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Topic Archives => Build Alongs => Topic started by: the Ferret on March 02, 2005, 03:28:00 PM

Title: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 02, 2005, 03:28:00 PM
Ok all you experienced selfbowyers. After making a few we all get ideas as to what would make the ultimate selfbow. Keeping in mind that the criteria for this bow is:YOU ARE BUILDING FOR YOURSELF, THE ONLY BOW YOU WILL HAVE TO HUNT WITH FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS. In state hunts, out of state hunts, small game, big game,maybe shoot some 3D's, in whatever weather mother nature throws your way..this is it! I of course have my own ideas, but let's hear yours:

(1) material (osage, hickory, etc)
(2) ntn length
(3) handle design (rigid, semi bend, bend)
(4) handle length
(5) fade length
(6) limb design (full width to mid, past mid or straight taper from fade)
(7) limb width at fade
(8) Limb length (even length or asymetrical)
(9)Belly type (flat, slightly rounded, deep core)
(10) backing (none, sinew,rawhide,snakeskin etc)
(11)rest type (none, glued leather, bone, floppy etc)
(12)overlays (yes, no, material)
(13)profile (straight, reflex, static curve etc)
(14)finish (tung oil, tru oil, french polish, massey, thunderbird spar urethane etc)
(15)handle covering (none, leather, laced, wrapped etc)
(16) string type and material (endless,flemish, dacron, FF etc)

lets hear your ideas    :readit:
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Traxx on March 02, 2005, 03:43:00 PM
I haven't made enough different styles to give an oppinion.I tell ya what though,im really lookin foreward to the responses to this one.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Jeremy on March 02, 2005, 03:45:00 PM
1. Raw bamboo back, walnut core, osage belly
2. 66" ntn
3. rigid
4. 4"
5. 2" fades
6. full width to mid limb
7. 1.25"
8. asymmetrical
9. slightly rounded
10. the boo
11. glued leather or floppy
12. walnut tip overlays
13. set back in the handle, little bit o deflex, then reflex out to semi-static curves (say 6") - look at one of Jaap's bows
14.  massey
15. leather
16. flemish (nothing else looks good on a bow) FF

This is the bow I've had in my mind's eye for the last 6 months, and what I've been working up to with my last couple wood lam bows.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 02, 2005, 03:48:00 PM
Osage selfbow, 66" n/n, 4" rigid handle, 1.5" fades, 1.5" to midlimb tapering to 1/2" or less, even length limbs with a trap cross-section and fairly flat belly, floppy rest, horn overlays, straight profile, tung oil, wrapped leather handle, flemish B50.  60lb@27" or thereabouts.

A bow having a good combination of longevity and performance.  Much like my best bow.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Pat B on March 02, 2005, 03:51:00 PM
OK Mickey, Here goes....
Osage, 62"-66"T/T, bulbous handle,rigid to simi-bending,4" handle, 1 1/2"-2" fades,either straight taper or full out to 6" then taper to 3/8"tips,1 3/8"-1 1/2" at fades,asymetrical (but lately I've been trying symetrical, slightly rounded belly, air backing, no arrow rest or small glued leather rest,usually overlays(bone,antler,hardwood),Tru-Oil, straight or slightly reflexed(to start with),Rattan wrap or leather handle wrap, and a B-50 Flemish string.
   Just a good old stick bow!!!    Pat

ps. I use the same bow for everything!
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Eric Krewson on March 02, 2005, 04:00:00 PM
Osage
64"NTN
Rigid
4"
2 3/4"
Full to mid limb
1.25
Even limb length
Rounded belly
No backing
Glued on wood rest
Osage burl tip overlays
Straight limb with slight natural reflex
Massey finish
Leather handle
Flemish DF-97 string

I described my personal hunting bow. I depend on this one bow. I have one BBO and a splinter bow but only shoot the one described above.

It is the middle one in the picture at my webshots page.
 http://community.webshots.com/album/99778482aRQTdN
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: gordonf on March 02, 2005, 04:01:00 PM
vine maple (because I haven't tried much else yet), 64" ntn, small rigid handle, 2-3" fades, full width to mid-limb, 1.75" at the fades tapering to .5" at tips, asymetrical, flat belly, no backing, golf tee rest, hardwood overlays, 1" setback & shallow reflexed tips, tru oil, elk leather, flemish and FF.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Homan on March 02, 2005, 04:23:00 PM
Osage is hard to come by out here in Calif, whereas every lumber yard seems to have a ton of Ipe, so my choice would be:

(1) ipe for indestructibility
(2) 66"
(3) semi bendy handle
(4) 4" handle
(5) 2" fades
(6) straight taper from fade
(7) 1" wide at fade
(8) even length limbs
(9) slightly rounded belly
(10) no backing (requires a good piece of ipe)
(11) glued leather rest
(12) no overlays
(13) profile is straight
(14) finish is tru oil
(15) handle covering is leather
(16) string type is dyna 97

If wood backings are allowed, I'd put a piece of hickory on the back and make life easier for myself finding the right piece of ipe. I've found this to be an accurate and durable design.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 02, 2005, 04:30:00 PM
Eric your fades are a little longer than average.  Do you like them this way?  What advantages do you see in this?  Better sight window?  Myself, I keep them short to give myself maximum working limb.  But as I am getting the hang of tillering, I am wondering whether I would benefit from a longer fade.  I already think they are more pleasing to the eye, but thats not a big deal.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: John Scifres on March 02, 2005, 04:39:00 PM
(1) material - osage
(2) 66" NTN (I have a 27" draw)
(3) handle design: rigid
(4) handle length: 3.5"
(5) fade length: 1.5"
(6) limb design: full width to 8" past fades - approx 1/3 of working limb
(7) limb width at fade: 1.5"
(8) Limb length: top limb is 1.5" longer than bottom
(9)Belly type: rounded flat belly
(10) backing: air
(11)rest type: floppy
(12)overlays: no
(13)profile: straight, turned tips
(14)finish: polyurethane
(15)handle covering: leather wrapped
(16) string type: B-50 flemish
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 02, 2005, 04:44:00 PM
Lennie that is sort of the purpose of this excercise..when we see what others around the country are doing we can ask why, hear different theories, force us to think, discuss and learn and maybe make better wooden bows
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Dano on March 02, 2005, 04:51:00 PM
(1) osage
(2) 60" ntn (26" draw)
(3) handle design, rigid
(4) handle length, 4"
(5) fade length, 2"
(6) limb design full width to mid
(7) limb width at fade, 1 1/4"
(8) Limb length, even length
(9) Belly type, slightly rounded
(10) backing, Snakeskin
(11)rest type, glued leather
(12)overlays, yes, hardwood
(13)profile, reflex
(14)finish,  thunderbird
(15)handle covering,  leather
(16)string type and material, flemish, FF
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Rangeball on March 02, 2005, 04:52:00 PM
What is Ipe?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 02, 2005, 05:04:00 PM
IPE = Industrial Product Extrusion.  A polymer material that works like wood, wears like iron, and tastes like chicken.


OK not really.  Its Brazilian walnut or something like that.  Tropical hardwood.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: wingnut on March 02, 2005, 05:08:00 PM
(1) material = osage
(2) ntn length = 64'
(3) handle design = rigid
(4) handle length = 4"
(5) fade length = 1.5"
(6) limb design = full width to mid
(7) limb width at fade = 1 3/8
(8) Limb length = even length
(9) Belly type = slightly rounded
(10) backing = snakeskin
(11)rest type = glued leather
(12)overlays = yes, buff horn
(13)profile = reflex
(14)finish = Catalysized Varnish
(15)handle covering = leather, laced
(16) string type and material =flemish, FF

About 55 lbs.

Mike
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: buffalobillpatrick on March 02, 2005, 05:19:00 PM
Rangeball, Ipe is also called: Brazillian walnut, Lapacho, & Ironwood (for decking & Black Widow bows) It's a nice dark brown. Very strong, hard & heavy. About 2 x osage on strength & hardness. About 40% heavier than osage. My supply sinks quickly in water. It sands slowly & glues fine. Don't breath the dust. Cheers
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Jeff Strubberg on March 02, 2005, 05:25:00 PM
(1)Osage
(2)64" NTN
(3)Rigid handle
(4)Handle length 4"
(5)Fade length 2"
(6)1 3/8" limb width at fade
(7)full width for 10", then a straigh taper to a 3/8" nock
(8)limb length=even
(9)belly type= as flat as possible
(10)backing=none
(11)rest type=glued leather
(12)overlays=none
(14)finish=spray poly
(15)handle covering=leather wrap
(16)string type and material= B50 flemish

55-60 lbs @29"
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 02, 2005, 05:27:00 PM
Mickey, exactly and this is a great idea for a thread.  And I asked Eric about this, because I know he makes an excellent bow and is thoughtful in his design considerations.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Ironfist_Canada on March 02, 2005, 05:39:00 PM
Okay heres my two cents.
1. Hop Hornbeam
2. 68 NTN
3 Rigid Handle
4  5 inch
5  1 and 1/2 inches
6  Full to mid then tapering
7  1 and 3/4 inches wide
8  even
9  Flat and slightly rounded
10  No Backing
11  Cut in slightly with leather build up
12  No Overlays
13  Reflexed 3 inches from handle to tips.
14  Tru Oil
15  Leather
16  Flemish B50 dacron.

