Monday, 17 September 2012

A Second Heat Treatment

The Maple bow is pulling back to 50# at about 27" from a medium brace height, so it's very nearly there.
It's taken an inch or so of set which was irritating me a bit, the natural asymmetry was also  grating a tad.
I've decided to heat treat it a second time, this will take out the set (it may pull back in) it will even up the limbs at brace and also give a nice even colour to the belly.
Rather cosmetic as it is drawing really well, but I'm just keen to get the best out of it.
Heat treating is about my least favourite task, back and forth every 5 minutes for over an hour if you want it to look even.
The back has been cleaned up too, it's been painstaking scraping off the remnants of the cambium layer, (Almost as exciting as heat treating, but it does have a sort of Zen thing going for it). There are patches and streaks of discolouration around some of the knots which will give it a sort of handsome natural camo' look. It suddenly feels like a bow, light in the hand and well balanced, It will be good to get a proper string on it and shoot some arrows (I've had one tentative shot already from a short draw).
I'll give it a few days to get over the heat treatment and then get it back that last inch, make a string and start shaping the grip for optimum performance.
It's not that hard to make a bow... of sorts, but to make a good bow is a different story altogether. After all, a couple of Hazel wands bound together with their thicker ends overlapping as a grip will shoot an arrow, and I've seen a guy shooting a completely untillered Holly branch, he could hit stuff at short range too!
For anyone who wants to have a go, any sort of bow that shoots is a worthwhile achievement, and that first arrow from a bow you have made yourself is a real buzz.


  1. What type of Maple is this? I have a lot of it around me, but never really considered it because it grows pipe straight and in my experience bow wood doesn't grow straight. Thanks, Darryn

  2. I am currently building my second Mollegabet style bow from an oak board. Got a few hundred arrows through it now, it just needs finishing. You are correct about a bow that shoots. I really get enjoyment and a feeling of accomplishment when I can shoot arrows across the yard and get a decent grouping.

    Really enjoying your blog btw. :)

    to anyone else out there who is thinking about building a bow. Just do it!

  3. Thanks for the comments guys.
    I'm not sure what type of Maple it is, in fact it took me long enough to decide that it actually was Maple! It's pretty fast growing and there's a lot of it in the woods near me. Some has been copiced many many years ago and is starting now to fall under it's own weight or get knocked over when a big Oak falls on it. There is a lot of youngers stuff too but that may well have been planted by the council when the roads and cycle tracks were built, or be self seeded.
    It's very difficult to identify trees accurately and it was only when I started working a chunk of it a year or so back that I felt pretty sure it was Maple. It does have nice long straight trunks, splits nicely and works well.

  4. Thanks for the answer. I sometimes have trouble just cutting something new down and trying it when I the old standby for me Elm is right there. I think I will have a go. I really enjoy your site here. It is the best working blog I have ever seen for any of my strange hobbies.