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Around the Shop #29: Building the wood bow

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Blog entry by Don W posted 01-27-2021 10:13 PM 1091 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 28: My First 100 Knives (Wood Handles you know!) Part 29 of Around the Shop series no next part

So here is a little project I’m working on. I posted a few teasers elsewhere and was asked for more detail.

I’m making s few bows and some arrows to go with them. (more on arrow making here, and here is another that may interest those who want to make dowels instead of arrows, or maybe both)

Some of the bows I’ve been finishing up I started back in the 80’s or 90’s but most of these I’m posting I’ve started from scratch.

First I bought some books to help. I can recommend all of these. You can get them here and here.

I set up a bow vise to attach to my bench

This is the bow blanks cut. The first one will be ash with walnut backing and the second will be walnut with ash backing.

When making a bow you want the limbs to bend the same. To do that you make a tillering tree, more on that here.

I also made a jig for making my own bow strings. You can see that here.

This particular bow I’m working on will be ash with walnut backing with recurved tips.
here I’m bending the tips with a heat gun. I just received a steamer, so I’ll be trying the two different ways (dry heat and steam) to see which I like better.

The walnut glued and clamped. Everybody cross your fingers for me.

Cross your fingers because it’s annoying when this happens. This one was made from red oak and was one I started in my earlier years.

I hunted this last season with this bow that I completed late last summer. The quiver on this one is made from an old pair of flip-flops.

I have a few maple staves drying. I’m pretty sure I’ll be glad for the steamer on these. I split down some more before I put them in the shop.

And here is the bow I’m currently shooting along with the converted quiver I fixed up for it. Sorry for the sideways images. I’m tired of flipping them 3 or 4 times to get them right. If someone has a trick, let me know.

I’ve since replaced the blue string with natural colored artificial sinew so it looks a little better.

That’s it for today. I’ll post updates as I get them.

Enjoy!!

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.



6 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6856 posts in 1592 days


#1 posted 01-27-2021 10:53 PM

I’m tired of flipping them 3 or 4 times to get them right. If someone has a trick, let me know.

I just rotate them the right direction on my phone, then crop a pixel or two off the bottom, and that seems to get them right.

Didn’t know you were a bowyer, too. Fun!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Brit's profile

Brit

8303 posts in 3852 days


#2 posted 01-28-2021 09:10 AM

Wow Don, you have been busy. I like the idea of the bow vise. That would be useful for more than just bows. Looking forward to further installments.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View mafe's profile

mafe

12928 posts in 4099 days


#3 posted 01-28-2021 09:35 PM

Hi Don,
I love to follow all your adventures, here also, always such a joy to see you working methods, you have this ‘just go ahead’ attetude, that I envy with great joy for you.
Best of my thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Brit's profile

Brit

8303 posts in 3852 days


#4 posted 01-28-2021 10:23 PM

I agree Mads. Don is a legend in my book and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. :o)

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Don W's profile

Don W

19890 posts in 3577 days


#5 posted 01-28-2021 10:59 PM

Hah, thanks guys. I make a lot t of kindling.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View mafe's profile

mafe

12928 posts in 4099 days


#6 posted 01-29-2021 01:38 PM

The get it Don(e) legend!
Big smile buddy. ;-)

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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