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Thread: Making a bow

  1. #1
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    Default Making a bow

    I have a mulberry tree in the neighbour's 'yard. Its branches keep on extending in my driveway and I have to cut them out.
    Yesterday while cutting it's branches this idea came to my mind and I have taken the first step.
    At tied up points the branch is 35mm and 20 mm.

    20200809_152835.jpg

    Well this is going to experimental and if it works shall go for a thick branch and make a bow.

    I know there are a few bow makers here, there comments along with other friends will be welcome.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    I want to watch this!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    I have never made a bow like that, but I am sure lots have been made in times past. Mulberry is a good bow wood I have been told, I think it may be in the family of the Osage orange which in my opinion the choice wood for bows .
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    I forgot to say there are lots of survival bow videos on youtube.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    My plan is to let it dry in this curved shape. After that I shall try to finish it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Quote Originally Posted by Syed View Post
    My plan is to let it dry in this curved shape. After that I shall try to finish it.
    The western stave pattern bows are seasoned straight, then shaved down to taper the limbs.
    Eastern bows are normally laminated with sinew and formed into an oval shape. Then strung to recurve the limbs.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    You get one point for having a go Syed. Your bow gets no points That's a bent stick with a string tied to it Untie it. Rough shape it and let it dry. Tiller it so that it draws to your draw length evenly. It will probably break. If it doesn't you will have a bow with enough power to poke a hole in a wet cereal packet. Next we can discuss arrows and fletching, and point styles. I wish you luck JayInOz

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Quote Originally Posted by JayInOz View Post
    You get one point for having a go Syed. Your bow gets no points That's a bent stick with a string tied to it Untie it. Rough shape it and let it dry. Tiller it so that it draws to your draw length evenly. It will probably break. If it doesn't you will have a bow with enough power to poke a hole in a wet cereal packet. Next we can discuss arrows and fletching, and point styles. I wish you luck JayInOz
    Thank you Jay,
    This stick has a natural curve should I go with it or discard it all together?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    We made green wood bows like that many times a summer as kids. Good for a few hours of stalking. Can be fairly dangerous with a "real" arrow, though we mostly used crooked, unfletched sticks. Even so, "you could take an eye out with that thing."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    You don't want a natural curve Syed. A bow blank will often tell you which way it should eventually bend or where the handle would like to be, but it's up to the bowyer to shape and tiller it. It's a craft requiring considerable skill and understanding of the forces imposed on the stave. And a small diameter limb like you have brings even more difficulty into the equation as you will be working with an extreme curve on the outer face of the bow. You would be much better off splitting a stave from a much bigger piece of wood, and buying a cheap wooden bow which actually shoots, and studying the shape.
    It's simple enough to make something that will fling a light arrow at a target from a few yards out, but to make a bow which performs well and it a pleasure to use is a whole nuther animal. Your mulberry stick would make an ideal club for killing rodents- and it's great entertainment JayInOz

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    I once was watching a couple of 4-year-old Assurini boys making a toy bow. It took them about five minutes to break off a couple of sticks and a piece of vine and make a miniature bow and arrow, about 20 cm long. I thought it was just cute until they went to the river's edge and impaled a minnow with the first shot.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Quote Originally Posted by JayInOz View Post
    You don't want a natural curve Syed. A bow blank will often tell you which way it should eventually bend or where the handle would like to be, but it's up to the bowyer to shape and tiller it. It's a craft requiring considerable skill and understanding of the forces imposed on the stave. And a small diameter limb like you have brings even more difficulty into the equation as you will be working with an extreme curve on the outer face of the bow. You would be much better off splitting a stave from a much bigger piece of wood, and buying a cheap wooden bow which actually shoots, and studying the shape.
    It's simple enough to make something that will fling a light arrow at a target from a few yards out, but to make a bow which performs well and it a pleasure to use is a whole nuther animal. Your mulberry stick would make an ideal club for killing rodents- and it's great entertainment JayInOz
    I shall untie the branch and let it dry. The experiment will go on.
    Once again thank you for your input.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Beware of the sideshoots - bowyers are the pickiest people I've ever met when it comes to the question of straight grained timber.