 # 45 @ 27
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: '46 on March 02, 2005, 05:56:00 PM
(1) material - osage
(2) 66" NTN
(3) handle design: rigid
(4) handle length: 4"
(5) fade length: 1.5"
(6) limb design: full width to 8" past fades      1/3 of working limb
(7) limb width at fade: 1.5"
(8) Limb length: Equal
(9)Belly type: rounded flat belly
(10) backing: none
(11)rest type: floppy
(12)overlays: no
(13)profile: straight, slightly turned tips
(14)finish: Massey
(15)handle covering: leather wrap
(16) string type: B-50 flemish
     55#@27"
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Jason Jelinek on March 02, 2005, 06:12:00 PM
Since we are talking selfbow here we go:
(1) material: osage
(2) 72" ntn
(3) handle design: semi bend
(4) handle length: 4"
(5) fade length: 2"
(6) limb design: convex width taper
(7) limb width at fade/tip: 1 & 1/8" to 3/8" wide tips
(8) Limb Length: slightly asymetrical
(9) Belly type: slightly rounded
(10) Backing: none
(11) rest type: none
(12) overlays: antler nocks or overlays
(13) profile: straight
(14) finish: tru oil
(15) handle covering: leather
(16) string type: flemish FF

Basically an ELB with a very slightly raised handle (maybe 1/2" thicker).  I'm thinking 60# @ 30" draw.

Jason
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Eric Krewson on March 02, 2005, 06:34:00 PM
Lennie, I just try to make my all the angles on my bows flow into each other gracefully. This is the reason I use a longer fade out, because it looks better. I have started using a longer overlays lately for the same reason, more graceful.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Hackbow on March 02, 2005, 06:58:00 PM
I'm not very experienced, partly due to Scifres making me the NEARLY ultimate selfbow. I'm not very motivated to make myself a bow because I love this one so much. But if I were to build the one of which you speak, this is what it would be:

(1) material - osage
(2) 61" NTN (I have a 28-1/4+" draw)
(3) handle design: rigid
(4) handle length: 3.5"
(5) fade length: 1.25"
(6) limb design: full width to 9" past fades - approx 1/3 of working limb
(7) limb width at fade: 1.5"
(8) Limb length: top limb is 1" longer than bottom
(9)Belly type: rounded flat belly
(10) backing: air
(11)rest type: partial cut-in shelf and glued leather
(12)overlays: no
(13)profile: straight, turned tips
(14)finish: Tru-Oil
(15)handle covering: leather wrapped
(16) string type: B-50 flemish

This is just a little different than what I'm using now. I would go up in wt. from 55 to 63-65#. Another notable design feature would be having the smallest nocks possible to hold the string on.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Marc on March 02, 2005, 07:32:00 PM
1. Elm
2. 62" N to N
3. Rigid
4. 4"
5. 1 1/2"
6. 5 degree taper to mid limb then straight taper to tips
7. 1 3/4"
8. Equal length
9. Flat
10. None
11. Leather
12. Horn or tropical hardwoods
13. Deflex handle, reflexed limbs and recurved
14. Tung oil, shellac and paste wax.
15. Leather
16. Endless FF

Draw weight. 55# ~ 60# @ 28"
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 02, 2005, 07:34:00 PM
This is great stuff guys...some patterns emerging and something that I'm finding interesting is the number of bowyers saying they carry full width for 1/3 of the working limb. Very interesting.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Dano on March 02, 2005, 07:49:00 PM
OK buddy, what's your ultimate design?  :saywhat:
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 02, 2005, 08:07:00 PM
Mine Dano?....
osage
62" ntn
semi bendy handled
4" handle
no real fades, handle blends into limb
limb width 1 1/8" carried to just past mid limb tapering to 1/2" tips
equal length limbs
mostly flat but slightly rounded belly
1 layer sinew backed
elkhide floppy rest
no overlays
flat profile with slight flip at tips
true oil and automotive paste wax
elkhide handle wrap
dacron B50 Flemish
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Dano on March 02, 2005, 08:18:00 PM
I could live with that design Mickey, what's your draw length?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: AZStickman on March 02, 2005, 08:25:00 PM
(1) material (osage)
(2) ntn length 64"
(3) handle design (rigid, Bulbous)
(4) handle length 4"
(5) fade length 1 1/2" flowing into limbs
(6) limb design (1 1/8" to 1 3/8" wide at fades tapering in 1/8" at mid limb, and a straight taper from there to 1/4" nocks)
(7) limb width at fade ( See #6    :)    )
(8) Limb length (even length )
(9)Belly type ( slightly rounded)
(10) backing (None or  sinew topped with rawhide or snakeskin)
(11)rest type (none)
(12)overlays (yes, Horn )
(13)profile ( static curve )
(14)finish (tung oil,or Massey)
(15)handle covering (I haven't done one yet but a wrap JD style is the classiest handle covering going )
(16) string type and material (flemish, dacron, )
(17) 60-70#
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 02, 2005, 09:04:00 PM
1/3 the working limb is interesting, no doubt.

I thought about a sinewed bow Mickey.  That would make it indestructible.  But also prone to change with humidity.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: George Tsoukalas on March 02, 2005, 09:28:00 PM
(1) material (osage, or black locust)
(2) ntn length (BL=66 ntn; osage=65 ntn)
(3) handle design (rigid)
(4) handle length (7.5 in)
(5) fade length(bottom=1 in; tope =2.5 in or so)
(6) limb design (full width to  past mid )
(7) limb width at fade (osage-1.5; BL= 1.75)
(8) Limb length (even length)
(9)Belly type (flat-slightly rounded)
(10) backing (none)
(11)rest type (glued leather)
(12)overlays (no)
(13)profile (straight- reflex tips)
(14)finish ( tru oil,)
(15)handle covering (leather)
(16) string type and material (flemish, dacron)
Jawge
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: DCM on March 02, 2005, 09:44:00 PM
Well I been reading along here and making in my mind each bow you've decribed.  The sad fact is my life's ambition is to make each one, and a whole lot more I haven't heard mentioned.  I can't pick just one.  How does one pick a favorite from among his children?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Timo on March 02, 2005, 09:49:00 PM
Mickey that's the same thing that kept hitting me! I usually go full for 4" past a 2" fade.Seems to give me more working limb. Maybe I need to change a few things?

Good thread.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Hackbow on March 02, 2005, 09:51:00 PM
That's funny David. After describing my "ultimate", I realized that none of the bows I have in the works is the one I described. But I have some fun ones going!

With regard to the 1/3 vs 1/2 limb width tapering, I just follow Scifres as he's been my teacher in most of this (a fact I'm sure he'd rather keep quiet). The bow he made for me is the sweetest shooter I've ever experienced and I really like the look of a thinner width and thicker profile. Sort of a cross between flatbow and ELB. I haven't done enough experimenting to know what is good, better or best. I just know what I like from what I've shot or seen of others' work.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: chri5917 on March 02, 2005, 10:10:00 PM
Well, I'll admit that I could never make it, but after reading this tread closely, I think my ideal all wooden bow would have to be...

ONE OF ERIC'S!

Wow, them's purty!

Be it that I've never actually shot a self bow (except the famous green tree branch strung with kite string) I guess I'm probably not what some would call "knowledgeable"  :)  , but wow, those things are awesome. My wife's going to wake up tonight to me mumbling, "I didn't know osage could be so good looking," in my sleep.  Hmmmm... Hope she realizes Osage isn't a girl...
Anywho, not to say that the rest of you don't make drop dead gorgeous bows, but those pictures of Erics really took me back.
Great work!
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: horseapple on March 02, 2005, 10:39:00 PM
1-(Osage selfbow)
2-(63"ntn 27.5" draw)
3-(stiff handle)
4-(4"handle)
5-(1.75" flares)
6-(even length limbs)
7-(1-3/8" with straight taper to .5" tips)
8-(slight radiused belly)
9-(rest, glued on tapered leather)
10-(overlays, water buffalo)
11-(slight reflex but don't mind 1" set)
12-(finish, catalysed varnish)
13-(handle, skived leather wrap)
14-(string, 14 strand FF with 8 strands of B-50 in loops

You guys have got me pumped to go out and lay one up:)

Joe Don
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: John Scifres on March 02, 2005, 10:43:00 PM
I think the 1/3 of working limb is a nice balance between having enough wood where it matters most to reduce set and not so much that you carry the mass out towards the tips where it tends to slow things down.  I really feel carrying full width halfway out is overbuilding by some with osage.  I think anything less than good hickory needs it though.  But those are less dense woods so the mass equation isn't the same.

