Friday, January 7, 2011

My very first bow made from red oak

This is just brief any questions don't hesitate to ask me and I will answer the best I can.

I started with a 3/4 inch thick, 1.5 inches wide, and 6 feet long piece of red oak I bought from home depot along with a small chunk for the riser. I marked the shape of the bow onto the long piece.

I cut the chunk down to the size of handle i wanted and glued it on. When dry I began shaping the bow with a surform plane.
Its at this point a piece of wood starts to look a little like a bow. I started getting excited at this point.

To add extra strength and to the back of the bow, I back it with 3 layers fibre glass tape stuck on with carpenters glue.

 One of the tips after backing.

 Once the backing is dry I measure an inch from the tip and use a rat tail file to make the string nocks ready for tilering. The nocks are filed at roughly a 45deg angle.

The beginning of the tilering process I m trying to get the bow to 50# at a 30" draw.

I step back and look at the limbs. I m looking for flat points, hinges and unevenness in the limbs. Wood is shaved off gradually and evenly from the limbs until they are to my desired draw. The limbs must be as even as possible. This process takes time and shouldn't be rushed I was itching to fire it for the first time.

Tilering complete, i start to shape the riser and cut an arrow rest.

The arrow rest is cut on your dominant side of course its optional and also you can make it ambidextrous.

My Choice of colour on the back.

I used dark walnut stain on the sides and belly of the bow.

For the grip and arrow rest I used leather from the back of an old belt.
The finishing result
String length (amo) 70" measured nock to nock
Final draw weight 50#
Final draw length 30 

Tools and Materials i used:
  • 1 Red Oak wood 3/4 inch thick, 1.5 inches wide, and 6 feet long.
  • Brown leather belt
  • 1 foot long piece for the riser
  • Carpenters glue
  • Pencil and tape measure
  • Mesh Drywall tape
  • Surform Rasp and Hand Rasp
  • Rat tail file
  • Half moon and flat files
  • Hand saw and Coping Saw
  • 60grain, 110grain and 220grain sandpaper
  • Tilering string and Tilering Stick
  • Black acrylic spray paint
  • Green and Tan paint 
  • Dark walnut wood stain
  • Clear acrylic protective spray

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A handy place to buy reasonably priced equipment.

Helpful hints and tips very welcome!!

If anybody has any helpful hints about ways I could improve my work, please send them across. I will have a go at putting together a detailed build along for the next bow i make. Also if anyone has any questions i will do my best to answer or find the answer.

Thanks for reading!!


Ponder this!!