Home Forums Campfire Forum Mass produced hickory longbows?

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    • critch
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      Post count: 111

      Back in the 60s when I was in junior high we had about 20 hickory longbows we used for target practice at school. The bows were all pretty much identical which leads me to believe they were mass produced, ie by machine.

      Is that the case or were they made by hand? I keep thinking of those big machines they use to make rifle stocks, a blank is inserted the machine takes over and grinds, sands or cuts the wood down to a certain point.

    • Charles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      Critch wrote: Back in the 60s when I was in junior high we had about 20 hickory longbows we used for target practice at school. The bows were all pretty much identical which leads me to believe they were mass produced, ie by machine.

      Is that the case or were they made by hand? I keep thinking of those big machines they use to make rifle stocks, a blank is inserted the machine takes over and grinds, sands or cuts the wood down to a certain point.

      Don’t know about the manufacturing method, but I might have one of its cousins here. The grip is way too skinny for my liking, but it’s in a hunting weight (nominally 55#), 66″ and stamped with a four-digit number. Very similar in profile to a custom bow made for my then teen-aged Dad in 1943 โ€“ that’s the one in my avatar.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      You mean like this old hickory bow?

      If I wore dentures I need to double up on the Poli-Dent if I shot this guy much.

      Most of y’all haven’t seen my buggered up left palm from a couple of years ago, too gross to put on here, but Bruce has. He can appreciate what this bow can do for my bow hand. ๐Ÿ™

      Needless to say, it hangs on the wall a lot.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Critch, more in line with your question, I don’t know about assembly line type bow making equipment but I do know of one guy who gets after it with a band saw, rasp and some sanding. He does some hickory backed bows too.

      He whups them out and sells them pretty cheap. I had two that I fined tuned and they shot pretty well. No speed demons but pretty smooth.

      Also had two that didn’t make it. They died young. One of them went out with a bang.

    • critch
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 111

      That does in fact look a lot like those bows….I’ve seen movies from the WWII era of the machine used at the Springfield Armory to make rifle stocks…very impressive. I just wondered how many hickory bows were made that way before fiberglass became as common…

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      I’d guess they were handmade. But probably from boards and using a lot of power tools. Final tillering would certainly have been done one at a time.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      I decided to do some serious tuning on that hickory bow this afternoon, just to see what it’d do. It’s 45-50 #, depending on me:D.

      I messed with brace height, nock set, different arrows.

      I settled on some 40-45# 28″ wood arrows with 125 on the front (might work a bit better if I’d put some 145 gr. on them?). It has a shelf but not much so like shooting off one’s hand it works better with more limber arrows.

      It would be sacrilegious to use anything but wood on a selfbow.

      My last grouping at 17 paces. I moved the nock set up a 1/16″ and moved the last two arrows spot on. Two on the right.

      This is a Rudder bow and it has a different rigging for using the stringer, an extra string grove at the top of the bow;

      That works like a charm.

      It’s no speed demon. Surprised me though at 20 yards I was hitting quite well.

      This bow’s a hunk, 72″ long and solid wood.:lol:

      I can hunt with it if I keep my shots in the 15 or so yard distance.

      I need to take it to the ranch and go stumping just to see what’ll happen.

      It still has some hand shock, it is just a solid piece of wood, but not near as bad as it was.

      The old wounded palm of my bow hand does feel it though after an hour’s shooting session with it.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2371

      See any piggies on that ranch? Seems like that bow likes ’em ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Steve Graf wrote: See any piggies on that ranch? Seems like that bow likes ’em ๐Ÿ˜€

      Nocturnal rascals and I can’t go into the river bottom where they spend the day. Not allowed to hunt in there.

      I’m going to get some hog bait and give it a try this summer.

      The pigs will probably have a real party at night then. Maybe I can find one with a hangover. Not too cranky though. P’od hogs worry me.

      I don’t think hiding behind my hickory stick will help me much.

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Still rubbing it in with the green grass and flowers. We do have some (brown) grass, but there is a snowbank bigger than my car sitting on top of the fire pit (the snowbank that was bigger than R2s camper). We DID see 3 geese Monday, But 3 geese is kinda lame. On the other hand Audrey saw Mamma skunk the other night. Couldn’t tell if she was pregnant, and did not ask. Audrey is sick of the snowman rug in front of the back door.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Took that picture at that spot as gesture of goodwill to you snowbound folks. ๐Ÿ™‚

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