The Build Along

Discussion in 'Archery' started by longcruise, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    A while back I committed to doing a build along here so here it comes. At a birthday party last week a cousin asked me to build a bow for him and that bow will be the product of this topic.

    The bow will be an old school longbow. Flat, 68" long nock to nock (NTN) and just a bit longer tip to tip (TTT). The abbreviations in parens are common to bow nomenclature and they and others will be used throughout the topic. I'm going to gear this to readers who have no experience or idea of this process so if you happen to be an experienced bowyer, please bear with me and add your comments and suggestions as we go.

    This is real time so it's going to take a while. Also, being real time, it could end in a remarkable success or a fence picket. I won't be hiding or glossing over mistakes or warts so there may occasionally be some suspense (at least for me:4:).

    Here's a pic of the beginning of the riser. Its been sauared up and the design glued to the riser block. Next step is to bandsaw along the lines of the riser layout and then to the sander for final shaping. As an analogy, the riser is like the foundation of a house. It needs to be accurate.

    The riser is Osage. Other components will be black glass on the back, maple core laminations, clear glass on the belly over bamboo veneer.

    IMG_20181001_130009636_crop_206x655.jpg
     
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  2. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    What a timely thread. Just Saturday I was watching bow build videos on the tube.

    Are you going to be boiling any frog bladders for the glue? lol
     
  3. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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  4. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    No frog bladders here.;) the glue Will be EA40 epoxy. More commonly refered to as "smooth on".

    Been to the bandsaw and rough cut the fades (the part that is like ramps).
    IMG_20181001_135123751-600x800.jpg

    Next to the oscillating sander to put the final shape to the riser. We start with 36 grit to get down to the lines. All the while keeping the piece in fairly rapid motion to prevent dips. We want a true surface for a straight riser and good glue joints. It's that ol foundation thing!

    All complete here EXCEPT for the feathering of the very tips. These need to be paper thin and should transition from paper thin to no thicker than 1/16" at one inch from the feathered tips. That's sort of a bowyer's rule. If the transition is too abrupt, the limb will be over worked at this point and likely to break. If they can be done with even less than 1/16" it's a good thing but requires slow and careful going.
    IMG_20181001_135837038-600x800.jpg
    It's essential to use a backer when feathering. This is a point where a riser can end up in the scrap box! Gotta go slow.

    This is close. This wood has a couple of interesting red streaks in it.
    IMG_20181001_141320439-600x800.jpg

    We're going to do one more step in getting these feathered just right.

    Meanwhile, I hope you aren't expecting any cool shop pictures. My shop is a tiny nook in the garage, the driveway and the patio. The shop is occasionaly closed due to snow, rain or just plain bitter cold! :)
    IMG_20181001_133723156_HDR-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181001_133734157-600x800.jpg
     
  5. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    These fades needed very little work. One end had a little wave in it and it smoothed up very nicely. This last step is a bit hard to describe and the picture May not be very helpful but what it amounts to is setting the riser one a smooth flat hard surface and sanding with a flexible piece of wood with sandpaper glued to it. It's flexible enough to allow you to force it to the shape of the ramp but not flexible enough to follow the minor imperfections in the riser surface. In this case my surface is a thick mirror left over from a bathroom project.

    My suggestion to the beginning bowyer is to use more of this technique and less power tool until you have a few under your belt. I wrecked a few of my early attempts.
    IMG_20181001_150720609-600x800.jpg

    Regarding tools, you can sub a drill press with sanding drum for the oscillating sander and a skill saw or saber saw for a bandsaw. In fact, with hand tools, rasps and so forth you can do this without power tools.

    More electricity will be consumed during the rest of this project but I'll try to show other alternatives to power tools as we go along.

    Next we will start preparing the laminations. Meanwhile, store the riser in a safe secure place. The law of Gravity insists that a falling riser MUST land on one of the tips.

    Looks like rain, time to store the "shop" in the garage.
     
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  6. jonathan creason

    jonathan creason Scout

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    Osage and black glass is going to be a classy looking combo when it's all said and done. I've always wanted a classic Hill style longbow, and this thread isn't going to help that itch one bit.
     
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  7. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Here is a brief update.

    Next Step here is measuring the actual thickness of the laminations and cutting them to Length to fit the form. There are a couple pictures with the form in it here but I won't be doing explanation of the form at this point. We will get into that later.

    In this particular style Bow the laminations are not physically joined together. Or I should say I don't join them. The ends of the form are blocked and the blocks keep the joints of the laminations tightly together at the Center point of the bow.

