Author Topic: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher  (Read 2195 times)

Offline bdsmith1

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Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« on: November 16, 2023, 05:53:23 PM »
Hey fellas! I've seen a lot of people recommend this book for bow building, but it's out of print and nowhere to be found.  Does anyone have a digital copy, or a hard copy they'd be willing to sell? 

Online Mad Max

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2023, 09:03:23 AM »
Not familiar with that book
We are the "how to" here.
What are you wanting to make, Glass laminated , all wood laminated, Bamboo backed?? :dunno:
« Last Edit: November 17, 2023, 03:53:43 PM by Mad Max »
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Offline bdsmith1

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2023, 06:40:08 PM »
Glass laminated. I love the forum. I've learned a ton here. I work long night shifts with no Internet access tho (controlled area) and books are a must. I have TONS of books on traditional bow making, but there aren't many print resources on glass bows.

Offline jsweka

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2023, 07:36:52 PM »
If you can’t find the info you want here, “Traditional Bowyer, More Unnecessary Fun” by Jack Harrison is a good book.
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Offline Mark R

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2023, 10:28:20 AM »
OK Kirk could you be a little more specific about why you dislike Jack Harrison's book, I myself read and found good info in it. I guess there maybe some aspects of it that you disagree with but many books on crafting items will be suspect to others that craft the same things there way and think its the only way, maybe you should try writing a bow making book, I would like to read it.

Offline Kirkll

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2023, 11:42:42 AM »


I read the book many years ago from cover to cover after I had been building bows professionally a few years, and there were too many discrepancies and a lot of flat out bogus statements to take the book seriously. He spent a lot of time testing and invested a huge amount of time doing it. But the findings were skewed with his personal beliefs and opinions rather than based on facts and actual experience.

I’m not going to go into specifics, or do an exhumation or an autopsy. Because it just isn’t worth it ,and …..I buried that $50 book in the back pasture with a dead cow rather than pass it along.

I was associated with a group of seasoned bowyers at the time I read it, that DID go into great detail about  all the bogus crap in that book, and dubbed it “ More unnecessary Balderdash “.  They had a lot of fun roasting the guy….

I’ll leave it at that….

I have been gathering a lot of material, and considered writing a book myself for  years now. But putting together a book for publication is an expensive undertaking. I’ve looked into it seriously too….. But a book like this has a very small crowd that would be interested, and successfully marketing it would be tough. There certainly wouldn’t be any monetary incentive, but rather a labor of love to help keep the bowyers trade going.

I found an editor that was an experienced archer that I sent a portion of my material too a few years ago, and it was really tough going using abstract terminology and correct grammatical formatting …. I even have a title name picked out….   Maybe some day I’ll take the plunge again.    Kirk
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Offline jsweka

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2023, 04:44:23 PM »
If you can’t find the info you want here, “Traditional Bowyer, More Unnecessary Fun” by Jack Harrison is a good book.



There will always be things one bowyer will disagree with another on. I don’t follow Harrison’s methods exactly the way he presents them, but still found it a good read.

Harrison must have know what he was doing given how sought after his bows are and how much they fetch on the used market (when they come up).
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Offline Mark R

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2023, 08:33:55 PM »
Yes, there's more than one way to skin a cat. As one of my mentors that I worked with as an apprentice carpenter would say there's a right way and a wrong way and I know the right way, now go get the wood putty. :laughing:

Offline Kirkll

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2023, 09:12:23 PM »
If you can’t find the info you want here, “Traditional Bowyer, More Unnecessary Fun” by Jack Harrison is a good book.



There will always be things one bowyer will disagree with another on. I don’t follow Harrison’s methods exactly the way he presents them, but still found it a good read.

Harrison must have know what he was doing given how sought after his bows are and how much they fetch on the used market (when they come up).

Absolutely..... There are a lot of bowyers building basic long bows that don't have a clue about limb design and how these things really work.... All bows are not created equally. 

But ya gotta love all the philosophy both good and bad..... Some of it can be kind of entertaining if nothing else...... A lot of Harrisons book needs to be taken with a grain of salt IMO... 
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Online Roy from Pa

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2023, 09:15:07 AM »
I edited out a few things here guys.

Online Mad Max

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2023, 05:47:26 PM »
I edited out a few things here guys.

 :nono: :dunno: :tongue:
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Offline Kirkll

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2023, 10:21:30 PM »
Here is one i found .... Haven't a clue who wrote it, but it doesn't cost much.

https://www.amazon.com/Building-Laminated-Fiberglass-Longbows-Foundations-ebook/dp/B0BWFSXN3G
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Offline bdsmith1

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2023, 08:15:18 PM »
I've seen that one. And another one called stick and string. They're your basic how to, but there's no theory/why. Methodology is better than nothing, but after reading the entire Bowyers Bible series, and tons of other full fledged materials on wood bows, I can't say that they really "teach" anything as much they're kind of Ikea instructions for glass bows... But hey, they're better than anything else currently in print on the subject.  Some of you old pros should collaborate and get this community some holy Scripture going lol.

Offline Kirkll

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2023, 11:10:45 AM »
Even the high tech glass and carbon bowyers should read the Traditional bowyers Bible series… there is a LOT of good reading in those books. Kirk
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Online Buemaker

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2023, 05:56:46 PM »
Traditional Bowyers of America by Dan Bertalan is an interesting read.

Offline Kirkll

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2023, 10:26:30 PM »
I actually think a composite bow builder would benefit a lot if they built a few board bows first.  The self bowyers and guys working with just wood successfully are the true masters, and understand how these things really work. :notworthy: :notworthy:   

But…. The theories are the same using glass… but you learn to manipulate the cores and wedges to get them bending the way you want them to, and fine tune them by sanding glass and playing with width profile. You also learn that different core materials are better than others for longevity and performance.

Bottom line is you’ll never stop learning building these things. It’s a hell of a rabbit hole… :biglaugh:
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Offline bdsmith1

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2023, 10:24:04 AM »
I've gotten the bamboo backed bows down to a science, and I really enjoy building selfbows.. glass is just such a different animal to me.  The same principles apply, but it just feels so alien. I like to read to understand before I do things. This experience has felt like jumping in head first.

Offline Kirkll

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2023, 01:15:25 PM »
Nothing wrong with diving in head first.... The water is deep. But the deeper ya go, the colder the water gets... :biglaugh:

Starting with long bows is the first step, and having wood bow experience will be helpful. But manipulating where the limbs bend is pre ordained to a certain extent with limb shape building your forms. Then using taper rates and wedges in the core can manipulate them further.

Take these different limb shapes for an example. if you were to build all these different shape limbs and use the same forward taper rate and the same stack heights and bow length. your draw weights and bow characteristics will be all over the map..... Now take all these different limb shapes, and put them on an adjustable TD riser and change the limb pad angle.... Now you have a whole new batch of charactaristics.....

Now add in different taper rates and different length butt wedges and try them with and without tip wedges..... Each different shape limb will exhibit different charactaristics..... 

Now how do you determine which characteristics are beneficial besides how the limb looks as it's drawn on the tiller tree? A tiller tree is a must, and doing DFC charts can be a huge learning curve, but very helpful. Having a shooting machine with a chronograph, with a good infrared light kit is another excellent tool to measure performance differences as you experiment. Another very important factor is measuring the pre load on your limbs at brace height. This can easily be done with an in line scale, and where having an adjustable limb pad angle riser comes in nicely when prototyping your limbs....

The question is..... How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?  keep in mind that each one of these limb shapes that you chose to build your form, you can shift your stops in the form, as well as limb length. and tip notch locations, and get a dozen more different characteristic changes that can be manipulated further with wedges and taper rates, and width profile too....

Once you get what you are looking for in a long bow design, or even a couple you like. Then decide to go into different type recurve limb designs..... Then things start getting a wee bit dicey as you learn about tracking and torsional stability... Long bows are a piece of cake by comparison...

Food for thought, if not a brain cramp or two...


Offline bdsmith1

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2023, 08:10:10 AM »

Nothing wrong with diving in head first.... The water is deep. But the deeper ya go, the colder the water gets... :biglaugh:

The question is..... How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? 



I've been tiptoeing around it, but I've been ready to dive in for quite some time. I've probably made 50ish self bows/backed bows so, I'm not unexperienced, but when it comes to glass, I've had a lot of paralysis by analysis reading the forums. That's why I was looking for a book.  I wanted a to learn as much as I could in as straightforward a manner as possible. I've made four pretty basic glass bows now, and only had one blow up (not enough taper and too narrow nock width), so I'm getting it, but I'm cutting and grinding my own lams and so making sense of how to know what works for taper rates or how many lams to use in what combinations with which materials for example is what's frustrating me.  Another thing is that even though there is a lot more to show off with glass bows, there seems to be far less tutorial/video content online compared to the self bow side. At this point I'm just being a whiner, so I'm going to shut up and go read more and make/break some more bows, but if anyone decides they want to put together a manual or book of some sort that cuts through to the details, I think it may be quite successful within the community, and bring in a lot more new bowyers into the fold. 

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Re: Looking for a book: Crafting Laminated Longbows by Mike Basher
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2023, 09:41:09 AM »
Not trying to be the A hole.
It's not that simple.
What kind of bow do you like, Bear, Damon Howatt, Black Widow ,someone on this Forum??
A lot of bow shooters like 50's stile recurves like a Damon Howatt Hunter. You could buy one, strip it down to bear glass, add some masking tape, mark lines every 1" and measure the thickness every 1" and log it down and find the taper rate, The taper rate could be .005 coming off the riser and change to .002 after 5/6/7", Or it could be .003 or .001,  I've done it, I like it , so that is what I build.
Kenny M has a R/D design that shoots quite, He will fix you up with everything you need, Binghams also but they are shutting down. Very few prints to buy for build bows out there for sale and some just trying to make money.
Some of use chase speed, THAT'S the rabbit hole that can drive you crazy. And some just like the design/look of the bow.

There is not a "This is the way to do it"
It's fun to build them for a hobby, but it's getting high in $$ to do so.
You just have to start somewhere and Maybe end up where you want in a few 5/6/7 years.

 :dunno:
This one is a .005 coming off the riser for 7" and then .002 out to the nock, no tip wedge, but a 4" underlay, the .005 push the bend out some and helps the recurve open up some, the bigger the radius, the more it will open up, the smaller the radius the less it will open up.


« Last Edit: November 26, 2023, 09:50:19 AM by Mad Max »
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