Author Topic: Self bow beginner tool set  (Read 761 times)

Offline Radford

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Self bow beginner tool set
« on: October 16, 2023, 03:33:55 PM »
My wife asked what I wanted for my birthday coming up. I've been wanting to make a self bow for a long time. This winter will be the time. So I'm hoping you guys can help me get a list of items needed for finishing the job. If you would like to recommend a specific tool (like a specific draw knife) that would be helpful.

I'll be making hickory bows as my property is full of hickory and I really don't like the tree so it will please me to cut them down and get some other use out of them other than fire wood.

Thank you.
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Online Pat B

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2023, 06:32:48 PM »
For a draw knife I'd go to an antique/junk store or flea market and pick up an older draw knife generally for about $20. A new one of comparable quality would cost you over $100. Just be sure the edge isn't pitted. A little rust otherwise shouldn't be a problem. A farriers rasp, for hogging off wood are about $20 new unless you know a farrier and if so the rasp would probably be free or pretty cheap. A set of cabinet scrapers from Lowe's, Home Depot or ACE Hdwe. A small ax can be helpful and a vice of some kine is almost necessary. With these tools you can build a bow.
 I't's too bad you didn't cut the hickory during the growing season so you could just peel the bark off. This time of year the bark holds on tight and will be a bear to remove.
 I'm sure others will have suggestions also.
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Offline Mad Max

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2023, 08:06:26 PM »
Radford- Is your Hickory already cut and dry.
Could be a year until you could make a bow
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Offline Radford

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2023, 08:08:07 PM »
Some of it I felled in the spring. Most is standing. I read once hickory could be used green. Is that not true?
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Offline Mad Max

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2023, 08:37:19 PM »
Hickory needs to be dry, I said 8 to 10% but Pat B said 12 or14% I THINK??
Dead Hickory wood I don't think that is any good also--Pat B??
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Online Pat B

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2023, 12:21:51 AM »
Only use dead hickory if it was stored properly since death. Standing dead and dead on the ground for only a few weeks can make the wood worthless for bows by the time the wood dries. Fungi loves mistreated hickory.  :dunno:
Hickory does like to be dry but unlike other bow woods hickory likes 5%-6% M/C but will still make a good bow at 9%-11% M/C like most other bow woods..
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Online Mo_coon-catcher

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2023, 01:06:56 PM »
If you’re using hickory, I would harvest the wood in the spring or summer so the bark just pops off. Then you won’t need a leave knife to establish a back and you can do all the rough out with a sharp hatchet. Then a Ferrier rasp for profile cleanup and early tillering, then a flat scraper of any kind for final tillering. Then a chainsaw file for the nocks. Harder that it’s just sand paper for cleanup. Yo me that’s a good minimalist setup. Though all work can be done with just a good heavy knife or sharp hatchet. If you’re gonna work something you need to chase a growth ring then get a draw knife as well. A bench vise or set of c clamps will make working the stave easier but not necessary. And a hard smooth rod to burnish an hook onto your scraper.

So I’m list form:

Hatchet
Ferrier rasp
Scraper
Chainsaw file
Hard smooth rod for sharpening scraper (screw driver shaft works)
Oh and a pencil, you need something to mark your lines.

Kyle

Online John Scifres

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2023, 01:31:45 PM »
Hand tools: roofer's hatchet, 10" drawknife, sandvik or bahko cabinet scraper, Nicholson #49 and/or #50 rasps, mill-bastard file, chainsaw or rattail file, measuring and marking tools, sharpening stones, burnishing tool, sledge hammer, wedges

Sandpaper and finishing materials

Power tools: chainsaw, bandsaw

Good luck, have fun!
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Offline darin putman

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2023, 10:02:46 PM »
Radford what would seem to be the hardest part of making a selfbow for most is learning proper tiller. A tillering gizmo is my most important tool when making a bow, it will help to teach what proper tiller should look like if trusted and used correctly. Simple to use on straight staves, plenty of info available on its use also.
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Offline Radford

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2023, 12:07:35 PM »
Thanks everyone. I’ve got a good start here.
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Online Pat B

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Re: Self bow beginner tool set
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2023, 11:21:01 PM »
Don't forget the pics.   :thumbsup:
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!
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