    The black back glass is a perfect fit to the end blocks of the form so no need to cut it.

    IMG_20181010_140902641-600x800.jpg

    The core Lams that fit under the riser come up about a sixteenth of an inch short on each end. that will work fine I will simply put a small spacer at the ends at the blocks. it will also require going back to the black glass and taking a very very small piece off to prevent buckling. I'll do that after putting the spacers in to be sure it's precise in the cut on the black glass.

    Next I clamp the Riser on to the Form at dead center and then measure from the end blocks to the very top of the sweeps on each side. the fit here is important. if they are too short the handle grip will have to be ground down which will make it longer than desired. If they are too long they will cause some tension and possibly some buckling up under the pressure of the the fire hose.

    IMG_20181010_142235741-600x800.jpg
    The correct measurement for the face glass and face veneer is 34 and 1/2 inches. The glass is marked and clamped to a flat piece of scrap wood and cut straight across with a hacksaw.

    Some of this probably seems unnecessarily detailed but some things like cutting glass if not done carefully can cost you a piece of glass. If you crack a piece of glass lengthwise it's no longer suitable for a bow. That's something I learned the hard way!

    IMG_20181010_142336087-800x600.jpg

    that's it for sizing the glass except for that little bitty piece we're going to take off the black glass. Next up will be some work on this form. The form is designed to use rubber bands to provide the pressure needed for the laminating process. We will be modifying this form to use an inflatable section of fire hose. Just a few minor alterations.

    IMG_20181010_141722944-800x600.jpg

    If you wish clarification for any of these things I have presented here, please go ahead and ask. I'm sure I have left out some details that some may wonder about.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  8. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    One small clarification.

    I noted measuring the thickness of the laminations but didn't explain why. There is a basic formula for calculating the end draw weight of a bow. It's based on this: "double the width of a design and you will double the draw weight." "Double the thickness of the design and you octuple the draw weight." So, every .003 of an inch of thickness equals 1# of draw weight.

    It's very easy to make a mistake in the lamination stack and miss the desired draw weight.
     
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  9. bumma

    bumma I'm not lost. Just confused. Supporter

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    I'm enjoying this!
    Thanks!
     
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  10. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Thanks, I'll be adding more next week after my elk hunt.
     
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  11. Greebe

    Greebe Non ducor, duco. Supporter

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    Cool. I have a bow form that I build off of KennyM's R\D longbow. I need to order glass and lams on of these day but have been too busy to have time to work on a bow.

    i look forward to seeing how yours turns out.
     
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  12. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Cool, you won't go wrong with Kennys design and he is a great source of supplies. Hope you show it off here.
     
  13. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    This will be a brief update about the form. Here is our form as it is.

    IMG_20181017_154756092_HDR-800x600.jpg

    This is a rubber band form wherein the laminations are held in compression by rubber bands cut from bicycle inner tubes. We are going to convert this form to use an inflatable fire hose.

    Usually a fire hose form has two halves, a top and bottom that exactly match the bow design and are separated by about 1 1/4". What we are going to do is use the pegs to tie an inflatable hose down to the form and inflate it to compress the laminations and the riser as the glue cures.

    The advantage of the topless form is that it allows more versatility since there is no exact matching top half the shape and length of the riser can be varied without the need for a whole new top half.

    Those posts screwed to the sides of the form are to keep the laminations aligned with the edge of the form so they don't slip sideways. They work fine as they are with bands but won't do for a hose. For the hose system they cant stick up more than about 1/16" above the lamination stack. So the fix here will be to redo them so that they rotate on one screw and have a rounded top so that they can hold the lams in position without interfering with the hose. We will redo them with hardwood rather than the pine that is in the picture.

    We also have this notch at the center of the form to fit a C clamp over the top of the riser to hold it dead center while we do the lay up.
    IMG_20181017_155051017-600x800.jpg



    Once it's all layed up it will be held down by zip ties that we will deploy using these holes drilled through the form. There will be eight zip ties since this is a rather long form. Two of them will be positioned to pull the lams down one each of the ramps. when everything is lined up and tied down the hose will be gradually pressurized and the zip ties will be cut and pulled out at about 25 pounds of pressure.

    IMG_20181017_155302603-800x600.jpg

    You may be wondering what that slat of wood that is taped onto the top of the form is for. Well, the surface of the form is dead flat and has a fiberglass lamination glued to it like this.

    IMG_20181017_154837403_HDR-800x600.jpg

    The oak slats actually have a thickness taper of .002 per inch of length. The bow itself will have limb tapers of the same taper rate of .002". By putting these tapers on the top of the form in the reverse direction of the tapered limb laminations, the bow itself will still come off the form flat. We don't have to do it this way. By putting a very slight nearly imperceptible radius of .002 per inch in the riser back we can follow that taper rate and build the bow so that it is not absolutely flat and it will still be a fine bow. On this bow we will use the reverse tapers on top of the form. In fact, our riser is already built and is dead flat on the back so it would be risky to start putting a radius into it now.

    In the above photo you will notice a notch cut in the end of the form. That is simply to allow placing a clamp at each end of the form to hold it down while laying the bow up. It's particularly needed when doing a rubber band form since there is a whole lot of torquing going on as the bands are wrapped but also essential when tying the hose down with paracord.

    The last major mod to the form will be the removal and replacement of the dowels you see in the pictures. Those are made of a soft wood that works ok with rubber bands but for the hose we will replace them with oak dowels. If a dowel breaks while rubber banding its easy to just lap on over the top of the loosened bands but not so simple with a pressurized hose.

    So, we are getting a little closer to actually laying this bow up.
     
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  14. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Our alignment bars are in place and the hardwood dowels will go in next. Meanwhile, the finish surfaces of the glass lams need to be taped to protect from the epoxy during the glue up which will be the next step.
    IMG_20181019_132013707-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181019_134755302-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181019_135035265-600x800.jpg
     
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  15. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Here's a dry run to make sure it all fits. Added 3/32" to both the end bumpers and cut 1/8" off the back glass. Placed it all on the form and tied it down with string.

    Made a few minor adjustments to the fenders and it's ready to go. Glue up was planned for today but I do glue outdoors and temperatures are running low so it's going to be glued tomorrow.
    IMG_20181022_123349900-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181022_123349900-800x600.jpg IMG_20181022_124414683_HDR-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181022_123425240-600x800.jpg
     
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  16. sidmand

    sidmand Guide

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    diggin it. One of these days I am going to try to make some fiberglass bows to see if I like that better than self bows or wood backed bows. Lots of different skills to learn here, but lots of the same as well.

    That red streaked Osage is good stuff. Osage is fabulous bow wood - wished we had more of it where I live.
     
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  17. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Yes, I like Osage too. None that I know here in Colorado. I get my Osage from A supplier in Missouri who is able to cut it locally. So far I have only used it in risers which of course doesn't really affect the performance of the bow. I'm going to try it as a lamination material in the near future.

    Here's a progress report. The bow has been layed up and is curing as I type this. The photos below are pretty much in the order that things were done. During much of the process it's not possible for me to take pictures since epoxy and cameras don't mix. I did change gloves at one point and was able to snap a few.

    Since the glue is stored in the fridge it needs to be warmed up in some warm water.


    IMG_20181024_151918486-800x600.jpg
    Then the form and equipment and supplies is all laid out. Got to have everything handy. during layup is not the time to start hunting for Something You Forgot. Which I did on this project but we survived.

    Below is the pressure strip being checked for fit to the form. a proper pressure strip is necessary to prevent any kind of cupping either concave or convex. It is thick throughout the flat portions of the Loom but thinner on the ramp portion to allow it to fit the shape of the ramp.

    IMG_20181024_154039113-800x600.jpg

    While prepping for the layout the hose is pressure tested. I'm pretty sure if one skips this test will be the time the hose has a leak. :(
    IMG_20181024_154654463-800x600.jpg
     
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  18. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Here some parchment paper is spread glossy side up and the materials are laid out pretty much in the order that they will go on to the form.

    From left to right. Back glass then parallel Maple lamination then tapered Maple lamination then another parallel Maple lamination next the riser then bamboo veneers to go on top of the riser and the clear glass that goes over the bamboo veneers.
    All the components have been wiped down with acetone to get catch any grease that might interfere with the glue.

    IMG_20181024_160554173-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181024_161717264-600x800.jpg

    Low top of the form is covered with wax paper. Saran Wrap is often used for this but I find it has a nasty habit of getting between the laminations. No such problems since I started using wax paper.

    How to mix the glue. This is EA40 more commonly known as smooth on. It's probably the most common glue used by glass wood bowyers. The basic mix is 50-50, however it can be mixed with a more party than be for a stronger Bond. I always add a little bit more a than b. Just to be sure that I'm not on the wrong side of the 50/50! This glue must be mixed thoroughly and must not be whipped. We don't want bubbles in the glue.

