First-time Bowyer

PLEASE HELP TO FUND ARCHERY INTERCHANGE

jeburf

New member
Just a couple of quick questions,

I've just been to a local hardwood sawmill looking for some ash to build a longbow from and there was nothing suitable. There wasn't much to choose from so it was all either too short or the grain had been cut through making chasing a growth ring impossible. I'll try another sawmill later this week and if I find myself in the same situation again I'll concede to making a linen backed bow instead. If I have to do this what should I look for in a piece of wood? do I just need to make sure that its knot free and not worry about being able to chase a growth ring?

Second, I'm not sure what dimensions i need to make the bow. Can I just follow the dimensions from the full compass bows in the back-street bowyer (below)but leave the handle area stiff while tillering? The bow will be 40 to 45lb @ 28"

45lb at 28?
Width at handle = 30mm
Width at tips = 15mm
Thickness at handle = 20mm
Thickness at tip = 15mm
bow length = 1.9m
This bow is very square in cross section
 

jeburf

New member
Also, if I do back it what glues would you recommend other than hide glue? I would quite like to use hide glue as I could get a load for free off my Dad and I like the smell of it! However, I'm not sure how well it would hold up to being rained on.
 

dusty

New member
I made my first bow following the back street bowers guild
He has done a good job with them
The sizes are a good starting point but what you have to except is each piece of wood is different. So the sizes will change.
You should be able to fine a suitable piece of ash board from a good supplier
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Good luck, remember you can take wood off quite quick early on but as soon as the stave starts flexing at all then slow right down. Work on it a little and often is better than going at it in a rush.
Get it on a tiller stick so you can step back from it. make it too long, too wide and too deep, you can take wood off, but once you've taken too muck off it's very hard to recover.
Glues...epoxies are widely used, I've just used some 1hr epoxy from deluxematerial.com very successful, it takes about 3-4 hours to go right off, which gives plenty of time to get 2 lots of gluing done in a day, and then leave it overnight for a really good cure. The good thing is they do 200ml bottles at a reasonable price.
Del
 

jeburf

New member
Well I got a good piece of ash so I won't have to worry about backing it. However, I've been doing some reading and I definitely think a sinew backed bow will be a project for the future.

do you think following those dimensions for the full compass bows and just leave the handle stiff while tillering would be ok or should I use different dimensions?
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Following dimensions will only get you to 80% there, the final slow tricky 20% is all eye and feel. It's quite tricky to judge how much a bow is bending in the handle as there is such a small amount of movement there. Unless you deliberately really thicken the handle it will work there.
Get it on a tillering stick against a wall and chalk a line following the curve of the bow (not on the living room wall!) this will help provide a record of how its progressing, you can also reverse the bow and see if the two limbs are curving symetrically.
Like I said before, it is wise to add say 10% to any dimensions, 'cos you can't put the timber back on...
Make haste slowly grasshopper. ;)
Del
 

ChakaZulu

New member
You'll have to check, but beware of sinew backing a longbow (English longbow, that is). I think they have to be all wood for most competitions. If you don't plan to shoot competitions with it then knock yourself out.
 

tinkerer

New member
One other point. If the ash had been stored in an unheated shed, then at this time of year it will certainly be too damp to stand up to tillering. I'd shape it roughly or go as far as you can before you need to start bending it, and then stop. Weigh it and leave it in a warm place indoors to lose the extra moisture. Wait until it until the scales say no change before you go on to the tillering stage. David
 
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