All that being said, my go to bow is my sinew backed static.  I love it.  My second favorite is my elk bow made like I described above.  Except it's 65# and I can't shoot that much weight unless I work myself up to it over several months.  Third favorite is a dead on Torges design straight from his book and about 55#.  One of my alltime favorites that I have made was a skinny, 59" working handled working recurve out of osage.  I traded it away.  I'm itching to make myself one some time.  I even have the piece of wood picked out for it.  I may put sinew on it.  The first one didn't have it.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 02, 2005, 10:48:00 PM
Joe Don why catalyzed varnish?  I was just reading about varnishes in my latest Jamestown catalog, sounded interesting.  Kind of a blend of oil and resin and some black magic thrown in.

I thought you were reading out of HOB till you got to them even limbs.  But I won't go there.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 02, 2005, 10:51:00 PM
Mims pick a durned design.  It doesn't have to be Miss Right, just Miss Right Now.  Or go scientific like me and do eeny meeny etc.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: GeneJockey on March 02, 2005, 11:05:00 PM
It would be fun to do a statistical analysis of the answers.  I guess we already know the most popular bow wood!

(1) material: Osage - like the Oklahoma stuff I got from Mike Hames.
(2) ntn length: 65-66" (for 29" draw)
(3) handle design: rigid
(4) handle length: 4"
(5) fade length: 2"
(6) limb design: full to mid
(7) limb width at fade: 1 1/2 or so.
(8) Limb length: Even - Mims is no help tillering asymmetricals!    ;)
(9)Belly type: slightly rounded
(10) backing: none
(11)rest type: glued leather
(12)overlays: none
(13)profile: straight
(14)finish: Tru-oil
(15)handle covering: leather
(16) string type and material: Flemish DF97
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: horseapple on March 02, 2005, 11:09:00 PM
Lennie, Why catalysed varnish? Because its damn tough stuff  :D  HOB, Don't tell me Deans using my design  "[tunglaff]"
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 02, 2005, 11:25:00 PM
Dano my draw is 27.

Most of the bows I see listed that carry their width to 1/3 or even mid limb are wider than my favorite design which carries a narrower width but further out the limbs, which allows the limbs to be a little thicker which I relate to durability. Yet with the bend coming into the handle I get most of the wood working. I know that the layer of sinew I prefer can cause problems in moisture laden conditions but the rest of the time helps the bow maintain it's profile much better. Over the long run I see that as maintaining performance rather than giving up cast to performance robbing follow.

Jawge I think you mean a 7 1/2" non bending section and not a 7 1/2" handle plus a 1" fade and a 2 1/2" fade right?

I think we are definitly seeing some trends here that say something when experience bowyers when asked to pick a design they would have to live with for a long period of time.

The use of overlays suprises me when it is an added glued on item that could come off, and adds weight to the limb tip. Ok you tip overlay guys..what does the tip overlay do for you or is it strictly cosmetic? (since osage doesn't need reinforcement at the tip)
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Mark Baker on March 02, 2005, 11:34:00 PM
Seems like every time I think I'm making the perrrrfect bow, it turns out less than so, and then I pick up a piece of "reject" and make a real slayer....

You guys do a lot more measuring than me!  :D  

I prefer osage, 64 inches nock to nock, a bulbous handle about 4 inches I guess, fades flow to the limbs which are semi rounded....width no more than 11/2 wide....about a third or so, tapering down to half inch tips.  I like 65 to 70 pounds, unbacked, rattan grip and floppy rest, maybe tip overlays, but not required.  

Sure is a lot of us in the same "length" category!  I tend to have a sloppy release at times, and 64 inches works without being too long for me.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Jeff Strubberg on March 02, 2005, 11:35:00 PM
One thing you left off that influences every decision heavily is climate.

I wouldn't have chosen osage or foregone a backing if it weren't for the local humidity.  Of course, once osage was chosen, it affected about half of the design parameters.....
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: horseapple on March 02, 2005, 11:39:00 PM
who said you didn't need overlays on osage  :smileystooges:  no really the string type is the deciding factor when adding overlays, if only using B-50 never would you need overlays, but with some of more harsh, non stretching material you should always consider a super hard wood, antler or horn for an added protection from string wear... moisture is not the factor on overlays as it would be on sinew bows  "[tunglaff]"  

Joe Don
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: trashwood on March 03, 2005, 12:20:00 AM
Well there is has been a book written about the bow I would build  :) ...  just see _Hunting the Osage Bow_ but ah ah ole what's his name  :)

rusty
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Madpigslayer on March 03, 2005, 12:23:00 AM
airight...I remember Cliff Huntington in a thread talking about the thread posters that like a dog had to "piss on every thread" so...hold the drumroll...and let me take a pee here...thanks in advance.   :D  

since I aint no bowyer, my answer is..."anything that Dean makes" but at the expence of being a cop out...dims unknown, but in MY climate, hickory lightly backed with sinew would be a dragon slayer. BIG DRAGONS too. I would prolly steal the dims from one of you guys. but the climate would make me right. dryer than a popcorn fart.

which begs the question...why not a straight taper from fade to tip??? with my popcorn fart dry sinew backed hickory at ohhhhh...say....68" of pigslaying power?

(seriously, I always wonder why the straight taper isnt done more. I mean really...why???)
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: clintopher on March 03, 2005, 07:25:00 AM
I'm hardly experienced so all I can offer are questions.  I've noticed there isn't much bamboo backing going on.  Why is that?  Is it a durability issue?  There's not much hickory backing going on either.  Is that because of humidity?

If durability is an issue, why not a horn bow?  Too much PITA to make?

Clint
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 03, 2005, 08:07:00 AM
Joe Don very good point about other string materials and overlays..see the value of this thread is shining thru. I didn't go back and look to see if all the guys using string material other than dacron were the overlay users.But it is obviously a design consideration.

Yes Jeff and Madpig et al...climatic conditions are a consideration as are availability of certain woods in certain areas. Notice 3 of the guys who do not have access to osage chose elm, ipe and vine maple...locally available woods to them

Clintopher..when I started this thread I originally said designing the ultimate "selfbow", which technically would have left out all backings so I changed it to "wooden bow" to allow hickory and boo backings, but for the most part anything added to a bow ie: glued on or together is another potential place a bow can fail. A sinew backing can get wet and release, boo backings and such have a history of failure beyond the norm for an air backed piece of good wood in a single growth ring back and glue lines are another typical place of failure. Most bowyers choosing a design that they have to live with over a period of years are going to choose the simplest design which happens to be the most durable, an unbacked bow. I am a little suprised at the lack of rawhide backings mentioned.

I'm trying to tally this up but some of you have answered kind of wishy washy like 62-66" or "shortish rigid handle" or "leather glue up or floppy" or "2 1/2-3" fades". When answering pick a length and pick a rest material please.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 03, 2005, 08:15:00 AM
You know maybe some of the wishy washy answers just go to prove that the actual numbers aren't all that important to those bowyers..the bow could be 62, 63, 64 ,65 or 66  and the fades 2 2 1/2 or 3 whatever it comes out it comes out and being empiracle isn't necessary???? hmmmmmm

Madpig the straight taper from fades is a very attractive design, Bro Randy's favorite and the BL I just made for DCM is of that design. But I think John Scifres explained his reason fairly well on page 2? that carrying the width for 1/3 of the limb gives more working wood where you need it to avoid set and lets the rest of the limb be light for performance.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Eric Krewson on March 03, 2005, 08:37:00 AM
Early on in my bow building I had the bamboo split at the nocks on several BBOs. One osage bow split the limb about 6" down from the nock when I accidentally slipped the string out of one side of the nock putting all the pressure on the other side. I started adding overlays on all my bows and never had any problems since. I also started using DF-97 strings with 4 extra strands of B-50 in the loops and felt the overlays would be good insurance for my string nocks. Of equal importance is the way they enhance the appearance of a bow.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 03, 2005, 09:17:00 AM
Well I've added everything up as best I could and here's what we have..THE bow most of us would build (a composite of our most popular answers)

Osage, 64" ntn, rigid 4" handle, 1 1/2" fades, full width for 1/3 of the working limb length then tapering to the tip, even length limbs, slightly rounded belly, unbacked, with a leather glued up rest and some kind of bone overlays on the tips. It would have a more or less straight profile, be sealed with true-oil,have a leather handle covering and a flemish string. String material was interestingly split evenly between dacron and a ff type material.

Not a bad design at all fellas

I'm going to have to study this 1/3 of the limb length before tapering, overlays and high performance strings.

Lots of areas for discussion here.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Bowjunkie on March 03, 2005, 09:23:00 AM
If I knew this was gonna be the only bow I could use for the next 5 years, I'd be really ticked off  :)

Seriously, I'd slightly overbuild it and keep it as simple as possible so, hopefully, nothing bad would happen to it. I'd build a bow almost exactly like I did last year to hunt with.

