Primitive Archer

Main Discussion Area => Bows => Topic started by: M-P on April 04, 2007, 11:22:27 pm

Title: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: M-P on April 04, 2007, 11:22:27 pm
This is my first time posting a bow.  The bow pictured is a couple of years old and has shot thousands of arrows and won multiple local shoots.  The only wood I have easy access to is the junipers on my family's ranch.  The result has been a series of cedar/ juniper bows.  I find it easy to work (if straight grained) and capable of making a fast bow though the bow should be wider than a similar style bow from yew or osage.  Does anybody else have experience working with this type of wood.  Ron

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Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: M-P on April 04, 2007, 11:32:00 pm
Further photos.

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Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: M-P on April 04, 2007, 11:33:28 pm
and at full draw

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Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: Pat B on April 04, 2007, 11:52:53 pm
Ron, That is a real beauty. I really like the sapwood and heartwood showing on the limbs. I have built a couple of ERC long bows but not a flat bow yet. I have a stave of ERC that Mullet gave me.  What are the dinentions and weight of that bow?    Do you have any pics of the 2 Juniper species and the hybrid trees?   Pat
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: Agbowyer on April 05, 2007, 12:12:59 am
Ron That's a fantastic looking bow. The colors really make it stand out. Grat job... Chris
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: juniper junkie on April 05, 2007, 12:35:35 am
WOW! great job! did you induce the curve, or was it natrural in the stave? looks like it is snake backed. I use juniper some, seems to do well with sinew backing, I have found that the more heartwood, the snappier the bow, I live in central oregon and we have lots of it. more info on the bow would be great.
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: M-P on April 05, 2007, 03:42:46 am
Thanks for your kind comments.  This bow is 67" tip to tip and draws 42# at my 29" draw length.  It was spliced from billets collected from the top half of two horizontal tree limbs.  The reflex at the handle was created during the splicing.  The rest of the profile existed in the billets.  There is one layer of elk sinew on the back covered with prairie rattler skins.  It's been a while since I chronographed this bow, but my memory says it shot a 525 grain arrow at ~ 155 fps.

The junipers on the ranch all look very roughly the same and the field guides I have say the best way to differentiate between J.virginianum and J. scopulorum is that the berries mature in one year for virginianum and two years for scopulorum.  I'm only on the ranch for one week a year so I am to some extent guessing on the species of the trees.  Any body have a strong enough forestry back ground to tell more certainly?  The tree the bow is leaning against in one of the above pictures is the source of the raw material for the bow.
Below is a picture of an exceptionally tall tree.

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Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: DanaM on April 05, 2007, 05:39:17 am
Welcome to our playground Ron , sweet looking bow.

Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: jamie on April 05, 2007, 07:30:45 am
beautiful. very good job
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: a finnish native on April 05, 2007, 08:26:55 am
that's some mighty fine work. I just love those "B profile" bows. I just feel that they are snappier right away compared to D bows. Have you noticed any difference in the performance compared to D bows? Just lovely! if this one goes to the BOM competition you sure have my vote.
also love the fact that you did a sinew job on her.
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: Pappy on April 05, 2007, 08:30:40 am
Very nice,thats a beauty. :)I love the looks of cedar just ant had much luck with it,Might need to give it another try.
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: Marc St Louis on April 05, 2007, 08:58:15 am
Very nice bow. I also have worked with ERC a bit
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: MattE on April 05, 2007, 09:19:42 am
I am fond of ERC . It may not be the very best bow wood but it surely makes a good bow.I understand why you used only one layer of sinew on the back. It sure don't take much to crush the belly, especially a d-section bow.I try to make d-section bows of erc a little wider and with more of a flattened d-section . This seems to save the belly. Your bow is a very good example for others to follow.Just sitting there it looks fast. I do like mine a bit longer for a 29" draw..... The picture of the large juniper tree doesn't resemble the erc trees we have here in N.C.. Ours would have limbs from the ground up and you could hardly see the trunk.:)
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: snedeker on April 05, 2007, 10:21:06 am
thats beautiful  I like the coloration on the belly. I have some of my first such wood drying.  Has anyone tried using silk on it?

Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: Hillbilly on April 05, 2007, 10:23:20 am
Great looking bow. How wide are the limbs?
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: Gordon on April 05, 2007, 01:03:42 pm
That sure is a pretty bow.
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: OldBow on April 05, 2007, 01:40:42 pm
That is neat bow.  Got you bookmarked for April Self Bow of the Month.  Being several years old and still looking that good is pretty good validation of a good bow.
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: duffontap on April 05, 2007, 02:16:12 pm
Nice bow.  I love the idea of using softwoods for bows.  I'm a Yew guy but I've always wanted to try ERC and Juniper.  I've built a couple bows from WRC but that was an exercise in futility.   :P

              J. D. Duff
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: ben on April 05, 2007, 05:32:42 pm
Absolutely gorgeous! Whats the linb width on that thing? Im currently working on a 62" ERC flatbow thats going to sinewed as well. Mine is all heartwood but there are these cool little patches of sapwood in it. 
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: George Tsoukalas on April 05, 2007, 07:55:13 pm
She's a beauty, Ron. Nice job. Jawge
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: M-P on April 05, 2007, 09:04:40 pm
Ben ( and everybody else), Here's my two cents worth in reply to all of your replies.
This bow is 1.25 " wide at the handle and 2.25" wide just past the fade outs. 
One layer of sinew is working well on this bow, but I'm sure many other backings have been used.  I've used hickory on two bows.  They both shoot well, but one took greater set than I would like.  I've never heard of using silk on juniper, but why not?  One of the recent posts had bamboo backed juniper (collected in Utah, species not noted) bow that really smokes.
My original post makes me sound very sure of the type of junipers I'm using, but I getting my information from identification guides and they make it plain that the trees in this part of the world are a mix of two hard to tell apart species.  The trees vary from shrubby multi trunked bushes to over grown christmas trees with branches all the way to the ground to taller more tree like specimans with a bare trunk lower down.  All have the same type of foliage small blue "berries"  and shaggy bark.
Enough from me,  I started this thread in the hopes of getting other peoples experiences with various junipers. (Well it was nice to show off my bow , too.)
I had never heard anyone suggest that the sapwood is weaker.  Does any one want to add further comments about that?  If you do remove the sapwood, how careful are you to follow one ring.  Or do you count on applying a backing to keep the bow safe?  What about other species of juniper.  Does any body have experience with something other than ERC or rocky mountain juniper?     Ron
Title: Re: Sinewed cedar bow
Post by: sonny on April 05, 2007, 09:59:49 pm
It was mentioned to me several years ago that ERC bows should be made of the heartwood or at least 2/3 the limbs thickness of heartwood. I'm beginning to believe that the sapwood will make a fine bow, based on a kid's bow that a buddy of mine has which has been shot literally thousands of times as well as sapwood bows posted on Paleoplanet by a fellow named Johnny.
Now I simply need to follow through by trying a couple different types of sapwood bows on my of which will likely have two or three courses of sinew on it if for no other reason than to pull it into a few inches of reflex as it dries, possibly a rawhide backed bow and another self-backed. I'd like to think that a good hunting weight self-backed ERC sapwood bow could be made as it seems the amount of sapwood varies significantly from tree to tree,,,and I really don't care for the process of removing that wood to get to the heartwood. As well it seems I'm growing [mentally] weary of the process of sinew backing.  :-\