    IMG_20181024_162316169-600x800.jpg

    At this point I'm beginning to spread Glue on All sides of the the laminations except of course the tape protected sides of the glass. This is no time to be economical with the glue. Glue is not cheap but it's a lot cheaper than a failed Bow. There's a happy medium between not enough and too much. It's always best to err on the side of too much. too much just means a lot of messy glue to clean up after it's cured but it's not that big a deal.

    As I spread the glue I also stack the laminations with the glue on right on the bench. When the back laminations that go under the her eyes are all stacked with glue then they are placed on the form as one unit.

    IMG_20181024_165609160-600x800.jpg
    Then a large C-clamp is used to pin the Riser at dead center. the C-clamp will stay in place until we have gotten the entire Bow laid up and tied down with zip ties.

    So next the veneer and clear glass are buttered up with glue and laid up on the bench and then laid down on the laminations ahead of them including the riser. how the fit of everything is checked double checked and then triple checked! :) This is a critical point any mistakes here can result in bad glue joints. A bad glue joint equals Broken Bow. it's also important to make absolutely certain that none of that wax paper is migrated between any of the laminations.

    next the zip ties are used to pull all the limitations down reasonably tight where they belong. We will use 8 zip tie locations on this form. Once it's all tied down with the zip ties also holding down the folded over wax paper, the pressure strips can be put in place. our bumpers have been adjusted to hold to the sides of all of the laminations but not particularly protrude above them. the exception is where the pressure strips are thick and the bumpers do not reach to the top of them. They do however hold all of the Lams and pressure strips straight up in a perfect stack.

    next the hose which has been thoroughly deflated is laid flat and dead center on top of the entire layout. Next it is tied down, using paracord in this case, with the cord pulled as tight as possible and maintaining center with the hose. If the hose is off center it will press one side down harder than the other and might also tip the laminations. There's going to be a lot of force applied here in a few minutes.
    IMG_20181024_172451827-800x600.jpg
     
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  19. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    My apologies for my crazy sentence structures. I'm doing this on my phone with voice recognition and it's messy. I'll be more careful from here on out and if you have any questions on what I was talking about go ahead and ask.

    So here we are all tied down with the Rope and a pressure of 20 to 25 lb applied to the hose. Time to do more double and triple checking. If it looks okay the zip ties are cut on both sides and pulled out with a pair of pliers. we let it set at the low pressure for just awhile this is A nice slow squeeze of the glue and hopefully any air bubbles that are there are being squeezed out. Over the course of about 15 minutes it will be gradually pressurized to 75#. That will be our final pressure.
    IMG_20181024_174919271-600x800.jpg

    The hardwood dowels are doing their job no problems.

    The next step is curing the glue. this glue will cure at room temperature over a period Of about 24 hours. Typically I cure my glue over a period of five to six hours at 175 to 180 degrees in a dedicated Bow oven. I'm trying to appeal to the first time shoe string Bowyer so we will do something a little bit different.

    Here you see the form with bow under a blanket on the floor of my family room. complete with tarp underneath to protect the carpet which also protects me from the wife. On one end I have positioned an electric space heater directed into an opening at one end of The Form. The other end is slightly opened to allow air to pass all the way through. I have put the probe of a meat thermometer under the blanket next to the Form. It is Bluetooth enabled so I can track the temperature under the blanket from anywhere in the house. The temperature will be running from 110 to 130. That's low enough to avoid fire danger but warm enough to cure in about 12 hours. This cure process was started yesterday at 6 p.m. and continued until midnight. I turned it off while we were sleeping and turned it on again this morning at 8. so it is only a few minutes away from being fully cured.
    IMG_20181025_140027657-600x800.jpg

    Another way of curing a bow is to put it in your car on a hot sunny day. I have done that several times during the heat of Summer and had excellent glue UPS. The temperature in the car would generally run 120 to 130.

    I will continue with more when the bull has been pulled from the Heat and cooled and removed from the form.
     
  20. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    I got started on the bow yesterday afternoon but didn't have time to post. I've switched to a desk top so as to be a little more intelligible. :)



    Here IMG_20181025_143058833_HDR.jpg
    we are just knocked off the form.

    And, there IS a boo boo! I got my steps out of order and laid the pressure strips directly on top of the taped glass instead of wrapping the wax paper over first. The pressure strips stuck to the lay up. I thought they would have to be ground off but I was able to get a knife under them and carefully pop them off. The pressure strips and the tape on the glass are not in good shape but pressure strips are cheap and easy to make and the glass can be retaped.

