Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


One-dollar pine board stave

Messages posted to thread:
Tim Baker 12-Jan-22
Tim Baker 12-Jan-22
Tim Baker 12-Jan-22
Tim Baker 12-Jan-22
Tim Baker 12-Jan-22
fdp 12-Jan-22
B arthur 12-Jan-22
Eric Krewson 13-Jan-22
monkeyball 13-Jan-22
PEARL DRUMS 13-Jan-22
Bill Rickvalsky 13-Jan-22
Jeff Durnell 13-Jan-22
PEARL DRUMS 13-Jan-22
Bill Rickvalsky 13-Jan-22
Jeff Durnell 13-Jan-22
Bill Rickvalsky 13-Jan-22
RonG 13-Jan-22
Bill Rickvalsky 13-Jan-22
monkeyball 13-Jan-22
Jeff Durnell 13-Jan-22
Tim Baker 13-Jan-22
Tim Baker 13-Jan-22
HRhodes 13-Jan-22
B arthur 13-Jan-22
Tim Baker 14-Jan-22
CodeRed 14-Jan-22
HRhodes 14-Jan-22
Bowlim 14-Jan-22
Catskills 14-Jan-22
George Tsoukalas 14-Jan-22
George Tsoukalas 14-Jan-22
Gene Langston 14-Jan-22
Tim Baker 14-Jan-22
Stan 14-Jan-22
PEARL DRUMS 14-Jan-22
pondscum2 14-Jan-22
Therifleman 14-Jan-22
Tim Baker 14-Jan-22
Runner 14-Jan-22
Bill Rickvalsky 14-Jan-22
Runner 14-Jan-22
Tim Baker 15-Jan-22
Tim Baker 15-Jan-22
Tim Baker 15-Jan-22
Catskills 15-Jan-22
Bassmaster 15-Jan-22
George Tsoukalas 15-Jan-22
Catskills 15-Jan-22
Runner 15-Jan-22
Bassmaster 15-Jan-22
Tim Baker 19-Jan-22
Tim Baker 19-Jan-22
Tim Baker 19-Jan-22
From: Tim Baker
Date: 12-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



No decent boards of any kind, not even in the Doug fir 2x lumber stacks, but rifling though the junk pine 1x2x8s Home Depot sells for a dollar each, maybe $1.50 now,  a 63" knot- free section is found, the grain too wavey, but there's nothing else...  

Worked the board to proper front-view shape. Hide glued a few strands of combed flax to the back. Flax is stronger that wood so a full thick backing would overpower weak pine. 

The bow: 36lb at 24" . 63" by 1.25 it's center 15"", 3/8" nocks, 10 ounces including flax, glue and string. 2 1/4" of just- unbraced set, meaning the wood is well overstrained. It would like to break but the flax won't let it.

Takeaway: It's good to keep some combed flax on hand. An ounce or so will elevated lame or compromised wood to legitimate stave status. 

From: Tim Baker
Date: 12-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



From: Tim Baker
Date: 12-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



From: Tim Baker
Date: 12-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



From: Tim Baker
Date: 12-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



From: fdp
Date: 12-Jan-22




Neat bow.

From: B arthur
Date: 12-Jan-22




That is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

From: Eric Krewson
Date: 13-Jan-22




I always like you "challenge" bows, you always pull it off. I see way too many naysayers on the bow building sites that adamantly say you can't do this or that, I to like to prove them wrong.

From: monkeyball
Date: 13-Jan-22




Tim, I think you could build a bow out of Sumac.........

Very cool!

Good Shooting->->->->Craig

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 13-Jan-22




Eric, I am one those naysayers and stand by it firmly. I've said it many times before and probably will many times more. You can make a bow out of dang near any wood. But, you cant make a reliable, serviceable bow out of just any wood. If such was the case you wouldn't have broke your back harvesting osage when you could have just bought a 2x4.

From: Bill Rickvalsky
Date: 13-Jan-22




I just have to ask because somebody probably will. What makes a bow reliable and serviceable? Wouldn't that depend on the purpose of the bow? And since you mentioned it do you consider osage the only real choice?

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 13-Jan-22




Nothing wrong with playing around like that if that's what you want to do. But my idea of a 'legitimate stave' is one that will result in a reliable, durable, long-lived, fully drawn, 60#(give or take) Hunting bow. Such a bow is able to withstand many years of hard use, countless thousands of shots, strung throughout the duration of many hunts in varied weather conditions, without incurring visible damage, taking excessive set or loss of cast or other adverse effect. That's serviceable, reliable, and durable for my purpose... and they gotta be sexy lookin too :^)

Personally, I consider osage my #1 choice for such a hunting companion, but not my only option. I like to play with a few others on occasion just to mix it up, but they just ain't osage.

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 13-Jan-22




Jeff answered exactly as I would. No surprise there :)

From: Bill Rickvalsky
Date: 13-Jan-22




A fair enough explanation but also a very narrowly focused serviceability. It suits your particular use for a bow. But perfectly reliable and serviceable bows are used by many people for other purposes. It would seem that other woods and staves should work fine.

