Author Topic: How to build a Bow  (Read 13312 times)

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Offline Spyder1958

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How to build a Bow
« on: December 10, 2013, 12:19:04 PM »
Hey folks, If you have ever had an interest in bow building, I think you will really enjoy watching these Video's.
This worth your time to learn from a good bow builder, Mike Yancey - Owner Pine Hollow Longbows.
I think a lot of your questions can be answered right here and I encourge you to give it a try.
Hope you enjoy,
Spyder











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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 04:52:03 PM »
I believe that there are a lot of folks who are interested in traditional archery, but do not either want to, or do not find it financially expedient to   spend a lot of money to buy a bow.  Making a bow is an alternative, but making a good wooden bow may be a commitment in time that a lot of folks do not have. 

I have in my travels in cyber space found a lot of videos, pertaining to making bows out of PVC pipe.  Not just exactly "classic" bow material, but very economical,  and quite effective, for a minimal out lay of time.

There are many videos on this topic and one of these might just be the one to get you started on making your own bows.   




Offline Bushcrafterscreed

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 06:19:23 PM »
Spyder I watched that whole series about two months ago and your right he is really good. I really like how he made his string. Much faster than my old fashion way of doing a flimish twist.
John I like backyard Bowyer too.
I sub both channels. Excellent source of info. I learned how to build my bow from here.



My specks are not exact as his. I wanted mine a bit longer and I did my nochs different than he did but pretty much the same.
Solid info!

Offline SIXFOOTER

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 08:25:01 PM »
Good Stuff Spider, thanks for posting. There a couple hundred videos out there on this stuff all with more or less the same info, some are presented better than others, but these are pretty much the way I learned it.
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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 10:37:17 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys, My hopes were to get folks who haven't pulled the trigger and tried to build one, to see the path better than I could explain it. Board bows are OK and work real well, but I think the cutting of the tree, splitting into sections, following the grain the way the tree grew and building the bow is most rewarding.
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 08:33:11 AM »
You can read all of the books and watch all of the videos, but until "you jump in", you do not have a feel for it.   

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 08:40:36 PM »
John speaks the truth. Lets bend some wood.
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 09:34:10 AM »
Here is a nice easy to follow video, with minimal tools. 




Online wolfy

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2013, 02:16:50 PM »
Says #Invalid YouTube Link# on my screen :shrug:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 04:40:39 PM »
This is a great topic! I'm going to add it to the tutorials thread.

Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2013, 05:28:19 PM »
Not sure why this did not link...   

Try try this... J

Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 05:31:44 PM »
PW

There is a lot to add.  Arrow making, quivers, Flemish splice strings, arm guards, finger tabs, arrow heads..etc., etc.. ...J

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2013, 07:19:25 AM »
 :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail:

Thanks PW
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2013, 10:33:24 AM »
PW

There is a lot to add.  Arrow making, quivers, Flemish splice strings, arm guards, finger tabs, arrow heads..etc., etc.. ...J

Anything you gents want to add, just post in this thread and then anyone clicking the link from the tutorials thread will find it here. :)

Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2013, 04:00:08 PM »
PW

As always your efforts are appreciated. J

Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2013, 04:07:33 PM »
Perhaps we could make this the traditional archery corner... and get lots of input about all things related. 

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2013, 07:12:45 PM »
I'll try and get some photos during my visit at the home place. I've been hiking over the ridge thru the woods and have located a nice winged elm, maple and several hickorys. There's lots of oaks, I may pick one, but I'm looking forward to this elm.
The Osage and locust I cut last year and stored in the barn, will get debarked, split down to working stave's and hauled back to Fl. after the holidays.
I forgot about the red cedar I have stored, this will be my first try with cedar and I've been told to wear safety gear as if it blows its like a gun shot and shrapnel everywhere.
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2013, 09:50:16 AM »
I started working on the "lightening board", it had splits everywhere.  Looks like that will be fire wood.  This winters project will have to be a board bow.  I have been out scouting for likely vine maple, to put by to season.

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2013, 05:00:56 PM »
John, I seen your earlier post about the lighting boards not working out. :(  Hope you can find some good vine maple. Get it trimmed down to size and bring it inside by the fire, you might be tillering in a few weeks. How far do you have to travel to get the Osage?
I found some nice Curly Ash at my local wood grafter store. Made a couple nice bows and had several backings from it.
If you can get some 2" wide bamboo and a Ipe board, boy that makes a fast hard hitting bow. It don't take much of that Ipe to make a 45-55lb bow.
Got any good standing dead cedar your way?
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2013, 05:47:18 PM »
Spyder

The main reason for backing a bow is that you can use  "second string" wood for the core.  Bamboo is a great backing, with bamboo you can almost make a bow out of "peanut butter"...  Another backing that has a lot of elasticity is Black Cherry bark.