I would have chosen a BBO, but I've had more splinters raise on them than on selfbows.


(1) dense, straight-grained, thick-ringed osage
(2) 66" for my 28"
(3) rigid handle
(4) handle length 4"
(5) 1 1/2" flares
(6) convex taper from the flares to the nocks
(7) 1 3/8" at its widest
(8) asymetrical limbs
(9) nicely radiused/rounded belly
(10) no backing
(11) built up leather rest
(12) no overlays
(13) straight standing after break-in
(14) Fullerplast catalyzed varnish
(15) skived deer leather handle and arrow plate
(16) 15 strand, 3 bundle B-50 flemish string

Where's the draw weight question? It's got a bearing on some of our other design characterisitcs, no?

I'd make it about 65# @ 28".


 (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Jeff_Durnell/Rose_Lioness/Lioness2.jpg)
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 03, 2005, 09:34:00 AM
Bowjunkie I don't think weight has any bearing on it from a design standpoint, most of the answers were pretty much in line and I know guys shoot from 45-70 pounds on here and still chose within the parameters listed above and below

out of 21 bow designs (regardless of draw weight)...17 were between 62" & 66" in length (14 of those between 64&66), 16 were osage, 16 had rigid 4" handles 14 had fades between 1 1/2 and 2" long,17 had slightly rounded bellies,17 had no backings,17 had leather wrapped handles, 16 had even length limbs,20 used a flemish string, 12 had a straight limb profile. Pretty unanimous stuff

BTW it looks as though your design is right in line with the rest except for the asym limbs and the convex limb from fade to tip. Could you please explain how you lay out the convex limb and what you think it gains you?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: John Scifres on March 03, 2005, 09:36:00 AM
Interesting that most of us made a Torges bow for the most part.  Where's Hamm and Baker?  We all can't be osage cultists.  We need some of them TBB groupies  :)

I was at Lowes yesterday and tried to find a red oak that would make a bow.  No dice this time but I'm gonna give it a shot every time I'm there.

Pig, I like the straight taper too but only on really long, skinny bows like the one I'm eventually gonna send you  :)
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: DCM on March 03, 2005, 09:38:00 AM
Ok Lennie, I'll play.

(1) material (osage, hickory, etc)
Osage

(2) ntn length
67" NTN for 29" draw.  Since Mickey is all anal about everybody being specific 65" for 28, 63" for 27".

(3) handle design (rigid, semi bend, bend)
stiff

(4) handle length
4"

(5) fade length
3" to 5" of width taper with 1" to 2" left not working.  2" for Mickey's stats.

(6) limb design (full width to mid, past mid or straight taper from fade)
taper to full width at 1/3rd limb then taper back down to 1/2" nocks

(7) limb width at fade
1 3/8" at full width for 55#

(8) Limb length (even length or asymetrical)
slight asym with lower being no more than 1" shorter

(9)Belly type (flat, slightly rounded, deep core)
slightly rounded

(10) backing (none, sinew,rawhide,snakeskin etc)
none

(11)rest type (none, glued leather, bone, floppy etc)
glued leather

(12)overlays (yes, no, material)
no

(13)profile (straight, reflex, static curve etc)
straight to 1/2" of string follow

(14)finish (tung oil, tru oil, french polish, massey, thunderbird spar urethane etc)
massey

(15)handle covering (none, leather, laced, wrapped etc)
leather like laced but overlap glued, not ribbon wrapped.

(16) string type and material (endless,flemish, dacron, FF etc)
Flemish FF 14 strand with double serving of 50# Spiderwire braided fishing strang
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 03, 2005, 09:46:00 AM
Thanks for playing David    :D   me anal????   :readit:    "[tunglaff]"
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Dano on March 03, 2005, 09:46:00 AM
I like JD's answer on tip overlays, but I also use them to give a more rounded profile.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 03, 2005, 10:14:00 AM
David, clarify on your fades.  You are going from thick/skinny to wide/thin over 3 to 5", and getting it to bend back into this taper?  Don't you run the risk of a crack where the fibers end in the fade?  I had a crack on my fade once, where it was bending into the width-tapered area.  Now I just sneak it up and leave it within 1 or 2" of the taper.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Torsten on March 03, 2005, 10:27:00 AM
I am impressed about your enthusiasm.

I have some GOOD juniper staves in my garage. I need to admit that I am missing an added value for myself gained to make someting definitely new and unseen compared to my own recurve weapons here. After more than 50000 years our bows are really much what they have ever been. Space age materials might make a difference, a little....

Keep your old ideals and have happy hunting
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: kyle on March 03, 2005, 10:41:00 AM
I hope this one goes into the Archives for all to refer back to.  There are great ideas here and its nice to get specs from so many different opinions.  Great topic Mickey!!!

Kyle
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: DCM on March 03, 2005, 10:41:00 AM
Very subtle and long width taper Lennie.  With good osage you don't really need "fades" per se.  If it's 7/8" at the arrow pass you ain't got far to go to get 1 3/8" max width.  With lighter wood you might need as much as 1" diff in width in a transition lenght of as short as 1 1/2" to compensate for that wood's compression weakness.

I don't ever build two bows azacky the same but this pic is as close as I have on handle.

 http://home.midsouth.rr.com/ddmims/bcb1.JPG

 http://home.midsouth.rr.com/ddmims/bcb2.JPG
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Tom Leemans on March 03, 2005, 10:54:00 AM
For a composite bow:
(1) Osage with possibly a locust core
(2) 64" NTN
(3) Rigid (prolly)
(4) 4" bulbous handle
(5) 2" fades
(6) Full width to mid limb taper to 1/2" nocks
(7) 1-1/4" wide at fade
(8) Asymetrical (top limb 1-1/2" longer
(9) Semi rounded belly
(10) Bamboo backed
(11) Floppy arrarest
(12) Cow horn overlays
(13) Reflex/Deflex
(14) Spar Urethane finish
(15) Leather wrapped or laced handle (depending on mood)
(16) Flemish string (I like 450+)

Selfbow:
Same basic specs except the limbs may be a bit wider and be, most likely, reflex only. I'd still put cow horn overlays on it for durability. If sinew didn't make this a "composite", I'd back it with sinew (also for durabilty).

and they'd both be around 55#. No more than 60#.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 03, 2005, 11:00:00 AM
I see what you mean David, you're not really putting a lot of stress into a dead end on those fades.  My problem was on a hickory bow as I recall, and the short fade (1.5") and large change in width (1" to 1.75") probably did contribute to it cracking.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 03, 2005, 11:23:00 AM
David, Lennie..isn't that abrubt change exactly what you would see in a Pyramid style bow? 1 in to 3"? i don't remember seeing particularly long transition area/fades on the pyramids I have seen.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 03, 2005, 11:36:00 AM
Yep Mickey and you would want to guard against bending into those type of fades I would think.  Not a guaranteed failure but taking a chance on a crack.  A more gradual fade would be more aesthetically pleasing on a wide pyramid.  More of a diamond shape that way.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 03, 2005, 11:40:00 AM
Quote
Originally posted by DCM:
[QB] Very subtle and long width taper Lennie.  With good osage you don't really need "fades" per se.  If it's 7/8" at the arrow pass you ain't got far to go to get 1 3/8" max width.

David exactly..in the design I listed going from a 7/8" arrow pass to a 1 1/8" max limb width, there is really no room for a fade it's more a subtle blending from handle to limb. Looks almost like a D bow where the handle and limb are same width, but it's not.

Something not mentioned was handle depth and on the rigid handles I assume most are going for a 1 1/4 to 1 1/2" depth whereas on mine it is more like 3/4"-7/8" depth. Again dropping from a 3/4" depth to a 5/8" limb thickness does not leave any room for a dip, but again a subtle blending of handle and limb.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 03, 2005, 12:22:00 PM
Mickey other than aesthetics, do you favor this handle style for any functional reasons?  I gotta think the "average" design is a bit more overbuilt for osage, than your narrow limbs.  Guess you're likely to be picking up another couple of inches of working limb with you design.

I'm going more to try and focus more on bendy handle bows myself.  Something I've done little of to date.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Jim Hamm on March 03, 2005, 12:39:00 PM
Mickey pestered me till I dropped in and gave my two cents worth :-)

Osage, for durability and resistance to moisture.
70-72" for 29" draw for durability and accuracy.
Narrow limbs, rigid handle, and tiny tips for speed and reducing hand shock.
Flat belly for reduced string follow.
B-50 or if we're gonna be hardcore, linen.
Paraffin finish for max moisture protection.

This is essentially the type of bow I've been using for years, for everything from elk on down. It's the most durable, accurate, forgiving, and lethal, at least for me and the way I hunt....

Jim
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 03, 2005, 12:51:00 PM
Thanks Jim   ;)  It has been sorta floated around that you purposely whip tiller your bows. Is that true and if so why?

