Author Topic: Robin bamboo build along  (Read 1318 times)

Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #50 on: July 23, 2014, 01:33:00 PM »
This is my old tillering stick.

 

It's been with me now for 10 years and two or three months when I first started making bows.  Every time I show anybody a picture of this thing in use, it's always followed by gasps of horror and condemnation, so last night I thought I'd spare myself that, and I made myself a tillering tree in the garage.  That required me to do a lot of moving (which in turn lead to cleaning), and I was up until 2 am last night cleaning and rearranging the garage.

Here's a first look at the bow on the tillering tree.

 

And here is the very first pull on this tillering tree.  I pulled it to 40#, and the limbs moved about 3-1/2".

 

Although I used a level when I made that platform the bow is sitting on so I could get it perfectly level, it looks like the bow is leaning to the left a little.  Notice how before I pull it, the left limb is already lower than the right, then when I pull it, the left limb looks weaker than the right.  If I were to even those limbs out before bracing it, I suspect it would result in the right limb (i.e. the upper limb) being too weak, which I wouldn't noticed until I braced it.

I reckon the reason for that lean is that my handle is thicker on the right side than the left side, so I took a file to it to get it level.

 

And here is the result.

 

 

Better, eh?

By the way, I'm giving my tillering stick away if anybody wants it, but you have to come to northwest Austin, Texas to pick it up.
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Offline bubby

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #51 on: July 23, 2014, 07:23:00 PM »
Sam I use locktight professional in the blue bottle, not the gel

Offline bubby

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2014, 07:24:00 PM »
the nice thing is you can start shaping the tips in ten minutes

Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2014, 07:40:00 PM »
Meanwhile in the bat cave. . .

Tillering wasn't all that eventful.  There were no hinges or problem spots or anything like that.  I just removed wood evenly on both limbs until I got to 45# at 10" of limb travel.

 

It still looked to me like that top limb (the one on the right) was too strong, but I wasn't sure, and it was close enough, so I went ahead and strung it.

 

Sure enough, the top limb was too stiff.  I wanted to straighten that out before going any further, so I sanded on the top limb while it was still strung until I got it even.

 

Then I exercised the limbs some and pulled on it until it reached 45#.  It came to 25".  

 

I was shooting for somewhere between 45 and 50# at 28", so I'm almost there.  But I didn't want to go any further until I got your input.  Why go it alone when I could take advantage of your collective expertise?  So tell me what you think and if you have any suggestions.

My next move is to narrow the tips.  I keep them wide until after stringing it so if I need to make any adjustments for alignment, I can.  In this case, the alignment looks good.

 

On recurves, I don't just rely on looking down the string that way because friction can cause the string to be off.  Also, if you pull it back, then relax it, your bow hand can torque the handle a little bit, causing the string to be off, and misleading you about whether the alignment is good.  So what I like to do with recurves is shoot them a little.  I figure when the string is released naturally, that gives you a true indication of whether the alignment is good or not.  If that string isn't dead center on that recurve after shooting it, then I make small adjustments until it is.  Then I cut grooves in those curves for the string to sit in.

I'll wait a while for your input, and if nobody says anything, then I'll keep going.  But please let me know what you think so far about the tiller.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you something.  That crack I put superglue in earlier seems to have disappeared.  I rounded those corners pretty good.  Maybe it wasn't as deeps as I thought it was, and it's gone.  I hope so.  I'm starting to like this bow.
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Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2014, 09:36:00 PM »
Quote
Originally posted by bubby:
Sam I use locktight professional in the blue bottle, not the gel
Why not the gel?  I would think that would fill gaps better in case your joint isn't perfect.
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Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #55 on: July 23, 2014, 09:37:00 PM »
Quote
Originally posted by bubby:
the nice thing is you can start shaping the tips in ten minutes
Yeah, I used to use 5 or 30 minute epoxy for that reason until I started reading about how some people had failures with it.  Luckily, I've never had a tip overlay come loose.
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Offline wood carver 2

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #56 on: July 23, 2014, 10:44:00 PM »
I've been having good success using gel superglue for tip overlays. I just hold them in place for a few minutes with small spring clamps. The gel takes a bit longer to cure than the thin stuff.
Nice looking bow. Thanks to you and Robin for this build along. Too bad bamboo like that isn't available in North America.
Dave.
" Vegetarian" a Native American term for bad hunter.

