Primitive Archer

Main Discussion Area => Bows => Topic started by: superdav95 on July 30, 2021, 10:55:27 pm

Title: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on July 30, 2021, 10:55:27 pm
Hello all I'm new to Primitive Archer!  Ive started making bows as a hobby since Jan this year.  Im loving it!  Here is one of the latest bows I've made recently that I call the modified Mollegabet lightning bow.  It is a new design for me based off of the many various designs I've researched online and tried to incorporate in my build.  It is 66 1/2" ntn and pulls 50lbs at 28".  It has undergone a heat treating process on the belly which has increased the compression somewhat.  Its speed is quite good at 170fps at 9 gpp.  The 450 grain arrows I shot with this bow seemed to work very well and suited for the bow for good flight.  I used buffalo horn arrow shelf and tip overlays.  the arrow pass is a small piece of beaver tail that I tanned up earlier this year.  I thought it would be neat to use my conestoga works liktenburg machine to put a lightning burn pattern on the handle and little into the riser.  There was a knot hole in this piece too that I decided to place at the centre of the handle and filled it with red dyed resin.  The bow has little to no hand shock and only is present when I shoot the lighter arrows.  shooting the 450 grain arrows there is virtually none.  I was getting higher speeds with the lighter arrows but noise and vibration became more noticeable.  I stained the back of the bow with a dark gel stain and faded at the handle and at the tips followed by several coats of tru oil.  The natural ripple effect on the back of the bow with the gel stain was a cool look I thought.  Tillering these bows was a learning curve for sure.  I found that the molle style bows takes a little more care for tillering and getting it perfect.  This particular lightning bow is the 12th one of this design I've made and can say that Ive just now got the hang of getting good tillering of these molles bows!  its been a long learning curve.  Ill post some pics of it and let me know what you think! 

(https://i.imgur.com/M2KEYCL.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/jeFPneP.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/fHNwmF7.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Ck57XcJ.jpg)
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Don W on July 31, 2021, 08:49:01 am
Picture are not attached correctly. Would love to see some pictures.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Stickhead on July 31, 2021, 08:59:05 am
Picture are not attached correctly. Would love to see some pictures.
Fixed
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Don W on July 31, 2021, 09:05:47 am
I like it. Excellent work!
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: burchett.donald on July 31, 2021, 09:09:23 am
    Looks well balanced, excellent work..."White Lightning"
                                                                                        Don
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: boomhowzer on July 31, 2021, 09:49:15 am
Welcome to the Primitive Archer forum, superdav! I'm new here too. Everyone is really nice, especially if you're making sweet bows like that one. I'm really impressed and surprised at how abrupt the transition between the flat part of the bow and the thicker tip section is. Amazing. Do you have any pictures of the bow's unstrung profile? (i.e. the side view of the bow without the string). Also, what kind of wood is it?
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Pat B on July 31, 2021, 09:59:02 am
 beautiful tiller on a very nice bow. I think you've figured it all out.   :OK    8)
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: BowEd on July 31, 2021, 11:09:11 am
Looking good.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: simson on July 31, 2021, 02:43:07 pm
May i suggest to take your pics next time more orthogonally to the bow, the angle makes it difficult to discuss. Also an unbraced pic is helpful.

All in all it looks very good, nicely stained.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: RyanY on July 31, 2021, 02:54:03 pm
Beautiful shape to that one. There was a bowyer years ago who made a lot of these recurved mollies.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: SLIMBOB on July 31, 2021, 04:43:56 pm
Nice work sir. Not the easiest benign to get right, and it looks like you did.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: gifford on July 31, 2021, 05:02:30 pm
Very well done, excellent lines.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on July 31, 2021, 06:50:42 pm
Wow thanks for all the encouragement and kind remarks!  What a great community. Very nice welcome indeed.  Just to answer a few questionsÖ. The wood I used is shag bark hickory that I harvested earlier this past spring when the bark come clean off.   Iíll post some more pics here of the unbraced bow some more close ups too.  As far as the transitions on the tips I worked this stave fairly green about a couple months after I cut it down.  Once I got it roughly shaped out I left the tips thicker to account for the transitions.  This helped a lot for me to get the roughed out bow clamped down to my form with induced recurve tips and slight reflex in limbs.  I let this sit in the sun for a week or so depending on weather to get it to below 10% moisture.  This help keep checking to minimum.  I found working green hickory works really week for me.  Once I get the stave (usually do 3-4 at a time) at 10% I bake them over hot coals about 18Ē-24Ē over the pit belly side down.  This yields a permanent take on of shale to the form itís called to.  Hickory is really good for heat I found.  Iíve tried with and without fire hardening and always get thinner profiles and less mass for equal draw weights and faster speeds.  Unbelievable actually what little heat does.  Iíve made some with hornbeam this same way with mixed results.  The ones that survive the heat and tiller are equally as fast.  Sorry about the side profile of drawn bow.  I didnít even think of that.  Iíll use a better backdrop then my backyard trees 🙂.  I had Tom help to get the photos posted as the ones I posted didnít seem to take.  Thanks Tom!  Iíll post a few more here and see if I can figure out what I did wrong.   Thanks again everyone!
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on July 31, 2021, 07:00:01 pm
Looks like the second set of pics posted ok this time.  Please don’t judge me on my messy shot in last pic. It shows the darkness on the bake I got after the fire hardening. 

Dave

Here are few few more full sized pics…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/193575471@N05/shares/9GK7cB

https://www.flickr.com/photos/193575471@N05/shares/37G999

Here’s a quick video clip of bow being shot

https://flic.kr/p/2mffGP6
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: PaSteve on July 31, 2021, 10:09:27 pm
Welcome to Primitive Archer. Very nice work. It appears you have the fire-hardening process pretty well figured out.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: bentstick54 on August 01, 2021, 12:14:40 am
Welcome, and very nice work.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Hawkdancer on August 01, 2021, 01:50:46 am
Welcome aboard!  You do good bow making!
Hawkdancer
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: bownarra on August 01, 2021, 02:28:57 am
Very nice looking bow :) Well done.
The only thing I can see is your levers could lose some weight. These bows can shoot low 180's if you want something to aim for! :)
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Will B on August 01, 2021, 08:09:18 am
Beautiful hickory bow!  Nice bend and beautiful finish work. Looking forward to seeing more of your bows.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 01, 2021, 09:24:54 am
Beautiful hickory bow!  Nice bend and beautiful finish work. Looking forward to seeing more of your bows.

Thanks Will!
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 01, 2021, 09:28:00 am
Very nice looking bow :) Well done.
The only thing I can see is your levers could lose some weight. These bows can shoot low 180's if you want something to aim for! :)

Yes.  Your are right Iíve been thinking the same thing actually about how much more I could shave off.  Iíve heard some folks refer to the tips as levers or needles.  I guess thatís a clue as to making them as thin as possible.  My next bunch will be focussing in more speed and I think itís going to come down to the tips.  Thanks
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 01, 2021, 09:44:03 am
Welcome aboard!  You do good bow making!
Hawkdancer

Thanks hawkdancer!
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 01, 2021, 09:54:50 am
    Looks well balanced, excellent work..."White Lightning"
                                                                                        Don

Thatís a great name for it Don!  👍 I may have to steal thatÖ
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Stixnstones on August 01, 2021, 11:33:54 am
Beautiful bow, really like everything about it....
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: medicinewheel on August 01, 2021, 01:09:52 pm
Welcome!
This is a really nice bow, but maybe you wouls consider reducing wight of the levers a bit.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 01, 2021, 06:20:44 pm
Welcome!
This is a really nice bow, but maybe you wouls consider reducing wight of the levers a bit.

Thanks medicinewheel!  Ya for sure now that I know that the bake didnít make the hickory too brittle I will I think.  Experimenting until failure!  😎.   
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 01, 2021, 06:23:46 pm
Beautiful bow, really like everything about it....

Thanks man!
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 01, 2021, 06:27:17 pm
Welcome, and very nice work.

