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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm seasoning a naturally-reflexed, self-cut and split red oak stave for my first DIY, and expect to back it (after heat treating) with 1/8" hickory (to be ripped from a 2"x72" board). The stave is trimmed 2.1" wide, and quite straight grained to 66"+. I'm aiming for 53#@28 (but happy with anything over 40#), with a trapped back, stiff 10-12" cherry handle and thin tips with phenolic-reinforced nocks. I'm trying to decide on an arrow shelf, grip shape, and profile.

My current bow (1968 Bob Lee Chaparral Recurve) has a bulbous, high-wrist, near-center cut handle that feels comfortable, but I'm unsure about cutting a flatbow that far in, or the looks of this much grip Bow and arrow Bow Longbow Metal Archery
on a flatbow. I'd love suggestions and pix of folks favorite designs.

thanks all, kentowl
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
In case that question is too open-ended, what I'm favoring now is:
front view: the 55# maple bow (asymmetric, with a bulge on the profile opposite the shelf) from TBBIV-104,
side view: a high-wristed profile like an A&H riser, with heel cut in to reduce mass
ken towl
 

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Well, selfbows are pretty much anything goes. If what you want to do is too radical, all that happens is the bow will break. Personally, given the lower performance of selfbows and all wood bows compared the to radical designs capable with glass, I've always steered more towards simple. I don't like cuting shelves into selfbows at all, partly because it weakens the entire handle area drastically and partly because without the thin delicated laminated limbs of a glass bow, the results are usually large, ugly, and clunky. This is, of course, just as much a matter of taste as it is practicality.

These days I like three main types of grips, all with small leather shelves glued onto the side. The first is the standard "Hill style", a straight grip with a narrow handle. I usually go with somehting like this on bows where there isn't enough wood to go with a more locator style. The second type, the locator, is a slightly larger grip. If I have a big stave I usually cut a ~1 3/4" deep handle down to 1 5/8" or 1 1/2" at the throat and make the handle a little wider than otherwise. This is usually my favorite, but since bigger staves are such a pain to cut and waste wood, I usually avoid them. The last is the bulbous grip. It's when there isn't much wood left to do anything. I make mine straight, but a true bublous grip is wider in the center, narrow before entering the fades, and slopes in thickness from the limbs to the peak at the center of the handle. This is usually a very attractive handle to put on a shorter bow, especially one working in an arc of circle.

However, I normally use some mixture of all of these depending on what I have to work with. So long as I can comfortably hold the bow I'm content. Some phots of my bows are on my site in the signature. Again, it's all as much about taste as practicality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for your input, Kegan. I enjoyed taking a look at your site.

Since this will be a hickory-backed oak flatbow, beginning tiller 2"+ at the fades, there will already be a pretty good cut from full width to handle. The TBBIV-104 maple bow shows a bigger indent on the shelf side, leaving more wood on the other side to maintain strength - if I do a shelf I'll leave material on the off side. I will add cherry to the belly side for a palm grip - I'm so used to the 60s style feel I'd like to keep it for this one. What I hoped to see was pictures of similar handles that people find appealing - but I've already got some that certainly look as good as I'm capable of making.
. A true selfbow will come later on.
 
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