Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

I want to make a self bow…

Messages posted to thread:
Lonster 17-Nov-22
bentstick54 17-Nov-22
Desperado 17-Nov-22
Ragnall 17-Nov-22
fdp 17-Nov-22
Muddyboots 17-Nov-22
Don T. Lewis 17-Nov-22
Bassmaster 17-Nov-22
neuse 18-Nov-22
hunterbob 18-Nov-22
Altitude Sickness 18-Nov-22
George Tsoukalas 18-Nov-22
Eric Krewson 18-Nov-22
chamookman 19-Nov-22
Aeronut 19-Nov-22
Lonster 20-Nov-22
bentstick54 20-Nov-22
Lonster 20-Nov-22
Mike E 20-Nov-22
From: Lonster
Date: 17-Nov-22

Give me some advice guys, please.



From: bentstick54
Date: 17-Nov-22

What’s your knowledge level at this point?

What do you have in the way of tools to work with?

What kind of wood do you have access to? Boards or staves?

If staves, what type of wood?

We need more info in order to help.

From: Desperado
Date: 17-Nov-22

Get Clay Hayes' book How to build wooden bows & arrows ~~~ Des

From: Ragnall
Date: 17-Nov-22

If you can make it, the Tennessee Classic at Twin Oaks, just outside Clarksville, TN, would be a great place to start. They have a self bow challenge where you build a bow there in the days leading up to the shoot. The year I made one they had all the tools and expert help I needed to finish a shootable bow.

From: fdp
Date: 17-Nov-22

Get one of the good books and start making bows. If you can Get to a gathering even better. Virtually everybody has access to some type of good bow wood.

You will never learn until you start doing.

From: Muddyboots
Date: 17-Nov-22

Clay Hayes has a how to video on youtube, over an hour long.

From: Don T. Lewis
Date: 17-Nov-22

First cut down an 8 inch diameter piece of hickory. about 6 feet long. Cut it into four staves. Peel the bark off it and seal the ends. Then Read the traditional bowyers Bible series of books. If you can find a mentor in your area that makes Selfbows and will show you step-by-step that’s also a good way to go. After you read the series of traditional bowyers bible books your staves should be ready to work. Also gather all the tools you will need. Like a good draw knife. Rasp, rat tail file, cabinet scraper. And I’ll give you a really good tip. Make it easy on yourself. Punch in Tillering Gizmo. It was invented by one of our own top selfbow makers. You might also want to start asking some of the selfbow guys on here some of the questions you have. Before you have at it. Good luck and enjoy the Journey:)

From: Bassmaster
Date: 17-Nov-22

You can, also go to build alongs on primitive archery were you will see a step by step on making self, or backed bows. Some are very informative, with finer points of wood bow building. Utube build alongs. Research, and then have at it. BE PERSISTENT,learn from your mistakes, ask questions as you go along, and in the end you will have built a viable wood bow.

From: neuse
Date: 18-Nov-22

Youtube has some good videos, including Clay Hayes.

From: hunterbob
Date: 18-Nov-22

See if you have someone in your area. It goes along way if you know someone.

From: Altitude Sickness
Date: 18-Nov-22

^^^ what hunterbob said. Get the books, DVDs and jump into the deep end. Make a few bows. Then when you know what questions to ask. And where you struggle. And things you don’t have down yet. Then look for a mentor in your area to visit and pick his brain and have him observe your work.

I did it that way. I had started then reached out

To BJROGG on here. He invited me to his shop and helped me chase a ring. He gave me some good tricks of the trade. And helped me a lot.

Most bow builders love to share their knowledge and skill. Brian definitely is one of those guys. Thanks again Brian.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 18-Nov-22

My site may help you get started. Jawge

From: Eric Krewson
Date: 18-Nov-22

Where are you at in Alabama Lonster? I have made a few bows, live near Florence Al and have a little extra wood I could share.

The best advice I can give is to accept failure as part of the learning process, most folk give up and quit if they break their first bow. To be successful you have to suck it up and start another bow, all of us that ended up as pretty good bowmakers left a trail of broken bows in our wake.

One other piece of advice is to go slow on wood removal, all of my failure students got way too aggressive shaping their bow stave.

From: chamookman
Date: 19-Nov-22

Gary Davis's CD will educate You - a wealth of info. Bob

From: Aeronut
Date: 19-Nov-22

Best advice I can give is to attend OJAM next March. look on for the event dates to show up.

The event started in 2005, yeah it says 2004 but they don't know how to do the math. We have taught thousands of people the art of making selfbows and other crafts. I've attended all but the last two, missed them because of covid shut down and then neck surgery.

From: Lonster
Date: 20-Nov-22

Tools, I can get whatever I need. I do have woodworking knowledge, I’ve built a couple of cedar strip canoes. Been involved in woodworking my entire life.

I haven’t cut any staves because I don’t really know what to look for, I guess straight clear 8” at least 6’ long and split into 4 staves. I have access to hickory, plenty of it around here, possibly some Osage.

I’ve watched some of Clay Hayes’ videos on YouTube but I prefer some hands-on training. It’s one thing to watch a video or read a book but I always have questions that aren’t answered and someone with experience can hopefully help me to not make some of the same mistakes that they might have made.

Eric Krewson, I sent you a PM. I’m in Marion/Fayette County. Not too far from you.



From: bentstick54
Date: 20-Nov-22

I would definitely work out a deal with Eric. Maybe get some hands on training as you go. I like 8”-10” tress to split into four staves. Lots easier to work with from the get go. If you cut hickory or any white wood, do it in spring or summer and the bath I’ll peel off easy and expose the back of your bow it’s no need to chase a ring. Also post on Primitive Archer site as you go, lots of help there from experienced bowyers including Eric.

From: Lonster
Date: 20-Nov-22

Yes I’m going to call Eric and go from there. I’ll start a thread when I get started.

From: Mike E
Date: 20-Nov-22

although you couldn't prove it by me, I think with today's tech stuff on phones and Skype (if that's still a thing) you can do live chats on camera that would help. It would sure help me, sometimes showing someone what you're doing live can help with corrections that are hard to explain w/o actually seeing them. Good Luck.

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