First board bow build

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by Dyslexic Rooster, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    A little while ago, I posted a question in the archery forum and got kinda talked into building a board bow. So here's a build along.

    I went to Lowe's grabbed some Titebond 2, an surform rasp, and picked the best 1"x2"x8' red oak board. Straight for more than 6 feet. Good grain, only one pin not right at the end. I figured it would either get rasped out, or I could shorten the bow to get rid of it. 20180727_224231.jpg

    Got it home, measured out six feet from the straight end and cut it to length with my Laplander, cause this is for BCUSA.

    I did my first layout according to the build instructions on Poor Folk Bows. Marked the center of length. Found the center of width with jute twine cause this is for BCUSA. Laid out the tapers starting 15" from the tips, and marked the center for a 10" riser. Marked the tip 3/8" from the back to have a taper to aim for. Started rasping. 20180728_002333.jpg

    Then, because it was getting late I decided to cut the two foot section in half and glue it together for the riser. This was a mistake I didn't realize till a few days later. 20180727_215057.jpg
     
  2. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    The next couple days, I finished up the tapers for the limbs. 20180727_235823.jpg This is when I noticed my mistake with the riser. I did a dry run to see the overall thickness and noticed it was going to be way too thick. So I had to seperate the two halves. But how? Titebond recommends heat to loosen the bond. No heat gun, no hairdryer. But what does even dry wood have in it? Moisture. So I put it in the microwave for two 30 second bursts. Wedged my BOB in the joint and drove it through with a mallet 20180731_022619.jpg 20180731_022808.jpg It worked! So then I moved onto gluing the riser on after laying out the angles for the fades. 20180801_141634.jpg
     
  3. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    20180802_140855.jpg 20180802_220005.jpg 20180803_131645.jpg Next couple days were getting the fades rasped and filed in. And chosing ties for the backing 20180807_003318.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  4. bam7765

    bam7765 Supporter Supporter

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    Looks great! The tie backing is a nice touch. What poundage are you hoping to end at?
     
  5. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Looks very cool and Im interested to watch the progress and next steps! Tagged for interest.
     
  6. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    @bam7765 Thanks, I had read that silk makes a good backing and had a few ties laying around. I'm aiming for 35# because it's my first bow over all too.

    I also did some finish tests that were drying overnight 20180807_110025.jpg 20180807_110031.jpg
     
  7. Mtnfolk Mike

    Mtnfolk Mike Supporter Supporter

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    Mice.. Looking good so far..
     
  8. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Excellent!

    Yes choosing the right time always does seem to take more time than it should...

    Eager to see more. Thanks for posting!

    :38:
     
  9. CowboyJesus

    CowboyJesus Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    this is great! i've never thought of a tie for backing before! and i just tossed several too.

    definitely doing a great job with the build. hope it all works-'cause then i'm gonna have to read those instructions and give a board bow a try myself!
     
  10. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    and to think i tossed some beautiful silk ties when i retired from newspapering ...
     
  11. Bryan King

    Bryan King Supporter Supporter

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    I uesd fiberglass dry wall tape 2 layers on a bow made just like this ,except shorter. Turned out great, so good a buddy of mine wanted it. So no pics. Keep at it it's addictive.
     
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  12. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Thanks for all the compliments guys! It seems to be coming along pretty well. I have a couple days off coming up, so I'll have more time to work on it and cobble together a tillering tree. Already have the string jig together. Need to get the B50 and a serving tool though.
     
  13. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Doing a good job lad, keep at it. joe
     
  14. mtnoutdoors

    mtnoutdoors Prov 27:17 Supporter

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    Looks good. Prov 27:17
     
  15. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Thanks guys! I hope to get some more done when I get home from work in a while. Anybody got suggestions for gluing horn to titebond? I might want to put tip overlays on...
     
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  16. halo2

    halo2 Supporter Supporter

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    Looking great!
     
  17. R Stowe

    R Stowe Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

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    This is awesome. I’m definitely following along.
     
  18. Daniel Klinglesmith

    Daniel Klinglesmith Ornory Old Dog Banned

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    Very nice work you're doing, I'm watching this build along.
     
  19. bam7765

    bam7765 Supporter Supporter

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    Rough it up and epoxy. That's what I have done. It's held so far. Dont know if it's the right way. Do the overlays man! Why not !! I'm pulling for you. Only thing I'll say is don't rush the tiller.
     
