From left to right: homemade serving jig, bowstring wax (with beeswax barely visible behind it), Brownell’s Dacron B-50 string, waxed, from 3Rivers Archery, which I love.
FYI: The string referred to in this post is the one I made for the walnut bamboo longbow in this series. The critique of that bow follows this string thing because one needs a string to shoot the bow for critique purposes.
If you really want to learn to make a bowstring, fly to the bottom of this post and check out my string mentor, Nick Tomihama’s videos. The videos below are the ones I watched before attempting my first string.
On the other hand, if you’re killing time or want to wade in to string making, read on…..
When we last left the bamboo walnut longbow build, we saw how linseed oil brings wood color to life.Behold, the handle and fades. The limbs are walnut backed with bamboo. The too-thick yellow chunk is yellowheart. And the stripey stuff is aptly named zebrawood, AKA zebrano. If I were to build exactly this bow again, I’d make the yellowheart layer no thicker than the bamboo. I’d also do something truly crazy: extend the handle woods into the fades.
Previous stages in this build: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
After the linseed oil bath, another color treatment remains. This time, the bamboo gets it. A baptism of fire. Very dangerous business…..
Long skinny objects that aren’t fashion models are not easy to photograph, especially in a barn. Here’s the walnut-bamboo flatbow/longbow at the need-to-carve-the-handle phase.
This post continues the walnut-bamboo flatbow type longbow build. Part 1 and Part 2
The handle is glued up and posing for photos. At this point, photography is a form of procrastination, rather than a distracting chore. Because the next step feels really dangerous…..
I use Smooth-On EA 40, a two-part epoxy, for bow body laminations. It’s easy to measure, mix and use. Cost: $35.50 (plus shipping) from 3Rivers Archery. Expensive? No. I’ve done at least 10 glue-ups and have enough for at least three or four more.
It’s glue-up time. Part 1 of this walnut-boo bow build is here.
The two planks dominating the foreground comprise a bow in its embrionic form. You wouldn’t call them embrybows. But I would.
The darker piece is domestic walnut, black walnut. The lighter piece is bamboo. The walnut will be the belly, the bamboo the back. Bamboo makes good back.
Together, they’ll make a 68″ longbow or flatbow. Far as I know, unless you’re talking English longbow, flat and long are more or less swappable. As far as I know.
Now, let’s get to work on this thing.
I think I’m done messin’ with my erstwhile Frankenbow turned Feenix wonder bow. It’s draw weight is out of my left arm’s zip code and I’m afraid if I touch it to the scraper or sander again it will be once too much.
I’m going to fine sand it. Finish it. And leave it. Feenix is a working bow that’s a bit too heavy for me, at least at this time. It shoots very well. Looks OK enough. Why bother it further? I have other bows that need making.
I’m calling this project a success. Thanks to my inexperience, impatience and ineptitude, I was able to experiment with three substances I knew very little about outside of what I’d read. Now I know more.
The substances are:
Don’t know if you can tell, but this aint the best bow photo in the history of the human race. The pinkish thing is the bow. I do sort of like the wacky wavy wood background.
Now that I have the pic on the post, I’m not sure it shows the enormity of my reduction job.
I took the Feenix, a bamboo, ipe, fiberglass Frankenbow hybrid crossbreed mix thing, from paddle to pyramid shape. To save me from repeating myself and so that you can get the full radiation exposure to the backstory, part 1 and part 2.
Or, you can always wade in with…
A well weathered tillerman sees the defects immediately. Even I can see a looming ickiness in the profile. Looks almost like hinges appearing just beyond the fades.
Notice anything untoward going on in the pic above? (By the way, that guy at lower right, he’s my biggest fan.)
That’s right, for a fully tillered bow, those mid-to-end limbs appear a mite rigid.
It gets worse: