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Thread: backing ???

  1. #1
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    backing ???

    What's the point of glueing on a backing, is it for looks or to prevent splintering?



  2. #2
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    it can range from just preventing splinters (english longbows, kidbows, some native bows) to providing working tensile strength (turkish, hun, any horn bows). with bows built out of lumberyard wood, you often need backing to protect grain violations which splinter easily. personally speaking, i'm a noob bow maker, so i use it to make my lack of skill less fatal to an innocent longbow.

  3. #3
    It is to compensate for the grain runoffs, it should be made of a material of higher density and tinsel strength than the bow wood. Common bow backings include fiberglass, hickory, and bamboo, I prefer hickory, from what I've heard boo and hickory are about equal, but hickory looks sooooooo much better.

  4. #4
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    with a wood backer, how thick of a strip do you use?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjoe79 View Post
    with a wood backer, how thick of a strip do you use?
    About 1/8"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by J0nathan View Post
    It is to compensate for the grain runoffs, it should be made of a material of higher density and tinsel strength than the bow wood. Common bow backings include fiberglass, hickory, and bamboo, I prefer hickory, from what I've heard boo and hickory are about equal, but hickory looks sooooooo much better.
    Boo is superior to a hickroy backing, and looks vastly better

    You can also use cloth. I use cotton, and linen or silk also work well.

  7. #7
    I've heard that a bow backed with bamboo will take more set than one backed with a slice of hickory with the proper moisture content. As for the looks.....

  8. #8
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    Well, some woods aren't strong and elastic enough to hold up to bamboo. WHich causes excessive set. Hickory is not as strong, so it less likely to cause the same problem. But if you use a proper belly material, the lighter, stronger boo will make a less massive, faster bow. Back red oak with boo and you just wasted your matierals. Back ipe with bamboo and you have a combo that could outshoot the best FG longbows.

    But nothing is more appealing than a nice boo-backed bow. Reminiscent of Howard Hill, and you're the first person I've ever met who thought otherwise?

  9. #9
    those nodes make boo fugly.

  10. #10
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    I would disagree with Kegan...hes been hanging around the wrong people and reading the wrong books. Using boo with redoak is NOT a waste of materials. Manny Padroni showed me to the light with his BAMBOO backed red oak bow that he has in Hawaii. That thing is very nice bow. It was my inspiration to play with boo exclusively as a backing on not only RED OAK bows but also on Tiger maple (which many people say will collapse even without a backing) That bow has shot thousands of arrows and only has one small two inch section of chrysals that have been there since she was first tillered.

    Now how do you keep boo from overpowering the belly wood...not by making it thinner as some "myth believers" would have you think but rather by making it NARROWER than the belly wood. The secret was let out in the fourth volume of the traditional bowyers bibles but like I said my maple bow was built years ago. The proof of the pudding is in the eating not necessarily the reading

  11. #11
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    i just re-read that section on trapping the backing. now if i can only find some affordable boo, i'll try it out. i just started making bows last summer & can attest to the ease of cloth backings. i've done 3 with linen & no failures yet (they'll happen i'm sure). from what i gathered in TBB, you can back a bow with practically anything as long as it's tensile strenght is proportional to the belly's compression strength...

  12. #12
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    Yup....and how do you make a belly able to withstand more compression?....make it WIDER (or conversely the back narrower)

    I absolutely HATE reading that nonsense that someone started "BOO WILL OVERPOWER THE BELLY"....only if you design the bow wrong pardner. I got another boo backed red oak in the works right now for my buddy Joe who is too cheap to buy my glass longbow lol.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stiknstring View Post
    Yup....and how do you make a belly able to withstand more compression?....make it WIDER (or conversely the back narrower)

    I absolutely HATE reading that nonsense that someone started "BOO WILL OVERPOWER THE BELLY"....only if you design the bow wrong pardner. I got another boo backed red oak in the works right now for my buddy Joe who is too cheap to buy my glass longbow lol.
    You are 225% correct

    Last time I mention trapping when some one asked me about backign their board with bamboo, their board was of low quality and they jut thinned it instead of narrowing it. The bow followed the string three inches and had two frets. I tried to explain that he had had to make the strip narrower, like a crowned stave, and he never replied to me again. Nor did I hear about him making anymore bows.

    Since then I've tried to steer people away from it.

    P.S. I've been looking for Manny's boo backed oak bow for months, but I can't find it anywhere. Do you happen to have a link?