    IMG_20181025_143431555_HDR.jpg

    IMG_20181025_143622467.jpg

    There is always a bunch of glue protruding out the sides from between the laminations so here we clean it up on an oscillating sanding belt.

    IMG_20181025_150925769.jpg
     
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  21. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Next up is the layout for the basic bow design on the limbs. This is done on the back of the bow directly onto the tape. This is a critical step in creating a bow. The simple way to do this is to have premade templates of plexiglass or hardboard and simply lay them on the back of the bow and draw it out. For a first time bowyer this is not particularly practical so we will lay it out by measures.

    The first step is to establish a centerline. The method I'll show here is not the only way to do this but it is accurate and easily done. first, we want to find the center of the bow at the point where the riser fades away into the limb. We can do this by carefully sanding or filing the side of the bow just enough to see the paper thin riser fade dissapear. If we are absolutely sure of our riser length we can simply measure from the centerline on the riser half the length of the riser and it should land at the correct point. I'm going to do it by sanding the sides of the limb and then double check by measuring from center since I know the exact measurements of the riser.
    IMG_20181025_153045095_HDR.jpg

    We have a line across the back of the bow at the exact point of the end of the fades.

    IMG_20181025_153052139.jpg

    We do this at both ends of the riser. Also we draw a line across the back at the exact center of the riser. Next we will find the center of the limb at each fade and draw a line between the two centers.
    IMG_20181025_154513603.jpg

    Then we extend the line out to the ends of both limbs. Next we measure at the fades from the center line on each side and mark the point on each side that will be at 1/2 the desired width of the bow at the fades which will be the widest point of the bow. After doing that at both fades we draw lines the length of the riser on both sides. In this case the width of the bow is 1.5". We are able to build it at that width because the form and materials were all 1.75" wide. You will have a very hard time getting a full 1.5" bow out of a blank made with 1.5" laminations!

    IMG_20181025_154920381.jpg

    I'll explain the second line across the bow in the next post.
     
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  22. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    Next we will mark the point at the limb tips where the string nocks will be cut. This is going to be a 68" long bow so the are marked at a point 34" from the center of the riser.

    IMG_20181025_155138825.jpg

    Notice that in comparison to the edges of the blank the centerline is not on center with the end of the blank. This is because the form is not perfectly straight. Not a problem. The more important thing is that the form be perfectly flat in relation to the sides of the form. This is why we found our center at the fades (the widest point of the bow) instead of the ends of the limbs which would have resulted in one side of the centerline being less than half the width of the bow. You can locate center by hanging a string with a weight one each end over the ends of the limbs and fiddle with it until it runs through the riser section where you want it.

    The tips of this bow are going to be 3/8" wide at the nocks so we measure and mark 3/16" on each side of the center line. Then we position a straight edge between that second line across the back that is about 1/2" beyond the fades line and the 3/16" line at the tip. It's important to get this just right and then draw a straight line along the edge.

    We do that on all four sides of the limbs.

    IMG_20181025_155940697.jpg

    IMG_20181025_160148079_HDR.jpg

    We have now layed out the profile of the limbs and a line along the back of the riser area that matches the width of the fades at 1.5". Next we are going to take a sharp knife and reset the straight edge to cut through the tape and score the glass along the line.

    IMG_20181025_160554540.jpg

    Of course, we could have done this scoring without actually drawing the limb edge lines but I thought this way of doing it woud make for a better explanation.
     
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  23. longcruise

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    Once the lines are all scored we strip off the tape on the outsides of the lines. We could leave it there but it makes it hard to see your work when you take the limbs down to profile.

    IMG_20181025_161731636.jpg

    Next I took the tape off the face of the bow and replaced it with new tape to protect the glass while we work. This gives us a chance to see what the bamboo veneers look like under the clear glass. This is my first use of bamboo and honestly I was not impressed before lay up and thought it was going to be kinda bland. It is much more pleasing than I expected.

    IMG_20181025_162214113_HDR.jpg

    So, we are layed out and re taped. When prepping to bake the bow I use Frog Tape because it is much easier to remove after being subjected to the heat. Blue tape baked on is a real PITA to remove. However, at this point the blue tape will work just fine and is much cheaper!:1:

    IMG_20181025_162729705_HDR.jpg

    Next up will be reducing the blank to the profile that we layed out on the back.
     
