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Workbench Creations

Workbench Creations is the place for conversation and discussion about do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. This DIY blog will feature projects completed by its owner as well as projects completed by other do-it-yourselfers. Workbench Creations is the place where DIYers can discuss ideas, learn about what others have done, and share their expertise.

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4 comments

Bow Making Exploits (Part 2)

Posted December 22, 2008 12:01 AM by Del the cat

Sinew is weird stuff. I bought it from Highland Horn as dried sinew. It looks like hard, translucent, leathery dog chews! Sinew is prepared by pounding it with a hammer and tearing apart the individual fibres (very laborious). There are some good links to this on DAG's thread 're-curve bows'.

Once the sinew was on, I let it dry for a couple of days and tested it on my tillering rig. I got it back to 28" draw at 53 lb. I shot 6 arrows with it in my garden, and it felt really good and fast. I was reluctant to lose any of that power, so I got greedy (my biggest mistake). I was aiming at 40-lb and was going to work it down a little, to maybe 45, and had taken it 48-lb.

Then one frosty morning, in my impatience, I thought I'd take some pictures showing it on my newly-built tillering rig (see image, and others, below). Previously, the bow had been indoors overnight, but not on this occasion. I took it back to 28", stepped back to admire it, raised the camera, and heard a crack. Oh dear. That's gone. But never mind; I'll take a picture anyway.

BANG! It shattered into two pieces. Sad, but I've learned a lot.

I built the tillering rig using a 110-lb spring balance and a trailer winch with a cut down handle. It only cost about £30 for the lot. I've also learned how to use sinew. Next time, I'll try natural hide glue and three layers of sinew instead of just two!

I'm planning my next bow already. My neighbour has a dead almond tree standing in his garden; I've generously volunteered to remove it! I'll make the bow a couple of inches longer, and deflexed near the handle and reflexed at the tips. I still want that short, pretty bow with a ludicrous draw. It should be great for shooting in woodland at the field archery club I've just joined.

Update: The almond was riddled with woodworm and useless, so I scoured the local woodland and found a fallen tree which I think is a very old coppiced field maple. (I'll be able to identify it accurately in the spring when its fellows are in leaf). I've split some nice staves from it and painted the end grain with PVA to stop it from drying too quickly. 2009 should be a bumper year for bowmaking!

Del

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Del the Cat for contributing this story. Cheers, Del! Click here for Part 1. Additional pictures of Del's project appear below.

Glue and Hold

Broken Bow

Broken Bow (Close-up)

Splitting Wood

The Tiller Rig

The Tree

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#1

Re: Bow Making Exploits (Part 2)

12/23/2008 6:51 AM

Your posts are the least boring that I know of on CR4. Keep up the (interesting!) good work!!

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Bow Making Exploits (Part 2)

12/23/2008 7:56 AM

Cheers..have a good 'un

Del (PS loved the condom joke)

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#3

Re: Bow Making Exploits (Part 2)

12/23/2008 9:36 AM

Damn Del!

That is so cool!

I have long been fascinated by the sinew reinforced short bows the mongols and others carried.

Good to see some experimentation along these lines.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Bow Making Exploits (Part 2)

12/23/2008 10:09 AM

Ta...hopefully the next will be ok.
I may go for the whoe horn sinew composite job at some point.

Del

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Andy Germany (1); Del the cat (2); edignan (1)

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