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Thread: Building a bow...

  1. #1
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Building a bow...

    I have been thinking of buying a light recurve (35-40#) for small game but recently the thought occurred (rare anymore so I try to take advantage of them....) to build my own. Is there anyone who offers a kit or something fairly easy for the novice bow builder?
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    bow building kit for sale

    wooded area... cut your own tree... 50.00ea. take your pick i have thousands popular, birch, tamarack, spruce (white and black)
    draw knife 30.00
    sand paper 10.00 (10 sheets)
    #2 victors 10.00 each...to catch cats for string...

    inquire within.......
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member JamesMac's Avatar
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    Don't know to much about that but "shearej" turned me onto a great book titled the traditional boyers bible. Its a great read with ample information for the newbie bow builder. He also recommend rudder bows, I called them and they will ship you staves in most of the popular wood choices. I'm not 100% sure but he might have kits as well?
    www.rudderbows.com

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Wow! you must be getting too much down time! Building e-callers and now bows... Probably should get yourself som arrow jigs as well you don't want to 1/2 arse this new venture!

    Seriously though post up what you find I mean tell me what outdoorsy kid hasn't found atleast 46 ways "not" to make a bow? Would be cool to learn how to do it right!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    I have been thinking of buying a light recurve (35-40#) for small game but recently the thought occurred (rare anymore so I try to take advantage of them....) to build my own. Is there anyone who offers a kit or something fairly easy for the novice bow builder?
    Lots of kits available on the internet. Try 3 Rivers Archery, Rudderbows.com, or Raptor Archery for starters, but many more besides those three. The Traditional Bowyer's Bible Series (4 volumes now) are about as good a book source as any for longbows or recurves.

    Are you thinking of an all wood recurve? Or a laminated recurve? You'll likely need a heat box if you try a laminated recurve. Something you may run into is having problems tillering a recurve if you've never built a bow before. Tillering takes some practice and can be a bit more tricky on recurves than longbows. If you do decide to build one, post pictures, I'd love to see the project.

    Best of luck!

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help guys! I'll definitely look into that book and the websites. I'm not sure how involved I want to get in this venture, but it might be a fun winter project. It would be kinda neat to build a bow from a tree off my own property then whack something with it .
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  7. #7

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    "It would be kinda neat to build a bow from a tree off my own property then whack something with it ."

    I couldn't agree more! I have a fair number of bow staves I cut off my family's land in PA and moved up to AK. Most are still stacked under my work bench, just waiting to be crafted into bows and carried on a hunt someday

  8. #8
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Wow....I just spent a while on the Rudderbow site. LOTS of info there! They have a lot of supplies and some kits, but most of the kits were for longbows. I was kind of hoping to get into something smaller to make it easier bushwhacking.

    I assume a recurve is considerably more difficult to fabricate, so I may have to resort to buying one used... .
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    Give these guys a look.

    http://www.binghamprojects.com/about.htm

    They have all the materials, technical help, videos, blueprints for forms, etc to do the job, & they will help you figure out what lams you need to hit target weight too.
    It will probably cost you more to make the 1st one than you can buy one for, but the 2nd one will be cheaper.
    Sent you a PM.
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    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    AKMud, I don't have much new informatin that hasn't been mentioned already, rather, I can validate most of it. My dad owns/operates a small primitive archery business in the other 48. The Traditional Bowyers Bible is his go to. He actually used the information contained therein exclusively to build his first bow a number of years ago. You might also check out Traditional Bowhunter magazine for other books, kits etc. I know there was a plan in it, a WHILE ago for building a drying box...just a tangent. Good Luck!

  11. #11

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    another kit to look at is a bamboo osage kit. You can buy them from Dean Torges, google his name you'll find his page. If you do buy a blank from someone else, I'd still buy his video from either him or 3 rivers archery. The bowyers edge is also worth the money.

  12. #12
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    shearej

    Alder makes a interesting "character bow" short and stiff as hell but interesting. And the mongols made there bows from horn and birch, no reason one couldn't make one from birch and whale baleen. You wouldn't even have to boil and flatten the baleen.
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  13. #13

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    mud, A short selfbow is made for the type of hunting you're talking about. In my opinion it is more manuverable than a recurve due to the brush that slides up between the sting and grooves on a recurve. Dean Torges has a book "Hunting the Osage Bow" that is an outstanding tutorial of crafting a hunting bow. Paul Comstock has a book on building white wood bows "The Bent Stick". If you want short you should stick with Osage, wide Yew or very wide hickory. The woods that grow up here will require more length and therfore will be less manuverable. You could build a sheep horn/sinew bow mentioned by Dr Grayson in the Bowyers Bible. I may know somone that could help you get started if you really want to build a selfbow. Just a little warning to you. Wood dust removed via drawknife and scraper is highly addicting and very difficult to recover from.

    Rick,
    I would steer away from the baleen. I had a goal to make a baleen backed osage bow but friends of mine with the US Fish and Wildlife told me that was a no-no for a native Ozarkian. Only native Alaskans can use or sell baleen. They told me I could buy it from a native with etched artwok but I could not alter the baleen. Bummer.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    shearej

    Alder makes a interesting "character bow" short and stiff as hell but interesting. And the mongols made there bows from horn and birch, no reason one couldn't make one from birch and whale baleen. You wouldn't even have to boil and flatten the baleen.
    I have considered alder given it's availability up here, though I assume it ranks along the lower end of the spectrum of great bow woods (opposite Osage orange, yew, hickory, etc). However, any wood can make a bow, you just have to keep the design within the limitations of the wood. But at the moment I have too much oak, Osage, and locust under the work bench at the moment.

    I had also considered baleen, but dropped that idea after checking on laws regarding marine mammal products (as DWLong has alluded to).

    If someone wants to give me their Dall sheep horns, I'd be happy to experiment making my first horn bow I have a big stack of sinew ready to go. But to be honest, I don't think I'd have to heart to cut the horn, they're just too cool looking as is. I've heard of guys using elk antlers, maybe I could try caribou antlers someday.

  15. #15

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    shearej,
    I'm with you on the sheep horn. Dr Grayson donated a large set of horns to the United Bowhunters of Missouri a few years back. I was asked if I could make a bow out of them for our auction. I was flatered, but declined. I hadn't built a horn bow yet and was scared of screwing them up. I'll give caribou a shot someday first.
    Dr. Grayson gave me pointers on boiling caribou horn at midnight following one of our banquets. I believe he was in his mid 90s at that time. What a sharp mind.
    (Sorry, didn't mean to hijack this thread.)

    mud,
    You could also make a bow for small game out of two hickory maul handles (without the maul of course ) from SBS. Just a thought.

  16. #16

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    got to thinking I still have a hickory stave debarked that's been "drying" for a lack of a better way of putting it for..oh....quite awhile lol. Bought it from Jim Balyzak out of primitve archer mag. Find a draw knife, spoke shave, and a scraper and you'll have a bow. I'll see if I cant find it....make me an offer on it and you can have it. Have a ton of osage slats for doing bbo's, and a osage blank...likely I wont get to this stave for way too long to come!

  17. #17
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Shearej

    You can get Asiatic water buffalo horn pre cut and cheep on the net.
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    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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