  14. #14
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    Heck ya I have the link but ONLY if you promise to not demean the bamboo backed red oak pig slayer ever again....just kidding, the fewer who know about this combonation the better and more unique I feel about using it lol...
    Here is your link buddy, and to all who want to utilize some GOOD knowledge: http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/top...cs.html?page=1

  15. #15
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    Thanks Stiknstring! I've been looking for that bow forever! Did Manny trap the back at all?

    And of course I promise! But I take no responsibility for any frets from people just because they aren't as good as you or Manny hahaha. Just kidding!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by stiknstring View Post
    Now how do you keep boo from overpowering the belly wood...not by making it thinner as some "myth believers" would have you think but rather by making it NARROWER than the belly wood. The secret was let out in the fourth volume of the traditional bowyers bibles but like I said my maple bow was built years ago. The proof of the pudding is in the eating not necessarily the reading
    correction; the virtues of a trapezoidal cross-section were first published in "Archery: The Technical Side" by Klopsteg, Nagler and Hickman 60 years ago. in my experience bamboo has never overpowered osage, no matter the design. not once ever in the several dozen bbo bows I've made. still, trapezoidal cross-section is definitely a marked improvement over rectagular if you can do it correctly.

  17. #17
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    Who was talking about osage? We were speaking of the often maligned combination of bamboo and red oak. Bamboo and osage has been a winning combo for years and years and years....bamboo and ipe makes for a screamer of a bow and I have two I love dearly. I never said it was the FIRST mention of trapping the back ( and yeah manny trapped the boo so that the redoak belly was considerably wider than the bamboo, I cannot remember actual measurements but I am sure he would PM you back if you asked him nicely) I

  18. #18

    backing

    making my first red oak bow, I have one question (for now)...I will back with linen..I will be using red mahogany stain on bow. should I also stain the linen prior to glueing or afterwards when bow is finished?

    Thanks

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by psedude View Post
    making my first red oak bow, I have one question (for now)...I will back with linen..I will be using red mahogany stain on bow. should I also stain the linen prior to glueing or afterwards when bow is finished?

    Thanks
    Won't matter- you won't see it either way. The glue will leak through and change the color. Only way I've found to change it is painting. All of which comes after the bow is shooting.

  20. #20
    thanks kegan I get to be creative with the painting if I choose...power of positive thinking...wife is a good painter...

  21. #21
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    There ya go! I paint the back balck, and then paint flames or vines or something on. Even somehting so plain becomes eye-catching.

  22. #22
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    Have any of you more experienced types used real wood veneer for backing? I was thinking some of that stuff is about the right thickness and would provide a really cool grain. I checked today and a 4x8 sheet of hickory veneer is about $54 (here in Alaska...), but I could get backing for about 32 bows from one sheet!

    Would it work, or is it not the right configuration?

  23. #23
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    If the grain is straight from one end to the other, go ahead. Make sure it's a good, solid piece. I've seen a couple bows backed with veneer.

  24. #24
    the backing is very crusial for a board bow with a less then perfect grain line. in my expiriance you can get away with a board without a backing but you must have an almost perfect grain with no run offs. another advantege of having a backing is you abilty to aim the bow. if your used to a recurve or laminated bow you probably hold you you draw for a few seconds, with a self board bow you i most definitaly would recamend you not holding you draw for more than 1 second. i have had bows even with say a linen or rawhide backing brake from to long of pause in the draw.

    now for bamboo or hickory you can have a slightly longer pause time, but if you shoot a bow with out a backing and a bow with one, i would suggest i would seggest keeping the pause time to a minimum. personaly what i do is shoot all my bows as as if they didn't have a backing. if you ever watch any old howard hill videos, he had a very short pause in his draw,his drawing style is a perfect example of the way you should shoot a non backed bow

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertbowyer View Post
    another advantege of having a backing is you abilty to aim the bow. if your used to a recurve or laminated bow you probably hold you you draw for a few seconds, with a self board bow you i most definitaly would recamend you not holding you draw for more than 1 second. i have had bows even with say a linen or rawhide backing brake from to long of pause in the draw.

    now for bamboo or hickory you can have a slightly longer pause time, but if you shoot a bow with out a backing and a bow with one, i would suggest i would seggest keeping the pause time to a minimum. personaly what i do is shoot all my bows as as if they didn't have a backing. if you ever watch any old howard hill videos, he had a very short pause in his draw,his drawing style is a perfect example of the way you should shoot a non backed bow
    Sorry, but that's not what's causing your failures. Clearly the bow are simply not properly tillered- they're overstressed. An unbacked bow can be held at full draw indefinately and it will not break, it will just take more set. Saxton Pope found that a wooden bow could be held at full draw for five full seconds before the cast became seriously affected (resulting in several inches lower impact at 60 yards). Snap shooting isn't a good method for accuracy.

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