The closest Osage stand is about 35 mi8les from her it was on an abandoned piece of property not far from the Columbia River, but the last time I was there was in 1998. No idea if it is even still there.  Another plentiful wood around here is Russian Olive and I have never found any reference to using that for anything. 

There are some really nice stands of Vine Maple up in the national forest, about another 2000 ft in elevation, pretty high since I am at 3600 ft.  I looked over my Mt. Ash, but it is all very crooked.   The Vine Maple looks like the best choice, for me. 

I also have quite a bit of Alder, that is probably the last resort.   Back when I lived on the farm in NY, we had White and Red Oak, Beech, Hickory, Hophornbeam, a Blue Beech, we called Ironwood.  And a lot of nice clear Locust.

I need to take a day and drop down on the river and see what is growing down there.   Or go further up, there are some stands of Yew, that are not as twisted as the stuff that grows in my ravine.   

I have to go quite a ways to find a lumber supply place that carries hardwood, for a board bow...

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2013, 08:08:28 AM »
John Russian Olive has been used some with mixed results. From what I hear it likes to be heated, (belly) and takes heating and flipping the tips well. Seems to be hard to get the moisture out by just air drying. Will take a lot of set unless you get it real dry. I'd build to the same spec's as hickory or mulberry, heat treat that belly good. some leave a little sap wood for a back, but some say it splits easy. Others have left one ring of sap on and had good results. All seem to say the wood varies a lot. I'd give it a try it sure is a pretty wood.
I'll post some pic I found later.
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2013, 08:35:26 AM »
Spyder

Vine Maple " Get it trimmed down to size and bring it inside by the fire, you might be tillering in a few weeks."   That sounds like a bit short on drying time.   

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2013, 09:48:43 AM »
Heres a few photo's of the Russian Olive











Here's another Bow done with RO







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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2013, 09:52:56 AM »
Spyder

Vine Maple " Get it trimmed down to size and bring it inside by the fire, you might be tillering in a few weeks."   That sounds like a bit short on drying time.

John it may take more, but as I'm sure you know,but for the benefit of others, weight the bow stave when you bring it in, and weight it each week until it quits losing weight. Then you are ready to tiller.
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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2013, 10:06:02 AM »
Spyder

Thanks..J

Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2013, 10:41:46 AM »
Once you get your bow built you will need some arrows.

Here are some of my "dowling" arrows. 

The Orange are hand cut using a cardboard template, the turkey feathers fletch are made from shed feathers stripped off the quil, the white are some "die cuts" I had.

You need something to carry arrows in, here is one of my back quivers.    The front

And a couple "back pocket" quivers

Everyone should know how to make a flemish splice sting, continuous loop strings tend to last a bit longer but require a jig to make, and the flemish splice is a bit more traditional. 

And then there are fingers and arms to worry about. 

All of these things show a lot of mileage, as it should be..!

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2013, 03:22:21 PM »
All Those items look spot on John, That's what is great about archery, you can make everything your self, no need to go buy any part of a archer's set up.

Maybe swamphanger will show a photo of the armguard I just made for a trade we did. I used deer antler buttons and small elastic cord loops. did a little tooling on it as well.
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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2013, 03:38:46 PM »
Heres the armguard, I forgot to get a photo after it was finished. Jimmy didn't want the eagle painted, but I did some stain to make it stand out a little.



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Offline John Van Gelder

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2013, 03:53:32 PM »
Spyder

Really nice work...

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2013, 07:43:36 PM »
Thanks John
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Offline lgm

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2013, 08:49:03 PM »
You guys are showing off all your cool arrows & accessory's. When I am sitting here with a Osage "stick" drying.
 One thing at a time. :)
What a great day to be outside.

Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2013, 03:25:27 PM »
Nows a good time to be working on some of them Assy.

Or trimming all that osage down so it drys quicker or go cut more trees down. ;)
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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2015, 07:47:18 PM »
Bump for the new folks  ;)
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2015, 06:49:53 AM »
Very interesting, I think this calls for some experimental projects later this year :).
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Offline RangerXanatos

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2015, 08:11:35 AM »
Just now seeing this thread.  I'm in the middle of a bow build from a hickory stave.  Don't get much time to work on it but I'll post a picture of it completed whenever I finish.
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Offline Top Dog

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2015, 11:34:43 AM »
If somebody is wanting to get in to building bows I highly recommend getting Gary Davis's rattlestick dvd as well as the bowyers bibles 1-4 #4 is probably the best of the bunch. Primitive archer.com is also a great resource.
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Offline Jbradshaw

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Re: How to build a Bow
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2015, 12:30:31 PM »
Thanks for the videos and pics. I like to build as much of my own gear as possible, just because it's fun.