    The first time you have one snap at "full draw" - you'll understand why.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    My heaviest bow will put an arrow through a bull- but the skull of a big carp will stop an arrow in about six inches. George when I was a kid I used to make little arrows by splitting little pieces out of a length of bamboo cut off between the joints- sand them smooth and tie on a needle stolen from my mothers sewing room. I fired them with rubber band and they were deadly. One winters day on the farm my Dad was working on a new set of sheep yards. It was snowing gently. I was kneeling on a rock beside the creek, trying to get a shot at a little fish in a deep pool. My knees began to slip on the rock, and I gently slid into the water like a boat being launched- up to my chin in freezing cold water. I can still hear Dad lecturing me while trying to get a big fire going and get my wet clothes off while I shivered and shook JayInOz
    Last edited by JayInOz; 08-09-2020 at 09:22 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    Beware of the sideshoots - bowyers are the pickiest people I've ever met when it comes to the question of straight grained timber.

    The first time you have one snap at "full draw" - you'll understand why.
    I can relate to that. been there done that.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Thank you Bobby for the helpful video.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    You are welcome Syed. People all over the the world for a very long time have made bows, they use what they had and used till it didn't work any more and just made another one. Bow makers are a lot like boat builders very picky of material and such things. People that need to survive or just have something to do to see if the can just go for it.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    Beware of the sideshoots - bowyers are the pickiest people I've ever met when it comes to the question of straight grained timber.

    The first time you have one snap at "full draw" - you'll understand why.
    The bows recovered from the Mary Rose were really rather knobbly


    Because the bowyers worked around the grain of pin knots from side shoots.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Yes they were and the arrows were monsters. The points on them were a formed metal thing that could penetrate a shield of that day and time. That is the secret to working wood that has lots of limbs on it. Do Not try to make it smooth on the front side of the bow. You may not think it is pretty but it won't have that weak spot.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    If you find yourself really getting into it these are the books you want Syed, all 4 volumes. They're a great read and they cover just about everything there is to know from the most basic to the most sophisticated.



    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Sea...7s+bible&isbn=

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Slightly O a very interesting T, but has anyone tried to make a modern design bow with cams, etc. out of 11th century materials?

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    Default Re: Making a bow


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Slightly O a very interesting T, but has anyone tried to make a modern design bow with cams, etc. out of 11th century materials?
    A compound bow uses cams to simulate the action of the severe recurve rigid ends of the limbs in the Persian bow of post #6
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Making a bow

    My understanding is the arrows from Mary Rose were like broomsticks.
    The men that used them trained from boys and their skeletons were complete freaks. A 100-185 lb draw was not unheard of

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_longbow

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    My understanding is the arrows from Mary Rose were like broomsticks.
    The men that used them trained from boys and their skeletons were complete freaks. A 100-185 lb draw was not unheard of

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_longbow
    Can you imagine storming a castle and those raining down on you?
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Broom sticks with points- Bodkins
    edit: 185 lb/ft draw


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    That old warfare was way above my pay grade.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    I forget how much those bodkins weigh but these aren't your target arrows.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Bodkins were the armor piercing round of the day. There was a note in Wiki about about a horseman shot through the armor apron and into the horse killing them both. The Welsh were noted for lying in wait and using longbows and bodkins at close range. The Brits tended to leave them alone!
    I have had a fasination for bows since a was a lad. Made a few, straightened and fletched a few arrows. The problem is I don't want to kill anything, I think that's a conflict of interest...
    These days when I have piles of Peterbilt springs, winches and I-beams galore it is sometimes an interesting mental exercise to think what I could really do

    edit:Computer analysis by Warsaw University of Technology in 2017 demonstrated that heavy bodkin-point arrows could penetrate typical plate armour of the time at 225 metres (738 ft). However, the depth of penetration would be slight at that range; penetration increased as the range closed or against armour lesser than the best quality available at the time.[7]
    Points, on average weighed around 14 grams (Hardy, 1992).
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 08-09-2020 at 10:29 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    You want the bow to resist bending, thats what gives it its spring back. You are essentially making a wooden leaf spring. Tulsa is right about mulberry, it is a cousin of osage and a fantastic bow wood. It takes a dry bit of wood to make a bow however, green wood doesn't allow the wood cell walls to resist compression forces without failure.

    The TBB volume one and volume four are the best two. I cant think of a better guide to bow making. If you want to get into it, id be happy to help, I've been making bows since 2010 now.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Making a bow

    Thank you sleek for your post.

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