Author Topic: Hickory and ash board bow layout/dimensions?  (Read 2946 times)

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Offline kiltedcelt

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Hickory and ash board bow layout/dimensions?
« on: November 22, 2009, 04:32:25 pm »
Well, the red oak selection at Home Despot looked like utter crap. I bought a couple middling pieces of maple which I'm considering taking back. I did however go to a real lumberyard today and picked through a bunch of 5/4 hickory and ash and picked up a couple boards that ought to yield at least 4 bows a piece and a couple cut off ends from those bows that again if splicing billets will yield a couple bows apiece as well. So, rather than make a huge mess in my apartment cutting all these up into roughed out board staves, I'm thinking I'll go to the park district wood shop and cut them all out on the table saw/band saw there. So, on the hickory and ash they're both plain sawn boards and I can lay out a bow on each one to be able to take advantage of trying to chase a ring. For the other bows I would get out of each board, they would be more towards the outer edges, away from that nice sweet spot in the middle where if you chase a ring you can get a nice slightly crowned back. I'm wondering what should be the maximum width of the staves I'll cut out. I'm wanting to build mainly American flatbow design - probably all with rigid non-working handles but I can certainly do a couple D-bows as well, and probably will. I'd like to do a D-bow in the ash for sure, sort of ELB style with a barely rounded belly. Would I be best off cutting these boards out so that I have staves 1 1/2" wide, or should I go a bit wider. What would you do? I want to maximize the number of staves I can get out of each board. Oh yeah, the hickory board is 7 1/4" wide but as I've laid out the first bow 1 1/2" wide it's slightly off-center to take advantage of the highest point of curvature in the growth rings when viewed from the ends of the board. Taking that into account, I can get one 2" wide stave and two 1 1/2" staves out of the hickory, in addition to the stave already laid out. I'm thinking maybe doing a couple bows with limbs parallel width until 16" away from the tips then narrowing down to 1/2" tips. I could also play around and do a couple mild pyramid designs where I taper from 1 1/2" down to 1/2" tips. Maybe that 2" wide stave could be a really wide pyramid? The ash has the growth rings pretty well centered, so I predict only being able to get three staves out of it - one laid out right on the middle where the growth rings peak and one on either side. Those could all be about 1 3/4" wide max up to maybe 2". What sort of designs will work best for these two bows? Even though it's 5/4 stock, I'm anticipating gluing on handle risers just to bulk up the handle somewhat. I've also changed my mind about cut in arrow shelves. I figure if I'm building a spine tester why not just use that to match my arrows to the handle shape versus doing the cop-out way and cutting in a shelf. So, I have a little paradox - spine them arrows lighter and make a bit longer to compensate.

Offline Grunt

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Re: Hickory and ash board bow layout/dimensions?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2009, 05:25:17 pm »
You have a lot of important questions but here's a little of what I have learned. Get the TBB 1-4 and read the design sections. Keep a log of your successes and your failures.
 When you rip out your hickory blanks let them sit for a few days inside before you layout your bows. Hickory holds on to moisture so letting the strips get used to inside humidity is important. The strips might bow or reflex a little. You could even push the drying a bit with a stove pipe dryer and a light bulb. If the place where you are going to saw out your blanks has a good bandsaw you could resaw one ( the best) hickory strip into backings for down the road.
 I've built a few red oak board bows and I have always backed them with linen canvas and TB11.
  Pretty cool having only 7 or 8 bucks in a bow ain't it?
Avery Co. NC
See you on the trail, Grunt

Offline sulphur

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Re: Hickory and ash board bow layout/dimensions?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2009, 06:44:51 pm »
right, lots of ?? but thats good.   I make all my board bows with a straight taper starting 2-3 inches after the fades.  seems to be a faster design.  On hickory i use 1.5 to 1.75 width to .5 nocks.  either works great.  for ash i use at least 2" wide.  both woods i use 68" length for 28" draw.  also i heat treat or temper both while inducing a good amount of reflex (about 3" ) and then let them cool all the way down.  I haven't been able to find any decent hickory lately,  i am jealous.  good luck and let us see em!!

Offline kiltedcelt

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Re: Hickory and ash board bow layout/dimensions?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2009, 07:51:29 pm »
Get the TBB 1-4 and read the design sections.

Grunt,
I do have TBB 1-3 and actually I'd completely forgotten about that chart in the design chapter that showed best dimensions for different bow woods.

Offline kiltedcelt

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Re: Hickory and ash board bow layout/dimensions?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2009, 07:57:01 pm »
In TBB Vol. 1 the chart on pg. 105 mentions a bunch of suggested widths for different wood species. The length of the bows was 66" bows pulling 50# at 28". I tend to make all my bows 70" NTN since I have a 29" draw and I'm 6' 1". I make my wife's bows the same length even though her draw is 26", and since she barely draws 30# I just really pare down the thickness of the limbs. Should I be making bows for her shorter? Also, in that chart the width for Ash is given as 1 3/4" and 1 3/4" for Hickory as well. If I make my bows longer than 66" as in that chart, then could they be narrower - say 1 1/2" for a 70" bow?

Offline George Tsoukalas

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Re: Hickory and ash board bow layout/dimensions?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2009, 08:32:22 pm »
The design I favor is the bend in the handle design. There's much more info on my site.
Jawge
http://georgeandjoni.home.comcast.net/~georgeandjoni/
Set Happens!
If you ain't breakin' you ain't makin!