Author Topic: Timber order in stack  (Read 195 times)

Online IanBB

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Timber order in stack
« on: October 21, 2020, 11:22:24 AM »
Hi all,

New to the 'American Longbow' scene. I'm a bowmaker from the UK, I just make heavy 100lb+ ELB's but I'm getting more and more interested in heavy fiberglass bows.

Using this as an intro post as well as a question.

Question: in the heavier Hill style bows do you order the timbers in the stack according to any principle? Coming from the English Longbow world I've started just copying the general idea in making 'all wood' bows but I'm wondering if it's possible to mix woods in the same was in Hill bows as it is in other bows.

My thought is that it might be better to keep all the woods either very thin or all the same species to avoid them working negatively together.

Obligatory picture of my first attempt. 116lb @ 30"


Online Pat B

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Re: Timber order in stack
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 01:05:11 PM »
In an all wood lam bow, Hill style or otherwise I would use a tension strong wood(or bamboo) on the back, a compression strong wood for the belly and a complimentary wood for the core like maple, ash, elm, etc. I believe Howard Hill liked bamboo cores as well as backs.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!
TGMM Family of the Bow

Online Flem

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Re: Timber order in stack
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 05:07:38 PM »
What Pat said. Don't know if its a critical with a glassed bow, but if you know the properties of the materials you are using, it only makes sense to take advantage of those attributes.

Online ztontonz

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Re: Timber order in stack
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 07:32:11 PM »
116#@30”!!!! Wow that’s on the heavy side for me.
To your question I don’t have any experience but I know several bow builder that use the same principles described by pat building hill style longbows. Using bamboo/yew, bamboo/osage combination

Online IanBB

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Re: Timber order in stack
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2020, 05:07:57 AM »
To elaborate a little.

At what thickness do the properties matter? I like the idea of thicker lams and fewer of them than lots of thin ones. Thinking especially heavy weight bows the stack is often around 17-19mm (0.7") in the middle.

But I think given what I read in many places hickory is a good all rounder. 

Online Pat B

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Re: Timber order in stack
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 08:28:47 AM »
I would use hickory for a backing or core but I use something like osage, ipe or yew for the belly.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!
TGMM Family of the Bow

Online Flem

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Re: Timber order in stack
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2020, 10:08:39 AM »
The properties matter at any thickness. Glass is only .050", but it makes a huge difference. I think the thicker the lams are, the more critical good grain orientation becomes.

Online Pat B

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Re: Timber order in stack
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 11:43:29 AM »
On a glass bow the wood used is mostly decorative so the specie used doesn't matter too much. The physical weight of the wood might matter a little but not much.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!
TGMM Family of the Bow

Online Flem

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Re: Timber order in stack
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2020, 01:02:01 PM »
On a glass bow the wood used is mostly decorative so the specie used doesn't matter too much. The physical weight of the wood might matter a little but not much.

Thats true to some degree. Likely more so to an all wood bowyer. Less so to a bowyer making a thick core ELB or Hill style. But if you have built many core variations of the same bow design, you would easily notice the differences, even if they were subtle

Online IanBB

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Re: Timber order in stack
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2020, 05:23:51 AM »
Appreciated. My gut feeling is that lams would matter depending on their thickness. As I need quite deep stacks I want to work out where I can save time and have fewer laminations and when more would be better.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 07:59:00 AM by IanBB »

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