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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » The Bowyer's Bench » The "So You Wanna Build a Bow?" Build-Along (Page 3)

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Author Topic: The "So You Wanna Build a Bow?" Build-Along
bubby
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I like the way you did those recurved tips, also a nice build-a-long, but part way thru the limb thicknes went from 15/32 to 15/16 but if that was all I did wrong I'd be happy
Posts: 239 | From: red bluff, california | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
4est trekker
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Ha! You're right bubby! I'll go back and fix that. Man, that would be one stout bow, eh? Thanks for pointing that out!

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"Walk softly...and carry a bent stick."

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col. 3:17

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Stiks-n-Strings
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By Golly I think I might be able to build a bow after all.
Thanks for taking the time to do this 4est.

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Striker stinger 58" 55# @ 28
any wood bow I pick off the rack.
2 Cor. 10:4
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buckhuck
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Great build along, loved it.
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coulter
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hi curt, really good build along, very informitive, great detail, nice job. noel. p.s. are you going to show the finish, arrowrest etc.
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4est trekker
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Yep, I'm gonna show how I finish it off (stain, sealer, handle wrap, arrow pass, etc.) Been a tad busier the last few days than normal. Hope to have the last post(s) up soon!

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"Walk softly...and carry a bent stick."

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col. 3:17

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Dano
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Great stuff Curt, I like your methods. [thumbsup]

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"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy" Red Green

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ron w
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Well done...great job!!!

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In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's there are few...So the most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner's mind...This is also the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner. Shunryu Suzuki

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stickmonkey
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Nice, I like

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Time is the crucible of a man's integrity.

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4est trekker
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Round 8: Staining and Sealing

I used a variety of homemade stains, my favorite of which are made from berry juices, inks, and denatured alcohol. This particular stain is a simple aniline stain that you can get in powdered form and cut with denatured alcohol. It dries very quickly and can be sealed shortly after applying. Here’s how it turned it:

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Before I seal the bow, I go ahead and cut shallow stringer nocks just behind the bowstring nocks. Again, I burn them smooth with a hot nail. I use a simple stringer with a loop tied at each end.

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I then seal the entire bow with at least 3 coats of lacquer. I use it because it’s cheap dries within minutes (dries, NOT cures!), and can be applied with a cloth. No, it’s not waterproof, but it does build up in the grain nicely and seals in the stain. After the 3+ coats have sat for a couple of hours, I buff it out with 000 steel wool. Then I rub the entire bow down with either mink oil or SnoSeal, both of which are leather waterproofers. (Alternately, I’ve used warmed beeswax). You can apply another coat each hunting season to keep your bow dry and protected. Yes, there are better products available, but this method is cheap, easy, and effective (which is the whole point of this build-along). There is no finish that will completely encase your bow in an impenetrable shell, so I like to use a finish that I can easily reapply as needed. Just be sure to let the mink oil cure out for a day or two as it does have a distinct smell that dissipates as it dries.


Round 9, comin' up...

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"Walk softly...and carry a bent stick."

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col. 3:17

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4est trekker
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Round 9: Finishing the Handle Part I

NOTE: See the updates later in this thread for an easier floppy leather rest that you may find easier to build and shoot off of. It is nothing more than a relatively pliable piece of leather that is attached under the handle wrap and lays down flat across the top of the hand to support the arrow. It does not require a wedge to maintain arrow clearance.

We’re going to put a floppy-style rest on this bow, although you could just shoot off-hand and skip the whole thing altogether. I first cut a piece of leather as such and trim/burnish the edges. I also take it to the drum sander and taper the pointed (bottom) side down to a feather edge.

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You can search for hours on how to best locate your arrow rest. I just always go with what feels right to me. It’s your call. When I find “the spot,” I tape it to the handle with masking tape.

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I take a strip of leather and superglue one edge down and then wrap it spirally up the handle, overlapping each wrap slightly.

