Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

adding weight to a self bow?

Messages posted to thread:
Jon Stewart 20-Aug-23
HRhodes 20-Aug-23
Jeff Durnell 20-Aug-23
bugsy 49 20-Aug-23
From: Jon Stewart
Date: 20-Aug-23

Is there a way to add maybe 5 to 10 pounds to my self bow?

From: HRhodes
Date: 20-Aug-23

Yeah, but it may not be worth it. Good selfbows are tillered for their specific dimensions. You can shorten the limbs by cutting off or “piking” the tips and making new string nocks. That increases draw weight but induces more set, so your performance won’t improve as much as you would like. It might be much better- you never know. You can add sinew backing. That can easily add weight. Again, it depends on the length and design of the selfbow. On a very long bow, the added weight of the sinew and glue will be a factor. The increased draw weight may not give you the improved performance you’re looking for. Short answer is, it depends. If I wanted a heavier selfbow I would just build one. Performance improvement for your existing weight is easier to accomplish through better bowstrings, thinning tips, heat treatment, induction of reflexed tips, etc. Questions like this can start selfbow builders in daylong discussions/debates/fisticuffs lol.

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 20-Aug-23

I can't think of much to add to what Howard said. He covered it pretty good.

If it were overbuilt or overly long for your draw length, you might be able to shorten it without inducing set.

And/or if it hasn't been done already, heat treating and reflex could help.

From: bugsy 49
Date: 20-Aug-23

All the above answers are good ones. Lots of variable factors involved. I have perked up elm bows by putting them back on a reflex form, and giving them a good belly heat treat.

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