Lennie, I like minimalist equipment, light weight and simple and that design lets me use the least amount of wood unless I went to a straight D bow.It also lets me get away with a shorter piece of wood because 8" is not being used up in handle and fades. The semi bendy handle shoots a little smoother than a straight D. Because it is so narrow, the sinew helps it maintain it's side profile which is basically flat with a little flip at the tips,otherwise it would follow the string at least in the first 1/3 of the limb where Scifres et al are leaving a little extra wood to prevent just that.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: trashwood on March 03, 2005, 12:56:00 PM
hmmm OK if it has to last five yrs as my only bow I'd have to have a lots of the bow working.

for my 27" draw i'd like a 50#er

bodark

60" ntn

stave from a 12" diameter stove pipe.

1/2" nocks no overlays

1&3/8" wide tapering last 1/3 of limb to nocks.

tuck the handle area in 1/4" to 1&1/8"

tiller with the handle working but not circular.

not fades really and no step upto the handle.  one smooth (more or less) taper from tip to center of bow like some of the east coast bows

i would expect (and accept) 1" to 1&1/2" of set.  I don't want much reflex if bow is to go for 5 yrs hard shooting and hunting.

good ratio on the rings.  stave from the side of log closest to the heart.  I like to have a leggy tree with a 72" run or longer.  I want to stay as far away from the butt and top as I can.  60" right out of the middle.  top of log gets too tension-y and butt of log get to comprasion-y

skinny tips give ya more speed and less hand shock but as less reliable over all.  stiff handle is sweeter shooter but requivers working less limb more and a wider limb.  ya are more likely to work a week spot in a shorter wider working limb.  work more of narrower limb and ya can likely get around weak spots or at leat have fewer of them since ya got a narrower shorter bow.

the thing I want first and for most out of a self bow I gotta shoot for five yrs as my only bow is reliability.  I'd have to go with the Indian bows.  give up a little speed and sweetness for a bow that would be there with what it's got when I need it.  it want be a dog ort a fireball.  solid as a rock

rusty
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: trashwood on March 03, 2005, 01:41:00 PM
Jim's bows look whip tillered but to my eye if ya take away the long stiff mid bow the likmb is tillered evenly stressed the lenght of the limb.  Just looks whipped cause of the long stiff center (but I don't know for sure).

I have made a couple of the Hamm bows and they do have a lot to say for themselves......except they are loooonnnnnggggg! but great shooters.

the bos that I have whip tiller were roman candles.  went like a fire ball for a while but petered out.  maybe i did it wrong.

rusty
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Jim Hamm on March 03, 2005, 01:44:00 PM
Mickey

I generally make overly long bows, in the 70-74" range. I whip tiller them a bit to make up for all the moving mass in such a long limb. That way, I get the advantage of the length - accurate and forgiving - without the handshock and reduced speed of a really long working limb.

Rusty

Yeah, tips too tiny would be prone to damage when you fall down (which I do pretty regularly) or the tip accidentally hits a branch or the ground during a shot. I'd make pretty robust tips if that was my only bow for five years....

Excellent info in this thread. The overall bowmaking skill level now is just amazing compared to even ten years ago.

Much to learn....

Jim
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: mmgrode on March 03, 2005, 04:19:00 PM
Hey fellas,
    Here's my favorite design at the moment:

1. Hickory
2. 64" ntn
3. rigid
4. 4.5"
5. 3" fades
6. 1.75" from fades to shortly past midlimb and tapering to .75" at nocks
7. 1.75"
8. even length
9. flat belly
10. sturgeon skin(beautiful and durable)
11. leather string arrow rest wrap w/ fur plate
12. no overlays
13. straight profile
14. Spar urethane or polyurethane except on handle

15. no handle wrap(I like to feel the wood on the grip when I shoot)

16. B-50

I also prefer my bows in the 50-55lb range at 27" draw.  God bless,
           Matt G.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: crosseye on March 03, 2005, 05:25:00 PM
this is some great info...not to hijack the thread, but i went out last weekend to cut some osage but was unable to at the moment...too wet and gooey...anyhow, i have lots a good ash wood...how about your best design for an ash bow following the same specs of this thread?  thanks in advance for the info.

stan
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: George Tsoukalas on March 03, 2005, 06:29:00 PM
Oops. That's what I meant, Ferret. jawge
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Linc on March 03, 2005, 07:46:00 PM
More or less with me each piece of wood determines what it's gonna be.But actually my latest Whatchamacallit is turning out to be a favorite. 56"NTN bend in the handle penobscot pyramid, with a single layer of sinew.Semi static tips.45#@28" that throws an arrow like a 50-55#er.Smooth drawing with minimal hand shock.1 3/8" tapering to 7/16 at the tips.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Huntrdfk on March 03, 2005, 07:53:00 PM
This is a timely post for me, as I am getting ready to start my first osage bow in the next week or so. I feel fortunate to be able to have references like this from so many experienced
bowyers.  Thanks to everyone who has answered, and to Mickey for starting this post.

David
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Dano on March 03, 2005, 08:03:00 PM
Good luck to ya David.  :thumbsup:  

"Whatchamacallit" is a cool bow, doesn't fit the mold and that's just fine.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: clintopher on March 03, 2005, 08:14:00 PM
You know, this thread has kicked my mind into scientific overdrive, so here's what I've come up with.

Everybody make a bow to there specs, send it to me, and in 5 years I'll tell you which one was the ultimate bow.  :D  

Clint
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 03, 2005, 09:17:00 PM
Stan an excellent design for ash is 4" handle 2" fades, 1 3/4" wide at fades to mid limb tapering to 1/2" tips 68" ntn flat belly (actually this is a good design for nearly any white wood.)Ash makes a pretty bow, the feathering on the belly and dips is awesome and it takes a stain well. I know you shoot in the mid 40's @ 28" and that is very doable in that design.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Shaun on March 03, 2005, 09:50:00 PM
I wish this thread would finish up with a statistical consensus so I can build one. With only 2 completed I can't add much for opinions, but I'm ready to try making the universal bow that is being discribed here.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: RB on March 03, 2005, 10:00:00 PM
Just so that I am on the right learning track here....is it safe to say that the composite specs that Mickey compiled from your posts...more 'performance' built rather than the classic 'overbuilt' (for durability & performance)? I am asking this after seeing many specifying their width to 1/3 of limb rather than to mid-limb (or just past). Or have many of you learned an ideal compromise between durably-overbuilt, and durably-high performance?

Is 'full width to one-third' a feature that best be used on only osage rather than whitewood bows? Just trying to learn about this :-)
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Glasspoint on March 04, 2005, 12:47:00 AM
Lots to take in here  :notworthy:  !

FWIW, here's mine

50# elm, 66" NTN, from a 3" dia. max slightly snakey sapling. Center 1/3- 1 1/2" mol wide tapering to 1/4" nocks, semi rigid handle with a hand placement indicator and a wiggle at the arrow pass to help with paradox.

Flat belly, rawhide and sinew wrap-on nocks, air backing, no handle wrap, finished with parafin or Watco oil and furniture wax. Give it an inch or so of set and string'er up with one of Calvin's flemish strings.

Critiques?.......Please?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 04, 2005, 07:27:00 AM
RB the full to 1/3 is new to me too but from what John was sayingon page 2 I believe, makes some sense to have extra wood working where you need it most to prevent cast robbing follow, from fade to 1st 3rd of the limb and then less out on the end where you need it least in the last 2/3's. Sort of a straight taper from the fade with a litle support in the 1st 1/3 of the limb. I think your description could be very accurate being more "performance' built than "over built".  Every design is a compromise in some areas over the ideal design, and the ideal design depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want rock solid reliability at the expense of some performance you overbuilt, if you want performance above all you build to the edge and give up some reliability. I hope John et al come back on and chime in.

Shaun I think it was back on page 4 that i ran the statistical numbers on the ideal bow for this group, and although a few have added their numbers since then, they were in line with the others enough not to alter the "average". Here it is:

Osage, 64" ntn, rigid 4" handle, 1 1/2" fades, full width for 1/3 of the working limb length then tapering to the tip, even length limbs, slightly rounded belly, unbacked, with a leather glued up rest and some kind of bone overlays on the tips. It would have a more or less straight profile, be sealed with true-oil,have a leather handle covering and a flemish string. String material was interestingly split evenly between dacron and a ff type material.

Glasspoint nothing wrong with your design that I see other than 1 1/2" wide might be a little skinny for elm with a semi rigid handle. If it was a D bow, bend thru the handle I think the 1 1/2" would be good with a slight 1/4" narrowing at the handle for your arrow pass. The flat belly would be a good idea on such a high crown sapling.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: John Scifres on March 04, 2005, 08:27:00 AM
Someone PMed me the following question.   I'm posting it here because I think it belongs:

 
Quote
Could you or someone you know well make some translations to hickory? I don't have any osage and would like make a good hickory one. I didn't want to ask on the thread 'cause it seems that you pro's should be doing all the talking on there. I don't understand the latitude a builder has for fade lengths and one third or midlimb on the tapers.
 
