Author Topic: Bow #3  (Read 587 times)

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Offline Sojan

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Bow #3
« on: January 13, 2023, 04:49:15 pm »
Pfew, colledge sure keeps you buissy! Anyway, some staves cracked, some were lost, second bow (white birch) blew up on floor tillering stage (turns out it was still too thick)... Things were learnt!

While I was waiting for my staves to dry and spending time in the woods, I found a little tree (about 1.5 inches across) that had fallen, and seemed to be sturdy, dry, and without any rot. I pulled out my hatchet, and started whacking at it. I figured something with around 25# at 28 inches should not be too hard to make! No idea what kind of wood it is, but it worked remarkably well for how badly I mutilated it. As I was tillering it, the back started splintering off, so I broke a bow making rule yet again, and shaved off the weak fibers from the back of the bow to get to the stronger wood deeper in the tree (the tree diameter was too small meaning if I had kept thinning it, I would only have had the sapwood, which was pretty soft on this tree).

Thanks to the natural recurve in the wood, tillering for somebody as inexperienced as me was quite difficult (any tips on tillering recurve bows?). The limbs did not end up quite even, and I am not sure that the tips are flexing enough. I tried to make the bottom side stronger because it was a little shorter (handle), but I am not sure that worked particularly well. I also carved out a bunch of wood sideways rather than carefully following the grain... Either way, it's a mess that was never meant to be pretty, but shoots surprisingly smoothly. Enough blabber, here are pics!








For stat geeks like me: It pulls 33 pounds at 28 inches, and fires a 41 gram arrow at 30.5 m/s. After measuring a force/draw length curve, I found that that it fires the bow with an efficiency of about 50.1%. The bow is 1.754 meters long unstrung. and 1.712 meters strung.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2023, 05:58:03 pm by Sojan »

Offline Hamish

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Re: Bow #3
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2023, 05:37:49 pm »
Well done. Good effort for bow #3.

Offline Aksel

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Re: Bow #3
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2023, 06:53:25 am »


Before you jump to recurved bows, start with making a straight bow and nail the tiller. This bow you´re showing is only bending in the handle area (because it is too thin and you cut out a handle and an arrow shelf!)  and limbs are way too stiff. But still, a far from perfect bow can still be very fun to shoot with and we all need to start somewhere.

For bow nr 4 : Keep it long. About your own height. If you want an arrow shelf and a narrowed handle you need to leave the handle thick (+3cm) and non bending. Leave limbs wide: about 4-5 cm for half of each limbs length then taper width to nocks. Taper the bow limbs in thickness evenly to the nocks. The bow limbs must bend evenly and gracefully. If you instead want a bend in the handle bow, keep it 3 - 4 cm in width but then you can´t cut an arrow shelf. Glue one onto the side instead.  Read Tim Bakers text "your first wooden bow" and you won´t go wrong. Good luck!
Stoneagebows

Online Selfbowman

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Re: Bow #3
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2023, 08:40:11 am »
Better than my second bow! Just keep reading on here and building they will just get better. Happy bow building!
Well I'll say!!  Osage is king!!

Offline Hamish

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Re: Bow #3
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2023, 06:25:26 pm »

This sort of deflex /reflex bow is hard to judge, depending upon how close the finshed, unstrung bow is to the original pre tillered shape.

To a large degree, the bending too much in the handle look ends up being close to what you need for a correct tiller for a df/rf.
Now, as I haven't seen the stave pre tiller, it looks to me like its a decent job.  If it was horribly wrong I would expect to see obvious excessive set at the handle, whilst it looks like only a little deflex, which I'm assuming  was already in the stave(?). Tips are still in line or in front of the handle. If the set took at the middle, I would expect to see the tips well behind the handle.

If the handle area wasn't originally deflexed then, yes the set at the middle would indicate too much bending at the handle.

I think hand shock whilst shooting the bow will let you know if the limbs are too stiff, and the handle is bending too much.

Like Aksel said its definitely more straight forward with a regular shaped stave, when gaining tillering experience.

Offline Sojan

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Re: Bow #3
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2023, 10:46:53 am »
Very interesting. I do not think there was much deflex on the non tillered stave, mostly only reflex. What you mentioned about hand shock is also true. I did not know it was caused by the bow bending too much next to the handle, but I did notice it hurt my wrist more than the first bow I made. As for length of bow 4, sadly, I only had a short stave, and it is already partially tillered :) My staves tend to be recycled wood cuts from a nearby forest, so I work with what I can get my hands on. Maybe bow #5! Unfortunately bow building is going to have to take a side to my last semester of college... Can't wait for summer :BB

Offline joachimM

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Re: Bow #3
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2023, 05:49:30 pm »
Every bow you make or attempt to make is a learning opportunity, and on top of that you can also stand on the shoulder of giants.
My advice for this bow: narrow the tips to 1 cm wide, and make the mid-limb section bend more. Don't worry too much about the poundage just now, focus on the tiller. It is quite a long bow, and you can easily add a few pounds later on by making the bow 5 cm or so shorter (while also maybe reducing a bit the draw length). 
If you're short of decent staves, there are many options described by Tim Baker in the Traditional Bowyer's Bible Vol1 (and 4):
1. Go to a hardware lumber store, find the most straight grained board you can find, make a pyramid board bow, 65 to 70" or so, 2" wide, and the tiller is nearly automatically correct if you keep the thickness equal across the board. Aim for 12-13 mm thickness (1/2") and you'll have a 40# bow or heavier from about any wood. I've made decent enough bows even from pine lumber, but if you can find some oak, hickory, ash or so you're ready to go.
2. Look for ash broom sticks, as straight grained as possible, and make a 72" longbow. You can also splice together two pieces of hickory or ash from pick or ax handles, all you need is a steady hand and a good hand saw for a Z-splice.
3. I've made loads of (often smaller) bows from 1" wide branches of plum, hawthorn, elm, ... heck, even from a rose (yes, those with the flowers). You can scavenge road-side hedges and you'll find tons of useful staves that will give you 30-40# bows at 26". Harvest, debark with a pocket knife, whittle out the rough bow dimensions, let it dry for a few weeks (weigh the moisture loss regularly) and use these to learn to tiller. Such bows can be made in the course of a few hours, even by beginners.

So no reason to wait for summer, all you need is a hand saw to harvest branches here and there, a rasp to rough out the bow and tiller roughly, a drawing knife to scrape (or a regular large knife), and a grindstone to sharpen the knives ;-). You don't need days to make a bow: every day half an hour so and you'll make steep progress soon.

good luck, and keep these bows coming
J