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Been busy in the shop

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finally got the shop straightened up a bit and got some bow work done. I had a fellow from Tennessee contact me about selling him a bow blank back in October, which turned into me selling him a "u-finish" bow that I'll tiller for him. he'll finish sand, seal it up with something, put a leather handle on it, etc. I told him I wouldn't be in the shop until the end of January after I was done hunting. no promises on delivery time, so I'll get it done and see if he still wants it. I'll be surprised if he actually still does, but who knows? I think I glued up these three bow blanks two years ago. maybe last spring. I don't remember. all three of these blanks are halfway done, really. the one in the vise is going down the road. the other two will be lighter weight bows for my sorry old ass.

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I pretty much just did all of the heavy rasp work, cleaning up the glue and rounding off corners and such, which a needs to be done before you start doing any real serious bending. I'm floor tillering along the way, too. to get a feel for where I am weight-wise and see how the limbs are beginning to bend. I shaped the handle and took a little stock off the belly, mostly on the lower limb which is shorter, and was a noticeable stiffer than the upper limb. tomorrow I'll cut the string grooves and brace it up for the first glimpse of the tiller and to check the weight at a very short draw length.

all three of these looked the same when I started today. the one on the left is the one I worked on, obviously.

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I don't know what's up with the color in these pics. terrible
 
finally got the shop straightened up a bit and got some bow work done. I had a fellow from Tennessee contact me about selling him a bow blank back in October, which turned into me selling him a "u-finish" bow that I'll tiller for him. he'll finish sand, seal it up with something, put a leather handle on it, etc. I told him I wouldn't be in the shop until the end of January after I was done hunting. no promises on delivery time, so I'll get it done and see if he still wants it. I'll be surprised if he actually still does, but who knows? I think I glued up these three bow blanks two years ago. maybe last spring. I don't remember. all three of these blanks are halfway done, really. the one in the vise is going down the road. the other two will be lighter weight bows for my sorry old ass.

View attachment 94227

I pretty much just did all of the heavy rasp work, cleaning up the glue and rounding off corners and such, which a needs to be done before you start doing any real serious bending. I'm floor tillering along the way, too. to get a feel for where I am weight-wise and see how the limbs are beginning to bend. I shaped the handle and took a little stock off the belly, mostly on the lower limb which is shorter, and was a noticeable stiffer than the upper limb. tomorrow I'll cut the string grooves and brace it up for the first glimpse of the tiller and to check the weight at a very short draw length.

all three of these looked the same when I started today. the one on the left is the one I worked on, obviously.

View attachment 94228
View attachment 94229

I don't know what's up with the color in these pics. terrible
Very impressive...that’s a skill that requires a lot of time..trial and error to perfect. Something that I’d really like to learn but I have no one close by with that knowledge and skill set. I build my own arrows (wooden, aluminum and carbon) but that’s easy to learn after watching someone do it. Must take many years to learn how to build a bow from scratch.👍
 
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Very impressive...that’s a skill that requires a lot of time..trial and error to perfect. Something that I’d really like to learn but I have no one close by with that knowledge and skill set. I build my own arrows (wooden, aluminum and carbon) but that’s easy to learn after watching someone do it. Must take many years to learn how to build a bow from scratch.👍
it's a labor of love, Sgt. I'm merely a student of the craft, although I took to the work like a moth to a flame. I've spent countless hours doing the work because I enjoy it and it is meaningful to me. I started with nothing more than just the desire to make a bow, just like you. the learning never stops when you are building wooden bows. you don't really need an instructor, but it probably helps a bunch to have a mentor. I was fortunate to take up company with one of the true masters. He's gone now, but his legacy lives on in me and scads of other aspiring bowyers that followed his methods.

you come to Ohio often. shop door is open. come and see me.
 

"J"

Dustin’s FORMER fishing coach
Supporting Member
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it's a labor of love, Sgt. I'm merely a student of the craft, although I took to the work like a moth to a flame. I've spent countless hours doing the work because I enjoy it and it is meaningful to me. I started with nothing more than just the desire to make a bow, just like you. the learning never stops when you are building wooden bows. you don't really need an instructor, but it probably helps a bunch to have a mentor. I was fortunate to take up company with one of the true masters. He's gone now, but his legacy lives on in me and scads of other aspiring bowyers that followed his methods.

you come to Ohio often. shop door is open. come and see me.
Watch what you wish for, Jamie 😂😂😂😂
 
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filing the string grooves into the side of a bow limb probably seems like a completely safe and simple proposition to the layperson or casual observer. I mean, when was the last time you picked up a bow and scrutinized the string nocks?

if we only needed one, it would be much less of a concern, lol. :) filing on each side of the limb at precisely the same angle, depth and equidistant from the end of the bow is another matter. for years I just eyeballed it as best I could, sometimes using a combination square to mark a 45* guide line. sometimes it worked great, sometimes not so perfect. you only get one shot to get this right, really. correcting any disparity between the opposing string grooves can be quite difficult, and the greater the difference, the worse the problem. leaving them unequal in any of the aforementioned ways can cause problems. I'm sure it's nearly impossible to understand some of the intricacies of wooden bow building unless you've actually done it, or tried to do it. they are innumerable, but this particular one, as seemingly insignificant as it is, can cause real problems if not done right.

if one groove is deeper than the other, or if one groove's shoulder is higher than the other, it can cause the string to be misaligned with the center of the bow limb, which in turn causes a limb to twist. limbs torqueing while drawing a bow can cause unwanted vibration, noise, and stress on the working limb that is unnecessary, and if it is bad enough, eventually it could cause a wooden bow to break. it can also cause problems with arrow flight. it is extremely important to have the string tracking exactly down the middle of the limbs, and bisecting the handle. this becomes even more important with a static or working recurve. 8 or 10 years ago I got fed up with dealing with uneven string grooves and devised a jig for marking guide lines to use as reference when cutting the string grooves. I cut them in by hand with a tapered 1/8" rattail bastard. a chain saw file is miserable substitute, but most everyone uses them instead of buying the correct tool for the job because they are readily available everywhere, and cheap.

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it's expandable to accommodate different with limb tips
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this little jig has saved me a ton of time and aggravation. having guide lines that are exactly the same on both sides make this exercise much, much easier with more consistent results. I still have to control the depth of the grooves by eyeballing it, but that is pretty easy to do. Interestingly, the string grooves can be used to overcome small amounts of natural twist in a limb by filing one deeper than the other, and manipulating the string grooves is one way to fine tune the string alignment on selfbows with snakey limbs that are inherently crooked.
 
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I finally got Alberts bow done, and he even still wants it even though it came in about 4 lbs under weight. :) still shoots like a 55 lb bow even though it will be luck to make 50 by the time he does the finish sanding. Deflex/Reflex BBO's are just plain sexy. Albert got himself a real deal on this bow. as soon as I get the money, I'll pack it up to ship.
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