  20. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx NRA Endowment Life Member Supporter Bushclass I

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    Looking good! I've made alot of bows, but never used silk for a backing. My understanding of it though, is that it can provide enough tension to possibly prevent a splinter from lifting. A tillering tree is definitely the way to go over a tillering stick. It saves the bow from undue stress and could save your face in the event that a limb blows. Good choice.

    Just a bit of unsolicited advise on getting it to first brace; Once you have a decent floor tiller or things are looking good on the tree with a long string, get the bow strung at a 4" brace as soon as you are physically capable of push-pull stringing it. The long string in particular shows a false tiller and if you continue too long with it, your tips will be whip ended by the time you brace it. Also, don't brace it below about 4" or the string angle will be so severe that it can split your nocks. (Keep them wide at first for this reason, and so you can trim them assymetrically if needed to nudge any string alignment issues.) I'd also recommend Dynaflight 97 (or almost any low stretch string) over B-50. Dacron has so much stretch that it makes getting the initial brace very difficult, and elevates the risk for string nock splits since the brace pulls tighter as the string stretches.

    Tip overlays are nice, not just aesthetically, but because you can file your string groove across the back, which you do not want to do into the bare bow back. I'd recommend using Loctite Superglue Gel (blue cap). You can glue your overlays directly to the bow back, but you'll need to make sure to rasp them very thin or they will look like something heavy that was just plunked on there. If you want to install them with more elegance, grind or rasp a bevel into the bow back first. Make a mark on the bow back, about 1.25" to 1.375" inboard of your initial string nocks. Saw off any excess limb about 1/2" outboard of the string nocks and draw a horizontal line across the end grain, about 3/16" to 1/4" down from the back. Connect the lines on either side of the bow in pencil. These lines will be your guide. Then hold the limb against a disk sander (go slow) or rasp in the bevel and sand it dead flat with grit 80 on a sanding block. Next, cut a wedge of buffalo or other solid horn and sand one side flat with grit 80. (I'd advise against antler, particularly the pithy parts, since it is very porous and can cause gluing failures.) Score the gluing surfaces of the horn and the bow back with toothing plane blade or lacking that, a hacksaw blade. Don't touch the gluing surfaces with your skin. Mask off the non-gluing surfaces of the bow with masking tape and apply the superglue gel to both surfaces. Wear latex gloves! Clamp the bow steady in a vise, and set one of the tip overlays on. Wiggle it to spread the glue and clamp it into place with three tiny C-clamps. Repeat for the other end. I like to give the glue at least an hour to harden, if not overnight. Then pop the clamps and shape your tips. IMO, they blend in with bow much nicer this way.

    Here are a few examples.

    Buffalo horn and elephant ivory (from old piano keys) overlays on osage with carp skin backing.
    [​IMG]

    Buffalo horn overlays on hickory backed osage.
    [​IMG]

    Red-dyed bird's eye maple overlays on osage.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  21. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Thanks for the compliments, advice, and encouragement! I might not get much more done on it tonight. Good thing I have the next three days off. I might get the backing glued on, and I switched ties because I found another that matched the thickness of one better. 20180808_004234.jpg I figured balanced is better, and I might be able to cover that embroidery and the weave with another coat of titebond smoothed with an old giftcard. Cause even of the glue makes the ties ugly, a coat or so of black lacquer, it'll still be a dapper bow.
     
  22. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Got some hoof dog chews to see if I could get some useable overlay material out of them. So far all I have is a stagnant water/burning hair/egg fart smell, the bottom of one hoof cut off and a cut thumb. 20180808_015917.jpg No pain, no gain though right? 20180808_015506.jpg
     
  23. Richinva

    Richinva Lover of Sharpened Bits of Steel... Supporter

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    That is awesome! (not the cut thumb part)
     
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  24. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

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    Mm mm , stagnant water, burnt hair, egg fart. Now I'm hungry. :26:
    Great work sir, can't wait to see the rest.
    @Gruxxx , you've done some gorgeous work sir!
     
  25. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Unfortunately, only one of the hooves I got was decently thick on the bottom. One of the darker ones may work. Then I'll have different colored tips and I'll re-name it David Bow-ie. If not, I'm gonna try lapping and layering to see if I can get them thick enough. If that doesn't work, I'll skip the tips on this one and it'll stay Dapper Dan.
     
