Help getting started

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Help getting started

Postby ben bb » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:29 am

Hello Board, I'm new to this exciting world of making bows. I've done hours of research on this site and others that has taught me a lot and is now beginning to confuse me. I'm hoping y'all can set me straight to help me move forward.
I'm an experienced woodworker that one day a few months ago decided I was going to make a longbow. I found some plans and quickly got started on an ELB, starting with a 7" diameter hickory log around 7 feet long. I split it into staves and worked it to near completion. I was around 2 inches from finishing tillering when it developed a bed set near one end that I got too thin and it cracked on me.
I've tried to take a few steps back on my next attempt, since I now realize that wasn't the best bow to start with.
I think I want to try an all wood flat longbow next with maybe a little reflex/deflex. I'm uneasy about what woods to use. I currently have some excellent grained hickory and white oak, and some decent grained walnut and maple. I've read that some combinations of those are great and also read that they won't work.
I'm in Memphis, TN. The best wood source around here has many types of hardwoods and exotics, but not the best bellywoods. They currently can't get osage, ipe, yew, or jatoba.
Is there a combination that should work with what I have or should I hold off until I can get a different wood?
Thanks in advance for the help,
Ben B.
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Re: Help getting started

Postby ben bb » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:57 am

Forgot to mention I also have some cherry that I can use.
Also some mahogany, but I doubt anyone would recommend that. Is that good for anything in a bow?
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Re: Help getting started

Postby WinterHawk » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:27 pm

I'm not a bowyer so I can't help you, but wanted to let you know someone is reading this. I don't know why it's so dead around here. Hope others will respond soon!

~WH~
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Re: Help getting started

Postby ben bb » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:10 am

Haha. Thanks for the reply. I was thinking I had done something wrong and it wasn't showing up. After 2 days I finally realized that nobody is posting anywhere. Funny, several other sites just told people that were asking for help to come here, I guess I should have read those dates too.
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Re: Help getting started

Postby zeek from coon creek » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:55 am

The Facebook Monster has pretty much killed off this site. The old time regulars (the O.S.S. members) have their own FB page and do all their posting there, at least that is my understanding. I haven't been to their page to see it first hand.
Zeek;

"All things are difficult before they are easy." (found in a fortune cookie)
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Re: Help getting started

Postby Full Quiver » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:10 pm

Hi Ben & Zeek, it is kind of lonely here lately. I don't facebook & only get on the computer once or twice a week check my emails, TradRag, & maybe check CL.
Ben it's probably a six hour drive for you, but if you could make it to OJAM next week you can get all the help you need. It's just south of Stillwater Ok. You could also pick up a stave or two as there will be guys selling wood.
Sounds like you have wood available for a board bow which I believe is a good way to learn to tiller without the fear of breaking an expensive stave. I still break em, but it is wood & sometimes it just happens.
You also have part of the material in your shop to build a Bamboo backed or Hickory backed bow.
I built my first bow (a board bow) from the internet, and a couple of self bows before getting some help at the 3rd Ojam. It really helps to have others around to give you advise as you go.
I will try to check in more often if I can help you.
Donnie
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Re: Help getting started

Postby ben bb » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:48 am

Thanks for the input. I think I'm going to try a walnut bow backed with hickory. I've read stuff about hickory overpowering the belly wood, which I still don't have a good handle on what that means. So I think I'll use thinner piece of hickory, maybe 1/8 inch, possibly trap it some too.

I know I've seen osage around here in the past when I was hunting, I remember seeing those green balls and wondering what it was. wasn't familiar with it at all until I got interested in bowmaking. I spent over 4 hours trekking through the woods yesterday and couldn't find any osage now that I need it.
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Re: Help getting started

Postby Full Quiver » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:10 pm

"I spent over 4 hours trekking through the woods yesterday and couldn't find any osage now that I need it."

:) That's the way things work for me too.
If you can get a hold of any of the Bowyers Bible volumes they have lots of info. I have never backed with Hickory myself but its on the list. I will do some checking at OJAM this week about the walnut & thickness of the hickory back.
I think that is a good way to go, as I have had some bamboo give up in the past. Maybe my fault, maybe it was the bamboo but I feel like the hickory would be more reliable.
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