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  24. longcruise

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    The profile has been cut and ground close to the finish lines and sanded to the lines with coarse sandpaper glued to a sanding block.
    IMG_20181026_154252254-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181029_131207202-600x800.jpg
     
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  25. longcruise

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    Next up will be the tip overlays. These are going to be three layers, caramel glass, black phenolic then caramel glass. The layout is done on the green tape and then marked on the side of the limbs. The green tape is peeled back and another piece of tape applied to prevent the glue from spreading over the glass. The limb glass is roughed up and the overlays are roughed up.
    IMG_20181029_135215668-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181029_135753384-800x600.jpg
    The overlays are applied one piece at a time with super glue and tightly clamped with each layer.
    IMG_20181029_141633461-800x600.jpg

    These will be allowed to cure for 30 minutes and then we'll file the sides to match the limbs.
     
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  26. longcruise

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    Here's what we have at this point.

    I filed the edges of one set of overlays to flush with the limb. So, full disclosure,. I did the other limb tip on the Rigid sander. But, as you can see, we didn't need the sander and could have done it all with files. Next I marked the cutoff point for the limb tips. how long you leave these and how you shape them is purely a better of personal taste. Next we cut the string Nock grooves. The First Cut is straight across the back. Next at a 45 degree angle alongside. This angle is another matter of personal taste but they do have to be cut at an angle.

    We also gave a bit of shape to the knock over Ways by tapering them toward the limb. I did this on the Ridgid sander but I do recommend for your first few attempts to do this by hand with files. these are not finished but just roughed in. the rest of the work on the overlays and the limb tips will all be done by hand.
    IMG_20181029_150042222_HDR-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181029_145723614-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181029_150757215-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181029_150956821_HDR-800x600.jpg
     
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  27. longcruise

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    Once the string nocks are cut in, we have three important tasks to perform. I have dug out and old string so we can string it up. first we want to check for how the string lays on Center when the bow is strung. We have adequately passed that test. We will be continuously checking this as the build continues. if we get a little bit off we can easily correct it by filing the string nocks.


    IMG_20181029_153227530_HDR-600x800.jpg
    Next we are going to do a preliminary weight check. The desired finished weight on this bow is right at 40 lb. At this point it comes in at 44. This is good because we will lose some weight rounding the edges of the limbs. It should land right where we want it.

    Next test is for preliminary tiller. Tiller is checked with a bow Square. It is usually checked exactly at the end of the Riser fades. I prefer to measure a bit beyond that point because it will more readily pick up any small differences. What we are doing here is checking to see which limb is the strongest. Typically final tiller will have the strongest limb on the bottom. These limbs came up of identical strength.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  28. longcruise

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    Here are pictures of the measurement of each limb. I'm taking the measurement at the back of the limb just because it's easier to see.
    IMG_20181029_153116451-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181029_153054528-800x600.jpg

    This is perfect for now. We can make either of them the strong limb during final tillering and rounding of the corners of the limbs. in the end we will want the top limb to show about 1/8 inch longer distance than the lower limb. This is known as 1/8 in positive tiller.

    The importance of establishing this at this time is that we did not want to decide which limb is top without checking this. We would not want to make the strong limb the top limb and therefore just complicate final tillering. so we can begin to form the Riser now and know that we could put the arrow pass on either side of the the center of the riser.

    We came up with perfect even tiller because all of the materials going in we're perfectly dimensioned. The form is perfectly dimensioned. The layup was centered and lined up. attention to these details makes it a much easier to finish the bow.
     
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  29. longcruise

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    Kind of in a race with the weather. Supposed to be raining tomorrow and I'd like to get the bow to a hand tools stage so that work can continue.

    Next up is shaping the riser. The maximum width of the riser will be 1" and there will be a a gradual transition to the fades. The layout is done in straight lines but they are more "don't cross" lines than the actual finish lines. The arrow pass is also layed out here.

    IMG_20181029_171838388-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181029_171843807-800x600.jpg

    There is a major mistake in the above layout. Tell me if you can spot it. Caught it in time!

    This is one part of the project that can be done faster and easier with hand tools if you have a farriers rasp on hand. When you start in with a rasp, file or sanding block always push into the glass edges. Otherwise you will rip the glass up. Push into the edges from each side leaving a crown. Then come back and work the crown.
    IMG_20181029_172011653-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181029_172319196-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181029_172449744-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181029_173817983-800x600.jpg
     
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  30. longcruise

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    Once it's rasped out we can smooth it up with finer rasps, files and the sanding belt.