  26. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Upon further review and trying some layout, messing that up and having to do it again, I can see that I have plenty of hoof to work with. Big thanks to @Gruxxx for the tip tip! 20180808_140649.jpg You can see where I marked the first line at 1 and 3/4 inches because, well I'm not the brightest person. Caught my mistake, and measured a line 2 and 3/4 inches in to mark the tip fades for the hoof overlays. Seeing it laid out got rid of my worries about having the hooves be thick enough to make a functional overlay. But, reminded of my brilliance I'm half tempted to write "This line dingus" with an arrow pointing to the second line further from the tip.
     
  27. JasonJ

    JasonJ Supporter Supporter

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    HA! Good catch! I think you're doing a great job with this.
     
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  28. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Thanks @JasonJ you know the saying "measure twice, cut once" its more like measure twice, sit down and think, measure again, triple check, re-read the instructions. @longcruise advised me to aim for a utilitarian bow. A bow that works. I truly get that. Don't try to make a perfect work of art the first time out. Make a bow that works, and doesn't either explode during tillering, or in my hand later. Attention to detail makes a better end result. Worrying about the details makes you chase your tail and leads to frustration.

    I'm still in the rough shaping part of the build. My mantra is "Go slow and be careful. If I make a small mistake, well that s#!t'll buff out."

    I'm doing a lot of tests and dry fits as I go. I glued some of the backing to a scrap piece to see how it went. 20180808_155935.jpg Glue finger for scale. The silk was kinda difficult to wet out even with that much glue on the wood. Finger glue was spread on about half and smoothed in with a plastic gift card. 20180808_160142.jpg I'll check it as the day goes on to see how it's working. It might need some tension to be good, but that's what quick clamps and saran wrap are for.
     
  29. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Oh buddy, yer thinkin it through and doing a fine job. Pretty anxious to see the end product.
     
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  30. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Thanks @longcruise you gave good help and advice as have a lot of others. This wouldn't be going so well with out that. I'm really indebted to everyone here. The examples to inspire, the knowledge and help freely given, the support and encouragement. Thank you to everyone.
     
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  31. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Slowly working the hoof down with my Dremel to avoid stink and messing it up. 20180808_205447.jpg 20180808_205509.jpg Trying to make a flat-ish surface to lap that side flat on, while trying to keep extra thickness to be able to shape the tips with.
     
  32. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Todays progress: I finally finished one of the pieces of the overlays. I hate horn now. Worst part is I might have to do all four hooves because the end product is fairly thin. 20180809_134714.jpg This is from before I decided to work smarter, not harder. Why lap the entire thing when all you need is a strip? Because I started eary and wasn't thinking. 20180809_152407.jpg Cut roughly to dimension. And being shaped with my handy home made lapping plate. Getting the back flat was a serious pain, but I finally got it done 20180809_152512.jpg 20180809_153708.jpg 20180809_163037.jpg
     

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  33. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    The backing dry run got work today too. Trimmed off excess, and shot it with three coats of black lacquer to see how it turns out. 20180809_122958.jpg 20180809_163545.jpg Turned out pretty good. I might use a second coat of the titebond as a filler to try to get a smoother finish. It'll look just fine with out it, but I know me. And it will drive me nuts to have that embroidered pattern on one end of the bow and not on the other:18:
     
  34. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    20180809_235018.jpg 20180810_024832.jpg So what do you do when you get really thin horn? Make your own laminated tips
     
  35. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Ok. Better explanation because it's not 3 AM now. When I put that first piece of the honey colored hoof on the tip to see how everything would go together, it still looked too thin to get a decent groove into for the string nock. That lump that would have been useful was outside of the nock area too.

    My plan then became to let it sit, and start work on the other overlay. I was hoping to get two thinish strips for the tips and not worry about a perfect string groove. This backfired. The second full piece came out to maybe an 1/8" thick, and would have had to come down to about a 1/16" to be perfectly flat. There was a groove from how the hoof grows that messed every thing up. Couldn't use it as a gluing surface without making it pointlessly thin. So I ground off the hump from the other piece and lapped it to a flat wedge.

    Glued those pieces together after a couple wipes with acetone. Sanded the growth groove out at an angle. I was running out of useable lengths of hoof so I sanded a steeper angle at the back. Cut a piece from my third hoof to fit, sanded the edges and back flat. Cleaned it up and glued it to the laminated piece. Because CA glue is a jerk, it slipped forward and that's when the glue decided to grab. Oh well. I have a usefull tip that I can shape however I want so it'll be like the mistake never happened.
     
  36. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Here's what it looks like now 20180810_115750.jpg 20180810_115803.jpg Sort of monstrous, but workable.
     
