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Bamboo backed Osage tri-lam build-a-long

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Buck Buckley:
Okay guys here we go, This is the first build-a-long that I have done so bear with me on this. As I go along I will explain the way that my Dad and I build our bows. If you have any questions on something or don't understand how I explain something feel free to comment on it. Any way what we plan on for a finished product is a 62" ntn 50# Reflex/Deflex Bamboo backed Osage tri-lam with snake skins and deer antler overlays on the nocks
Here what we have to start with 2x2x72 Argentine Osage.This is really great stuff we have made the last 50plus bows out of this stuff. If you haven't ever used it before you should try it. 72" piece of Boo and a 2x2x16 piece of Birds eye Maple

Buck Buckley:
Now I am going to rip a piece of Osage 3/8" thick.  Plane it down to 5/16" to clean it up and that will be the thickness I start at before tapering it down. Once It is cleaned up and 5/16"  cut it to the overall length of the bow you want. This one will be 64". Find your center and draw a line 32" now divide each half into thirds and mark your lines, so on this piece I would measure down 10 5/8" from the middle and draw a line across and then measure down 10 5/8" again and draw a line,do the same on the other half of the plank. The lines act as reference points when your planing your taper. I use a 6"benchtop. I set it at a dept of 1/16" so when I am done it will end up at 1/4" in the middle tapering down to 1/8" on each tip. If you were not going to make a tri-lam I would start my plank thickness at 7/16 so my taper would end up being 3/8" in the center to 1/4" on the tips.
Now to cut the taper. Run the plank into the planer to the first line then lift it off and then start again and run it to the second line and lift it off again. Start again and run it all the way up to the centerline. Do the same for the other half of the plank. Make sure you draw your line all the way around your plank so you can see were your at.

Buck Buckley:
Tapered plank should look something like this.
Now that the Osage plank is ready its time to start on the Bamboo. First plane down the belly to get a flat surface so you can draw out the profile of your bow on it. A couple of passes across the planer will usually do it
Here it is all flattened out.

Buck Buckley:
Now you have to cut your bamboo to length. You can lay your cut Osage plank next to the bamboo and see were the nodes on the bamboo  end up. You want to try and keep the node as far back from the tips as possible. but it don't always work like that especially if you have only one or two pieces to work with. The farther apart the nodes are the easier it is to tiller. I got lucky on this piece I have about 11" between the nodes
Now I am ready to lay the profile of the bow out and then cut it out. Draw a center line, 32" on this one. Now find the center of the width and draw a line. Next I use a string line to get a straight line all the way through the length of the bamboo to the tips. It helps to do it this way if your bamboo has a twist or a bow in it. Now I will draw my limb tapers. From my center line I measure out 4 1/2" on each side and draw a line.That is were my fades will end. This bow will be 1 3/8 wide straight tapered to 5/8" at the tips. Before tillering I will narrow the last 6" of the tips down to 1/2" or a little less.

Buck Buckley:
Now to cut out the profile of the bow with the bandsaw. I leave the whole handle section the same width as the fades 1 3/8" I don't lay out any of the riser until it is all tillered out.
When you cut it out leave the line showing so you can sand it  in to the line and have a nice straight taper
Profile is all cut to shape so now we have to get it to the right thickness. Its about 3/8" thick now. We always go about 1/8" between the nodes sometimes a bit less but never thicker than 1/8". First we'll run it across the planer so we dont have to sand as much.


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