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woodworking is euphoric
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Discussion Starter #1
hello everyone... just wanted to share a few pics if i can get them to load here, and the story behind my first attampt to make a bow ever and its not even for me, its for my daughter! lol! (i had actually wrote a bunch about this whole thing earlier, but for some reason, it didnt post, and i lost all that i typed...) anyways, this project should have been scrapped from the start, but for reasons i dont even know, i just kept tinkering with it. and here it is, now at least 10 or more hours into it, and im actually starting to get excited and glad i didnt scrap it!
 

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woodworking is euphoric
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
bow pics

hello everyone... just wanted to share a few pics if i can get them to load here, and the story behind my first attampt to make a bow ever and its not even for me, its for my daughter! lol! (i had actually wrote a bunch about this whole thing earlier, but for some reason, it didnt post, and i lost all that i typed...) anyways, this project should have been scrapped from the start, but for reasons i dont even know, i just kept tinkering with it. and here it is, now at least 10 or more hours into it, and im actually starting to get excited and glad i didnt scrap it!
here are a few of the pics from the start of the riser...
 

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woodworking is euphoric
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
bow nightmare...

ok, now that the pics are loaded and ive figured this all out... there were many issues right from the start when i decided to make this bow. First of all, i set out to make a traditional longbow. (didnt have any hardwood long enough...) then, i decided to make it a three piece takedown bow. (couldnt find any plans with any detailed drawings of the riser.) next, when i did finally get the riser blank all glued up and ready to go, i found out it was too short to use for a standard size. (no big deal, its for a 70lb little girl, how big does it gotta be, right?) finally, never could get any designs for it, so i tried my best to just wing it based on my recurve at home, but only scaled down.... (yeah right! scale? calculate? hahaha! lol!) then, realizing that a bandsaw might have been a good tool to have in my arsenal, i looked at my poor little scroll saw and said "well little buddy,... i guess we are gonna find out your limits today!" lol! ( not only managed, but miraculously didnt break a single blade! ) after rasping my arms off, and almost a finger, then sanding, i stepped back and was left with a half decent looking hunk of a handle.
now all i have to do is work on getting the inserts for the limb bolts and all that set up on it and its done. meanwhile, i have a set of limbs that im not even sure will work, as they are nothing more than a piece of red oak about 3/16 thick laminated between two pieces of pine about 1/8 thick. (i know, i know... pine? seriously?! but its only supposed to be 20lbs max, and i didnt have enough oak or anything else suitable for limbs) after the glue cured, i tested them for integrity and was surprised, but im still skeptical, and plan on backing them with some resin soaked linnen or cotton from an old worn out pair of cammo pants... anything to just try and keep the pine from splintering when tillering and drawing...
either way, im interested in pursuing this project till i get a sucessfull bow, because right from the start, ive learned a lot. (biggest one was to plan ahead and not to wing it all the time! lol!)
if anyone has any comments, advise, ideas, or suggestions (so long as they arent suggestions to quit woodworking! lol!) id be happy to hear from someone out there that has some experience with making bows. thanks!
 

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woodworking is euphoric
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
as far as how i was planning on attatching the limbs, i used to have a three piece takedown recurve, and i was planning on using a simillar setup to attatch them. i just have to pick up the hardware for it all...
 

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where's my table saw?
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BWSmith is a bow maker here

He'll have something to add, I'm sure.
My thought is that Oak and Pine are not the best for limbs. Maple or some other fine grained wood like lemon wood? would be better. Look up and see what will be the best wood. If it's detachable then you are in luck regardless of which wood you chose. Thinner laminates are always better than thicker. Epoxy is best for gluing. JMO
I admire your sticking to it when the chips were down!:yes:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080617171242AATVuBv
http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=32519
 

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My brother was part of a group that made stone-age hunting equipment. He sourced the wood and made arrows. Others were flint knappers who could make any style you like.

The bow maker said that the few bows that survive, they are nearly all made from wedges split radially from a straight-grained ash (Fraxinus sp.) log. His reasoning was that since Fraxinus is ring porous, the wood performed like a leaf spring. So that's what he was doing. Apparently easily good enough for deer hunting.
 

