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Self Bows

Discussion in 'Wisconsin Traditional Archery' started by Buck, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Any one shooting home made bows,I work with a guy that has made several and they shoot pretty well.Have always wanted to make one myself,just can not seem to find the time.
    I am still shooting my old Martin Longbow,still have my compound but the Traditonal bows just feel better to me and are more enjoyable to shoot.
  2. I made a few over the years, also built fiberglass long bows and recurves (about 100) for hunting I prefer the self bow over my glass bows, I haven't hunted in 14 years though.

  3. What type of wood did you use,i hear osage is the best.What type would you recomend for a first timer stave or board bow
  4. Osage is the best but you have to know how to do it, such as the bark or back side has to be scraped down with a dull draw knife to one growth ring very carefully not to brake the ring, it has to be done slowly.
    If you just want to try it I would get a piece of hickory, Hickory does not need to be scraped to a growth ring, just take the bark off... a very small tree (or limb)about 2 1/2 inchs in dia and split it in half but let it dry for a month or so before spliting, I made one 40 years ago and it wasn't even close to being tillered right , it was ugly, Made it for my then 6 year old boy, well I saved it all these years and I gave it to him about 6 years ago, It was about 10 to 15 pounds pull and shot a very light arrow, it still shot as good as it did 40 years before.
    If I used a board to practice with look at the end to see if its quarter sawn, the rings are not running straight up and down but accross the boards width,
    its pretty envolved, more than I can type and explain but yet its simple. boards can have the handle glued on with epoxy instead of trying to buy a 1 /12 thick board and making it out of one piece, a 1 inch board should make a high of 55 pound bow if tillered right, by the way most bows for hunting should be around 60 pounds as they will loose some, also when they loose some pounds they can be cut off one inch on each end to bring the pounds back up, another thing you should start with about 72 inchs and work down from there as the bow progress's
    I have free long distance if you are serious and I can explain better over the phone. its not a 2 hour job, we can make a osage in about 20 hours but we are experienced, with no help figure 40 to 60 if its done right. there is a tillering stick you have to make out of a 1`X 2 board to tiller the bow etc
  5. Theres a great book called "making indian bows and arrows the old way" by a Doug spotted eagle. Excellent resource, though I haven't made my bow yet I've read it and seems to give you a pretty good direction to start. You can get it on amazon for 10$ or so. He mentioned osage being the best but not for a beginner.
  6. Thaks for the info guys,.My nieces and nephew have out grown the starter bows,my brother have been thinking about making them some new ones to use till they get bigger and can use a full size.I do have a copy of the Bowyers Bible.
  7. Ive made a half dozen or so. Right now I'm working on an osage kids bow.

    After that I have a pair of 60 year old billets glued up and roughed out. As soon as the kids bow is finished I will start on those.:bowdown:
  8. Gents- stopped into this bow shop in Hood River, Oregon last week where my main office is. This guy (Ted) is fantastic and a real expert on self bows. He has billets for sale of Yew, hickory, osage, and has a class where you can make a self bow in 2 days; cost is $350 but he goes through sinew backing and the whole 9 yards. I picked up a copy of the "The traditional bowyers bible" vol I (there are 3 volumes) and read it on the plane ride back to WI, great book and would recommend. Anyway, Ted was the real deal and offered advice over phone or email if any was needed. He also is an expert flint knapper and has several setups he uses for hunting that are completely made with primitive tools (stone heads, sinew strings etc).
  9. My friend doc is a friend of Jim Hamm, his second book volume 2 has doc and a static recurve he made in it , page 180, and yes Jims book is good.
    Doc also taught me how to build self bows,
    Doc made the bow in the movie Lonesome dove
    Heres Doc from the photo in Jims book, Doc comes over about 3 days a week, He has built some great bows, By the way the reason I Call him Doc is He is a doctor/Dentist
  10. Self Help Books

    The best books I have found are the three volumes of Traditional Bowyers Bibles. :wink: