Author Topic: How long do wooden bows last?  (Read 337 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ajbruggink

  • Member
  • Posts: 266
  • Aaron Bruggink, Oostburg, WI, USA
How long do wooden bows last?
« on: August 12, 2017, 02:13:12 pm »
Heh guys,

I feel like this question has asked before but when I did a search on Primitive Archer it came up with nothing. I was reading through 'Cherokee Bows and Arrows' by Al Herrin the other day. I only intended to read the section on making the rawhide string at first (sounds a lot simpler the second time reading it than the first time) but then I decided to read what he had to say about finishes because I saved some fat from the bears I shot the past 2 years to make rendered bear fat to rub on bows and I wanted to see how exactly he applies that. In that section he mentions a fellow he knew that had a bow that had been in his family for a hundred years and he shot it sometimes. That got me wondering how long a wooden bow lasts. I've only built ten bows in my 3 years of bowbuilding experience, five of them are still shooting and five have broke and of the five that are still shooting I only own 2 of them, the other 3 are owned by friends who don't shoot that much. I have one bow, my first bow I built, I looked at its tiller the other day and it is not that good but it has shot at least a thousand arrows over the past 3 years and its still holding up, I don't why its survived. That's my experience with wooden bows so I was just wondering how long a good wooden bow generally lasts because a hundred years seems like an awful long time.

Thanks,

Aaron 

Offline Pat B

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 29742
Re: How long do wooden bows last?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 02:50:40 pm »
With proper care a wood bow could last your lifetime and be handed down to someone else.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline ntvbowyer1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 86
Re: How long do wooden bows last?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 03:57:28 pm »
I have self bows over 20yrs old and they still shoot great

Offline CB57

  • Member
  • Posts: 21
  • Just a guy with a thinking problem
Re: How long do wooden bows last?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 04:04:52 pm »
Hmmm. Have a flipped-tip or static recurve my dad used in the late 50's, before I was born, that I want to string and flex, maybe even shoot, in his honor. Yellow wood, stiff grip, that I'm considering making a string for and shooting. Kind of uncomfortable with the idea, but would love for Dad to see it while he's still here (he's 81).
Chris 🏹

Offline sleek

  • Member
  • Posts: 4235
Re: How long do wooden bows last?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 05:11:16 pm »
Hmmm. Have a flipped-tip or static recurve my dad used in the late 50's, before I was born, that I want to string and flex, maybe even shoot, in his honor. Yellow wood, stiff grip, that I'm considering making a string for and shooting. Kind of uncomfortable with the idea, but would love for Dad to see it while he's still here (he's 81).

If it ever breaks, you can cut it up, use pieces for knife hanfle scales, tip overlays, and other such things just to keep it around and useful.
Tread softly and carry a bent stick.

Dont seek your happiness through the approval of others

Offline Pat B

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 29742
Re: How long do wooden bows last?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 07:44:20 pm »
Are your Dad's bows made from lemonwood? Old bows can be rejuvenated by teaching them to bend again. Start with a string slightly longer than the bow(like a tiller string) and just like starting tillering, exercise the bow gently and gradually work it to brace and beyond.  Once you reach brace and everything is good leave it braced for an hour or so. As you increase the draw length leave it braced longer and longer(up to 6 hours of so). After a few days of this gradual reeducating the wood to bend you should be good to go but remember you just never know.
Will you post pics of these bows?
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Eric Krewson

  • Member
  • Posts: 2708
Re: How long do wooden bows last?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 08:10:49 pm »
I have made several osage bows that were shot at least 100,000 times by their owners before they failed.

Offline simson

  • Member
  • Posts: 1607
  • stonehill-primitive-bows
    • stonehill-primitive-bows
Re: How long do wooden bows last?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2017, 11:07:56 pm »
Like Pat said, proper care is the thing to let them last a long time.
Among other things it is the storage - not too dry (esp. during winter)
Simon
Bavaria, Germany