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Self-Bow Question

Old 06-26-2009, 10:00 AM
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Hello All - It's been quite a while since I've been able to log on to good ole HNI (blame school - just finished the hardest semester with a 4.0 gpa though ) Anyway, one of the first projects that needed attention at home was the removal of a walnut tree from the backyard. I saved some of the larger chunks and branches for the miscellaneous projects I had and got to thinking (yes, very dangerous) about making a longbow out of one of the straighter branches.

So I guess the question is here, how do ya'll think walnut will work for a long bow? I wanted it to be a very simple bow, no backing or laminates of any kind, maybe 60" long or so. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:18 AM
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Default RE: Self-Bow Question

It makes good laminates or riser wood, but I don't believe it will be very easy to make a selfbow from it.

Congrats on a great semester!
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:22 AM
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Default RE: Self-Bow Question

ORIGINAL: BobCo19-65

It makes good laminates or riser wood, but I don't believe it will be very easy to make a selfbow from it.
What type of problems do you think I may encounter with it?


ORIGINAL: BobCo19-65

Congrats on a great semester!
Thanks a lot!




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Old 06-26-2009, 11:34 AM
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Default RE: Self-Bow Question

Its tension properties are not that great. It might be OK if you back it with something. But if you are a beginner to making selfbows, I'd go with some osage with decent sized growth rings (@1/8") in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:46 AM
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Default RE: Self-Bow Question

Good to know. I'm pretty sure Osage doesn't grow in South Central Wisconsin, so that's a bit of a bummer - are there other types of woods that could work? Thanks much!
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:06 PM
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Default RE: Self-Bow Question

You may want to try locust, but be careful not to overheat it. If you cut it green, there is a drying out process that you have to go through. Honestly, if you want to makea selfbowand you have notmade one yet, then I'd go to a trad shot, get an ossagestave ready to go, and get some help from an expert that can supply all the tools and expertise you'll need.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:11 PM
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Default RE: Self-Bow Question

I'm starting to think that may be the best way to go as well. I know of a couple shops in the area that do carry some traditional stuff, I'm sure there is someone who could get me pointed in the right direction. Thanks for input!
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:25 PM
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Default RE: Self-Bow Question

hickory grows around here. another way for a beginner to get started is to get a red oak board from your local lumber store. you should check out a couple other sites for this subject, like archerytalk has a trad section and paleoplanet.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:43 PM
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Default RE: Self-Bow Question

Congrats on the semister Austin.

Hackberry would be another wood to try.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:13 PM
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Default RE: Self-Bow Question

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Congrats on the semister Austin.

Hackberry would be another wood to try.
Thank you Sir. Truth be told, I would much rather order a bow from you, but that private school tuituin sucks the wallet and bank account dry every time I turn around it seems [>:]
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