Home Forums Bows and Equipment Starting Some New Ones

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    • aeronut
      Member
      Post count: 179

      Been pretty busy lately and it’s been a while since I posted here. I got the bug to make some more bows and got a start on some new ones over the past couple of weeks. One is for me and two are for a couple of my cousins.

      I am making the risers out of Hickory and Black Walnut. I am making two different styles of risers.

      The limb laminations will be Hickory and Osage and I have started grinding them.

      I snagged some Mesquite out of my cousin’s firewood pile when we were in Texas last November and I am going to use it for nock overlays. The bugs really like the sapwood.

      I’m off to a good start. Now I need to find some more free time.

      Dennis

    • Chad Sivertsen
      Post count: 84

      You are off to a good start. Will you do Osage and Hickory on different bows?

      If I find any free time I’m keeping it for myself.

      Have fun.

    • aeronut
      Member
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      Post count: 179

      I will probably do Hickory core and Osage lams under the glass. I’ve made a couple with this combination and had good luck with them.

      I may go with the Osage as the core and do stained Hickory lams on one of them. Just haven’t had enough time to make up my mind yet.:?

      I also have some Leopard wood lams that I may use. There are getting to be too many choices:shock:

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2359

      Looking good! Must be that time of year… I’ve got a bow going too. It will have bamboo on the back, and osage through the rest of the limb. This will be my first glass bow with osage in it…

      Keep the pictures coming!

    • aeronut
      Member
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      Post count: 179

      Had some free time today and decided to head for the basement and do some more work on a bow. I decided to go with Leopardwood on this one with a Hickory core.

      I already have the riser done so I made a lap joint on the laminations and glued them together.

      While the glue was drying I covered the finished side of the fiberglass with painters tape to keep the glue off.

      I then put everything in the hot box to warm up for a couple of hours.

      After everything was warmed up good I started the lay-up process. I start out mixing the Smooth-On.

      Then I get everything out of the hotbox and lay it out in the order it will go on the form. I lay out a strip of wax paper on the table to keep from getting glue all over it.

      Then I start smearing glue and adding layers. I don’t wear rubber gloves. I have more trouble with them than I do without. I just keep a couple of rags lightly soaked with alcohol handy and wipe my fingers off after each layer.

      Here the riser is in place and held with a clamp and the rest of the laminations are in place and ready to be taped down. I don’t have any pictures of taping the layers down. My daughter helped me with that step and we were pretty busy at the time.

      Here the air hose is in place and the form is bolted together. I just slowly add 80#’s of air pressure to the hose as I keep a constant check on everything to make sure nothing moves.

      It is now in the hotbox with the timer set to shut off in about six more hours. Tomorrow morning I will see what I have. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

      Dennis

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2359

      What’s the gap about at the handle in the top of the form…

      You can’t tell me that the hose keeps the riser section together there. Must be a wedge you put in…

      Thanks for the show!

    • aeronut
      Member
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      Post count: 179

      You are right Steve. I have used this form to make bows using three different styles of risers. I hadn’t put the blocks in before I took that picture.

      Here is what it looks like fresh out of the hotbox. Lots of small pops and creaks as I deflate the hose.

      Fresh out of the form. It looks kinda like a bow.

      I always wonder if I am leaving enough glue on the lams when I lay up a bow. I think I can quit worrying about that. I’ve got lots of glue boogers to sand off every time I make a bow.

      We will see what it looks like after a trip to the sander this afternoon.

      To be continued…………..

    • M. Miller
      Post count: 9

      This is really great stuff For someone like me who enjoys seeing the bow building process. Thanks for the pictures. Does anyone know of any bow builders in the Sierra Nevada’s that would be willing to teach? Thanks M.

    • aeronut
      Member
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      Post count: 179

      M. Miller

      I had always wanted to learn to make a bow and had read lots of articles and books on the subject but I wanted to see it first hand. I did that by attending the first Oklahoma Selfbow Jamboree in 2005. Now it is an event that I won’t miss. After I got home my first bow was a Bamboo backed Osage D/R that I shot for about three years and had to retire it because the bottom limb was starting to fret. It is still my favorite bow. That got the addiction started.

      I started out with glass bows by making a bow from a Bingham’s kit. The instruction tape was very good on the steps you take in the process. After that I started making my own forms and riser styles.

      Good luck on your endeavors and if you get a chance to attend an event like OJAM or MOJAM do it. Ask lots of questions because everyone is glad to help you get started.

      Dennis

    • aeronut
      Member
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      Post count: 179

      I got all the glue boogers sanded off and got everything squared up again. A 36 grit sanding belt makes it a little easier to do this. I took the bow back into the basement and peeled the tape to see what it looks like and to check for any flaws before continuing on.
      Leopardwood is purty.

      I found one small air bubble on the back just below the center of the riser. I am not concerned with this because there will be no flexing at this point and it will be covered with a Walnut overlay. I then re-taped the limbs and marked the centerline. I use a laser level for this step. I have the laser with a magnetic base attached to a heating duct above my work area (it has been hanging there for about four years now). Simplest way I have found yet. These are old photos that it.

      After marking the center I just measure and mark the cut lines on the limbs. I decided to go with a 66″ length (64″ N-N) on this one.

      Riser is marked for the shelf.

      If I have time after work tomorrow I will do some bandsaw work. To be continued……………………

      Dennis

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2359

      I would like to see detail on how you cut out the shelf.. Can’t wait!

      On the last couple of bows I have done, I have marked the cut lines on the tape before laying the bow up. That way I get to mark everything on a flat surface. I found that I get it exactly right that way.

