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Author Topic: My first board bow
504state
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Hello all! I just wanted to introduce myself. First of all I love this site and feel of all the archery mb's this is the most knowledgable, friendly group of posters there is. I am a noob to bow building and just finished my first board bow. I made it out of red oak based on advice on this forum and the Sam Harper build along. I was bored and stuck in Brookhaven Ms over mothers day and decided to build a bow. I was originally going to just fashion one out of a tree limb and then did some research and found how affordable and easy it was to build a quality bow, so a day later I finished my first bow. I have provided a link to my photobucket page, but will post pics as soon as I figure out how to do so. Anyhow wanted to just say thank you for all the informative posts you guys have here and tell you what a great site you have! I must say I was very surprised at how nice my bow turned out. It is beautiful, and a great learning experience. The only problem I had is that i planed the limbs to thin so I only got about 35 lbs. I have started a new bow and will add nock laminations and maybe back it with bamboo as I have tons of it in the back yard. I will post pics of this one as well!
http://s1020.photobucket.com/albums/...nkychatterbox/

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Posts: 9 | From: Louisiana | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
walkabout
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welcome to the gang and congrats on your first bow.its definitly one way to kill time on rainy days and gives you something to look forward to testing out on sunny ones. any questions feel free to post them and we'll do what we can to help you out. good luck

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Richard

Posts: 1070 | From: Heath, Ohio | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
J. Holden
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Very cool! Welcome a "board".

-Jeremy [biglaugh]

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Pslam 46:10

"A real man rejects passivity and takes responsibility to lead, provide, protect, and teach expecting to receive the greater reward." Dr. Robert Lewis

Posts: 1524 | From: Illinois | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
504state
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One question I have is in regards to backing. I want to back the bow I am working on now with wood. I am building out of Red Oak again and am thinking of backing it with bamboo as I have tons of it. Mind you it would be a very thin strip of bamboo, and would not be wide enough to cover the whole back of the bow for the full lenth. It would probably be a very thin strip about 1/2 inch wide. Is this a good idea? If not what else would you recommend? Also at what stage should I back it with the wood? Before tillering or after?
Posts: 9 | From: Louisiana | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
J. Holden
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I'm no expert as I'm also in the process of building my first red oak board bow. However I was advised to back mine due to the grain pattern on one limb. I was encouraged to use brown paper, like you'd get from a packing store. Use Tite Bond III and glue it on. After a 24 hour dry time trim it down to the edges. I may be wrong but if your backing a bow it is to add strength and prevent the grain from popping loose on the edges. If the bamboo isn't wide enough I don't know that you'll accomplish the goal you're after. Bamboo will work for sure but I believe it would need to be as wide as the bow. Maybe someone with more knowledge will chime in. Good luck.

-Jeremy

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Pslam 46:10

"A real man rejects passivity and takes responsibility to lead, provide, protect, and teach expecting to receive the greater reward." Dr. Robert Lewis

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Rain Man
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I think you should back it before tillering. If you wait until after, then what's really the point of the backing? If your bow needed the insurance, it would be too late.
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Loren Holland
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when i was asking the same question at the same point in learning, i read Sam Harper's site...there are backings that prevent lifting a splinter, and there are backings that do work, which one are trying to achieve. Since it is a red oak board bow, i am assuming you need to cover the whole back, to prevent splinter from raising. Bamboo will work, but will only add a little stiffness, not protection, if you add the strip that you were talking about.
try the brown paper, i resisted trying it forever, because i just didn't believe paper would work, and thought it wouldn't end up attractive, but i finally tried it. It works well, adds little mass (except the glue), and if you try one of the camo job build alongs that are posted here as well, it is easy and looks good

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walkabout
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ive built a bunch of board bows and my fave backing so far is the paper. easy to lay down and really cheap for a bunch of it. backing is to keep splinters from lifting off imperfect grain we find on board staves. it has to be as wide as the whole bow limbs or it wont help much at all. good luck.

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Richard

Posts: 1070 | From: Heath, Ohio | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
4est trekker
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Maybe I can help. Essentially, there are six categories of backings. I will describe each for you, and then make a few comments on your proposed plan:


[Smile] AIR

This is the safest and easiest backing there is, provided your board/stave's back grain is sufficient to safely undergo tension.


