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Discussion Starter #1
ok to start im not even sure that this is feasible
i want to make a home made bow in the traditional penobscot double bow style.
now traditionally they are roughly 60" for the main bow length and 30" for the back bow length
however i was looking to make one shorter... around 45" for the main bow length and 22 1/2" for the back bow length (i did the math on it a few times but i dont have it with me so i could be wrong on that back bow length)
now i realize that because the bow length is shorter that my draw length will be shorter as well. however im not sure exactly how to figure that out..
i will most likely be using hickory for the wood type unless someone can suggest a better or more feasible wood for the job, (i chose hickory as that was what they were traditionally made of)
so my question is,
a. is hickory a feasible wood to use or is there a better wood to be chosen
b. at that length what would my draw length be
c. what kind of poundage would i be looking at (if more information is required please inform me and ill do my best to provide any missing information)
d. what is the typical range im looking at with this short a bow... (im more so making a target bow with this particular bow.. but if its possible to hunt game with it... i may consider it)
And Finally
e. what spline arrows would work with this

again.. if i left out any needed information please let me know and ill do my best to look it up... also if an explanation of the double bow is need ill do my best to either find a link (provided that i can post it and not break the forum rules) or load so pictures of the bow from the book in which i found it..

thanks for your time and help
 

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First- if this is your first selfbow, I would suggest you get a few books. A Penobscot isn't really "hard", like making your own recurve would be, but wood isn't as durable as fiberglass- so sucha short length could spell trouble. Longer is better:)!

A. Hickory is an excellent wood, and I use it extensivley. I would temper it though with a heat gun along the belly to increase the compression forces.

B. You're looking at a 22" draw- max.

C. Probably more than you'd want! Short bows, with short draws, can handle the same weight as longer bows with longer draws. Anywhere from 20# to over 100#. Tillering and skill dictate final weight.

D. That short, with the required short draw, would be under 20 yards. It would take years of dedicated practice and work to shoot any farther- or to be a reliable shot at that distance.

E. The spine is dicated by the weight at the given draw. Expect to buy very limber arrows, however, as they will be shorter than the standard 28" draw.

if you don't already have The Traditional Bowyer's Bibles, I would highly suggest you pick them up. They could teach you more than you thought you needed to know!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thank you for the insight ... now for more questions if i went with fiberglass
a. where could i purchase something like that
b. would i have have to buy it preset to thickness and length and draw weight
c. is it shape-able?
 

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I'm not as well versed in using fiberglass, but I'll try my best.

A. Places such as Hill Archery, Bingham Projects (they make videos that help you build your own laminated bows), or 3 Rivers Archery

B. You would need to learn how to change the thickness laminations to achieve desired weight. Fiberglass simply comes in thin strips you glue on the back and belly.

C. You can glue in almost any shape you'd desire (look at some fot he recurves out there!) but a solid wood bow is definately the way to start with this style bow. Fibgerlass would make it rather pointless, as it would increase the performance on it's own.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thats great... thanks for the insight... it really makes all the difference in the world... now you did mention the bowers bible and i have a book similar to it but im sure the extra informtaion would come in handy.. is there any other books you would recommend to help me along...
and aside from going a cutting a branch off a tree is there a place where i might get some hickory limbs that may be pre-seasoned?
 

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The Bent Stick is another good book on bow building, mostly in the name of bow hunting. It's not as in depth, but it's the first bit I've used when I started building.

Hickory lumber is also great for bows. Just choose a piece that isn't wet or rotted, and the grain is striaght without knots. Lumber is actually easier for your first bow than actual staves.
 
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