Author Topic: Hickory short bow(s) build along  (Read 761 times)

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Offline Aaron1726

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Hickory short bow(s) build along
« on: May 19, 2023, 11:12:59 pm »
Ok, so my red oak, sisal backed shorty went out with a bang!  Design, tiller, and over drawing it all had a part in its demise.  I am trying to learn from those mistakes and hopefully have a better outcome this go around. 

First off, design.  The Last one was 36" overall, I'm going to lengthen things a bit for some safety margin, this time I will be at 42" overall.  Also, I found some hickory boards to work with instead of oak so I hope that will be a benefit as well.

Then the tiller...  well I'm still learning, but from what I got from everyone's feedback, I think the handle had a bit too much bend.  So this time around I'm not going to narrow the handle and I'm going to try to put less bend there.

My end goal is 40 to 45 lbs at about 18-19 in of draw.  I have taken my hickory board (1.5 in wide x .8in thick) and ripped it in half so I can have 2 to work with of about 3/8 in thickness.  I got both pieces roughed to shape, 1.5 in for about 8in in the middle and then tapered to 0.5in tips. My plan here also is to try my hand at sinew backing one and then sisal (or maybe dogbane) on the other to see how things turn out. 

So far my first one, which I plan to back with sinew, is nearly ready to be backed.  I got it tillered to about 15 in, then made a caul for a little reflex and tried a heat treat on the grill, could only get one limb at a time, but seemed to work ok.  After final tillering out to 17 in, I'm now at roughly 0in of reflex, and 33lbs at 17 in.  I have been getting sinew ready and went ahead and sized the back so hopefully I can get the sinew on soon.

Anyway, thought I'd share this one (or 2...) with yall.  Hopefully one of them will turn out alright.  Here are some picks so far of the build.

Offline Aaron1726

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2023, 11:14:53 pm »
Here's one at rest and at brace of the (hopefully) soon to be sinew backed one.

Offline RyanY

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2023, 10:11:45 am »
A narrower and thicker handle that is bending less may still be under similar strain and at risk for failure. Even so short, Iíd worry about it being a bit too thin at 3/8Ē. Hopefully the backing helps bring it up a bit.

Offline Aaron1726

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2023, 05:52:13 pm »
Ryan, we shall see, I may have gotten greedy with that board, trying to get 2 bows out of it.  Still learning.

I did get a chance to get the sinew on today.  I had a little over 40g to start with and ended up using closer to 30g I think.  Hard to say for sure since the leftovers were all wet.  I added and extra amount in the handle area first and then layed the rest on evenly over top of that out each limb.  I had pre-weighed everything so I could hopefully keep both limbs even with the amount of sinew that went on.  I think it was pretty even, I tried to leave equal amounts of left overs for both limbs.  Anyway, here's a couple pics with the sinew layed out and then on the bow.  Now time to wait till it dries....

Offline Aaron1726

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2023, 06:06:06 pm »
Couple more.  Seems like a really thick layer right now, so I'm curious to see how much it shrinks as it dries.

Offline GlisGlis

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2023, 09:30:31 am »
I like the idea of the twins backed with different materials  :OK

Offline superdav95

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2023, 10:52:58 am »
Looks very clean Aaron.  Nicely laid out as far as I can tell from the pics.  It will shrink in thickness quite a bit actually.  It will become almost translucent as well.  How much reflex did you add to the bow before adding the sinew?   You may have mentioned it already but one consideration that I would recommend is that if any more then a few inches of reflex induced especially over a short bow with sinew running the entire length you may want to consider wrapping it with a cloth wrap and or tensor bandage or something to ensure that it doesnít lift up as it dries and shrinks.  It will have a tendency to pull off the wood as it dries if not held down in highly reflexed bows. Especially short bows.  Wrapping my short bows with sinew is standard practice for me now.  I use horse leg wrap and bicycle tire tube over that to really cinch it down.  Iíve tried jute cord wraps and other non elastic type wraps and all worked well but they leave unwanted marks as the sinew dries.  Iíve used old cotton t shirts strips too with good results.  FYI and hope it turns out good for you.   Looks good so far.  You may not have enough reflex to even worry about it just a consideration.  Cheers
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Offline Aaron1726

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2023, 08:06:08 pm »
Thanks for the encouragement guys.  Glisglis, yeah I'm curious to see what the difference might be.  I like the idea of the sisal with tb3 for the water proofness, but I'm really excited to see how the sinew turns out.

