INFO: Trad Archery for Bowhunters



Author Topic: The Po Boy Buildalong  (Read 2690 times)

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
The Po Boy Buildalong
« on: April 02, 2008, 07:40:00 PM »
Alright, I’m finally going to pony up and take the challenge. This is the po boy buildalong. I need to edit this post here so our southern friends dont think I'm just fixin a sandwich...  :knothead:  
As I mentioned on John Scifres’ thread, I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile. While I love the buildalong threads and ones involving people’s enormous, well equipped workshops, the simple truth is, I’m just not one of those guys (yet)   ;)   . Due to various factors, I’ve found myself living in places that this small town boy would never have dreamed even 5 years ago. But, hey, that’s life, and that’s why its interesting. (I like to joke with people that theres more people living in my apartment building then in the town I grew up in, which isn’t much of an exaggeration.) So even though I’m not in an ideal situation to exercise a lot of my interests and hobbies, sometimes you have to do with what you have and that’s what I want to show here. I’m not doing anything new here, and may rehash things I’ve learned from others but this is my experience that I’d like to share with others that it might help.
This is not meant to be a how to build a selfbow thread. As John mentioned, that’s been done, and I’m by no means an expert or do I have the experience to call myself any kind of innovator. (If you need suggestions on how to make bows that consistently come in at 35# or less or the appropriate colorful language to use when a bow explodes at 27” and hits you in the forehead, feel free to PM me or maybe I could do a separate thread) What I do mean to do is show younger people, people just getting started or people who just don’t have a lot of space or tools how I have dealt with similar problems and kept myself from going insane living in an apartment in the suburbs.
On a less practical level, I like to think it’s a small part of giving back to a great site. I don’t post a lot, but I read almost daily and the buildalongs of all kinds are always my favorites. I’m not a big internet guy but from everything I see, this site is unlike any other, really proficient people sharing skills with guys more like me, never talking down or belittling anyone. I really appreciate it and get a lot of inspiration and new ideas for what my wife calls “my projects”. Wow, I’m getting a little long winded here so lets get to the meat, selfbows in tight spaces……..
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2008, 07:40:00 PM »
Tools
So right up front, this thread is going to boil down to one thing: make do with what you have. Power tools, expensive hand tools and shop space are great, but a lot of guys don’t have em. Read about Glen St. Charles or any other pioneer, they started out with a hatchet and a piece of broken glass or some other limited tools. So basically, everything I show is in some way optional, use what you have or can get at a reasonable price.
I’m a big fan of garage sales, thrift shops etc, a natural cheapskate, so a lot of these things were acquired for little or no money, go out and find yours!
(I’d like everyone to notice that I laid out a nice piece of brain tanned deerskin to photograph my crappy tools. Lipstick on a pig? Maybe. But I’m trying to look like I know what I’m doing)
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2008, 07:42:00 PM »


Hatchet and Drawknife
Some guys seem to be able to rough out bows with a hatchet, I’m not one of them. But occasionally I will use it for that or other rough and dirty jobs. Plus I just love this hatchet (the steel is so hard, my best files will barely touch it) and the price was right. I found it in a gravel pit in the Snoqualamie Range in Washington. I have used it as a wedge with a hammer to split small trees (<5”) into staves. I tend to use the drawknife once a bow is layed out and theres a lot of wood to remove. Don’t remember where I got it but it wasn’t expensive.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2008, 07:43:00 PM »


Rasps
 Ok, yes theres a Nicholson #49 in the middle there, not a po boy tool. But its probably my single favorite bow building hand tool. Smooth and even and amazing. But I did A LOT of rasping with the $8  4in1 rasp below before the Nicholson came from Santa. A couple of bucks for a file card is nice too no matter how much you paid for your rasp.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2008, 07:45:00 PM »


Scrapers
So I bought a Bowyers Edge in a kit some years ago when I got started in all this nonsense. I had it for about 5 years and hated it before I finally figured out how to set the blade properly, now I love it. (Thank you Jeff Struberg. You may not remember me or explaining it to me but you made me a believer) That being said, I’ve recently started using the half scissors idea from Eric Krewson and it works just about as well. Maybe not as comfortable in the hand for long use, but its easy to control, CHEAP and I don’t cringe when I hit big knots with it. Again, lots of knowledge and helpful people on this site.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2008, 07:49:00 PM »


Misc
A few odds and ends, a rubber hand sanding block and some sandpaper, medium up to however fine you like it. A rattail file for string nocks. Another Eric Krewson development, the tillering gizmo which is pretty slick for this kind of bow building. Oh, and I like a cheap chalk line for laying out centers too and a tape measure, couple bucks at the hardware store. All in all I have probably less than $100 invested in the tools here, 50 of which is the rasp. But I think the basics could be had for 20 or 30 bucks if you look around.
One thing you’ll notice is the lack of a pulley system or even a tillering stick. I know, I know, you need them to achieve good tiller. But I don’t have the wall space for a pulley, and haven’t gotten around to the board yet. My method involves the tillering gizmo and the bathroom mirror, again, not ideal but that’s what this is about. Oetzi and Ishi didn’t have tillering sticks, go for it.
Oh and I almost forgot, although theres a wealth of info on the web for selfbows these days, another thread reminded me that Paul Comstocks “The Bent Stick” is how I got started. Its simple, inexpensive and has a lot of good information to get you started.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2008, 07:53:00 PM »