Offline bigbob2

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #57 on: July 23, 2014, 10:46:00 PM »
I really like this bow and your efforts so far.Keep us informed!

Offline takefive

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #58 on: July 24, 2014, 01:49:00 AM »
Your tiller looks great to me, Sam.  
As far as the Loctite super glue goes, I thought there was just the thick and the thin type.  Evidently they make others?  All I know is that the gel is the thick type and it works great on overlays.
The other day I was at the drug store to get Ibuprofen.  Their rack of pain relievers is 6 feet high by about 8 feet long.  Sometimes I think we are just given too many choices    :rolleyes:
It's hard to make a wooden bow which isn't beautiful, even if it's ugly.
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Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #59 on: July 24, 2014, 11:43:00 AM »
Thanks for the input on the tiller, takefive.

This morning, I narrowed the tips.  If you take more off one side than the other, the tips will be misaligned, so to keep them aligned, I made 3 marks--one in the center, and two where I wanted to grind to.

 

I ended up not grinding all the way to those marks, but I got close.  Then I re-cut the nocks.

Then I continued to tiller.  Each time I removed wood, I exercised the limbs, checked the draw weight, and checked the distance between the string and the limb on both fades.

 

I kept it about even, but as I neared the end, I gave it a 1/16" positive tiller.  Most people seem to prefer a 1/8" positive tiller for shooting split fingered and even for shooting 3-under.  I figured with a 1/16" positive tiller, it could be shot either way.  Honestly, I've shot both ways with the same bow, and I can't tell a difference in noise or vibration or anything.  I prefer a slightly positive tiller because the first bow I made had a weak bottom limb that seemed to get weaker with time, and that left a permanent scar on my psyche.  Now, I subconsciously think that if the top limb is slightly weaker, then it's okay if the bottom limb is under more stress because it'll all even out in the end.  I cannot shake that feeling no matter how many bows I make, even if they are fiberglass bows.  Sometimes I give a bow as much as 1/4" positive tiller because of it.  I wonder if that means I have OCD.

Anyway, as I got closer to my target weight, I started using finer grit sand paper.  I used to tiller my bows to my target weight at 27" figuring that once I sanded it and everything, it would reach my target weight at 28".  But with this one, I figured I'd just finish my sanding simultaneously with finishing the tillering.  I had a broad range in mind, though, so it was going to be hard to miss my target weight no matter what I did.

When I got to 47# @ 28", I called it, and it had a 1/16" positive tiller.

 

And here's what the limb profile looked like immediately after unstringing it.

 

The next step will be to shape the tips and handle, which I will probably do later today.
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Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #60 on: July 24, 2014, 04:37:00 PM »
I won't bore you with the details of shaping the tips and handles.  I have a video series showing how I do that if you're interested.

 

My handle shapes have been evolving over the last year, though.  I used to only put a contour right below the arrow shelf.  Now, I've found that if I narrow the back end a little, too, it feels more comfortable.  It enhances the palm swell.  This is my first time making the back contour go all the way around, creating kind of a bulb-shaped handle.

 

Here's a couple of pictures of the tip (before sanding).

 

 

Once I got everything shaped the way I wanted, I sanded everything down to 400 grit.  Then I used some white India Ink and a fountain pen I got at Michaels to write on it.  I used white with the idea that when the Osage begins to darken, the white will be more visible.

 

I used to use a sharpie because it was easy, but it was also fat, bulky, and ugly.  Then I read a thread where Eric Krewson recommended acrylic ink and a fountain pen, so I went and got some at Michaels.  I found it difficult to write with.  I got black for lighter wood and silver for darker wood.  I could not get the silver to work at all, which is why I got this white India Ink.  The black worked, but it was difficult.  I don't know if the problem is with the pen, the ink, or me.  I got a really fine pen because I wanted to be able to write small, but it grabs when I try to write with it, and it's just difficult to write smoothly.

I used to put on a few layers of finish, then the writing, then the last layer. That way, it would be easy to get off if I needed to without removing wood.  But I decided this time that since I struggle so much with writing, I'd try to write on bare wood and see if it was any easier.  It wasn't.  I couldn't get it to write at all at first.  Then I found that if I shook the pen until some white ink dropped out of it, it would write a little.  It was a mess.

