for long lasting good performing bow.
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I was pretty good at slinging like 10 years ago.
 
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Re: Juniper Bow
Reply #14 - Jan 21st, 2013 at 7:24pm
 
Atlatlista, I think your backing has a lot to do with whether or not you leave sapwwod on the bow.  A friend who made lots of hickory backed cedar bows used mostly the heart wood, the heartwood for compression, the hickory for tension.  If he made a bamboo backed cedar bow, he always left some sapwood but not much, he said too much made the bow loggy and slow.  The bamboo was there to keep the bow from breaking, I would guess the same would hold for something like silk or rawhide, don't have a clue about sinew except you probably won't need any sapwood as the sinew would be suppling the tension.  Does that help?
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