Finally tool storage
The idea is when you do finally get nice things, to take care of them right? Especially if you don’t have the shop space and storage or when you travel to shoots or whittling get togethers. You like those nice roll up canvas tool cases for chisels and rasps and stuff? Me too. But 40 bucks will buy me a new tool instead. I use old socks.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline onemississipp

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 668
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2008, 07:55:00 PM »
I like where your going with this..keep it coming!!
Dustin
_ _ _________________________________ _  _

Offline 4runr

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 6768
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2008, 07:58:00 PM »
Great start! You got us primed.
Kenny

Christ died to save me, this I read
and in my heart I find a need
of Him to be my Savior
          By Aaron Shuste

TGMM Family of the Bow

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2008, 07:59:00 PM »
:)  You're a step ahead of me Dustin. A very similar chair will be appearing in some upcoming photos.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2008, 08:06:00 PM »
Wood
I live in the city but I’m lucky to have some connections. My folks still live back home in northern Wisconsin so holidays sometimes turn into wood hunting expeditions (assuming theres no ACTUAL hunting to be done. No bow wood has been cut in October or November    ;)   ) Not a lot of options up there, but make due with what you have.
My first selfbow was birch. Yep birch. Sinew backed and not heavily shot or admired due to its extreme ugliness but its still together probably 8 years later. I played with black ash next, thinking, hey, that’s close enough to white ash right? Wrong. Too spongy in the summer(I think) growth and just not that tough. Hard lessons (yes multiple, I learn slow) to learn after the number of hours put into a selfbow with all hand tools. Now I’m into some ironwood (or as selfbow types seem to know it, hophornbeam). It doesn’t get that big up north and its hard to find straight, but theres a lot of it, its hard and tough and no one cares if you cut a couple. Plus a 5” hhb splits a lot nicer than those 12” osage you see guys abusing themselves with.  :thumbsup:    I do have some osage I’m working on from billets that I cut from a guys ranch that I worked with when I lived in Texas. (Yes ive done a lot of moving)I see what all the fuss is about, it is SWEET to work. The guy whose ranch I cut the osage on saw me reading Primative Archer. He had some Cherokee in him and asked me if I made bows like that. We were buddies after that. He took me out with a chain saw and even helped split.
The point is, try something, use something local, even if its not what the experts tell you to use. Don't get me wrong, guidelines are great and can save a lot of work and heartache but don’t be afraid to try something. Talk to guys you work with or hunt with or you know from about anywhere, somebody has a straight tree.
Wow I’m getting to be a blowhard, I was worried I wasn’t going to have enough to write when I started this.  :rolleyes:   This is enough typing for one day, I'll get back to it tomorrow hopefully with some action shots showing this all in practice.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2008, 09:56:00 PM »
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline John Krause

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 693
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2008, 10:05:00 PM »
Go, Jared, Go...........
When a man shoots with a bow it is own vigor of body that drives the arrow,  his own mind controls the missile's flight......His trained muscles and toughened thews have done the work

Offline elk ninja

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 1024
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2008, 10:09:00 PM »
Love those socks!  Keep it coming bro!
>>>--Semper-Fi--->

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.
-Abraham Lincoln

Offline bow loving man

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 943
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2008, 10:14:00 PM »
Love this,,,,keep it coming Jared.
"...on earth as it is in heaven..."

Offline bowmaker07

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 52
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2008, 12:08:00 AM »
You've got my attention too Jared; good readin'. I'll be looking for more tomorrow!
Walk softly and carry a bent stick

Offline John Scifres

  • TGMM Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ***
  • Posts: 4448
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2008, 09:57:00 AM »
Allright bud!  That is bowmaking at its essence.  Keep on it.
Take a kid hunting!

TGMM Family of the Bow

Offline Apex Predator

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 3378
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2008, 10:55:00 AM »
I'm glued to my seat buddy.  Keep it coming!
I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables!

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2008, 01:56:00 PM »


The Shop
Well, here it is, my shop. Its an 8’x8’ concrete slab that shares space with the grill, the smoker, the table and whatever else depending on time of year. I originally meant to do this buildalong last summer when everything was leafed out and the tomatoes and peppers were growing, its much more attractive then, although also crowded. Po Boy gardening is not the point of this thread anyway, but its fun too. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have a pork roast or some venison smoking away while you make shavings.
So for bow making purposes, the shop consists mainly of  an $8 folding chair and a Stanley Workmate. The workmates are around a hundred bucks new I think but this is a garage saler for $10. Its nice, but definitely not necessary. I use it mostly when I’m roughing out a stave. I don’t have any staves in the place at the moment so below is a posed shot with a bow a little further along just to show the technique. The way I use it is to clamp the stave in (with an old towel for padding if I’m getting the bow to rough shape), sit behind it, brace the back of the bench with my feet so it doesn’t slide, and start hogging off wood.
This is the hardest part to do without a bandsaw or a solid bench with a vise in my opinion. You want to remove a lot of wood fast so you’re pulling hard. Even braced with feet, the workmate will slide around a little and generally be frustrating but it does the job. Again the bench isn’t required. I did one with sawhorses and the butt of the stave braced against an outside wall (hard on the siding though). Any way you can brace the butt of the stave and hold it in relative comfort will get the job done.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Offline jared s

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 104
Re: The Po Boy Buildalong
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2008, 01:57:00 PM »


 

Here's some action shots showing how I brace the bench while removing wood.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Ferris Bueller

Users currently browsing this topic:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
 

Contact Us | Trad Gang.com © | User Agreement

Copyright 2003 thru 2020 ~ Trad Gang.com ©