[Smile] BACKINGS THAT ADD PERFORMANCE

These backings are designed to do one or more of the following:
A) add draw weight,
B) increase a bow's safe draw length margin by allowing short bows to be relatively overdrawn,
C) allow for more dramatic profiles that would be unsafe on a selfbow (these profiles are generally induced at glue up),
D) allows the bowyer to use each wood/material to it fullest potential based on its characteristic(s) (for example, hickory is fantastic under tension and makes a wonderful backing, but is relatively weak in compression and so makes a relatively poor belly.)
E) allows the bowyer to create a "recipe" that can readily duplicate performance, draw weight at a particular length, etc (this is much more difficult when building a selfbow.)
F) allows the use of wood (specifically in board form) that has a violated grain on the back that would otherwise fail.
COMMON EXAMPLES: bamboo, hickory, fiberglass,


[Smile] BACKINGS THAT ADD SAFETY/PROTECTION

These backing are designed to do one of more of the following. They generally don't add performance or draw weight:
A) prevent a splinter from raising on the back of the bow by creating, in effect, a continuous layer that simulates a single growth ring
B) protect a vulnerable material from the elements (an example would be covering the back of a sinew-backed bow with snakeskin or bark to help keep precipitation off the moisture-sensitive sinew.)
COMMON EXAMPLES: silk, linen, paper, rawhide,


[Smile] BACKINGS THAT RAISE THE NEUTRAL PLANE

These backing raise the neutral plane of the bow (i.e. that part of the bow that neither goes into tension or compression.) What is does is allow more wood to go into compression while the backing takes over the majority of the tension work from the back. The most common example is a cable bow, which is simply a bow that has a taught cable of sinew, silk, linen, modern bowstring material, etc. running along it's back that tenses as the bow is drawn. The native peoples of Alaska and Canada used this bow frequently. It allows inferior materials to be fashioned into a bow. Do a search of Inuit cable bows, for example, and you'll see what I mean about inferior materials. Another method is to do what you've suggested with the bamboo, and that is to use a backing that doesn't cover the entire width of the back. However, I would also classify this type of backing in the following category:


[Smile] TRAPPED BACKS/BELLIES

Trapping is a fancy word to shaping the cross-section of a the bow limb like a trapezoid. For example, if you're backing is very strong in compression and threatens to overpower your belly material, you would narrow the width of the back, leaving more belly material to withstand the compression load. This also lowers mass, which increases cast and reduces hand shock, etc. Fiberglass bows are commonly trapped, mostly for the latter. Glass is incredibly strong and can take much abuse, so having the back full width is really often overkill. You can also do just the opposite. If you've got a belly that's particularly strong in compression (either naturally or from tempering), you can narrow the width of the belly so that more wood is available on the back to take the tension load, thereby reducing the risk of a splinter.


[Smile] AESTHETIC/CAMOUFLAGING BACKS

These backings are used to enhance the appearance and/or camouflage the bow in hunting situations and do nothing to increase the safety or shooting performance of the bow. Although this is often accomplished via stains, dyes, and paints, it can also be done by using snake skins, fish skins, various cloth/paper prints, some tree barks, etc.


If your bow is shooting fine now, there's no need to back it. In fact, you can quickly wreck an otherwise good-shooting bow. Although I've built a lot of bows out of red oak and think it can make a fantastic weapon if built carefully, it is not a good candidate for bamboo backing. It's just not strong enough in compression to withstand the crushing load induced by the bamboo. It will either take significant set or fail. Plus, you generally want to add a backing that improves performance (like bamboo) before you've tillered much past 4-6" of tip movement on the long string.

Well, I hope this helps. Leave this bow alone, and get crackin' on another. Best of luck, and use the search function to find examples of all of these types of backings.

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"Walk softly...and carry a bent stick."

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col. 3:17

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504state
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Thanks for the posts guys. The idea I had was trapping, although I did not know what it was called. I am gonna give it a shot and see what happens. I am going to get the draw weight back to about 50lbs so hopefully i wont need the backing for protection.
Posts: 9 | From: Louisiana | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
4est trekker
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If you're only at 35# right now, adding bamboo to try and get it to 50# will either 1) not work, or 2) crush the belly of the bow and give you a 50# bow that shoots like a 35# bow. Leave this one alone. Backing a bow to enhance performance is something that almost always should be planned into the original design. Boards are cheap, and staves are free. Build yourself another [thumbsup]

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"Walk softly...and carry a bent stick."

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col. 3:17

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504state
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I am talking about doing this to the new bow I am working on. The 35lb bow has its finish on it and is hanging on the wall. I was just thinking of putting bamboo on this new one for asthetic purposes. the bamboo I have cut is too thin to add much if any enhancement anyway
Posts: 9 | From: Louisiana | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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