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 13-Jan-22




Yes Bill, they may. Depends what each of us wants/expects of our bows. Two people may have vastly different requisites for a 'serviceable bow'.

From: Bill Rickvalsky
Date: 13-Jan-22




Jeff, I get that and completely sgree. That is why I don't understand the adamant "naysayer" stance about bow wood. It is one thing to say it doesn't meet my requirements. It is entirely different to say something can't meet anyones requirements.

From: RonG
Date: 13-Jan-22




Bill you keep saying depends on what you use a bow for, well I hate to point it out to you, but this is a hunting sight and I don't think anyone would use a bow for anything except shooting arrows and Jeff and Pearl pretty much explained what a dependable bow is and that piece of pine would not be considered a dependable bow.

Now messing around and making bows out of anything is fun I guess, and I have to commend Tim for messing with making a bow, he even mentioned that it was backed and that it would break if it wasn't now how do you call that dependable.

I don't understand your comment.

From: Bill Rickvalsky
Date: 13-Jan-22




Ron, I hate to point this out to you but this is not exclusively a hunting site. Over the years there has been much discussion of bow making from various perspectives. There have been minor wars in the past over white woods for bow making. There have also been many other discussions over the years about various aspects of traditional archery.

My only point was the what seemed to be a very narrow minded attitude expressed about bow woods.

Yes I understand the fragility of the subject bow in the original post.

Sorry I didn't mean to create a stink. I will leave this alone now.

From: monkeyball
Date: 13-Jan-22




As lots of threads go lately this one is no exception, Tim's point he is trying to make is that the flax backing took an inferior piece of wood and made it into a possibility.

Nothing more than that. Tough bunch here.

Good Shooting->->->->Craig

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 13-Jan-22




Got that, but it was stated as more than just a possibility.

He said it takes lame wood to legitimate. In my opinion it doesn't... it can't. It's pine. Pine is illegitimate bow wood. You guys go ahead and make all the pine bows ya want. I'm out.

From: Tim Baker
Date: 13-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



Got the mid limbs bending a bit more, now 26" at 39lb. If memory serves, Art Young said a 40lb bow with the right arrow would take any game in the country. Maybe he'll let that one pound slide.

Just-unbraced set is now 3", that poor pine way over-strained, this as good an example as you'd want of the protective power of a little flax. The flax backing was an irregular and sloppy job. A bit surprised the bow didn't blow. 

Searched through at least 70 red oak boards yesterday, finally settled for a 1x2 with quite violated ring lines, knowing a thin layer of combed flax will make it tension safe.  

From: Tim Baker
Date: 13-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



For anyone unfamiliar with it, this is combed flax:

From: HRhodes
Date: 13-Jan-22




That’s an awesome demonstration of the power of flax. Where can you get it?

From: B arthur
Date: 13-Jan-22




HRhodes, you beat me to it. I love this demonstration. I'd also like to know where you get flax.

From: Tim Baker
Date: 14-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



The backing on that bow used about 1/3 oz of flax, about one dollars worth -- saw 4oz for $12 on ebay. Order flax strick, the same as used for spinning into linen thread. Make you own bow strings from scratch. Flax strick:

From: CodeRed
Date: 14-Jan-22




Tim, Great build Sir !.

From: HRhodes
Date: 14-Jan-22




Thank you sir.

From: Bowlim
Date: 14-Jan-22




A lot of ideas there!

From: Catskills
Date: 14-Jan-22




Since we're talking about "illegitimate" wood for bows, did you ever think of using poplar ? As a woodworker (but NOT a bowyer) I have seen that it can be quite tight grained and very springy.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 14-Jan-22




Very nice, Tim. I will keep that in mind about flax. Very nice bow build. Jawge

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 14-Jan-22




I take the time to make an all wooden bow (self bow) and then I put a B50 Dacron string on it. I have to think about buying some flax. :) Jawge

From: Gene Langston
Date: 14-Jan-22




What's going on with the belly of that bow, Tim? And how is the cast?

From: Tim Baker
Date: 14-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



Catskills:    Poplar is about 39sg, like white pine's 35sg,  it's also a last choice when making a bow, but if a bow is needed from it just make it longer or wider per its sg and a durable efficient bow can be gotten.  Here's a 50lb version at 30" draw. 1.5 x 76", drawn here by Steve Gardner.

From: Stan
Date: 14-Jan-22




Love these posts.. I think some of you are overlooking the importance or advantage of these subjects.. For instance, not everyone has access to prime staves to practice or experiment on.. Especially a beginning bowyer just throwing together tools needed, becoming familiar with the whole process, developing an eye for tillerimg etc. Lets face it, most beginner's won't produce a prime shooting bow their first few attempts.. Being able to practice on inexpensive alternatives such as Tim is providing is key to sharpening the skills needed.. Making bows as a beginner from broom or shovel handles, or miniature bows etc. does nothing but good for your skill levels, And when you finally get a great solid stave in front of you, You can have at it with much more skill and confidence...jmo.