Hickory is fairly variable in its density so you must judge it (usually subjectively) first. Heavy wood just feels heavier than lighter wood. Let the wood speak to you  If you want to play it safe, make it at least 1.75" wide for half the limb, tapering to 1/2" nocks. Make it 70" total length. Make your handle 4" and your fades 2".

The concept behind the latitude a bowyer has is that each piece and type of wood is different. A bowyer must judge it if he wants to live close to the margin between a bow being as efficient as possible and a bow being broken. If you are new, just follow the overbuilt design above. As you learn more about woods, you can start pushing the envelope.

As for the variability in carrying full width to different parts of the limb, that is aimed at putting the most wood where it does the most good. Again, the balance thing. If you put more wood where the bow limb is doing the most work, set is minimized and efficiency is maximized.

The bow I specified in the thread is overbuilt by maybe 10% for average osage but I was told to make it be the bow I am going to shoot for 5 years. I don't want it to break. There are much more efficient, yet less safe, design that I would use if I were designing a bow for speed.

John
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: John Scifres on March 04, 2005, 08:40:00 AM
RB,

Overall length of bow makes a difference too.  For a 68" or less bow, carrying the length to 1/3 for osage is not a marginal design, it is somewhat overbuilt.  

Thinking in terms of pushing the envelope, a very fast design is the Holmegard.  Look at this article   Holmegard article (http://www.primitivearcher.com/articles/engelm.html)  which kinda shows you some of the ideas in the extreme.  While this one is overbuilt some, this design can really push the envelope, especially on lighter woods.

Glasspoint, I made an elm 2" wide and it still took more set than I like.  I'd go wider.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 04, 2005, 10:59:00 AM
Here's a good rule of thumb for working with woods you are not familiar with. Start with an overbuilt design as in the board bow instructions on John's website. 68" ntn 1 3/4" wide at fade carried to mid limb tapering to 1/2" tips 4" rigid handle and 2" fades. If you build a bow of this design and it takes little set but is doggy and slow with poor cast you'll know it is overbuilt and the wood can take more. Build the next one a little shorter and a little narrower. Say 66" ntn and 1 5/8" wide. Again look at set, and cast. If it can take more, go shorter and narrower 64" and 1 1/2" wide.

We know from experience that whitewoods generally require a minimum of 68" and 1 3/4 wide for efficiencey (the exception being some of the hickories)

Because of the density and strength in both tension and compression an osage bow built to those dimensions would take little set but would be doggy and have poor cast so we go smaller looking for the optimum combo which it seems most of the bowyers have agreed on as being 64" and 1 3/8" wide.

Length of handle and fades are often personal design choices but the longer the handle and fade the less working limb you have and vice versa the extremes being a 10" non working section in a 5" handle and 2 1/2" fades vs a complete working section in a D bow or bend thru the handle bow. The more wood you have working the less wood you need which is why a d bow could be 60" long or less where a bow with a stiff handle section might need 68" or more.

We generally figure 2 X draw length for working wood  PLUS a little safety margin of say 10%. SO in a D bow if you have a 28" draw that would be 2x28=56 +5" for safety = 61". In a rigid handled bow with an 8" non bending section that would be 2X28=56 + 5" for safety + 8" of non bending wood = 69" for a 28" draw. Because of osage's toughness you could fudge these numbers a bit to the low side and because whitewood isn't as tough you'd want to fudge these numbers a bit to the high side.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: StephenR on March 04, 2005, 11:50:00 AM
I have a Hickory bow started that is 66" long and 2" at the fade,2" at mid limb and then tapers to 1/2" tips.I was told the handle is too long.What is normal 4" handle and 2" for each fade,8" overall???

Stephen
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 04, 2005, 12:12:00 PM
Stephen that would be very average. You almost need 4" for a handle to fit your hand in there (Scifres and Hackbow both said they use a 3 1/2" handle but everyone else said 4") so the only option is fade length. Most opt for either 1 1/2" or 2" fades for 7-8" of non bending wood overall.

I don't know who told you your handle was too long, but I would disagree with them. I think it's just about right in a rigid handled design.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: John Scifres on March 04, 2005, 12:18:00 PM
The part of my hand that grips the bow is about 3.25".  The fleshy part is maybe 3/4" over that but it doesn't do any real work holding the bow.  I'd call my hands average size.  You know what they say about guys with big hands, don't you?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: John Scifres on March 04, 2005, 12:19:00 PM
They wear big gloves.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Hackbow on March 04, 2005, 01:33:00 PM
Hey....I wear big gloves!

Seriously my hand is 4.25" across at that point, but I prefer to grip the bow with just the first two (sometimes three) fingers wrapped around the handle along with the base of the thumb. That's how I manage to use a smaller, rigid handle area. That, in addition to my shorter fades, effectively increases the length of the working limbs. I do usually achieve the higher end of average set (1-1/2 to 2"), but that seems to add a measure of shootability to an otherwise short bow. I just don't like really long bows, so I'm looking for the ways that will keep them under 62" and be pleasurable to shoot.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 04, 2005, 04:13:00 PM
Good point John and Darren about the fleshy part of the hand not doing any work (ok I ran down and measured across my hand, just under 3 1/2"). I too use the "Mims grip" (a thumb and 2 finger med high grip with a pinky or two extended)and could probably get away with a 3 1/2" handle area but you know those "suitcase grip purists" would never get their hands in there ha ha

Wow now look I'm going to have to build another bow completely out of my comfort zone...3 1/2" rigid handle, 1 1/2" fades, full width for 1/3 of the working limb.

Ok have a question on that gentlemen. Are you counting the working limb from end of handle to tip, end of handle to nock slot, end of fade to tip, end of fade to nock slot? Not that it's going to make a whole lot of difference, but just for definition sake.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Hackbow on March 04, 2005, 04:45:00 PM
Mickey....I try to get the limb moving somewhere IN the fade. I like the thought of having the movement end in a transitional area vs. an abrupt point. Theoretically, that makes it seem like a softer landing for the limb. That, combined with the set I get and a heavy arrow gives me an very smooth shooting bow for the length.

I try to leave the last 1-1/2" or so a *little* stiff making the limb tips just a hair thicker than the previous part of the limb, while still tapering the width down. It's similar to introducing another fade, but not nearly as drastic as a Holmegaard or Meare Heathe, or whichever one has the double fade and long, stiff limb tips. This does take a tiny bit away from the working limb and is one of the contributing factors to the set, but I believe that's where I gain a little performance back. Most of these results are still conjecture as I haven't built that many bows, but I like the ones that I've done like this.

Oh, and I don't make many exact measurements, so most of this is guessing. After floor tillering, I just faithfully go back and forth between tree and scale as I pull the excess off. I think I started using this basic design because I cut too deep with a draw knife once and just made adjustments as I went. I certainly didn't plan it to come out that way.   :knothead:
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 04, 2005, 04:51:00 PM
I call working limb, from fade to tip.  But I only get things working to within an inch of the fade.  Although you guys are giving me other ideas.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: tom sawyer on March 04, 2005, 04:52:00 PM
Darren you have a Catch-22 with a short bow.  You need to make the tips a little stiffer to help with string angle and prevent stacking, but you're already dealing with a minimal amount of working limb.  Thats where a static tip design helps.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Hackbow on March 04, 2005, 04:57:00 PM
Lennie, I've got the perfect stave set aside for the sole purpose of making a performance static. I'll be VERY careful with that one and the measurments.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: RB on March 04, 2005, 09:20:00 PM
Few more questions:
1. The majority state that they prefer a rigid handle, which is about an 8" non-working portion, and this preference is coupled with a length that is on average, 64" which is 'fudging' quite a bit (~ 5 ") below the ~69" guidelines [@28"] that are published in many references. So here are two parameters that coupled together are reducing the amount of working bow by about a foot.

When this is considered with the prevalent concept that a bendy handle or semi-bendy handle provides *more* working wood...., what has (recently?) been learned about osage design that permits this seeming contradiction of maximizing the amount of working bow? Yet it sure sounds convincing that this design has been optimized by the one-two punch of a (a) powerhouse 1/3rd working portion and (b) the arrow flipping, light weight pyramidal 2/3rds outer limb and narrow tips.

2.Is the preference for rigid handles related only to reducing felt handshock? What else? Because to a novice (me! :-)it seems that the surrender of a foot of length just to lower handshock is 'pinching' the limits in a way that seems less elegant than simply letting the bow bend more along it's length and using a cushioned handle. Help me out with this. Maybe the answer to this is in the first question :-)

3.. Back to the One-third working limb: How is this design tillered? Is the 1/3 portion tillered elliptical and the remaing 2/3's tillerd just like a Pyramid design - circular (except the tips)? If so, why doesn't the outer 2/3rds take more set, since it's bending more and has much less width? I haven't studied this bow anywhere; could someone post some pictures of one at full draw?