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woodworking is euphoric
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Discussion Starter #10
interesting... ill have to do some of the research on the subject. i grew up where there are several hundred ash trees. odds are there are bound to be at least one that would be good for a bow... im pretty sure it would have to be a fairly straight, young tree though... might be a challenge as most of the trees on the property are easily over 60 ft high by now... what about birch, cherry, or walnut? (have plenty of those as well...) and as far as preparing the wood, does it need to be dried first, or work it green?
 

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woodworking is euphoric
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Discussion Starter #11
hello again, just an update... I havent done anything more just yet, but found some epoxy resin made by DAP called Woodweld yesterday, and was wondering if anyone has ever used this stuff at all? The label says its good for laminations of hardwood as well as high density plastics, fabrics, leather and paper type products to wood. (I figured this has to be way better than titebond II for the limbs.) I plan on trying it out this weekend by applying a layer of cotton from an old pair of cammo pants on the pine and red oak limbs i already have started, as well as making another set entirely. (Hopefully ill find some better wood by the weekend, some good maple or hickory pieces would be nice...) Ill have to give an update on things as i get to them, but for now, my eyes are open for anything i can come across for free or relatively nothing that i can use for this project... so far, the glue and the hardware i need to pick up for attatching the limbs are all i plan to spend on it till its done, the rest is all stuff I just happened to have laying around or got for free!
Well, as always, i appreciate the encouragements and advice from everyone. Thanks again!
 

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I second the Ash....Strong wood. My father made me a simple bow when I was a kid out of ash, worked well. I know a lot of bows are made from ash. It used a lot for boat ribs and such too, bends easily and takes a good form.
 

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Bois de Arc

I had an acquaintance years ago that used Bois de Arc for his long bow limbs.
It's strong and resilient. If you can find it straight and long enough.
 

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hello again, just an update... I havent done anything more just yet, but found some epoxy resin made by DAP called Woodweld yesterday, and was wondering if anyone has ever used this stuff at all? The label says its good for laminations of hardwood as well as high density plastics, fabrics, leather and paper type products to wood. (I figured this has to be way better than titebond II for the limbs.)
Some months ago a magazine did a strength test of various glues, I think it was Fine Woodworking.

Yellow PVA glues had the highest strength. Much higher than epoxy. Big surprise to me.

Epoxy is better if you need to fill a gap.

If the pieces have good tight dry fit, as in no gaps without clamping, I think Titebond III may be the best choice. Titebond rate III as stronger than II.
 

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Maker of sawdust
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Use Tite Bond II It flexes and bends at the same rate as the wood. System three for when you put a layer of glass on the front of the limbs. Do you have a bow scale to test the weight of the limbs at X draw length.

Jerry
 

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woodworking is euphoric
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Discussion Starter #18
update

Hello everyone, and thanks to everyone who has been giving me tips and encouragement!
Sorry for the huge gap in posting here, but my family recently got the break we have been looking for, and have finally been approved for a home. We have been living in such cramped up spaces and paying way too much rent for it all for too long. At present, we have already bought a new home in the same area and have begun the process of moving in, hence the delay... but ive managed to set up a sweet work area for all my woodworking needs in the new basement. The space in the new home is incredible compared to what we had before, and the potential is phenominal. Exquisite woodworking already adorns the house in the form of trim, moulding, and even built in cabinets and a set of book cases built right into the columns seperating the living room from the dining room! So you can immagine how thrilled i was when we first looked at the place! Anyways, i will have to post a few pics when i can, but the bow project has taken a back seat to the need for furniture, and ive been building bookshelves, end tables, and dressers lately. Currently working on a massive beefy one to support our dinosaur tv thats going in our bedroom, dimensions are something like 48" high, 24" deep, by 38" wide... massive, but well needed... I currently have no pics of this yet, but its nothing special as far as beauty goes... considdering its being constructed entirely of 1/2" cdx plywood, and my only intent for finishing is to polyurethane it for durabllity... but its more of a peice for function than for style anyways! lol! some pics of all the new stuff to follow soon...
Take care everyone, and stay tuned, eventually there will be a bow to show off!
 

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I wood if I could.
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It's good to hear that things are going so well for you! Sounds like you got the perfect home. And bigger, better workspace? Oh yeah... Congratulations. Take your time; we'll be right here when you get a chance to update. Don't feel bad. I'm seriously lagging in my own posting of updates around here.
 
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