lewisc

Laminated Flatbow Build

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The plans indicate it will be just under 1.8metres. Around 5'10" if my conversion is correct.

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Talk about timing! I have been playing with this idea for a long time. Thanks for sharing. I'll view it later as I'm up to my eyebrows in alligators or crocodiles that you have Down Under.

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Big daddy to the rescue. The MDF pattern was screwed to the form timber. I’ll have to add another piece to the form to widen it by a few millimeters. Then it needs to be joined in the middle and some dowels and holes added to help clamp it down. 

The curve looks like it will do. I’ll do a few tests with pine before glueing up the proper timber.  1m rule for scale. 

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If you're planning on ever drawing or stringing that bow, I would immediately halt, and get some yew or Willow wood. The tension when stringing a recurve bow is huge and the wood needs to be able to bend and straighten with as little vibration as possible. Given how Maple bends, I highly doubt it is suitable for the limbs.  Maybe the riser if you make it anchor able up break down.

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Have you made a a bow Brendan? Or do you shoot them? I'll say it again: I have no idea what I’m doing.

The video series I'm going through uses thin strips of maple and a tapered piece of purpleheart, laminated with fibreglass. His finished bow seems to work well to my untrained eye. I've found a few books that I'm considering buying and trawling the net for videos, forums and pictures on bows so any advice is welcome.

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I've been an active member on archery talk for about 12 years. I'm a wheel bow shooter and do not know a lot about building them but have still watched and taken interest in the builds of recurve bows.  

With this bow, your are making a final form that after shaping, will essentially be bent backwards and held there by the string. The action comes from how fast the wood snaps back to its original position after drawing (bending way more).  The wood should absolutely be straight grain, and riven. Any grain run-out at all can be extremely dangerous as limbs on a bow breaking or splintering, is how many right eyes have become useless. 

There are certain woods great for building stick bows.Thin Maple strips are commonly used in fibreglass faced or backed bows as it's pretty and the strength is coming from the glass, but real wood limbs are best from things like hickory, yew, Osage orange, and mulberry.  There is something in these woods that give them fast snap, availability of very straight grain, and the tendency to not splinter to all hell when drawn.  

If you're planning on using glass, ignore me. That's pretty far out of my zone.

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The video went over fiberglass needed for the bows, not sure if you are headed that way but I would. That being said I'd still source some air dried lumber.

I have some strips of air dried ash that i tried breaking i bent the strips a full 180 degrees and they never snapped.

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Thanks for the info Brendan. I’m going with the fibreglass. I can’t get the stuff mentioned in the video but I’ve found another bow fibreglass which I’m pretty sure is the same sort of stuff. 

I’ll have to have a look for air dried timber. I recall reading somewhere it’s better for bending. If the form works out, it’ll be the kind of thing I can try different timbers with. There’s a few forums mentioning our timbers so I’ll be looking into those as well. 

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2 hours ago, lewisc said:

Thanks for the info Brendan. I’m going with the fibreglass. I can’t get the stuff mentioned in the video but I’ve found another bow fibreglass which I’m pretty sure is the same sort of stuff. 

I’ll have to have a look for air dried timber. I recall reading somewhere it’s better for bending. If the form works out, it’ll be the kind of thing I can try different timbers with. There’s a few forums mentioning our timbers so I’ll be looking into those as well. 

Looking forward to watching it come along. When you're done, come on over, we'll have a shot out, winner buys : ) 

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@Brendon_t That's about as fair of a challenge as me challenging you with my rifle at 200 yards. Bet ya i can get a tighter group ;)

Jokes aside nice setup, and I'm impressed by the bow and that group. I'm awful with those things.

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That’s a serious looking bow. My brother has a cheap compound bow that I’ve played with but not had much success. Nothing at all like that one.  

Do you hunt or only shoot targets?

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9 hours ago, Brendon_t said:

Looking forward to watching it come along. When you're done, come on over, we'll have a shot out, winner buys : ) 

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Wow Brendon that looks like it’s from the future or maybe carried by a Klingon warrior. That has to be a target bow and I’m also curious if you hunt or just target shoot. 

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8 hours ago, Chestnut said:

@Brendon_t That's about as fair of a challenge as me challenging you with my rifle at 200 yards. Bet ya i can get a tighter group ;)

Jokes aside nice setup, and I'm impressed by the bow and that group. I'm awful with those things.

What was that?  

Id love to shoot with you, my club has a 1600 if you want to play. Although I don't even sight my lapua in at 200 so I may need to back up. ; )

 

I've been a shooter my entire life weather a bow when I lived in the City Oregon when I lived on the farm. I was lucky enough to shoot archery for the Marine Corps team and the Olympic qualifiers but never made it much farther than that

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20 minutes ago, Brendon_t said:

What was that?  

Id love to shoot with you, my club has a 1600 if you want to play. Although I don't even sight my lapua in at 200 so I may need to back up. ; )

 

I've been a shooter my entire life weather a bow when I lived in the City Oregon when I lived on the farm. I was lucky enough to shoot archery for the Marine Corps team and the Olympic qualifiers but never made it much farther than that

 

Awe man i meant my riffle your bow. Knowing what i know now it's probably more fair that way. I'm not a great shot, just need to hit a deer at 100yd.

You would demolish me. I think I've shot 400y at the longest which is a stretch for my simple hunting rifle. That said i love shooting and need to go out more, i can make excuses all day long it just hasn't been a priority in my life for a while.

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14 hours ago, Brendon_t said:

but real wood limbs are best from things like hickory,

I was just going to chime in on this.  I watched a program a while back on PBS where the guy was making recurve bows with old school techniques and his wood of choice was hickory.

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The form is mostly complete. The method for clamping everything together seems to work well to hold a test piece in place. I’ll need to pick up some rope to do the whole thing. After the rope is looped on, you hammer wedges in the top to tighten everything a little more. 

I’ll cut up some timber tomorrow and glue a test piece using Titebond. That should give me an idea of the shape and how it will look. After that, I’ll need to order some fibreglass, epoxy and decide on timber. 

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I ripped and resawed some pine to glue a test piece. I used Titebond III for the test but the real one is done with a certain type of epoxy( that I need to research). It’ll stay in the form for a while and then I can check the glue joins and shape. 

The straps and wedges seem to hold everything quite well. 

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I've seen that clamping method before, probably on some Japanese woodworking documentary. Very effective, IF your rope or strap isn't too stretchy.

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Reminds me of Japanese bondage . Seems like they have a strange approach to lots of things .

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I left the practice run in the form over the weekend. There was some slight spring back but the shape looks to be consistent. The straps held everything tightly. A couple of small gaps on the section I ran the No5 over but mostly looks good. I'll start gathering and preparing the nice timber and fibreglass now.

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