Thanks bentstick54!   Means a lot. 
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: ssrhythm on August 02, 2021, 12:29:25 am
Iíd have named it ďlazy LightningĒ because Iím a DeadHead, but since everyone isnít a DeadHeadÖcanít understand thatÖIíll give you a pass.  Really, really nice bow!
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Gimlis Ghost on August 02, 2021, 06:09:55 am
Looks a bit like an Elven bow from Lord of the Rings. Fine craftsmanship and excellent design.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Ken on August 02, 2021, 01:04:47 pm
Dave I'm new too. Wonderful bow
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: PeteC on August 02, 2021, 06:24:02 pm
That's a great bow. Good job. God Bless
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 02, 2021, 08:04:53 pm
Thanks guys. Very kind words🙂
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Selfbowman on August 08, 2021, 12:36:53 am
Iím old here but thatís a nice bow! Keep it up.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Parnell on August 08, 2021, 09:49:44 am
Congratulations on your BOM win.  This bow has a very nice shape and tiller.  Remarkable that you started just this year.  Well done, for sure.  Seeing that you are making a series of the design it got me wondering if you had cut and processed the staves yourself, hot box used, whereabouts and when did the wood get harvested?  Questions along this line.

I think it is particularly noteworthy to see what you have accomplished in such a short period of time.  Looking forward to seeing how it all progresses for you.

Welcome to PA and again, congratulations.
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 08, 2021, 03:16:02 pm
Congratulations on your BOM win.  This bow has a very nice shape and tiller.  Remarkable that you started just this year.  Well done, for sure.  Seeing that you are making a series of the design it got me wondering if you had cut and processed the staves yourself, hot box used, whereabouts and when did the wood get harvested?  Questions along this line.

I think it is particularly noteworthy to see what you have accomplished in such a short period of time.  Looking forward to seeing how it all progresses for you.

Welcome to PA and again, congratulations.

Thanks for the kind word Parnell!   Ya I’m grateful that I already had a shop and made custom knives and seemed to be a little less painful of a transition.  I completely immersed myself into it and just caught the bug hard.  I did break a number of bows too during my learning curve.  I’ve heard it said here “if you ain’t breakin you ain’t makin”.   I took this approach literally and broke bows to test limits of the wood.  I learned what I needed by breaking bows to get me better for the next one.  There is a wealth of info and experience on here and other sites on how to videos and tutorials to help.  Even volumes like the boyers bible.   My point is that research is good but you just have to be prepared you are gonna break bows and take more set then you like or uneven tiller until you don’t as much.  Removing excess mass is a delicate balance and I believe can only come by getting face level with the wood and gauging with your fingers to get intimate with the wood you are shaping.  I’ve still got so much to learn and by no means an expert in making bows.  The rabbit hole just keeps going and going as a Boyer.  I’m just enjoying it.  All of it.  It’s suits my personality pretty well as I can do a deep dive into it and get lost in it so to speak. 

As for the wood…. I harvested these staves myself from a hunting property that has an abundance of oaks, shagbark hickories, and iron wood/hornbeam.   The shagbark is particularly good I found with very linear grain and fairly predictable outcomes fir heat treatment.  Hornbeam I found was also very good wood but little more hit and miss on the wood predictability side and would sometimes have some issues with heat.  I did make a few successful hornbeam bows and the ones that worked out were very good and fast bows.   I harvested the hickory staves in the early spring this year and debarked them the day they were cut down to get a clean bark removal.  It left a pristine back and exposed any potential knots and other problems that may be harder to see with bark on.  I’ve heard a few opinions on this and the risk of checking and drying to fast and to season the stave slowly.  I did put a water based poly (Sansin) clear coating on the backs and end cuts of each stave to limit the moisture loss along the unshaped belly of the stave.  Some did check despite my efforts but for the most part this worked and was able to get most of the staves prepared this way to keep from checking on the backs.  I would wait about a month or more before even touching these staves.  I then worked with draw knives and rasps and small roofers hammer/hatchet that I repurposed to get into basic shape.  I used a belt sand a bit too work the transitions sometimes too.  Once I got the thickest part of the limbs down to about 1/2” thick and about 1.75-2.00” at widest part I would take this relatively green roughed out bow and clamp it to my form and let it dry in the sun for a week or two periodic checks for moisture content.  I did this part slowly to prevent checks and think it worked ok.  Once I got down to under 10% moisture I would get 3 or 4 done to this stage and get the fire pit going and build a big old fire.  I used hardwood and just build way bigger fire then I think I will need.  I then pull those hot glowing coals from the main fire to my long pit and spread them out for even fire hardening of belly side of the bows while still clamped into their forms.  I bake them for about 2-3 hours depending on how deep of a bake I wanted.  I learned this technique from Keith Shannon and made a few of my own tweaks but essentially very similar fire hardening that he uses.  He’s a great guy and wealth of knowledge.  I tried the brickette charcoal as he does but couldn’t get them to last long enough for me to get the deep bake I was lookin for.  It may have had more to do with the quality of bricketts I was using too.  Wood is cheaper anyway.   Once I get the stave baked I pull them from the forms and let them sit for a few days to recover some ambient moisture then start working them and shaping.  The nice thing about using the form while baking over the fire is I was able to make corrections of twist or unwanted bends or even induce recurves for the tips to get it baked in.  Worked like a charm.  Any minor corrections I needed to make while shaping the bow after baking would be done with oil and heat gun.  The tillering is where it’s at and would be the difference between an ok bow to a good bow.  Tillering is where I learned and still learning is where the most time is spent.  To reduce this time a bit a made an inverted tiller tree with pulleys and such to allow me to keep my bow clamped down belly side up during scrape sessions.  I found this saved me a lot of time from going back and forth to my upright tiller station.  I will post a pic of this contraption if any interest.  I don’t use a stave press or specific bow device and not to say I would love to try one I just found this set up works ok for me. 