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I finish it off by tapering the tag end and gluing it down flush. I rub some mink oil into the handle, which gives it some moisture resistance and also adds a nice patina. Here’s the result (This pictures show the arrow pass, which we haven't added yet. That's round 10)

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"Walk softly...and carry a bent stick."

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col. 3:17

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4est trekker
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Round 10: Finishing the Handle Part II

Now we need to make the leather arrow plate. I slice a piece of the same leather used for the floppy shelf with a razor blade. I want it thin so it doesn’t push the arrow any further away from center than necessary. Then I shape it as shown below and apply it with either carpet tape or superglue.

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Here’s the result:

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In order to prevent the floppy rest from binding the arrow and to provide my hand with a placement indicator, I cut a small wedge like this….

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and insert it between the pass and shelf like this…

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Now, shoot the bow in and fine-tune your nocking point. Once satisfied, weigh the bow and indicate the weight@drawlength. I do it as such:

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By the way, here’s the first three arrows I shot with this bow at 12 yards…I was pleased!

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As a side note, here’s another handle style. It's wrapped with hemp cordage (from Wal-Mart) over a leather-covered wooden shelf. The pass is split leather. I apply a watered down Titebond III solution to the cordage with my fingers which waterproofs it and interlocks the fibers.

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[ November 16, 2009, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: 4est trekker ]

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"Walk softly...and carry a bent stick."

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col. 3:17

Posts: 1315 | From: Nebraska | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
4est trekker
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Round 11: Final Pictures and Thoughts

Here’s a couple of pictures of the finished product. I don’t have any at full draw, but if you watched the video earlier in the thread it hasn’t changed. It came in right at 50#@26” after shooting it in.

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Here’s a couple of pictures with it next to my turkey hunting bow. That bow is dyed with homegrown raspberry and blueberry juices mixed with ink and cut with denatured alcohol.

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Just a couple of final words. I hope that at least someone has gained the confidence and enough information to get their first bow built. It’s a cheap and easy project that you can do in a weekend. This particular bow is overbuilt by most standards, and comes in slightly heavier in physical weight than is most efficient (I’m referring to the Mass Principle as discussed in Volume 4 of the Traditional Bowyer’s Bible). However, the wide limbs allow more wood to do the tension work, thus adding a margin of safety that the bow will not raise a splinter and fracture. The longer length allows it to be pulled to 28”, and perhaps a bit more. You could always narrow the limbs some and compensate by making it a touch thicker to keep the weight up. This would reduce mass, but the further you go in this direction the more the moisture content, tiller, grain, early/late growth ratio, etc. will need to be spot on. (That turkey bow above is 44#@26”, measures 64” ntn, and weighs 18 ounces. It sure is nice to carry, as you hardly know it’s there. It also shoots slightly above average in speed for its weight @ drawlength.)

At the end of the day, a bow is a bendy stick with a string. Is this the prettiest bow? Nope. The fastest bow? Nope. But I haven’t met a turkey yet that stopped me mid-draw and begged me to shoot him with a prettier bow. “Dead as a doornail” is dead enough for me, and if I can do it for $12 and three or four hours of work, I’m in!

Good luck, ya’ll, and if you build one please post some pictures. Thanks for following! God Bless.

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"Walk softly...and carry a bent stick."

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col. 3:17

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razorback
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4Est, thanks for the great build along, these take a lot of work normally and you have gone beyond many that have been done.
I have a nice piece of Oak I picked up the other day and will start one very soon, just have to clean up the shop. Have you done any with more bulbous handles or do you stick to this handle design. I may make up several mock handle out of scrap to find one that I like, I may even find the design you use to be comfortable. I am planning on using a contrast wood, probably Walnut for the riser glue-on and I think the cut off you add to the front of the bow will look good like this. I will post pictures.
Again, thanks for the work.

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Keep the wind in your face and the sun at your back.

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coulter
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great job curt! thank you for putting the time and effort into such great build along.i'm sure a lot more people will be building bows because of it. noel
Posts: 62 | From: canada | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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