Thursday, August 9, 2012
My First Man Bow
So here are some shots of my first primitive style bow sized for an adult human being.
About a year ago I decided I wanted to try and build a bow that was primitive in nature. I did not use hide glue, and I did not use sharp edges of rocks to shape this bow. Thus my reference to this being a primitive "style" bow.
I went out last year and cut a small tree from the river bank near where I live, debarked it, and let it season for a couple of months. I then used a hatched to rough out the basic shape and use a rasp to shape out the rest of the bow.
It took a long time, but what else are you going to do a 10PM at night during a Canadian winter.
I almost broke it trying to flex it at an early stage and so I figure I lost about 20 pounds of draw weight. I had some wood split up on the back of the bow and had to use a drawknife to remove some serious wood. I then salvaged the bow by laminating rawhide onto the back to keep it from braking. I also added some elk antler overlays to the tips.
It has held up and shot a couple hundred of arrows so far. I need to build some arrows specifically for it as I only have my hunting arrows I use for my 50lb fiberglass bow.
There are many flaws with this bow. Knots, some holes in the wood, imperfect tiller. I attribute a lot of the success of this bow to the length I made it. Seventy two inches of height really spreads out the amount of pressure on the limbs.
I only ever expected this bow to blow up in my face. So I have to admit that after a year of toiling, reading, and watching youtube videos into the wee hours of the morning, it is quite a relief that I got to shoot some arrows with it. I do not know how much longer it will last, but I am confident that I will make better bows in the years to come.
I would like to thank Professor Roland Bohr who I have had the good fortune to become acquainted with for his encouragement and all the knowledge he has shared with me.
I will post shots of some of the kids bows I have made for my nieces and nephew over the past summer. I will also take some glamour shots of my elm longbow and maybe post a video to YouTube so people can have a look at how it shoots.
Stay golden Ponyboys and girls.