4.. I noticed that most of you guys whipped out the 1/3rd working limb pretty fast as if it's a pretty common design, yet Mickey and Lennie find it interesting...or *new* to them (which made me feel better...). How new is it? And who gets the credit for first using it? I think Scifres noted that these composite specs made it a Torges bow, but is this 'one-third limb' a Torges attribute?

I'm asking way too many novice questions...; sorry. Just tackle what you feel like. As you can tell, it's still muddy to me...but mighty interesting!  :-)
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 05, 2005, 07:20:00 AM
Roy, you are like a sponge for knowledge...I love that. Not sure I can answer them all but I'll tackle what I feel I can.

(1) Most guys prefer hunting with a shorter, thinner bow, a by product of our culture where 56" bows are now called longbows.

they also prefer a rigid handled bow for 2 reasons IMO (a) smoother shooting (b) it's more like the glass bows they were shooting before going to self bows

osage is so tough in tension and compression that it will let you get away with that 5" fudge factor you were speaking of whereas a red oak like your first bow would either take horrible set or just fail completely. It's not ususual to hear of a guy building a rigid handled osage bow for a 28" draw only 60" long ntn but that is really pushing the envelope (but proves it can be done).

The one third wider limb would be tillered a standard elliptical tiller, as there would be too much wood to bend thru the handle. I too would expect any follow to be in the outer 2/3 of the limb, which would be the purpose of leaving extra wood in the 1st 1/3 of the limb. A little follow in the first 1/3 translates to a lot of follow in the tips if it is not controlled. The extra width length would be that controlling factor.

The 1/3 wider working limb design is definitly a new one on me and I have studied bow design for years. It is not described by Torges, at least not in HOB where he describes a slight convex line going straight from 1 5/8" fade circle to 5/8" tip circle. I have many reference books and can find no link to this design anywhere.

We are all novices at this and I get to learn everyday. It's still exciting to me.

Roy if you would, please email me huuntinsticks@fuse.net I have a question for you
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 05, 2005, 07:50:00 AM
Lennie try this experiment. Put one of your bows on the tiller tree. Take a 10" slat of wood and lay it centered on the back of the bow's handle. Now work the bow with a tiller string and see if you don't get movement thru your fades up to your handle. A gap will open up under the 10" slat if the fades are working. I use this to check all bows that i make to see if I am getting movement far enough into the fade. I would be real suprised if you are not getting movement into that area. If you are not, you should.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: George Tsoukalas on March 05, 2005, 07:53:00 AM
RB, the bend in the handle  design has put more  meat on the table over the millenia than any other design combined including the glass and compound bows.  I used to think that it would yield more handshock. Brad Smith set me straight on that. When properly tillered it won't. It's also the easiest for the beginner  to get a first bow. It's also the easiest to make with stone tools. Economy of effort is a prime anthroplogical term. The ancients aren't gonna spend 1 year making a horn bow to hunt deer at 15 yards. Too much effort-no need for  it. The 21st century selfbowyer has preferences in bows that are sometimes based on other reasons besides putting meat on the table with as little effort as possible and aesthetics are chief among them. My point is don't apologize for liking and making a simple bend in the handle bow. Jawge
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 05, 2005, 08:01:00 AM
Jawge I met Roy at Kyboys stump shoot. A real knowledgable fella especially when it comes to flint knapping. I saw his first bow there, a red oak board bow. Very well made, good tiller. His goal is to make a bow with stone tools, knap his own head, harvest arrow shoots and make the arrow. Totally primitive. Bendy handled bows are in his future. I believe he is building his knowledge base now on bow dynamics before plunging head first into this bottomless pit of bowyery. Poor guy. LOL
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Dano on March 05, 2005, 08:07:00 AM
:bigsmyl:  Mickey, you can remember Roy when he was sane, huh.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 05, 2005, 08:13:00 AM
LOL yep but he's walking on very thin ice dano..the more questions, the thinner the ice..been there, fell through LOL
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Adam Keiper on March 05, 2005, 08:23:00 AM
(1) Osage - Because it's forgiving, durable, moisture resistant stuff that can take most of what I can throw at it.  I don't want just any osage.  I want the dead straight, blemish free, really dense, dark orange stuff with 1/8" rings and super thin early wood.  (Can all that exist in one stave?)
(2) NTN length - Somewhere between 60" and 62".  I like 60" for hunting in trees and from brush blinds, but 62" bows draw smoother.  Not positive I can shoot the longer one a whole lot more accurately, though.  Heck with it, we're hunting...60".  My weight would be 62# @ 25".
(3) Handle design: Rigid bulbous
(4) Handle length: 4" long x 1-3/8" deep x 7/8" wide, or a smidge above at the pass...let's call it 29/32".
(5) fade length: 1-3/8".  I like the limb bending into the fade a little as well.  I've got it right when I can see the grip rise up off the tillering tree at full draw.
(6) Limb design: Full width to 8", tapering in a convex arc to 15/32" wide tips.  (I like 13/32" to 7/16" widths when using overlays, but a little wider if I don't use them.  I'm not using them here, though.)
(7) Limb width at fade: 1-1/2".
(8) Limb length: Upper limb 1-3/8" longer than the lower.
(9) Belly type: Healthy radius, because I think it's somewhat tougher than flat w/ fairly square edges and 'cause I just like it.
(10) Backing: None, though I usually like snakeskins.  Don't want the glue line.  I'll burnish the back heavily instead.
(11) Rest type: Glued leather.
(12) Overlays: Again, I usually add them, but if I've only got one bow for 5 years, I don't want the liability (even if it's small) of a glue line.
(13) Profile: Slight unbraced reflex
(14) Finish: Thunderbird Endurance Epoxy
(15) Handle Covering: Stitched leather sealed with melted paraffin.  Leather to provide "some" vibration dampening and texture for a solid grip, and to serve as a reference to hand placement.  Paraffin to keep moisture out of it.
(16) String type and material: Flemish Dyna 97, 14 strands with 4 extra strands braided into each loop. (Only 2 extra strands if I was using overlays.)  Nice string material.  Durable, no stretch, lowest hand shock, speedy.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Dano on March 05, 2005, 08:23:00 AM
:bigsmyl:  The water's fine come on in. Mickey I've enjoyed this post, great conversation.  :thumbsup:  How's your back?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: RB on March 05, 2005, 08:53:00 AM
Thanks Jawge and Mickey. I've learned volumes in the past 2 months from you two guys.

Jawge, on the subject of handshock, my red oak board bow is your 'slightly stiffened handle' option and only has a simply leather lacing wrapped handle. Five guys shot it yesterday with a rose shoot arrow and not one mentioned that they felt any jolts. As I was telling Mickey via email, if I nock and release correctly, I only feel a soft push when the arrow releases. Don't really feel anything, tell you the truth. Delightful little bow.

I'm not advocating anything here in view of theme of this thread (ultimate bow) but I got off onto this out of curiosity over the preference for stiffened handles. BTW, the rose shoot took dead-on 12 yrd impacts with 5/8ths plywood repeatedly and held up. Cracked but never busted. 2 shots completely penetrated  the plywood. Multiple shots, same arrow.
After ~400 shots, the bow still has no back or belly damage, and has 1.5 inches string follow. Good learning experience for me so I can go to the next level. Yeah...some yella wood.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: trashwood on March 05, 2005, 08:58:00 AM
RB - I am a bendy habdle bowyer.  That is all I build.  George and Mickey wrote a fine explaination of bendy handle bows in todays bowhunting.  

A point that ya need to keep in mind is that there there is no handle really.  we are used to and like the fact that on a stiff handle bow there is supim to "hold" onto.  a nice hand filling grip.  On a true bendy handle there ain't no hand filling grip.  there is hardly a grip at all.  this might take wome getting used to.  There is no locator, no dish to get your hand into the exact same place ever time.  

Since the bendy bows are thin thru the grip it is harder to fashion an arrow rest.

all the above withstanding I fell in love with 'em skinny, thin, bendy sticks.  ya can build them easily with a "box of rocks", or a pocket knife.  They don't take a shop full of tools.

When ya add the simplicity of the bow to tghe facts in George's post the abo bows speak to me.  

Now the girp does have some plus sides to it.  the bow talks to you thru the grip.  Ya soon learn to feel with your bow hand what the bow is say.  ya know when your at full draw from your anchor and your bow hand.