    The arrow rest and pass have been roughed out with the farriers rasp and files. A little back and forth between hand tools and the sander and we are starting to approach the he shape we want.
    IMG_20181029_181304668-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181029_181313671-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181029_181431825-800x600.jpg
    I like to look at the length from this angle while working on the final shape.
    IMG_20181029_181408284-600x800.jpg
     
  31. longcruise

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    Here are some guidelines for the further shaping of the riser. Tomorrow we will do additional shaping.
    IMG_20181029_182038602-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181029_182042157-600x800.jpg
     
  32. longcruise

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    Shaping has continued. The shape will be a "tear drop" also called a "wedge". Another common shape is called the "racetrack". The picture below shows the cross section of each. Not labeled but quite obvious.

    Using the guidelines for the start, the riser handle is gradually brought to it's rough shape.
    IMG_20181031_115522064-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181031_115310684-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181031_120202468_HDR-600x800.jpg
    IMG_20181031_120206339_HDR-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181031_120827359-800x600.jpg
     
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  33. longcruise

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    We have a little pin knot in the Osage. Not a problem though. We just continue from side to side using our eyes to bring out the shape.
    IMG_20181031_120831058-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181031_121315246-800x600.jpg
    Once the shape is complete it goes back to the sander to clean up the file marks left by the rasp. Still keeping most of our work in the immediate vicinity of the grip.
    IMG_20181031_122726320-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181031_123820319-800x600.jpg
    Then gradually extending our lines towards the fades.
    While we are here we put a bit of round off on the tips.
    IMG_20181031_124048107-800x600.jpg
     
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  34. longcruise

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    Now we return to hand work and using backed sandpaper we start with 80grit and take out any dips then start gradually working it down with 100, 120, 150 and 220 grits. Once we start using the 150 we start sanding the limb edges out to the tips. We are coming back to these edges later.
    IMG_20181031_124352792_HDR-600x800.jpg
    At this point the end shape of the bow is easy to see.
    IMG_20181031_124352792_HDR-600x800.jpg IMG_20181031_125822917-600x800.jpg
    Somehow got a double on one picture.
     
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  35. longcruise

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    Next step is whiskering the wood by wetting it down to pop up any compressed fibers. Sprayed it down with the hose and waiting for it to dry. I also did some work on the tips and string nocks that I'll post up later.
    IMG_20181031_135035221_HDR-800x600.jpg
     
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  36. longcruise

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    Here is some progress made on the tips. We took the overlays down quick and easy but we stayed away from the glass on the back of the bow and left that for hand work. I like to take the overlays down at the glass transition with the same small rat tail file used to file in the string grooves.
    IMG_20181031_130251660.jpg

    We also need to get the grooves cut in a bit more and bring them to a match.
    IMG_20181031_130917920.jpg
    The back side of the string grooves needs to be relieved to prevent interference when the bow is drawn. without relief the string dynamic will look like this when the bow is at full draw.
    IMG_20181031_131207710.jpg

    With a bit of file work we can allow the string to ride back like this.
    IMG_20181031_131643747.jpg
     
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  37. longcruise

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    The corners of the limbs need to be rounded off a bit to dampen the poisson effect (i'm going to leave that one for you to look up :) ). One result of rounding and sanding the edges is to somewhat reduce the draw weight of the bow. We were at 43# earlier and want to hit 40#. So we don't want to reduce the width too much but we do need to round those corners off.

    Rounding is simple and done with the same backed sanding blocks that we used while shaping the riser and handle.
    IMG_20181031_143936852.jpg

    Work them to a 45 degree angle and then round off the new corners.

    We aren't finished yet but with the corners rounded it's time to double check the tiller and check the new draw weight. The tiller is now a bit more positive and will be fine where it is. The draw weight is now 41#. All in all we are doing very well at getting the result we are looking for with this build. It doesn't always go that way. I once built a 92# bow when I was trying to hit 60#. Going back to the early posts in this build along, recall that doubling the limb thickness will octuple the draw weight. It doesn't take much of a math error to go wrong!:eek:

    For all practical purposes, this bow is now shootable so, naturally I shot it!:1: Below are the first three arrows shot from this bow. They are shooting left due to the arrows being a bit stiff for this bow. Also, the string is a bit long making for a lowish brace height that will tend to make arrows behave as more stiff.
    IMG_20181031_150152832_HDR.jpg

    It's purely subjective, but this bow seems a little bit faster than most of the previous bows off this form. I have some thoughts on why but I'm not going to open that can of worms.:18:

    Also, remember that I said I nearly made a disastrous mistake in the riser layout but caught it in time? So far nobody has taken a guess at what the mistake was but go back and take another look. If nobody gets it I'll explain it in the next update.
     
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  38. Derzis

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    You started to shape too much the "teardrop" on the back of the riser instead the belly of it.
    If this is not the mistake you got, I've seen nothing else.
     