I called the bow "Robin" since Robin gave me the bamboo.  Besides, I like that name.

 

Next, I'll put a finish on it.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.

Offline bigbob2

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #61 on: July 24, 2014, 06:09:00 PM »
lovely bow Sam, you do great work!

Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #62 on: July 24, 2014, 06:43:00 PM »
Thanks, bigbog2!
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Online mwosborn

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #63 on: July 24, 2014, 06:49:00 PM »
Very nice work Sam - thanks for posting.  Love those tips!
Enjoy the hunt!  - Mitch

Offline Mad Max

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #64 on: July 24, 2014, 06:53:00 PM »
nice job  sam
"nothing ventured ,nothing gained"

Offline mt1761

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2014, 08:17:00 PM »
This is my first post on TradGang.   I've really enjoyed lurking and following this build-along.  Beautiful bow, and great presentation of the process, Sam.  Thanks very much.

Online Trux Turning

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2014, 08:40:00 PM »
Great looking bow and build along!

Offline robin

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #67 on: July 24, 2014, 09:45:00 PM »
Hi Sam, please do give us an update on the performance, speed when using this "hard" boo...

for those who are interested, here are some of the boo i harvested.

Pic of mature boo, i normally scrap off the rind to confirm that it is mature boo before harvest.

 
 


 

all stacked up and ready for air drying
 

 

Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #68 on: July 24, 2014, 11:09:00 PM »
I don't have a chronometer, Robin, but I'll do some comparing and contrasting with my other bow similar to this one and say what I think.  I have yet to shoot this bow from full draw.  It'll be tomorrow before I put the final coat of finish on it.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.

Offline Ice Mike

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #69 on: July 25, 2014, 11:50:00 AM »
Very nice Sam! You have a whole lot of talent my friend...

When I first started, my drive was all about getting a bow that shot really well that I could be proud of. Since I have accomplished that, my drive has decreased a a tad...well, with the accomplishment and the fact that I am moving and trying to adjust to a new place...anyway..

It's people like you that swoop in and save the day..I get on here and read this thread and it gives me inspiration to clear out a spot in the new place and get back to work!!

Thanks for your efforts and for sharing Sam. God Bless.

Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2014, 12:01:00 PM »
Don't sell your wood or tools, Mike!  I got burned out on making bows for a few years, then the bug bit me again.  There are so many designs throughout history that there's always something new to try.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.

Offline Ice Mike

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2014, 01:28:00 PM »
No fear of that Sam! My tools aren't going anywhere!

Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #72 on: July 25, 2014, 01:44:00 PM »
Last night and today, I put a finish on it.  I didn't take any pictures.  I'll just give you a brief explanation of what I did.

I used what used to be called "Thunderbird," but is now called "Kwick Klean Sealer."  According to 3 Rivers Archery, "starts out as a lacquer and dries to a tough polyurethane," which means it dries quickly on any oily wood.

I got some PreVal sprayers, which you can buy with or without jars.  I got a couple with jars so I could mix my stuff.  I put 80% Thunderbird and 20% lacquer thinner in there, then sprayed three coats of the glossy finish, waiting 12 minutes between coats.  Bob Sarrels told me the glossy stuff is harder and more durable than the satin.  

He also told me it takes about six hours for it to convert to a polyurethane, so it's important to put all the coats on within that time.  I let it do its thing over night, and this morning, I put one coat of Satin polyurethane from a spray can.  I got the Minwax fast-drying polyurethane.  I'm not sure if it's still available, but Bob told me I could also use Rustoleum Ultra Cover Matte Clear.  I'm going to get some of that as soon as I run out of the Minwax.

And that's it for the finish.  I'm working on a handle wrap right now.  I'll post pictures later when I'm done.
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Offline horseapple

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #73 on: July 25, 2014, 02:29:00 PM »
Excellent job Sam as mentioned on the other site, I would like to get a few pieces of The bamboo preferably some that hasnt had the rind scraped off. Its definitely not the same stuff as wingnut used to sell, his was alot thinner and the power fibers were tighter.

Offline Sam Harper

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Re: Robin bamboo build along
« Reply #74 on: July 25, 2014, 03:35:00 PM »
Thanks, J.D.  I sent you an email.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.

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