board bows and grain orientation

How to make a Bow, a String or a Set of Arrows. Making equipment & tools for use in Traditional Archery and Bowhunting.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
Message
Author
warild_make
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:14 am

board bows and grain orientation

#1 Post by warild_make » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:41 pm

I'm hoping some of you experienced self bow makers can help me out with a bit of a head-scratcher.

I've watched on youtube a few video tutorials from knowledgeable artisans describing the process of making a self bow from a seasoned bowstave, Osage or Locust etc. The key message is to chase a single growth ring for the back.
All makes sense, I follow the logic and am totally on board so far...

What has me confused is when I watch tutorials for selfbows (boardbows) made from a single board sourced from the hardware shop. Why no mention of ring orientation for these? No chasing a growth ring for the back, just, cut to shape and tiller.

Am I missing some eldritch law of milled timber or are these bows doomed to early failure?

I have recently had the good fortune of acquiring a collection of seasoned Osage from a hobby bow builder who is retiring. Much of the collection will be suitable for self bow creation and the rest are cut into laminates and boards. Many with growth-rings perpendicular to what would be the back of a board bow and so I'm guessing they will need to for part of a laminate.

Rhino1
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:01 pm

Re: board bows and grain orientation

#2 Post by Rhino1 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:32 am

I'm not an expert but out of the 20-30 board bows Ive made, I tend to follow the grain where I can, I find that if the grain is running off the bow at an angle they will eventually let go in that spot.
Board bows lend themselves to be backed or laminated imo.
"As far as I can tell my place is right here, on the smart end of this rifle" H.Glass-Revenant.

User avatar
greybeard
Posts: 2884
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:11 am
Location: Logan City QLD

Re: board bows and grain orientation

#3 Post by greybeard » Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:37 pm

warild_make wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:41 pm
What has me confused is when I watch tutorials for selfbows (boardbows) made from a single board sourced from the hardware shop. Why no mention of ring orientation for these? No chasing a growth ring for the back, just, cut to shape and tiller.
Most likely the board used in the YouTube video was hand picked from a stack of boards well before the video was made.

Board bows can be durable. I believe a fair number of board bows fail because the bow style does not suit the timber. The timber dictates what style of bow should be made.

I have a reverse ‘D’ section hickory longbow drawing 50# @ 27”. The bow has not had much use as 50# is uncomfortable for me. At present there are no signs of the bow failing.

I like to back board bows with pole bamboo as it can help to reduce the overall mass of the bow and add durability. Also I believe it helps to improve the bows performance.

You may have already seen the following video. At the start of the video reference is made to choosing timber.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVCMsbF_OD0

I have not used this as backing yet but it could be worth a try. If it works well it could be a low cost alternative.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/gyprock-eas ... e_p0731009

Daryl.
"And you must not stick for a groat or twelvepence more than another man would give, if it be a good bow.
For a good bow twice paid for, is better than an ill bow once broken.
[Ascham]

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” [Einstein]

I am old enough to make my own decisions....Just not young enough to remember what I decided!....

Post Reply