Re: [SCA-Archery] make my own bow
- Somewhere on one of the SCA archery sites is a plan for a longbow but all you
really need is an eye to find straight grained wood (if you are going to make
a bow from a board as opposed to a stave) I have been successful using the
hickory handles for hoes or shovels from home depot but you have to sort
through a lot of them to find one without grain runout.
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- On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 15:21:00 -0400, you, with reckless abandon, wrote:
>On Thu, 5 Aug 2004 18:26:52 -0700 (PDT), you, with reckless abandon, wrote:Ok now that I have more time.
>>Hello my name is Michael (mundane name) / Llywelyn (persona name). I am still new to the SCA and also to Archery. I do not have a lot of money being the only breadwinner in my family. Never the less I would still like to get into archery. While looking for a bow to buy I found some web-sites that shows pictures of other people making bow. So I was hoping that that someone in this group knows a detailed web-site or a book on how to make a longbow. There must be something out there that can show someone how do make a longbow without any special wood working tools. I would appreciate any help anyone could give.
>Ok best resounces for you are ther 3 volumes of the boyers bibles by Bois d'arc press and can be had
>through amazon or other big book sellers and "the bent Stick" by Paul comstock. it can be had
>through 3 rivers archery (www.3riversarchery.com)
>The best websites for chatting with other archers and asking questions are first
>the leatherwall (http://www.bowsite.com/bowsite/tf/lw/threadsx2.cfm)
>PaleoPlanet ( http://b16.ezboard.com/bpaleoplanet69529 )
>traditional archery (http://p072.ezboard.com/btraditionalarchery )
>If you feel like it, you can subscribe to primitive archer magazine and have access to thier
>excellent articles and a great chat board that seems to be more freindly than the leatherwall and a
>little less busy. I highly reccomend you get this mad if ya can, it is more suited to a medievalist
>or Scadian than traditional archery. www.primitivearcher.com
>From there, there are many places that give good basic instructions online but if you get and read
>the boyers bibles you will get a better idea of what to do.
>RJ Bachner ( Ragi warmbear)
>7451 St Jacques west #2
>Montreal Quebec Canada
>514-481-9116 between 9am and 9pm est.
If you have never made a bow before and ya wanna get started there are some things you should be
aware of, if you want to make a longbow. Longbows can be many different shapes other than the
classic d shaped "english long bow" infact unless you can get yer hands on good yew from the pacific
northwest or osage from the south/central US a longbow as you have in mind will not be the best
choice. Design in bowmaking depends an awful lot on the wood you have in hand so before you set yer
heart on a specific design, find out about what wood is available to you in your locale.
a classic longbow requires a wood that is capable of taking a lot of compression forces and most
good bow woods do not have it in them. Yew and Osage being notable exceptions. Now a different
desing is needed for bows of other woods and that is normally what we call a flat bow. The limbs are
long like a longbow but instead of narrow and thick they are wide and thin. This is the style of bow
I like to make and they are based on older styles than the medieval longbow.
Now any hardwood can be used and in fact a few softwoods as well as long as your design matches the
properties of the wood. best all around starter wood is probably Hickory but you have to watch that
it is dry enough when you use it. White and Red Oak are also good choices as are White Ash, Rock
Maple and Birch. All of these can be had at a lumber yard or found in the woods, there are many
other choices but these are common.
There is so much to know about before you start I would suggest you get someone who has made a bunch
of bows to go looking for wood with you.
If you have any specific questions please feel free to email me or ask the list, some of these guys
even sound like they know what theyu are talking about. :)
Read everything ya can first. best advice I can give..
- The Traditional Bowyer's Bibles are great but can be a bit
intimidating for a novice bowyer. A board bow is often the easiest
way to start.
Here is Jawge board bow buildalong link.
This is Tim Baker's instructions. No pictures but clear
instructions including how to season whitewood if you decide to
chop a tree down instead of buying a board.
If you decide to do a board bow, selecting the right board is
crucial. Be prepared to walk away from woodpile empty handed.
As for tools, I use either a drawknife or spokeshave for initial
shaping. For tillering I use a farrier's rasp and a cabinet scraper.
Costs. Hmmm. If you keep to minimum tools, you can probably
keep the tool cost to below $50. Some primitive types like to do
everything with a hatchet. A board will cost you $10. A real stave
in hickory might set you back $40. Osage Orange will be a bit
more and a Yew stave will cost you more than most bows. Of
course, you can just go an cut down your own tree. I live in an
urban area so chopping trees down in parks is heavily
discouraged. And, it is fairly standard for the beginning bowyer
to fail in his first few bows. Each bow will probably take you
anywhere from 15 to 30 hours to complete.
Bottom line is that, if your main interest is in shooting, then I
would recommend you shop around for a cheap bow. If the idea
of actually making a bow really appeals, go for it. But don't get
fooled into thinking it saves you money. Like any hobby, you will
find yourself spending as much money on it as you save.
--- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Llywelyn ap Iowerth
> Hello my name is Michael (mundane name) / Llywelyn(persona name). I am still new to the SCA and also to Archery. I
do not have a lot of money being the only breadwinner in my
family. Never the less I would still like to get into archery. While
looking for a bow to buy I found some web-sites that shows
pictures of other people making bow. So I was hoping that that
someone in this group knows a detailed web-site or a book on
how to make a longbow. There must be something out there that
can show someone how do make a longbow without any special
wood working tools. I would appreciate any help anyone could
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