Author Topic: It's only for practice, after all...  (Read 445 times)

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Offline MattTheClueless

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It's only for practice, after all...
« on: July 12, 2018, 07:03:54 am »
Quick question for you excellent folk...

I have about 7 feet of Garapa board lying around my house. For those that don't know it, it's similar to Ash (it's also called Brazilian Ash). The grain of the board is dreadful. Run off, minor knots, you name it.

My question is this: how much draw weight do you think it's safe for? I intend to build a pyramid flatbow with a silk backing.

I know I should just use different wood, but as an inexperienced bowyer I want to use it as tillering practice. It doesn't matter if it's slow in the end.

Thanks in advance!

Matt.

Offline Pat B

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 07:09:18 am »
If you start with crappy materials you will probably end up with crappy results.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline aaron

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 07:10:11 am »
This is not the answer you are looking for:
Zero
Ilwaco, Washington, USA
"Good wood makes great bows, but bad wood makes great bowyers"

Offline stuckinthemud

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 07:10:40 am »
I like your style, make it about 10% oversize and then reduce it slowly, only thing, using grain with run-off is usually a guarantee of an early failure, so try and choose the best of your bad-lot.

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 07:11:22 am »
If you start with crappy materials you will probably end up with crappy results.

Oh I'm fully aware. As I say, it's simply to help me practice my tillering skills.

That, and I won't have any access to new wood for a while.

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 07:19:52 am »
I honestly don't mind if I end up with a 20# stick. I'm just doing it because I'm tired of my poor skills ruining good wood.

Practice on the rubbish -> succeed with the good stuff.

Offline Badger

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 07:20:34 am »
  Simple answer, you don't have bow wood there so you won't be able to practice anything. If it has run outs it will break. Bow wood is very select wood.

Offline stuckinthemud

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2018, 07:48:55 am »
I am actually on your side; when I started I had access only to very poor wood and I made a few bows from it, and they worked pretty well.  The guys on this forum were totally brilliant. I learned far more than working with good quality wood and now I'm addicted to awful timber and can't be bring myself to use the good quality staves I have managed to acquire but you have to be prepared for a really high failure rate (like 30% failure).  Run-out is the kiss of death and the bow with run-out will fail, you can work with pretty much anything else.

Offline PEARL DRUMS/PEARLY/PD/DRUMS

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2018, 07:58:52 am »
Its a waste of precious time you cant get back. There is nothing to be gained with junk boards, zero. A challenging stave is not the same as a junk board.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.

Offline stuckinthemud

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 08:03:00 am »
yeh, that's true, I was/do only use staves, I haven't built a board bow.

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2018, 08:11:59 am »
If you can find a piece of bamboo to back it with you can use crappy wood to make a bow, runouts don't matter on a bamboo backed bow, I have made a bunch of bamboo osage bows with awful osage, no failures so far.

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2018, 10:03:58 am »
Whoa, I certainly wasn't expecting such a strong response. I didn't realise it was an offensive question. I am new to this after all, and only looking to improve.

Thanks for the advice.

It shall become firewood.

Offline Stick Bender

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2018, 11:06:46 am »
When I first started I was afraid to use my good staves and choose the worsed ones & saved the best for later  and ended up with some pretty crappy bows in hind sight I should have did it the other way a round you would probably be learning ahead by using the best wood you have available , dont let these guys scare you ,there just probably trying to keep you from making the same mistakes they did  ;D
If you fear failure you will never Try !

Offline Pat B

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2018, 11:14:21 am »
It's not an offensive question but neither are the answers. You have some very qualified bowyers here to help you be successful. We've all been here where you are now and we are trying to help you so you don't make the mistakes many of us did in the beginning.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: It's only for practice, after all...
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 11:19:33 am »
Whoa, I certainly wasn't expecting such a strong response. I didn't realise it was an offensive question. I am new to this after all, and only looking to improve.

Thanks for the advice.

It shall become firewood.

The question was not offensive, some people just don't understand that bow wood is not always right at hand for everyone.

You can certainly can cover a multitude of sins with bamboo and maybe even turn out a bow with a lot of sex appeal on the belly with the grain of the wood. You could also increase the odds by backing with a layer of light, tight woven canvas and wood glue.  I have made dozens of bows from hickory with fairly bad grain run out by making sure the corners on the back were given a generous  radius and the canvas backing wrapped across the back and down over the sides.  Yes, I had failures. From each of those failures I learned something. If you don't have good bow wood ready to hand, and you feel like making shavings, do it!  Manage your expectations and exercise your tools.
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.