Primitive Archer

Main Discussion Area => Bows => Topic started by: del on October 17, 2020, 01:42:30 pm

Title: Help please
Post by: del on October 17, 2020, 01:42:30 pm
I have a friend who said he would help me build a bow.  I am 6í5Ē and 275.  I draw my recurve to 30 inches.  What length stave should I try to find and which wood?  My buddy has built several and builds all his hunting gear.  Anything in particular I need to look for or stay away from in the stave?  Thank you for an help. ><> del
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: Selfbowman on October 17, 2020, 02:16:58 pm
70ntn ten inch handle. I like Osage unless you live in the dessert. Arvin
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: willie on October 17, 2020, 03:22:06 pm
Quote
What length stave should I try to find and which wood?

like arvin mentioned, longer is better for long draws, although different designs can go shorter for hunting

are you looking in the woods for a stave? in mississippi?   in the delta? hickory?
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: bradsmith2010 on October 17, 2020, 03:30:36 pm
i like osage, thats what I have most exerience with,,
30 inch draw is reasonable, there is some flexibility in length,, depending on stiff handle or bend in handle,,
you couldnt go wrong with the longer bow,,
as you go shorter it gets trickier,, but can work,,depending on level of experience
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: del on October 17, 2020, 03:35:31 pm
Thanks for all the replies.  I am in Southwest Mississippi.  I hope to get a stave already dried.  There are some trees around and I will find a tree and harvest some staves out of it.  I figure it will some time to dry.  Like I say, I do t know anything about a stave.  I have made some good firewood out of some board bows I attempted though.  Again, thanks for any help. ><> del


Title: Re: Help please
Post by: willie on October 17, 2020, 06:39:57 pm
I see traditional choctaw bows made from osage, but do not know if osage is local or whether the osage was traded for, or the bows were made after the removal to oklahoma.

osage is easier to make into a shorter bow for hunting than white woods.
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: George Tsoukalas on October 17, 2020, 07:53:02 pm
I built a bow, actually he did and I just guided him,  for a friend with a  34" draw. We used osage. If I remember correctly we went 73" long. Jawge
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: del on October 18, 2020, 11:58:27 am
I have acquired permission to go cut what I want from a friends place.  What am I looking for in a tree?  Donít want to cut the wrong tree.
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: bradsmith2010 on October 18, 2020, 12:06:13 pm
it seems like a simple question,, ,,, but you probably need someone to show you at first,,
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: del on October 18, 2020, 01:48:56 pm
I will look around on the .  Thanks
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: Pat B on October 18, 2020, 02:06:04 pm
What trees do you have available?  When picking out a tree look for a tree with a straight trunk, not just straight up and down but study the bark to be sure it isn't growing in a spiral. That should be obvious in the bark pattern. Also be sure the tree is healthy. If it has dead areas or obvious fungi (rot) leave it be. You only want straight healthy, sound wood for bow building.
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: del on October 18, 2020, 03:21:09 pm
My buddy as over 100 acres with Osage orange all over  it. Still an old homeplace that had a large farm
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: willie on October 18, 2020, 03:58:45 pm
some guys like to cut large trees/staves and let them season for quite a while, or at least it takes quite a while for large staves to dry before making bows. This presumes they can make good choices in tree selection, that will work out well later. There is actually quite a bit of labor in harvesting, splitting, proper stave prep and storage, protection from bugs drying etc.  I cut a lot of wood when first starting out that never made the grade once I understood better what I was really looking for. Selection experience comes with making bows.

An alternative approach is to learn how to reduce a smaller stave to near bow dimensions to let it dry faster, and start tillering and learning a month from now. A white wood like hickory may be easier to learn on. Having a friend with 100 acres with osage is something many of us would kill for, and Osage is not the easiest tree to find a workable stave from. If you expect your friends wood will be available as you learn, start small and simple for now. If the land is to be cleared and the wood wasted, that is a different  scenario.

if you have  phone service at your friends farm, why not post a few pics as you cruise the timber? see what you can find for saplings. what other hardwood species do you expect to find on that old homeplace? overgrowth often produces thickets of saplings clear of branches and large knots, sometimes of invasive type trees that may also be worth looking at. Maybe some other guys on here from the deep south know better what to also look for.
 Dont ignore osage deadfalls, as they may have some usable heartwood. whitewood deadfalls usually rot too fast, but again, I am not familiar with the other species you have available.
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: del on October 18, 2020, 04:51:56 pm
Thank you sir for the reply.  I will take some pictures.  What other woods would be good?  Iím sure there is red oak, white lake, hickory, elm, beech.  Just not real sure. Thanks
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: bradsmith2010 on October 18, 2020, 05:02:27 pm
if you can get osage,,, go with that,,
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: willie on October 18, 2020, 05:21:40 pm
if you can get osage,,, go with that,,
for sure the best in the long haul, alternatives suggested to start tillering next month.
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: del on October 18, 2020, 06:56:55 pm
I have a red oak board bow glued up for about 3 months now.  I guess I will start getting it ready to make some firewood!  LOL
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: Allyn T on October 18, 2020, 07:00:15 pm
I am still making my first bow(hickory stave) and dense wood is tough to start with. If you have multiple options I would start with an easier to carve wood like elm. Learning how to best use the hand tools has been a journey all by itself for me and would be easier with lighter wood
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: willie on October 18, 2020, 07:26:37 pm
allyn,

did you work the hickory green? if by hand tools you mean a drawknife or spokeshave? green is by far easier and good for reduction before drying. rasps/files need dry though.
Title: Re: Help please
Post by: Allyn T on October 18, 2020, 08:08:02 pm
Willie I started about 2 months after I split the log with draw knife and hatchet, even used a chain saw to rip part of it. The rest has been with rasp and file. The stave was about 8 or 10 inches thick to start with and I didn't really understand how much I was gonna be taking off. I have a much better understanding now lol