  39. longcruise

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    No, that's not it. Here it is. This is the photo that was the clue.
    IMG_20181029_172319196-800x600.jpg
    Notice the layout line on the back of the bow on the upper right side of the picture. The line that marks the proposed cut for the arrow shelf (sight window), if used to make the cut would have made a left handed bow!:eek:

    Particularly disturbing to me since I actually made that mistake once and had to start over.
     
  40. Derzis

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    I checked the marking lines for center alignment but I disregarded the sight window line cut.
    Looking forward to see the final finished product.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  41. longcruise

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    I didn't really expect anyone to spot that.

    You did however bring something up that deserves clarification and that is the tear drop shape as it relates to the back of the handle.

    There is quite a bit of rounding of the back side of the grip although it is more rounded compared to the inside where the wedge is. It allows wrapping the hand around the grip without encountering any corners. Much more comfortable.

    The idea of the wedge is to allow a repeatable and stable positioning of the hand. The bow is held in position by the tension of drawing the string back. The rest of the hand does very little work with the fingers functioning to retain the bow when it jumps forward at the shot.

    This style of bow has a reputation for "hand shock". Some shooters describe it as tooth rattling and some say they have experienced severe elbow and/or shoulder pain from shooting an ASL (AKA Hill style) bow. This problem is sometimes a result of poor design and/or tiller (limb timing) but it's more often a combination of the shooter having a death grip on the bow as well as a poorly shaped grip.

    I'll revisit this later with some pictures.

    At this point what remains to be done is a final sanding, application of finish and putting on a leather grip wrap.

    So the final sanding is with 320 grit over the entire bow. The tape is off and this time the glass surfaces are sanded to take the gloss off so the finish will stick.

    Once it's all sanded I wipe it down with denatured alcohol to remove all of the sanding dust. The alcohol won't raise the grain.
    IMG_20181101_134320975-800x600.jpg
    IMG_20181102_122746956-800x600.jpg
    The boo boo caused by the rasp is sanded out.
    IMG_20181102_120012793-600x800.jpg
     
  42. longcruise

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    There are several choices of finish readily available. Some that I have used are Tru Oil, rattlecan polyurethane, brush on polyurethane, wipe on water based polyurethane and oil based wipe on. For this bow it will be Minwax oil based wipe on gloss polyurethane.

    I'm using it because it can be used indoors in the basement without antagonizing the wife. It's too Cool and windy to work outside. I could also do the water based wipe on but I don't have enough on hand for the job.

    The first coat is on.
     
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  43. Derzis

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    Thank you for explaining the "wedge". I am shooting ASL and with a proper way of gripping it the "shock" is minimal - more like a dampened vibration letting you know the arrow left the building.
    It looks great!
    PS The bow is having a slight backset, could you please let me know how much is it? My 2 ASL have a 3/4" backset.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  44. longcruise

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    It's pretty flat. If you see backset it's the camera angle or it has about 1/8" string follow due to being strung and shot so you could be mistaking the direction?
     
  45. Derzis

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    No, I think it was a visual illusion when the bow was in the form.
    And another visual illusion in this pic:

    View attachment 616853
     
  46. longcruise

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    I see that now.
     
  47. longcruise

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    I haven't been updating because applying finish is just a simple and repetitive process. There are seven or eight coats of wipe on polyurethane on the bow at this point. After several coats are on I rubbed them out with 0000 steel wool. The last coat is on and when it has cured another day it will be rubbed out with 0000 pumice. pics below are before the pumice.

    Just to recap, the composition of the bow is from back to belly black Bear Paw glass, three hard Rock maple core Lams, osagO riser, bamboo veneer and clear bear paw glass.

    Once the finish is rubbed out there will remain the making of the string and fastening a leather wrap around the grip.

    IMG_20181107_121515125_crop_643x163.jpg
    IMG_20181107_121544820_crop_612x232.jpg
    IMG_20181107_121554984_crop_597x233.jpg
    IMG_20181107_121613132_crop_175x393.jpg
     
  48. Derzis

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    It looks great! Someone will be a happy archer
     
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  49. longcruise

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    Thanks!

    Finishing has always been my bug a boo. I'm far from good at it and just barely get by. Put a rattle can in my hand and it usually ends with lots of sandpaper.:confused:
     
  50. Derzis

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    How big the handle is once it is covered by the leather?
    I know how it is. I learnt the hard way that thin and multiple layers are better than few and "too much fluid" when I was trying to refinish some old bows.
     
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