beginer bow building help [Archive] - ArcheryTalk Forum: Archery Target, Bowhunting, Classifieds, Chat

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May 26th, 2009, 07:37 PM
i have never built a bow before. just wondering how much skill it takes.also what do you need, how much will it cost, how much time do you need to invest to make a basic 40# 28" draw long bow

elk country rp
May 27th, 2009, 12:19 AM
let's start with:

what tools do you have?


what kind of space do you have to work in?

May 27th, 2009, 07:32 AM
i have drills, handheld belt sander, hand saws, jig saw. circular saw, and a hack saw. one of my famly memebers has a wood work shop however other that a band saw and a drill press not sure what elese he has. most work would be done in a two car garrage

May 27th, 2009, 08:35 AM
You can make a good bow with nothing more than a hatchet and rasp in a couple weeks (mostly dry time) with nothing but a wooden chopping block. Thsat takes either a good bit of skill, or alot of patience and care.

Hm... I smell build along...

elk country rp
May 27th, 2009, 12:38 PM
saweet! you have almost all of it already!
the drill- get a drum sanding attachment for a couple $, it'll make shaping the fades, handle, & tips easy
the belt sander- be VERY careful with this one, it'll make smoothing your limb tapers fast if you go light & slow. let that thing get away from you & it'll turn your bow into firewood fast! if you can clamp it upside down & use it as a staionary sander, it will work much better.
hand saws- you can cut the rough shape easily by hand. the bandsaw is obviously easier, but hand saws can get it done, too. the circular saw would probably work well for cutting the limbs, but again - be careful not to take of too much wood with power tools.
a farrier's rasp is my main shaping tool- they cost around $20, but the $6 four way rasp from Nicholson can do it, too.
scraper!- a pocket knife works great for me- and it was free! (i found it on the beach) i could build a bow with just this (& lots of time....)
rat tail file or chainsaw file for the nocks & you're set.
then it's a trip to a lumberyard to find a red oak or hickory board with straight and parallel lines on the face & sides for less than $10 & you're ready to make sawdust. i recommend starting with board bows- boards are cheap & you don't need to wait for them to dry.
good luck!
Rob :darkbeer:

May 27th, 2009, 11:10 PM
If I were you....if you haven't already....go back and read thru all the other'll help you get started....there are alot of guys here that can give you all the advice you need...don't be afraid to ask...there are no dumb questions when it comes to bow building...Steve

June 3rd, 2009, 09:33 PM
I was brand new myself about a month ago and no woodworking skills. I started with an Ipe/bamboo setup I got on ebay for $35.00. Just search for longbow kits and you will find one. Very nice wood and good bamboo. I jumped into it and made a powerful and beautiful hunting bow that I love to shoot more than any of my other bows. I made some mistakes, but thankfully, Ipe appears to be very forgiving. I would recommend looking into this. Then check out Sam Harper bow building on the web and you will have a great build along that will help you through that kind of bow. And then... buy a Dean Torge's 'Hunting the Bamboo Backed Bow' DVD and watch it over and over again. I would also highly recommend checking out all three volumes of 'Traditional Bowyers Bible'... lots of good info there.

My advice based on my mistakes.... use the belt sander as little as possible, find a good scraper and learn how to use it, get good rasps, get excellent with a bandsaw, go slowly in everything and ask lots of questions on these forums. Don't be bashful about publishing your disasters. Also... check out the Stickbow forum...great bunch over there as well.

Do it... or don't. You might get absolutely hooked like me and others you will meet here.