Author Topic: New to the forum and bow building  (Read 411 times)

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Offline Bad juju

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New to the forum and bow building
« on: October 16, 2020, 08:53:47 pm »
Hi everyone

I am from Alberta Canada and a avid hunter/fishermen. I have wanted to build my ow bow and successfully hunt with it for a long time. Been doing a lot of reading and watching videos on the subject of bow building. The plan to make my first attempt this winter after hunting season. Since trees for good bow wood are not easy to come by here in Alberta so the plan is to build a backed board bow

So this now brings me to my first issue. I drove into the city to buy some wood from a specialty store and I had to make my choice by memory do to no cell service. So I went by what I thought had the best grain for what I remembered as bow wood. I ended up with hickory and Bubinga. Now I knew hickory was a good choice and makes good backing but after reading once I got home I might have made a poor choice with Bubinga as a belly wood

So the question is will Bubinga be a decent choice for belly wood? Or should it only be used as a riser and tips?

Should I find a different belly wood? I know in town there is red oak, Sapele, black walnut, and unknown maple (assuming big leaf) but anything else I have to travel for


Offline Flntknp17

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 09:18:58 pm »
Welcome!  I haven't used bubinga for anything other than accents so I can't comment on that as a belly wood......but I am certain that the hickory would make an excellent backing for either the red oak or the maple (as long as its one of the "hard" maples and not a "soft" maple like silver maple).  I've really enjoyed the backed maple board bows I have made.  I have used some sapele, but not enough to have a strong opinion other than the fact that its really important to get heartwood and not sapwood with sapele.  The sapwood looks nice when its in board form, but it isn't any harder than mahogany and I had trouble with it twisting and chrysaling. 

Matt

Offline dylanholderman

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 09:46:37 pm »
Welcome I donít have much to add as I havenít used bubinga in a bow either but Iíll throw out there that hickory will make a fine selfbow if you canít find any good belly woods around you.

Offline Bad juju

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 10:16:28 pm »
Thanks for the input guys do you have recommendations on good belly wood for hickory? Itís good to know options to keep an eye out for if the Bubinga ends up only for riser and tips

Pretty sure the maple in town is soft maple but the store employees donít even know?

Worst case I am not starting till DEC unless I tag out early so if I need to another trip to the city is an option

What glues do you guys prefer?


Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2020, 10:58:39 pm »
Welcome to PA!  Hickory should make you a fine bow by itself!  You could back it with linen, rawhide, or any number of materials.  TBIII, EA40 epoxy, are gooD.
Hawkdancer
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Online Morgan

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2020, 12:03:31 am »
Black walnut will make a selfbow so I imagine you could back it with a hickory strip. It would be a pretty combo if it works out.

Offline Bad juju

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2020, 09:28:22 am »
So by the responses so far my concern about Bubinga as a belly wood seem valid and I should seek another belly wood for sure?

The thought of maybe attempting a tri lam 1/8 hickory 1/8 Bubinga followed by a more suitable belly wood. Would this be feasible or should I just keep the Bubinga out of the limbs?

I know I may be being stubborn with the Bubinga since I already bought it so it wonít hurt my feelings to be told give up on it as a limb wood because itís a bad idea lol

I should also mention I am learning towards a flat bow or Mollegabet style bow since design does make a difference. Goal for specs is 50#-55# at 29 draw.

Yes I am another dumb rookie with questions

Offline GlisGlis

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2020, 10:08:44 am »
mollegabet is less forgiving.
As a first bow i'd try to keep things simple

Offline bownarra

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2020, 11:49:15 am »
You could make a tri--lam with a hickory back, bubinga core and for the belly personally I'd look for a place that sold ipe deck boards.
However my advice would be to forget a laminated bow for now. Find the best maple or hickory board you can eg. the straightest possible grain. Try digging your thumb nail into a piece. Soft maple will dent easily. If not it is hard maple.
Unless you can't find a straight grained board you do not need to back your board.
As for design you cannot beat a pyramid for your first bow. Most designs actually shoot within 10fps of each other if executed well :) So don't get hung up on some fancy design. Pyramids shoot very well and are easy for a beginners eyes to tiller.
Make it 68 long.
Widest part for maple and hickory 1 3/4" wide with a taper to 1/2" wide tips.
Rough out your thickness at 5/8ths for most of the limb, bit thicker at the handle.
Get a board at least 3/4 thick, 1 inch better as a minimum. This thickness will allow you to simply glue an 'extra' piece on for the handle without risk of delamination which can easily happen with a board that is too thin to start with.
Good luck :)

Offline mmattockx

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2020, 12:06:48 pm »
I am from Alberta Canada and a avid hunter/fishermen. I have wanted to build my ow bow and successfully hunt with it for a long time. Been doing a lot of reading and watching videos on the subject of bow building. The plan to make my first attempt this winter after hunting season. Since trees for good bow wood are not easy to come by here in Alberta so the plan is to build a backed board bow.

You don't say where you are in Alberta, but I have yet to find a good supply of decent wood here. The best I have found is maple and red oak from the big box stores or hickory from some of the specialty suppliers. You can build a completely serviceable bow from one of these choices, though. As noted, you don't need to back the bow if the grain is straight, but I think it is reasonable for a beginner to back his first few bows with a light fabric as insurance against his lack of tillering skills and because you may have a hard time finding a board with good enough grain from a local lumber yard or big box store. You will almost certainly find an OK board or two that will be acceptable with a light backing, though.

I would agree with bownarra that a pyramid design is a good starting point, but I would make it 2" wide instead of 1.75" just to give yourself some extra room to screw up and still end up with a functional bow.

Are you already an archer? Do you know what your draw length is and what draw weight you can handle comfortably?


Mark

Offline Bad juju

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2020, 03:12:48 pm »
Thanks for the advice bownarra I will look into the pyramid design. Kinda like the idea of at least backing the bow just in case my choice in wood is not as good as I thought it was. Plus my hickory maybe a little shy of 3/4. Worst case I am not afraid to blow up a bow or two trying to get it right. Maybe if I see a good red oak bow in town I will try a one piece first

Mark I am in Drayton Valley and I found a decent selection of hardwoods at Windsor plywood in Leduc so far. I did a far bit of digging through what they had searching for good grain(at least it looked good to me) and most I did not trust. Our one home hardware has a little bit of hardwood like I mentioned. I noticed a bunch of options in Edmonton but have yet to check theses stores in person

I have been an archer for 25years and 6years with Trad. I presently shoot a recurve that is 55#@28 but I have a 29inch draw when shooting trad. I have shot trad bows as heavy as 65# but prefer 50#-55# because itís more comfortable when in awkward positions

Offline Hamish

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2020, 05:16:35 pm »
I have used bubinga. I even backed it with a strip of fibreglass. It was an ELB and it survived the process without chrysalling. It did take a fair bit of set, but I put  that down to the glass. It was glued up flat, and I would suspect that if backed and glued up with a bit of reflex it it would turn out okay.

Offline Bad juju

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2020, 07:33:42 am »
Thanks for the information everyone I know have some ideas. The worst part now I am thinking of two bows not one since I have the extra wood. Something more simple and safe along with another more challenging


Offline Marc St Louis

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2020, 07:53:52 am »
I've made a few Bubinga bows.  It is not the best choice but it will work.  It will chrysal if stressed too much, as in no round belly and not too short

The last one was Bamboo backed, I still have that one.  It chrysalled but still works.
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Offline Bad juju

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Re: New to the forum and bow building
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2020, 02:46:50 pm »
After digging through the little bit of red oak, maple, and black walnut at the hardware store in town the best grain was a black walnut board so I bought it. Now between the hickory, Bubinga, and black walnut I am set for wood for a few attempts at least

I also ordered some Titebond III

After looking into the suggestion of a pyramid bow I will attempt a variation of this style

I appreciate the advice from everyone and will likely have more questions once I start