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Making your first bow (Read 701 times)
Morphy
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Making your first bow
Feb 21st, 2021 at 4:46am
 
So there was some questions on the short bow thread about bow making principles. It kind of gave me a nudge to get a simple bow making tutorial made that Ive wanted to make for a long time now. Its no where near the level of quality I hope to make in the future but it has some helpful (i hope) info on it for newer bow makers.

This is going to be a series of videos. The first part goes up to the stripping of the bark and following a ring. Its quickly made but the next parts Ill be able to spend more time on the intricacies of layout and tillering which is where the heart of bow making is at.

https://youtu.be/6x7FN6BVK80
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #1 - Feb 24th, 2021 at 7:22pm
 
Survival Lily made a survival bow in a few hours.

https://youtu.be/Mx7QaRV_t7E
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Morphy
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #2 - Feb 24th, 2021 at 7:34pm
 
Sheís a fun one to watch. I really like her stuff.  Smiley
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #3 - Feb 25th, 2021 at 3:08am
 
Awaiting part 2
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Morphy
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #4 - Feb 26th, 2021 at 12:45pm
 
Just try and stop me.† Cool

So I looked up holly as a bow wood and  most people say it works quite well. So hopefully the wood underneath the bark looks good. Looking forward to this.
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« Last Edit: Feb 26th, 2021 at 7:34pm by Morphy »  

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Morphy
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #5 - Mar 1st, 2021 at 11:06am
 
...

So this is unexpected... This is a hickory stave and the smaller Holly (?) stave I cut in part one. The hickory is supposedly considerably denser. Yet when hefting this holly stave I couldve sworn it felt way heavier than other woods with similar specific gravities that Holly supposedly has.

Here you can see the hickory stave. Its quite a bit longer. And pretty close to the same thickness. With the extra length the volume should at least be similar but realistically theres more hickory there I would assume.

Check out the weight on both.

...

Holly

...

Hickory


The Holly might look much thicker but this is a actually not the case when you take into account the thickness of circumferential inner and outer bark that adds volume without the same mass as a dense hardwood.† The holly is heavier. Both woods are seasoned to ambient humidity. The holly sapling was indeed dead when I cut it. The wood felt really hard and not cool at all just as seasoned wood feels. I performed a thumb nail test on it and could not make a dent for the life of me. This is a seriously dense wood. I never would have expected that. Holly from what ive seen shouldnt be this dense but Im not complaining. This gives me hope. Now just got to hope the considerable amount of knots and the dead wood dont lead to catastrophic failure.

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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #6 - Mar 1st, 2021 at 5:54pm
 
I have faith in you Morphy
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Morphy
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #7 - Mar 1st, 2021 at 6:12pm
 
Appreciate that lol... but... if Im reading this situation correctly that stave has a density on par with Osage. Just crazy... no idea how that will translate to tension strength but only one way to find out.
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #8 - Mar 12th, 2021 at 11:13am
 
Super informative video. Can't wait for the next part.
Personally I like the design of Primitive Technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLoukoBs8TE
You can cut a bow with this method in little over an hour minus fire hardening.

All my bows so far have been of European beech. Can't find much info on it and the little there is says it's not very good.
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Morphy
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #9 - Mar 12th, 2021 at 1:22pm
 
Slyngorm wrote on Mar 12th, 2021 at 11:13am:
Super informative video. Can't wait for the next part.
Personally I like the design of Primitive Technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLoukoBs8TE
You can cut a bow with this method in little over an hour minus fire hardening.

All my bows so far have been of European beech. Can't find much info on it and the little there is says it's not very good.


Sorry the next video is going so slow. I wont forget and it will explain a ton of stuff for you.

But as for Primitive Technology. Yes its a cool design Slyngorm. And they are fun to make.

So hereís a weird thing about survival bows like that one. They donít really help you survive. Thatís sort of the irony lol. Even with a really good, accurate longbow killing game is so hard lol. Even when not in a survival situation, but add on the hunger, thirst, disease and demoralization and itís very hard.

You can ask Mersa all about that.† Grin

But heís making those bows with just rocks. With your survival knife/ hatchet,† and smaller knife you can make a longer bow that will outshoot that one all day long with probably less effort. Thatís what they call a ďmeat-makingĒ bow. A simple, beautiful longbow with little reflex, super accurate and durable due to the longer limbs spreading out the stress over a larger area. If you are in a true survival situation and you decide to try and make a bow, you want a longer one like 68 inches nock to nock.

Still you will notice in that video that I cut a 60Ē inch stave or less. I donít always follow my own advice lol.
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Slyngorm
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #10 - Apr 2nd, 2021 at 5:29pm
 
Fire hardening.
Is there something as "too much"? As long as the bow doesn't burn up completely.
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Morphy
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #11 - Apr 3rd, 2021 at 8:47pm
 
When tempering or fire hardening look for a golden brown or just before. I usually like to do it after floor tiller but before any real tillering. Make sure its done evenly. Black or too dark is bad, or can be. Safer to look for a golden brown. After tempering the belly you need to let the bow sit in ambient humidity for 3-5 days without any bending or stringing. The bow should not be stressed until after sitting for this time period. Do **not** heat the back of the bow.

If done correctly it doesnt just dry out the belly. If it was only that all benefits would cease once moisture content reached homogeneity after rehydrating. It changes the properties of the belly wood permanently and makes it stronger versus compression though weaker in tension.
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Slyngorm
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #12 - May 23rd, 2021 at 8:55am
 
How to hold an arrow on a bow with a very great draw weight?
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Slyngorm
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #13 - May 23rd, 2021 at 11:29am
 
Just forget it. Realized the problem was me not having carved nooks into my arrows.
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Slyngorm
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Re: Making your first bow
Reply #14 - May 30th, 2021 at 3:47pm
 
Here is a picture of my latest bow progression. Wanted to make  180 cm bow from birch.

The first, black one, was cut to thin because it kept the dimensions of my smaller bows. Also made one before this that was even thinner. Unsurprisingly, not very powerful. 
Second one had potential but was accidently overtillered loosing much potential.
Third one, very happy with. Probably my first bow that has some chance of being used in a hunting scenario. Its poundage is over 20 kg (I think 25). Blew my mind how accurate bows are. Rolled out a measuring tape and always got within half a meter from it. Today shot just over 50 meters at 45 angle. However, it has progressively become weaker and weaker. At first the string was so tight that it just didnít snap. Now I can almost string the bow without bending it.
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