I hope this answers a few questions anyway.  Trying to avoid rambling on so I’ll stop it there. .  Lol. 

Looking forward to being part of this community and wealth of experience here. 

Cheers

Dave

Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Parnell on August 08, 2021, 05:29:54 pm
Fascinating, Dave.  Thank you for the detailed response.  It certainly seems the skill set you have gained in knife making has given you a proper leg up in your building and attention to the process.  I'm curious if you took any photos of how you set up the stave/form while fire heat treating.  It seems to me that this is an interesting piece of the craft that hasn't been addressed much.  I have heard of people using fire to heat treat bows but only in a straight forward fashion not on a form. 

Also, the thought of the inverted tillering tree sounds interesting.  I can picture it, but again, I don't think I have seen that used.

It seems like you have really been through a process with this success.  I imagine it could make for a worthy article...
Just a thought.  I've been meaning to go down that road myself, sometime.

Thumbs up,

Stephen
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 08, 2021, 06:26:22 pm
Parnell. 

Thanks for your remarks and encouragement.  Ya for sure I couldnít find much on heat treatment online either.  Most seems to focus on heat gun techniques of varying durations.   There is definitely something to this fire hardening on white woods.  Kieth Shannon is great resource and who gave me the idea and basic technique.  So shout out to him.  Iíll post some pics of my tiller tree inverted and my forms and pit I used.  I gauge by feel in the heat used and vary this by positioning the bows further away from the coals to get slower bake.  If I canít keep my hand over the coals for longer the a second or too then maybe little too close to fire/coals. So I move the forms up little higher away from coals.   This gives a slower cook and safer bake with less checking. 

Hereís a couple pics of the fire pit and forms

Iíll take a pic of the inverted tillering set up when I get home. 
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: superdav95 on August 08, 2021, 07:54:27 pm
Hereís my initial tillering set up.  This get me to final stages of tiller without removing bow between scrapes.  I just add a digital scale to keep under my intended draw weight.  I then move to my main standard upright tree for the final tiller and scrapes as I can get more accurate reference as itís attached to my wall with lines.  Sorry for messy shop!   The pulleys on the top 2x4 are just cheap hardware store basic pulleys same type at the bottom.  You could make this vertical board as long as you want.  Which if I was to do it again would make it longer for sure.  This would allow more pull room and to add a gauge too and still have lots of room to pull.   
Title: Re: hickory modified molle bow
Post by: Parnell on August 09, 2021, 10:07:45 am
Hmm, yeah very interesting.  Especially on the fire hardening technique.  I donít work much with white woods but I may give that idea a go down the road on some staves i do have.  Makes me wonder how many other long timers have tried this and what their thoughts areÖespecially someone like MSL?

Good stuff, fun post, cool bow. 

Next thing ya know youíll be cracking rock!