  37. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx NRA Endowment Life Member Supporter Bushclass I

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    Looking really good! I wouldn't be surprised if when you're done shaping the tips that you've removed the 2nd layer. Interested to see how this turns out. :dblthumb:
     
  38. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Thanks! The bulk of today was spent boiling the waste to see if I could get anything usefull. From this 20180810_132341.jpg To this 20180810_204809.jpg With only two and some change hours of boiling. The pieces are still clamped, I had to pull them up to scrape the gooey layer off the inside and figured I'd get a quick picture.
     
  39. Seahunter

    Seahunter Supporter Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Its good to see a board bow getting built. You can make a nice shooting bow and one that is powerful enough to hunt with. I made a couple, but horn overlays are something I haven't tried. I am interested to see how it turns out.
     
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  40. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Ok. Life and work got in the way for a while but I made some progress last night and today. 20180815_154011.jpg Tillering tree got cut and assembled last night. My building skills leave something to be desired, but I don't think its going to break on me.

    My hoof flattening attempt was a failure. Nearly everything took enough curve back to make it unusable. Buuuut I got more 20180815_154310.jpg 20180815_161424.jpg So now I need to cut the scarf to get that glued on, then I can back the bow. Have have some string material coming from Amazon tomorrow. So I made a string jig too 20180815_163105.jpg More to come later today!
     
  41. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Second tip fade cut in, sanded flat and overlay glued on. Should've probably called this a WIP or build along. 20180815_193309.jpg Backing should be measured off the other tip later today.
     
  42. Donald Devall

    Donald Devall Scout

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    Oh I can’t wait to see the finished product. I’ve tried to make several board bows. I even succeeded twice. But mine weren’t nearly as carefully done as yours.

    I have the no patience at all. Looks like you have it to spare. Great work man!!!
     
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  43. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Friction Fire Addict

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    I LOVE the tie idea!

    Made a red oak 30lbs bow some years back for larping. No backing or risers. Took some intense string follow (2"+) after a few weekends strung in the rain, but i always loved how sweet it shot.

    Those things are fun to play with!
     
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  44. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    @Donald Devall, I'm actually not that patient. There have been a lot of breaks taken because things aren't moving as fast as I would like:18: But, doing this in your living room makes stuff like that easy.

    @Guillaume Longval, awesome! Hearing that these things actually work is always encouraging!

    String material got here about two hours ago, so this is happening now 20180816_125647.jpg So I guess I'll have stuff to do while things are drying.
     
  45. Donald Devall

    Donald Devall Scout

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    They do work for sure. Especially with self made river cane arrows. :dblthumb:

    43BFA4B8-D316-48C2-A4DC-1D5DC29748F6.jpeg
     
  46. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    @Donald Devall Niiiiccceeee bro! I'm looking forward to getting good enough to hunt. Thanks for the inspiration!

    The ties for the backing are proving troublesome. There are seams and I don't think those are going to help. I could do a third tie as a center layer. But that kinda wrecks the "continuous layer" thing. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appriciated
     
  47. Donald Devall

    Donald Devall Scout

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    Huh. Maybe just go to denim or linen instead?
     
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  48. Dyslexic Rooster

    Dyslexic Rooster Scout

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    Ok. Bit the ugly but effective bullet and got some sheetrock tape. It took a fair amount of glue, and was messy as sin but the bow is backed and I can start tillering finally this rotation off. Its been drying for two days so I trimmed the excess with a four-in-hand. 20180819_005711.jpg Wetted out and smoothed down. 20180819_105420.jpg Dried for a day. 20180821_005239.jpg Trimmed up and excess glue scraped off the sides. I'll let it dry for another day and cut the string nocks tomorrow night. Finally back to good progress.
     
  49. Dyslexic Rooster

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    Tillering, finally! 20180823_224129.jpg
     
  50. sidmand

    sidmand Guide

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    I can't tell from your picture there, but you might be in for a little problem - one that bit me a couple times till I figured out what I was doing wrong. It looks like, to me, that your handle is sitting right on the belly of your bow, with no dip in the belly at your fades. hard to explain in words, picture will work better here:
    handle_pop.png

    I jacked up at least two bows before I figured that out. And, if it happens when you are tillering, at a good weight, it could break the bow. I built myself a tiller tree on my wall that I can pull with a pulley because of that - I took a solid thump on the melon trying to weigh and tiller a board bow with a tiller stick and a bathroom scale.
     

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