Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to try to make my first bow.

Here is a picture of the limb I found. I located a few nice trees, but didn't want to take down a tree to practice with,
so I came across this relatively freshly felled tree, hacked it up then dragged it home. It's easily 6' long and 3"+ thick.
I've seen guys split a straighter piece of lumber to make 2 bows, but I'm going to whittle this away.

I'm going more for practice and learning to use my tools and learning to work with the wood than I am for
a perfect example at first. I fully expect to go through 2 or 3 more before going for my ideal example.

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!

Thanks! :thumb:

I'm finally going to get started on it today. Will post pics of the my work later.
For now, doing research so's to figure out what pattern I should use and try to carve out.
Open to all suggestions and resources information. I can't wait to dig into it.
And if I break it or the wood fails, I'll go and find another limb and start again.
And I'll keep hackin' away at it (no pun intended) until I've made something that I can actually use.

:)
 

·
Freedom isn't free.
Joined
·
6,155 Posts
This project of yours will be really interesting for me.

Have you been to the "Poor Folk Bows" web site? That site has a lot of tutorials on it that might be helpful.

LINK: http://poorfolkbows.com/

I built my first traditional longbow from a tutorial on that site. (Red Oak Board Bow). It turned out great and years later it's still just as functional as the day I first shot it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I got to start to work on my case of Cabin Fever that has been setting in lately by hacking away at my Bow Project.

I began working on it with my hatchet and my machete (as a draw knife), but totally cheated and took a circular
saw to it to remove the bulk of the material (I'm a master with a circular saw). When I generally got it to a shape
that began to resemble the beginnings of a bow, I stopped. Took me about 3 hours to get it to this and its at this
point that I have to start being more careful with it and less cavemanish. I'm going to have to get a real draw knife
now to start to shape and carve it out more. I'm pretty sure I'm going to blow this bow out eventually, but I'm
going through the motions of learning how to work with my tools more than anything. Practice, practice, practice.

Besides, "if" I managed to complete it without breaking it and "if" I managed to work around the split in it, I'd
then feel very accomplished. But it's not going to bum me out when I don't. Again, I fully expect for it to fail.

Before:


Current:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Primitive bow-making is something that I've always wanted to get into, would be a great addition to my custom knife business-I just don't have the time.

Looks like you've got a great start.

I asked about Osage Orange, because (from what I've read) it's one of the best sources for bow staves. I use a lot of it for knife scales-incredibly tough wood.
 

·
Blame Canada.
Joined
·
3,226 Posts
I got to start to work on my case of Cabin Fever that has been setting in lately by hacking away at my Bow Project.

I began working on it with my hatchet and my machete (as a draw knife), but totally cheated and took a circular
saw to it to remove the bulk of the material (I'm a master with a circular saw). When I generally got it to a shape
that began to resemble the beginnings of a bow, I stopped. Took me about 3 hours to get it to this and its at this
point that I have to start being more careful with it and less cavemanish. I'm going to have to get a real draw knife
now to start to shape and carve it out more. I'm pretty sure I'm going to blow this bow out eventually, but I'm
going through the motions of learning how to work with my tools more than anything. Practice, practice, practice.

Besides, "if" I managed to complete it without breaking it and "if" I managed to work around the split in it, I'd
then feel very accomplished. But it's not going to bum me out when I don't. Again, I fully expect for it to fail.

Before:


Current:
Dont know if it will be the top or bottom limb, but it looks like you have some deflex in it. You going to back that ?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Made any progress?
Not yet. When I mess with it, it has encompassed hours of my time.
I've worked on it twice: Getting the wood first and cutting it down
and chopping it up to where I got it. I'd say I have 10 hour in.
The next time, I want to hit it until I can get it into bow shape
and that's going to take a lot of whittling. Plus, right now, I
still don't have the right tools to remove material.

Dont know if it will be the top or bottom limb, but it looks like you have some deflex in it. You going to back that ?
MC, this particular piece (which probably can't be seen in the pics) had a
sharp twist. I had to leave a lot of material on it so that I can gently work
it out. I've worked a miracle to get it as straight as possible and even then,
it's still not 100% perfect, but I believe workable.

Primitive bow-making is something that I've always wanted to get into, would be a great addition to my custom knife business-I just don't have the time.

Looks like you've got a great start.

I asked about Osage Orange, because (from what I've read) it's one of the best sources for bow staves. I use a lot of it for knife scales-incredibly tough wood.
Thanks. If I manage to get this one finished without breaking it,
I will definitely do another one with Osage Orange for sure and I'll
try to make that one my masterpiece.

:)
 

·
Blame Canada.
Joined
·
3,226 Posts
MC, this particular piece (which probably can't be seen in the pics) had a
sharp twist. I had to leave a lot of material on it so that I can gently work
it out. I've worked a miracle to get it as straight as possible and even then,
it's still not 100% perfect, but I believe workable.
Well, just keep going slow. For me I always break them when tillering. Anyway, I have a well used traditonel bowyers bible volume two. It has tons of coffee stains and is beat up bretty bad, but its yours. Your other items should be their anytime today or tommrow or by monday at the latest. Oh, and remember, heat properly applied is your friend.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
MC, this particular piece (which probably can't be seen in the pics) had a
sharp twist. I had to leave a lot of material on it so that I can gently work
it out. I've worked a miracle to get it as straight as possible and even then,
it's still not 100% perfect, but I believe workable.
Well, just keep going slow. For me I always break them when tillering. Anyway, I have a well used traditonel bowyers bible volume two. It has tons of coffee stains and is beat up bretty bad, but its yours. Your other items should be their anytime today or tommrow or by monday at the latest. Oh, and remember, heat properly applied is your friend.
Thank you brother. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Good start so far, SirThrivalist.

Cherry is finicky to work with, but will make a good bow. May I suggest practicing on Hickory. It's usually easy to find and easy to work. Ash and Elm are also good. Bodark is very good for bows. It makes a very light in the hand, hard, fast shooting bow. I have some pics on here in a thread somewhere of some bows I've made. If there is anything I can help you with, please feel free to contact me. Good Luck and have fun.:thumb:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Good start so far, SirThrivalist.

Cherry is finicky to work with, but will make a good bow. May I suggest practicing on Hickory. It's usually easy to find and easy to work. Ash and Elm are also good. Bodark is very good for bows. It makes a very light in the hand, hard, fast shooting bow. I have some pics on here in a thread somewhere of some bows I've made. If there is anything I can help you with, please feel free to contact me. Good Luck and have fun.:thumb:

PJ,

I'll definitely give this my best shot and post the results. I'll be working on it this weekend.
I'd love to see your work. Please feel free to post links here if you come across them.
I had no idea how Cherry would work (thinking it might be too hard and not offer
enough "give"), but you've given me hope.

Thanks a lot for your insight. :thumb:
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top