Best Selfbow Design? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Default Best Selfbow Design?

Is there a generally accepted best type of self bow?

Longbow? Recurve, Flat Bow, Pyramid Bow... something else?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Best Selfbow Design?

I made bows for my wife and I years back. I went with a Mary Heath longbow design. To be safe, I backed each with Hickory, they were maple. We both took game with them and functioned very well. I think I got most of my advice from Tradgang Forums at the time,
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 07:39 PM
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: Best Selfbow Design?

I tend to think the wood determines the best design.

If I had to choose one it would be the longbow. It's not always handy but that's not the question.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Quiver View Post
I tend to think the wood determines the best design.

If I had to choose one it would be the longbow. It's not always handy but that's not the question.


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So how does the wood relate to the design?

That could be a really good thing to know.

True, "Handy" isn't what I'm getting at, but rather performance.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 02:24 AM
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I'm referring mostly to the stave you have in your hand sort of determines what your going to be able to extract from it.

Now I've never done it, but I started going down that path at one time. Might be the authors I read, but I got the feeling bow making was a sort of art / sculpture, hand eye co-ordination thing. Lots of reference to being able to read grain, and follow it to get the bow out of the stave, too much Zen for my abilities. I'm more a machinist than a carver.

I remember Hickory as a wood that was heavy and wasn't suited to a lot of bending, for instance. Osage orange was more likely to have crazy grain leading to snakey bows, but it was generally a good performer in the shorter designs. Again it's been several years since I gave up my efforts.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 02:34 AM
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I read this once, and saved it in my notes. Maybe it'll help you:


"If you want your arrow to go 900yds, go high weight asiatic composite. If you want to shoot an armor plated knight, yew long bows are the undisputed champions. If all you want is ease of construction, find a 9ft thin branch. String it to see what weight it is and shorten it till you get close to desired weight. at that length, tiller really doesn't matter since sooo much wood is doing so little work. For raw speed, short needle tip pyromid bows with a ton of reflex would probably win hands down."


I never got round to making one, and wound up playing with Take Down recurve/longbows instead.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 06:29 AM
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I have made a number of bows....something that I wanted to learn to do. A very helpful guide was (and is) Jim Hamm's "Traditional Bowyer's Bible" in three volumes.
My two favorite bows are a 62" flat bow made from Osage Orange (45lbs at 29") and a 52" stick bow made from Hazelwood (iirc) which has about the same weight draw but at a shorter pull 27-28".
I do not have pictures of either. The Osage bow is pretty...the grain is strong. The stick bow is neat looking because it has considerable whip in its cross section.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 07:04 AM
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Years ago when I started Bow Hunting there were no recurves or compound bows only the long bow and wooden arrows

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamnelson View Post
I read this once, and saved it in my notes. Maybe it'll help you:


"If you want your arrow to go 900yds, go high weight asiatic composite. If you want to shoot an armor plated knight, yew long bows are the undisputed champions. If all you want is ease of construction, find a 9ft thin branch. String it to see what weight it is and shorten it till you get close to desired weight. at that length, tiller really doesn't matter since sooo much wood is doing so little work. For raw speed, short needle tip pyromid bows with a ton of reflex would probably win hands down."


I never got round to making one, and wound up playing with Take Down recurve/longbows instead.
That's an interesting quote... especially the part about starting with a 9ft branch.

I did something similar, as a kid, with what I think was Florida Holly.... I just tapered the thing side to match the thin side. It was good enough to hit armadillos with commercially made arrows. But I don't think it was anywhere near powerful enough for larger game. But it did work. I was surprised that I could hit with it.

Reminds me of what is alleged to be an old Indian saying... "The magic is in the arrow... any bent stick for a bow... but you need good arrows..."
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