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 14-Jan-22




I do understand all of what you said, Stan. And if such is the case the person should use oak, hickory or maple boards before ever touching pine or poplar of any sort. Failures on crap wood doesn't breed confidence or longevity. I want more people to learn the art of wood bow building and starting with a stick of dynamite with a band aid on it isn't the way towards that.

I always say I didn't teach my boys to drive on bald tires so they were well versed in winter spin outs. I set them up with a solid used, cheap vehicle and respectable tires. I approach teaching this art the same way.

From: pondscum2
Date: 14-Jan-22




as a short-term survival tool, anything that won't snap when drawn & will kill fish and small game etc is okay. if i was going to try to kill deer, or wanted it to last, i'd use red oak or better. Home Depot & Lowes always have decent grained boards here locally. i've ruined several of them, lol...

From: Therifleman
Date: 14-Jan-22




Very cool build Tim! I always enjoy seeing what the talents of others produce. Good to have resources such as yourself for learning how its done!

From: Tim Baker
Date: 14-Jan-22




Jawge:  For a moment there I thought (hoped) we'd have to fight the White Wood Wars over again. What a great time that was. Too bad those archives are gone.

Gene: The belly is sound, but took 3" of just unbraced set, so cast is a bit below normal. But 350gn arrows, with bird points, would do the job. At 10-ounces the bow feels weightless in the had, an unusual sensation.

PS: If the bow had been made from the 50sg Doug. fir of the earlier $2.00 stave thread it would be about 55lb at 26", but with the same 3" of stringfollow, so maybe 45lb with more acceptable set. With one dollar for the flax, a $3.00 bow that Art Young would be 5 pounds more than happy with.

From: Runner
Date: 14-Jan-22




Art Young moved to Osage from Yew. I don't think he would have been happy at all.

From: Bill Rickvalsky
Date: 14-Jan-22




Come on, guys. You can start an updated version of the white wood wars if you try hard enough. Those weren't such bad times on the Leatherwall.

From: Runner
Date: 14-Jan-22




Wouldn't be fair with Dean and Jim gone.

From: Tim Baker
Date: 15-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



Tillered up the center stave from the Doug. fir 2x4 of the earlier $2.00 stave thread.  Instead of a thin backing of combed linen, as on this thread's bow, it was drawn to it's breaking point, to see what that point would be. It shattered at 37lbs and 28", a classic tension break, the belly left intact.

A half-ounce of combed flax taking much of the tension load would have prevented the tension break, moved the neutral plane higher, making more belly thickness available for compression work, the bow likely then a safe 50-pounder at 28".

There's one stave left from that 2x4. It will get a thin flax coating and be tillered to 55lbs at 28". It's 1 3/8" wide, 1/4" wider than its shattered sister stave. This broken version had a horrific knot at the grip, that area left extra thick, the center foot of so therefor not bending. The new, flaxed version will work it's whole length, conventions longbow tiller, so should take normal set and be quite efficient.

From: Tim Baker
Date: 15-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



From: Tim Baker
Date: 15-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



From: Catskills
Date: 15-Jan-22




I think these experimental builds are fascinating.

Back when I worked in a furniture shop, if we had to build something new (for us) such as cabriole legs, we wouldnt start with the good stock, in fact sometimes we would even use MDF just to arrive at a satisfactory shape.

From: Bassmaster
Date: 15-Jan-22




If you like playing with white wood just be careful. Walnut, and Birch have always worked well for me. Some other wood like wild choke cherry not so much, but they were self bows. Not backed. With sinew backing the natives used choke cherry with a sinew backing to make a good bow. For beginners Hickory, Elm, white ,and red Oak would be better choices. The thing to remember is that Tim Baker Is among the elite as a bow builder.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 15-Jan-22




Those whitewood wars were a long time ago, Tim, in a far away place.

Jawge

From: Catskills
Date: 15-Jan-22




Bassmaster, what did the natives use to adhere the sinew backing? Some sort of pitch glue?

From: Runner
Date: 15-Jan-22




Hide glue or fish glue.

From: Bassmaster
Date: 15-Jan-22




2x

From: Tim Baker
Date: 19-Jan-22




The third stave from the earlier staves-from-2x4 thread will now be combed-flax tested.

https://leatherwall.bowsite.com/tf/lw/thread2.cfm? forum=23&threadid=330534&messages=27&CATEGORY=4

Meanwhile, this flax-protected pine bow looked like it might lift a splinter on a side with lax fiber, so hide-glued another strand over that area and once dry did some touch-up tillering. A 9" paper-plate target rests 15 yards from the work bench. Five arrow launched, five arrow in the plate. Only 35 lbs but with 350- grain arrows and bird points that would have been dinner. Forgive me for showing it off again. I love this bow.

From: Tim Baker
Date: 19-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo



From: Tim Baker
Date: 19-Jan-22

Tim Baker's embedded Photo







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