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Anyone here making their own bows?
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Picture of Bill/Oregon
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I started several over the years but only completed one -- a silk-backed white oak board bow. Although I was extremely careful to select a board with virtually zero grain runout, this bow did blow up on me after about 300 arrows, with absolutely no warning. It was a hot, sunny day in southern Oregon and I was shooting with my shirt off. When it let go, it cut me on the chest and left forearm. No biggie, but it sure was a surprise.
That said, I still get the itch to build again. The bows I have most admired have been the osage orange "character bows" some of the guys make, often with snake skins covering the outer limbs.
I was spoiled by the abundance of excellent bow woods available in the forests of Oregon -- especially the yew and vine maple. Not sure what is available in New Mexico, but osage country isn't too far away. I think a lot of the fun lies in "picking" your own bow and arra material.
If anyone is interested in more on this, I can highly recommend Jim Hamm's "Bows and Arrows of the Native Americans," the four volumes of "The Traditional Bowyer's Bible" and the forums at Tapatalk's PaleoPlanet.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14070 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Bill, I started making bows 20+ years ago. I made one hickory bow and the rest are all Osage bows. That Osage is some amazing wood and makes a strong, fast bow. I hunt deer/hogs with mine and knapp my own flint points.


Birmingham, Al
 
Posts: 816 | Registered: 18 December 2006Reply With Quote
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DTala, if you ever get an urge to share photos of your bows and arraheads, please do so. Always thought it would be fun to work with the legendary osage.
By the way, here is a neat video put up by one of your neighbors down that way, Eric Crewson, on how to use his clever little "Tillering Gizmo."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqvwUqn-EFQ


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14070 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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I still have a bow oven my brother and I put together years ago for making laminated bows. Built a few longbows that looked and shot well but never put together forms for recurve limbs like I had planned...maybe someday. Not selfbows, but still fun walking fencerows shooting rabbits with homemade equipment in our teens.


Shoot straight, shoot often.
Matt
 
Posts: 1127 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 19 July 2001Reply With Quote
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Bill, IF I can get the photo posting working again I'll be glad to. Eric is a friend of mine and an excellent bow maker.


Birmingham, Al
 
Posts: 816 | Registered: 18 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Been making three piece take down recurves and a few vine maple self bows for years, it's rewarding to take a deer with home made bows and arrows.
 
Posts: 18 | Location: salmon id | Registered: 01 March 2019Reply With Quote
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idabow, I miss having tangles of vine maple to sort through for stave material.
May try an elderberry bow, as it is common in the Sacramento Mountains here in southern New Mexico.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14070 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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