Home Forums Bows and Equipment selfbow shelf position

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    • Dan Golden
      Member
      Post count: 2

      Hi,

      I am building my first selfbow and its going suprisingly well but I realise I’ve made a mistake with the shelf position. I’ve placed it dead center and I’ve come to learn that it should be slightly above. If I leave it as it is I will have to hold the bow slightly below center. I can lighten the bottom stiff part of the upper limb to lower the the center of gravity but shortening the upper limb is not an option so the shelf position isnt moving. Is this going to be a major problem? I’m at the tillering phase and Im definitely going to finish the project either way.  I should note that I’m a beginner, I enjoy wood working and thought it would be a fun project but I hope to use this bow and I’m looking forward to it being a hobby. So my concern is starting out wrong and picking up bad habits.

      Thanks,

      Dan

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 994

      Hi Dan

      Welcome to the forum

      I am not very Knowledgeable on self bows. However a number of our members have quite a bit of experience with them. Hopefully Steve will comment as he builds them.

      Scout aka Ray

    • Stephen Graf
      Member
      Post count: 2346

      Actually, while I have made a few self bows, I mostly build glass backed bows.  That said, making a bow bend, tillering, is tillering no matter what the bow is made from.

      I have made several bows that had the arrow shelf centered in the bow.  They shoot well.  Here is a video of my nephew shooting a bow made with the arrow shelf in the center of the bow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y84yk3AwB-g

      A bow is made of 2 components, the wooden part and the string part.  I think we don’t spend enough time thinking about the bow from the perspective of the string.  When we shoot a bow with our bowhand centered in the wood, it forces our string hand to hold the string 4 inches off center.  That means the top half of the string is 4 inches shorter than the bottom half.  This can lead to all sorts of imbalance.

      Should you finish the bow? For sure.  It will turn out better than you think.  I would encourage you to read Dean Torges book Hunting the Osage Bow.  Dean had a way with words and his advice is ageless.  To get a taste, visit his website:  http://www.bowyersedge.com/

      Good luck with your bow! But be warned, making bows becomes a compulsion for them that want to connect with the universe.

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 221

      I don’t claim to know squat about bow builds, ……………just thinking out loud.

      With the arrow rest in the center, wouldn’t shooting with a high wrist on a built up grip and the arrow nock right up under the eye be the hot ticket ???

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 994

      Richard

      Yes – the closer the better one would think, in theory anyway. Some of those exotic small recurves seem built with that in mind….

      Scout aka Ray

    • richard roop
      Member
      Post count: 221

      And on the other hand, we have our Kyudo brethren shooting bows so far from center that I have no idea how they even begin to tiller.

      This is why I don’t build bows ………………… after almost six decades of building arrows I’m still amazed at the amount of physics involved in a simple pointed stick with bird feathers on the end.   The variables involved with reflex / deflex , straight limb / recurve limb, riser shapes & length, materials and tapers in bow builds must be endless.

      The whole thing gives me a headache and I may go up on the mountain this afternoon and hunt the wiley feral pinecone.  (Plus, it’s 108* down here in the desert today).

       

    • Dan Golden
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2

      thanks all for the replys. I found that having the shelf dead center and therefore the handle below center too difficult to use. When I drew the string, the bow would natually pivot down towards me, so I was fighting to keep it up straight. Luckily I still had some thick wood above the shelf so I was able to take a inch off the upper limb and work it back down. Result is that the shelf is half an inch above center and when I draw the bow is not pivoting down anymore.

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 994

      Dan

      Glad it worked out ok. Learning by doing . I hope it turns into a good Shooter. Send us some pics when you get the bow finished.

      Scout aka Ray

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