Dave, it didn't really have any reflex left when putting the sinew on.  I had a couple inches after the heat treat, but it lost almost all of that.  I'm in central NC and our humidity is quite high most of the time, but especially this time of yeah.  So I'm guessing that played a role.  I had wondered about wrapping it, but was afraid of having the wrap stick to the sinew.  I did a rawhide backing once and wrapped it, but there wasn't any exposed glue surfaces.  When you wrap, do you wait until it starts to dry before wrapping?  Or how do you keep the wrapping from bonding to the sinew?  I guess it's dry enough today it would be fine.

Thanks again yall

Offline superdav95

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2023, 12:05:39 pm »
Thanks for the encouragement guys.  Glisglis, yeah I'm curious to see what the difference might be.  I like the idea of the sisal with tb3 for the water proofness, but I'm really excited to see how the sinew turns out.

Dave, it didn't really have any reflex left when putting the sinew on.  I had a couple inches after the heat treat, but it lost almost all of that.  I'm in central NC and our humidity is quite high most of the time, but especially this time of yeah.  So I'm guessing that played a role.  I had wondered about wrapping it, but was afraid of having the wrap stick to the sinew.  I did a rawhide backing once and wrapped it, but there wasn't any exposed glue surfaces.  When you wrap, do you wait until it starts to dry before wrapping?  Or how do you keep the wrapping from bonding to the sinew?  I guess it's dry enough today it would be fine.

Thanks again yall

Yes I wrap after it has set up and dry to the touch on surface.  This allows for the wrap to not stick too bad.  It also makes it better for not leaving wrap marks so much when waiting for surface to dry a bit.  We are humid here too so I bring my sinew work inside the house where the ac is.  I also put a good layer of hot glue on top of the sinew with my finger or brush.  As far as your bow is concerned I wouldnít worry about wrapping it as the reflex is not existent or very slight.  It will likley pull into some reflex on its own with sinew drying.   
Sticks and stones and other poky stabby things.

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Offline Aaron1726

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2023, 07:50:48 pm »
Thanks Dave, really appreciate the help.  I noticed this today, one spot where it looks like the sinew is pulling apart in the middle of the bow.  It's right in the middle of the handle.  Not sure if it's anything to worry about or why this would happen?  My first thought was to put a little more hide glue on the spot to help bind the loose ends and fill it a little.  Any thoughts?

It's drying well I think, it has reduced in size quite a bit and it no longer white, turning more tan and translucent.  I measured the tips when I layed things down at the edge of the 2x4 my vise is mounted to.  It's about 1/8" higher than it started so seems like the sinew is starting to pull a small amount of reflex in.

Thanks again

Offline superdav95

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2023, 11:10:13 am »
Aaron.  I wouldnít worry about actually especially being that itís in the handle area.  You could fill it in with some smaller strands of sinew and glue.  You could also just put some hide glue in there too.  What may have happened here is that the fibers may have been criss crossed or overlapping or not all running parallel there causing the separation.  Just a possibility.  Sometimes it just decides to split open too as it dries as sections may be slightly thinner or thicker in spots which can also cause these splits.  Youíll likley cover this up anyway with a handle wrap so itís more cosmetic really.  Not a functional issue.  Cheers
Sticks and stones and other poky stabby things.

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Offline Aaron1726

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2023, 09:34:15 pm »
Good to know, thanks Dave.  I was hoping that it wasn't going to be an issue.  I think maybe a little hide glue to fill it some is what I'll do. 

Offline Aaron1726

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2023, 11:14:49 pm »
Some progress made on the second bow.  This one is the sister bow to the sinew backed one, cut from the same board.  I added some slight reflex to the tips and have done a couple light heat treats with the heat gun along the way.  This time I focused my heating on the handle section to make sure it stays a bit stiffer.  It's at low brace now, still have a few stiff spots, but I think it's close to a backing of its own.  Still am deciding if I'll do sisal or dogbane, but here's where this one is. 

Offline superdav95

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Re: Hickory short bow(s) build along
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2023, 11:31:56 pm »
Lookin good! 
Sticks and stones and other poky stabby things.

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