A Design and Tillering Checklist

Tim Baker
Registered User
Tim Baker
Registered User
Joined: 6:22 AM - May 23, 2005

11:54 PM - Aug 10, 2006 #1

Mainly for the PaleoPlant's new bowmakers:

Here'a a suggested checklist for making a durable, fast wooden bow. It looks long and complicated. But after awhile youll run through it almost unconsciously before each bow.

Design and Layout

What do I want this bow to dohow long must it be to do it?
For this wood type how wide must limbs be for this bowlength, drawweight and drawlength?
Is the crown too high for the tension strength of the wood and the width of the limb?
What flaws in the stave have to be dealt with?
Is the wood too damp or too dry?
Is there enough stave thickness/width for the grip to be as stiff as intended?
Is the grip wide enough to safely bend as much as intended?
If the bow is long how much less should it bend near the grip?
If the bow is short how much more should it bend near the grip?
How wide should near-grip and midlimb be to permit intended tiller shape?
How wide should the outer limb and tips be for intended speed and softness of release?
Is the innerlimb, midlimb and outerlimb drawn to correct thickness for desired tiller shape?
Lay thickness taper lines out separately on each side of the limbto average out any taper flaws?

Floor Tillering

Am I getting intended tiller shape from the very start?
Let me keep this shape as I proceed
Before first stringing the bow a 30lb force against the grip must bend the bow three or four inches [50lb bow].


Keep intended tiller shape at all stages of tillering.
Keep local thickness taper smooth. No dips, dings, or rises from the intended line.
Repeat, keep local thickness taper smooth; such bows are far harder to break.
Make sure both sides of the limb are of equal thickness as tillering progresses.
Does the braced bow have proper tiller? If so pull it half way to intended draw weight.
Is tiller still proper? If not make corrections. If so pull to full draw weight.
Is Tiller still proper? If not make corrections. If so remove wood generally.
Continue on like this, draw length increasing with each cycle.
Stop one inch short of full draw. Round corners well, sand, shoot the bow in.



Registered User
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Joined: 4:55 AM - Jan 15, 2006

5:33 AM - Nov 04, 2011 #2