Monday, 19 September 2016

Starting on a 150# Warbow

I have a couple of Pacific Yew staves to work into bows, one is a tad skinny and the other has a big knot hole in the belly which fortunately doesn't go through to the back.
I'm having a go at the skinny one first and I was unsure if there was enough wood, but having roughed it out, I think it will be fine.
The last 120# bow I did was about 32mm deep at the grip so I roughed this one out starting at about 38mm and dropping 2mm every 6" to the tips. The tips are much too thick but it's a start point.
I got it on the tiller to see how even it was. One limb seems much stiffer and has some natural reflex, I'm calling this the lower limb (nominally, in may change!) I took wood off the belly and gradually evened it up pulling 150# on a string that I could just get onto the nocks. The tiller is pretty even now and it's coming back about enough to brace it... but there's the rub, it's damn near impossible to brace, so I'll have to put on some decent temporary nocks.
Here's a video of it on the tiller being pulled to 150# with some chat.
You can see in the pic, the right limb looks much thicker yet is bending about the same.
I did manage to use my winch on a bracing string to get a string onto it at about 2" brace, but I could barely get the damn thing off again! I supported the tips on two big blocks of wood and stood all my body weight on the grip, by bouncing slightly I could just get enough slack to slip the string off.
At least I had a look at it at low brace at about 100# draw weight to confirm where wood needed removing and I also had a look at the string line.
I've managed to get it to a low brace using my winch and pulled it to about 100# at 16" draw. I need to video it before drawing further so I can get a real look at the tiller.

I've also got a long term project slowly forming, I'm going to try a composite (Horn/Sinew Turkish Bow). Ed, (one of the guys on Primitive archer) sent me some Elk tendons which are longer than the scruffy Red Deer sinew which I have. I'll be keeping my eyes open for any Maple that falls (or needs a gentle push) over in the woodland, that will be for the core of the bow. I can get the horn from Highland Horn. I maybe have enough materials to try a miniature using the scruffy sinew, just to try some of the processes first, I don't want to be making mistakes on a bow that has a 1 year construction time! Don't hold you breath waiting for any of this to happen, but I'll be sure to post anything I actually do.


  1. Hey Del, this is both mouth-watering and daunting! I'd say you'll need to add a "holy cow" box to your reactions list to cover this one! LoL

    Jay Tee-Hee

    1. My stringer rope that I was using to pull it back to get the string on snapped... made me jump a tad!