Author Topic: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.  (Read 483 times)

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Offline Thunderlizard

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Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« on: August 02, 2022, 06:19:30 pm »
Howdy!

I cut a load of Osage orange about 5 years ago, and want to start with this little branch. Hindsight, I should never have split it in half, but I did. Any opinions on whether it can be used as a very light weight childís bow? Looking to draw maybe 15-20 pounds.

As you can see, it has few and pretty wide growth rings, and they have a high crown with it just being a branch.

As I understand it, Osage bows should ideally:

1. Be crafted into flat bows, because they are weak in compression
2. Be made only with the heartwood, and the back should be chased down to a ring of the dark colored late wood within the heartwood.

Is this correct? Given that this is going to be a very small childís bow, do those things still hold true, or can I make this bow with a rounded back and flatter belly, and use the sapwood?

Photos below.
 Thanks!

Offline Thunderlizard

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2022, 06:24:06 pm »
Photos

Offline Thunderlizard

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2022, 06:24:52 pm »
One more

Offline Hamish

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2022, 06:35:10 pm »
Nothing wrong with that stave, nice growth rings. I can't see how long it is from the tape measure, but it will make a nice bow, much more than 15-20lbs, if you wanted to.

Sapwood on the back is fine, as long as it hasn't started to rot, or been attacked by bugs.

Osage is actually very strong in compression. A flat belly will work well with the high  crowned back from a small diameter stave though. You could also make a round bellied like an English longbow too. Osage can handle the strain.

Happy bowmaking.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2022, 08:33:07 pm »
I've made 50# bows from poles that size.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2022, 08:47:40 am »
Looks like that stave would be a candidate for a miniature ELB.

Kids bows are difficult to make, one too many scrapes when they are very low poundage can hinge them because you are working with such thin limbs. I have made a pile of kids bows for friends' youngsters, I always bamboo backed them just for durability, I would hate to have a solid wood bow blow up and hurt a little one.

Offline George Tsoukalas

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2022, 09:56:30 am »
Should be fine. Looks like you have enough heartwood should you want to chase a ring. Jawge
Set Happens!
If you ain't breakin' you ain't makin!

Offline bambule

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2022, 12:45:29 pm »
I've made 50# bows from poles that size.
me too, a little over an inch wide limbs, 62" long, 47#@27" - half an inch of set. Osage can handle a lot!

Greetz
Cord
Niedersachsen, Germany

Offline organic_archer

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2022, 03:30:26 pm »
x2 that the sapwood is fine as long as itís not damaged. My first choice for a kids bow with that stick would probably be : Chase the top two sapwood rings off, make it an inch wide for the center 2 feet, as thick as possible in a 4Ē handle and as tall as the kid who will be shooting it. The added length will give a couple years of service before itís outgrown.

Second choice would be just to remove the bark and do the same. Thereís a better chance of having a stiff handle this way.
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Offline George Tsoukalas

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2022, 10:33:31 am »
I once made a bow from an osage ...I can't thick of the name of those pieces of wood that come up from a stump... but anyway ...was under an inch wide  but had around 3 inches of reflex.  The bow came out at 49#.
Set Happens!
If you ain't breakin' you ain't makin!

Offline PaulN/KS

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2022, 09:37:15 am »
I once made a bow from an osage ...I can't thick of the name of those pieces of wood that come up from a stump... but anyway ...was under an inch wide  but had around 3 inches of reflex.  The bow came out at 49#.

"Suckers" are what some of us call those George. They do make a snappy bow.

Offline Gimlis Ghost

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Re: Split Osage branch for a small kids bow? Opinions needed.
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2022, 06:24:36 am »
Weren't most of Ishi's bows made from Yew Branches?
IIRC Pope said that Ishi's bows made from branches didn't last very long but he could make a replacement very quickly so it made no real difference for his use as a hunting bow.
He probably spent more time making good arrows than in making bows.