Apr 1, 2018

Anybody Here Build Bows?


I have a Vine Maple "stave" drying that I cut down on my little chunk of property about 2-3 weeks ago. Sometime in probably July I'd like to start trying my hand at making a selfbow with this wood. This will be the first bow I've ever attempted to build.


In the meantime, I've been watching videos, and I bought a couple of Traditional Bowyer's Bible volumes I'm waiting for in the mail. Been reading build-alongs an various other message boards, trying to learn as much as I can.


Was wondering if anyone here builds bows, and if they have any thoughts and advice on bow making?

Any advice on dealing with knots, heating & bending wood, things like that?

Any advice on "must have" types of tools, or a vice?

Finally, any photos and stories about any bow(s) you may have built?



May 19, 2018

Well, while the Vine Maple dries a bit, I decided I'd give bow building a shot by trying a board bow first. I bought a couple of volumes (Vol. 1 and Vol.4) of the Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Clay Hayes' Traditional Bowyer's Handbook, and have watched more than a few videos on making a board bow. Found this website that has a good build along article for board bows: http://poorfolkbows.com/oak10.htm


I found a fairly good oak 1" X 3" at Home Depot. Have it roughed out, and am trying to figure out how to floor tiller it for now. Roughed it out with my table saw and Stanley Sureform rasp. That tool works pretty well on my stick of oak board I'm using, but I can see where a Farrier's rasp and a drawknife would be nice to have also. I'll slowly get some of these tools, as I think this will be a nice hobby........


My goal is to get a bow that will pull anywhere between 35# to 45#. I have a sore left (bow arm side) shoulder and arm muscle right now. I assume it's from shooting my 59# recurve probably too much. I went down to my 50# longbow, but think I still need to do most of my practice with something even lighter, I dunno...... I get a Cortizone shot in my shoulder next Friday, so we'll see how that goes then. Meanwhile, I'll try to make a lighter bow......


Here's what I started with:




The worst part of the board is the part you can see closest to the bottom of the photo. Since the board was 8' long, I cut off the wavy grained portion. My bow will be 66"nock to nock.





May 19, 2018

Here's what the "future bow" looks like now.



Roughed to about 5/8" at the tips, tapering straight from my fades. The riser/handle portion will be 8" long. I have most of the length of the limbs (on the belly side) radiussed from the tips to within about 2" from the fades. Here's a blurry shot of that:


I'm hoping this will be easy to scrape into what will basically be an oval cross section.


Next will be gluing on my handle/riser........




Sep 14, 2018

Jimmy, I have the Bowyers bibles! They are an amazing resource

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