As  for hand shock - I can't tell that there is any more than a stiff handle handle.  In fact I have felt a lot more hand shock from some stiff handle than I have ever felt in any bendy handle.  On the other hand I don't build 66" bendy handle.  I liek to build them at twice the draw lenght plus 2".

rusty
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Randy Morin on March 05, 2005, 09:02:00 AM
Awesome thread!  Thanks Ferret.  I finally decided on a Hickory board the other day (my first) and roughed out two bows.  First one is Tim Bakers recently posted bendy handle and the second is Ferrets design from his how to web-site.  I started tillering the first bow with a slach string yesterday and I think I need to brace it a few inches now.  Be nice to have a teacher right about now standing over my shoulder showing me "the way". Or at least "a way".  If any of you masters has a second I would love to try and ask one question.  I'm satisfied with my "top view" looks but not with my "profile looks".  Since I roughed it out I keep looking at the transition area at mid limb (thickness) and even though I cut it out on a bandsaw following the lines correctly it looks to me like a weak spot where the steeper thickness taper coming from the handle meets the more flatter taper going to the tips.  What should this area look like when you site down your bow limb?  I know it shouldnt be a sharp angled transition but a strait taper all the way to the fades is impossible too. I hope this makes atleast a little sense.  I should be gettin after it this evening.  Oh yeah and how does Tim Baker complete a shooter bow in under 10 minutes?!!!!. Reading that was discouraging.  Thank You All.  Randy.   :bigsmyl:
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: trashwood on March 05, 2005, 09:03:00 AM
BTW that twice the draw plus 2" is out of Yellar Rose of Texas bodark of course  :)

rusty
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: DCM on March 05, 2005, 09:12:00 AM
Randy, being able to make a bow in 10 minutes is simply a matter of being intimately familiar with one's material and tools, like a good piece of lumber and a bandsaw.  It turns out of you can cut it close enough to the shape of a finished bow, it is a finished bow.  On a more practical note, after you've made and studied wood bows for a while, you can just about take a Ferrier's rasp and make a bow already floor tillered without ever trying it.  I just run my fingers down the limb judging the thickness, and eyeball the rest like limb width and stuff.  It's amazing how aacurate this intuition becomes.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Ray on March 05, 2005, 09:28:00 AM
Excellent post,just read the whole thing(3cups of coffee)worth.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: clintopher on March 05, 2005, 09:42:00 AM
Dag 'on Adam.  I don't have a pencil sharp enough to mark 1/32.  :notworthy:  

Clint
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 05, 2005, 09:59:00 AM
Randy basically put there should never be ANYTHING abrupt on a bow, not an area where one gets rapidly or abruptly thicker than the next, not an edge anywhere, not in the string grooves,not on the tips nowhere.... all wood should flow and be rounded. Any hard edge or abrubt change is either a weak spot, a place where a splinter can lift, or a place that can cut a string. Smooth and round, ebb and flow

Here is a pic of some handle types..the 2 on the left are bend thru the handle designs, barely thicker than the limb itself, the 2 middle ones are semi bendy handled, not thin enough to bend throughout but thin enough to give a little at full draw, and the 2 on the right are rigid handles, too thick to bend. Notice there are no abrubt changes or sharp edges anywhere. Ebb and flow

  (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v247/theferret111/handletypes.jpg)
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: George Tsoukalas on March 05, 2005, 10:20:00 AM
RB, that design bow you made is about as good as it gets. I'm making one for Brad with the same design. Simple and reliable. Doubt if it will break speed records but it will get the job done. Glad you made a shooter. Nice feeling isn't it? You'll be using stone tools on bonearrers before you know it. Thank you for the kind words. Jawge
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: John Nail on March 05, 2005, 10:37:00 AM
Pretty much the R/D bamboo backed Osage design that Dean Torges perfected, but since you added the caveat that it was the ONLY bow I could hunt with for the next 5 years, I would make it out of at least three laminations of osage, taking it out of the strict "selfbow" catagory. 66"NTN around 55lbs@28" with a crowned shelf, slight locator grip leather covered. Sealed with 10 thin coats of wipe on Poly, and then waxed.
I'd hunt with it rain or shine.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 05, 2005, 11:09:00 AM
Well John the thread title does say Ultimate Wooden bow and not selfbow because selfbow only would be too limiting in scope excluding lots of backings and overlays I suppose, so your bow fits right in, although as Adam said not sure that if you really needed to depend on something over a number of years that you'd want that many glue lines, points of possible failure. Even Dean has admitted that for durabiltity a one piece wooden bow has the edge over a laminated bow and if he could only pick one it would be a selfbow. Interesting huh?

I am curious though...why 3 laminations of osage? What advantages do you see having multiple layers of wood and which direction or cuts of grain would you use?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: trashwood on March 05, 2005, 11:43:00 AM
Hmmmm I'm beginning to understand why it is that when to bowhunting bowyers put there brains together ya get less the half the sum of the total brains.  :)

With my half wit brain and wood working skills less than a trained monkey I hve found it easy to make a nice quick BBO but a bit harder to make the bamboo hold together thru very hard use.  I'm sure it is my lack of knowledge and skill using bamboo.....but I never said I was a bowyer.  

I shot a lot and hunt quite a bit.  My 5 year bow is got to be solid as a rock.  that is why I didn't back it with anything but air.  I have found with out a doubt that Mother nature backs a bow with bodark much better than I can back a bow with anything else (well maybe not glass)

rusty
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Homan on March 05, 2005, 12:06:00 PM
I've had bamboo lift a splinter off a node after it got knocked on a rock, so I agree with you Rusty.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 05, 2005, 12:17:00 PM
Rusty in my example I said I'd back my bow with a single layer of sinew. Here's my thinking behind that. The sinew would make the bow durn near indestuctible and help it maintain it's side profile over the long haul helping it maintain it's performance. That is a best case scenario. Now I realize that if my sinew got wet, it could possibly lift. Then, lets go with a worst case scenario ..I get caught in torrential 3 day rain, by hide glue gets drenched, softens and my sinew lifts entirely. Ugly as heck, but don't I still have a good 1 growth ring back on my osage underneath? May lose a couple of pounds, but I shouldn't lose my bow entirely. Is this an acceptable risk for the benfits that the sinew gives it when dry?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: trashwood on March 05, 2005, 12:34:00 PM
Absolutely Mickey.  I'd likely do the same exact thing.  when winew is a liablity is when ya put a lot of pre-stress in the bow before ya sinew it.

if a bow is not pre-stress and a modest amount of sinew put on the back it is a dandy, hard hunting, bullet proof bow.  it is the bow that I build today mostly.  i think I would put a lenght  stipulation in the formula.  there is a length bow that sinew (if not pre-stressed alot) does not carry it's on weight.  60" osage with a good ring on the back and a modest amount of sinew is likely (IMO) the ulimate wooden bow.  I was just afraid to bring sinew in the mix of "wooden bows")  :)

rusty
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: trashwood on March 05, 2005, 12:37:00 PM
PS - while I think snake skins and catfish skins (esp catfish skin) make the sinew back more weather proof, they don't carry their on weight.  a good massey finish is lighter and almost as bullet proof as skin.  not near as handsome though.

rusty
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 05, 2005, 12:43:00 PM
Agree with everything you've said Rusty.

I have got to try that massey finish. Need someone to do a pictorial on it. How about it Rusty?
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Dano on March 05, 2005, 01:32:00 PM
You guy's just need to try Thunderbird, I think you'll like it.   ;)  


 http://tbirdarchery.com/
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 05, 2005, 02:23:00 PM
Dano in looking over the link, it mentions brush on and spray, but in the instructions for application, only spray. I know the thunderbird gives you a deep rich finish, but I'm not sure about mixing a&b waiting 30 mins add thinner, then cleaning sprayer with Tbird cleaner. Nice finish but looks a little equipment and labor intensive to me.Describe your application process if you will.

I personally found too many problems with spray application (to cold out, too windy, wind changing direction,no spray booth, lack of ventilation in winter) which is why I gave up on sprays and went to hand rubbed tru oil. Tru oil dries in 30 mins and takes 3 coats for a non backed bow or 6 coats for a skinned bow and seems to give a durable finish that is easy to touch up if needed.

Would like to see the application process of the massey finish though too, I've heard good things about it as well.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Dano on March 05, 2005, 02:39:00 PM
Labor intensive, well of course, that's what a good finish is all about to me. Once mixed the finish will be good for a week if kept in the fridge. Temp. in the shop does have to be around 60 deg F. I use a little air brush, very easy to clean, you don't need a compressor, you can use canned propellant. I spray on two coats 2 hours apart and let that dry for two days then wet sand with 400 gr. 6 coats is usually good but over skins it might take 8-10 to get a glass finish.

 I would like to hear about Massey as well, I'm open for something better.  :D
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: John Nail on March 05, 2005, 04:03:00 PM
Mickey, I'd start with an excellent Osage board that was good enough to make a backed board bow from and then cut some laminates from it. The reason being that it would have less tendency to string follow over time. With a 66" bow and Urac, I don't think the glue lines would be a problem. I may be way off base, but it makes sense to me.
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: the Ferret on March 10, 2005, 11:04:00 PM
to top for Shaun
Title: Re: Designing the ultimate wooden bow......
Post by: Shaun on March 10, 2005, 11:43:00 PM
Thanks Mickey, I am starting a build along of the consensus bow from this thread and will post it as a new thread. More to come ...