    • Robin ConradsRobin Conrads
      Admin
      Post count: 903

      M. Miller wrote: This is really great stuff For someone like me who enjoys seeing the bow building process. Thanks for the pictures. Does anyone know of any bow builders in the Sierra Nevada’s that would be willing to teach? Thanks M.

      You might ask this lady. I know she works with both the Nevada and California clubs. Worth a shot. Nevada Traditional Archers-Marilyn Dutra, 291 Seavey Rd., Petaluma, CA 94952, 707-763-6574, mar2steve@aol.com

      I was also thinking of Tim Meigs in Carson City, NV. His ad isn’t in the last few issues so you might have to do a Google search. Good luck.

    • aeronut
      Member
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      Post count: 179

      Did a little more yesterday evening and tonight. I worked late both days and didn’t get to do too much. I did get the limbs and riser window cut out and the edges sanded down yesterday evening. I always save back a couple of dull bandsaw blades for this step. When I get done cutting out a bow the blade is trash.

      Putting the ‘hurts’ to a blade.

      Tonight I am gluing on the riser and tip overlays. Here is the Walnut riser overlay.

      And the tip overlays. I used Hickory with a piece of Mesquite on top.

      It is now back in the hotbox at a little cooler setting than the last time. Maybe tomorrow I can get the overlays trimmed up and cut some nock grooves.

      More later………………

    • aeronut
      Member
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      Post count: 179

      OK, now my arms itch like crazy. I sanded the nock and riser overlays off flush and started cutting nock grooves. This is not THE method of doing this but it is the way I do it.

      I measure down 3/4″ from the end of the limb and mark across the nock overlay. From this mark I measure down another 3/4″ and make a mark on the belly. Next I mark a line from back to belly on the side of the limb. This is where I cut the string groove. Is that clear as mud? Maybe the pictures will clear this up.

      I start the string groove by making a shallow cut on the line with a hacksaw.

      I then deepen this cut with a rod saw.

      From there I get my 5″ rat tail file and deepen the groove until a string loop sits down in the groove flush with the bow limb.

      Now I take a 4-in-1 rasp and bevel the back side of the string groove. This allows the string to move when the bow is drawn and won’t chafe the string.

      Belly side view of string in grooves showing the bevel.

      That is as far as I will go on the tips for now. This will let me get a string on the bow and start the tillering process. Initial tillering looked real good so I shouldn’t need to do much after I get a string made.

      More to come…………….

      Dennis

    • aeronut
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      Post count: 179

      I managed to get in a few work sessions the last couple of days so I will update the progress.

      I started dressing down the riser overlay and blending it in and then did the laminations on the belly.

      Now I have started the fun part:shock: working on the tips.
      I first mark out the general shape of them.

      Then I do a little sanding with a small (1″) drum sander in the drill press to get it close to the lines.

      And then use a small rasp and sandpaper to work it on down.

      I work on the string groove to finish it out and sand everything down with 120 grit paper. Here is the final fit with the string loop in place. I will take time to even everything out during the final sanding.


      That Mesquite over Hickory is going to look real sharp with the finish on it.

      Now comes the really fun part. Making the other tip match this one.:shock::shock:

      Initial test has the weight right around 55#. After the final finish it should set in around 50#

      Dennis

    • M. Miller
      Post count: 9

      Thanks for the info. When things get a little less bussy I’ll look into it. M

    • aeronut
      Member
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      Post count: 179

      Between work and the recent storms I haven’t had a lot of time to work on the bow. I made some time and have it to the point where I am spraying finish.

      I got the tips done and started working on the riser. I sanded in some finger grooves and it is a very comfortable fit in my hand.

      I sanded everything down starting with 120 grit and finished with 320 because I had run out of 400 grit paper. I then buffed everything with 4/0 steel wool. After wiping the bow down with a rag dampened with alcohol I hung it up and the first coat of Polyurethane is drying now. Hopefully I will get some time tomorrow afternoon to test fire it.

      Specs:

      64″ N-N
      53#@28″
      Hickory core
      Leopardwood laminations
      .050 glass
      Riser–Hickory W/Black Walnut accent
      Black Walnut overlay front and back of riser.
      Tip overlays–Mesquite over Hickory

      Dennis

    • aeronut
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 179

      It was really windy yesterday so I postponed my test firing until this afternoon. Sunny and 54* and still a light wind. I am still playing with the brace height and will put on a set of string silencers from Hairy Beaver. It is shooting good and has no stack or kick to it.

      Now I need to put on a few more coats of finish. I am using Minwax Polycrylic semi-gloss and I’ve had good luck with it on my bows.

      Dennis

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2359

      Very Nice! So are you keeping that one, or letting it go?

      And btw, way to conserve that plastic bottle. I’m sensitive like that too. Nothing worse than a bulls eye full of holes to mess up concentration.

      I hope you post a few more pictures, after it has a finish on it…

    • aeronut
      Member
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      Post count: 179

      I’m keeping this one Steve. I will post some more pictures of it after the final finish. I have to be in Topeka all week so it will be a while before I get it done.

      This bow is a little ‘different’ in the respect of shooting to the right. I usually shoot left with a bow but I’m still not done adjusting the brace height. Hopefully that and some string silencers will move the impact to the left. If you look close in the last video there are the remains of another plastic bottle hanging there. I do occasionally hit them.:D

      I have another clear glass ‘issue’ with this one too. There are milky spots showing up in the belly glass on the upper third of the top limb. I will try to get some pictures of it.

      Dennis

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