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Laminated Longbow Build Along

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Hello Tradgangers,

I have been itching to build my first bow and am now proceeding to do so.  I got a shipment from Bingham Projects so now I have all of the stuff.  I have been gathering tools since last December and everything is in place.  Two weeks ago I spent several hours in Frost Hardwoods in San Diego (what a feast for exotic wood lovers).  My first bow will be simple: maple lams, walnut riser and black glass.

But first, let's start with my garage.  DesertDude will vouch for my being out-of-control; but, hey, you only live once...

Actually, my garage is the Spine-O-Meter world headquarters.  It has been undergoing a make-over recently so let's have a look...

I tore out an old workbench that was not well designed and now have a place for power tools.


Next, I had to design and build a new workbench, got carried away...


Another bench that serves me well.


Next, I need a hot box.  Maybe I will graduate to heat strips someday, but for now this is made from 2x2 and some foam insulation I got at Lowe's.


Three 100 watt bulbs did not get above 128F so I put in 3-150 watts and even a little pancake fan and got up to 165F.  The foam is only 1/2 inch thick but the lid and one side are doubled to use up all of the two 4x8 sheets.  I put heat shields, made from soda cans, between the bulbs and lid because experiments showed that the insulation would de-form with the bulbs this close.


Now I need a bow form.  I am going to use C-clamps for this one instead of the air hose method.  This will be more versatile and allow experimenting with different riser designs.  I laminated two 3/4 pieces of 12 inch wide MDF.  Next time I think I will use plywood - even though it is not truly 1.5 inches - because the MDF is HEAVY.


The template is made for half the bow and I will use a pattern router bit to get a good edge on the form and flip it for the other side.


The pattern has two holes to pin it to the form when it is flipped so symmetry can be maintained.


Here is the form roughed out with my jigsaw.


It has momentarily stopped raining so I am going to route the form outside.  Stay tuned for the next episode.

We are having a freak rain here in San Diego the last two days.  It has dropped about and inch.  We have not had a drop since the end of February so it is welcome...unless you want to work outside on your bow making stuff.

Dang - it just started raining again.  I need to make a string jig so I guess I will do that.

I'll stay tuned.  :saywhat:

I look forward to this build along.  I don't post much, but I too have be collecting tools. I'll be watching an learning.  While I'm at it, I'll trad you a Saxon Kadiak for that ugly yellow BMW in the background.  Looks like it's just taking up valuable space.


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