How thin can the handle go?

greenchicken
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greenchicken
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January 25th, 2006, 8:54 pm #1

In learning more about arrows I have learned (mostly from Rod) the the width of the handle where the arrow passes is an important factor. The wider the handle the greater the angle of the arrows and therefore the greater paradox(if that is a correct use of the term, if not I assume you all know what I mean).

With my flight test I found that my bow with a 3/4 width handle shot noticably better than a similiar bow (same weight and length) with a 1" handle.

If I take this to mean that a thinner handle is better the next question how thin can you go?

Marc St Louis posted pictures of one of his bow on the INTERESTED IN A TRADE topic. It appear to have a very thin handle that has been further notched with a arrow rest.


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Rangeball
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January 25th, 2006, 10:37 pm #2

I think to a point what you are saying is 100% true.

I've also been thinking something similar, especially as it relates to bendy handle bows, which as I understand it have the same width arrow pass as limbs for the most point.

If 2 times as wide is twice as strong but 2 times as thick is 8 times as strong, can't a bendy handle bow have a thinner arrow pass as long as you left that area a bit thicker?
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greenchicken
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January 25th, 2006, 11:38 pm #3

Interesting that we are both thining about the same thing. I started this topic based on my interest in building a working-handle redoak board bow this weekend. Most often I see this type of bow with a handle the same width as the limbs.

Therefore I am wondering can I narrow the handle or should I narroow the entire bow, but make is thicker.
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Rangeball
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January 25th, 2006, 11:49 pm #4

Making it thicker brings compression failure/chrysaling into play potentially, would probably require care in wood selection. I don't know how red oak would fair from what I've read.

But I've been thinking about this for awhile, and can't come up with a reason why it couldn't be done.

Say if the normal bendy handle width is 1.25", and you narrowed the handle to .75", or 40% less. You took away just under half the "strength" in width, so to replace it it seems you would need just a bit more thickness in the handle to do so. If the handle/limb was .75" thick, it seems just doing the math going 5% thicker would do the trick, but this is the part where I lose it.
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staightline
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January 26th, 2006, 12:00 am #5

Those bows shown on pg. 192 in TBB 1 have narrowed handle sections, although most of those are sinew backed. I think Ishi's were narrowed to somewhat. From what I understand, the tillering must be very good on these. I would imagine the type of wood and poundage/drawlength would play a major role in these.
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greenchicken
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January 26th, 2006, 12:06 am #6

My desisred weight of 40# does allow me to get away with a lot of designs that woul dfail at higher weights.
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Lost Arra
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January 26th, 2006, 4:52 pm #7

I made a 65" bendy handle maple bow that has limbs 2" wide but the handle is 1+" wide. It draws 55#@28 and I really like the way it shoots and feels. It is my first bend-in-the-handle bow. Hasn't blown yet but maybe I'm just lucky.
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Rangeball
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January 26th, 2006, 5:13 pm #8

Lost Arra, did you make the grip/arrow pass any thicker to compensate?
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Lost Arra
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January 26th, 2006, 10:26 pm #9

If you look at the bow in profile the thickest part of the bow is the handle transition area.

The handle area does not really "bend" as much as it "gives".
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George Tsoukalas
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January 26th, 2006, 11:07 pm #10

Bows with narrow handles do not shoot better than bows with wider handles. Wider handled bows may require arrows of lesser spine though. It's a matter of tuning. Actually, handles that are thicker than 1.5 inches make it difficult to make a nice, smooth and easy transition from handle to limb. I like 1.25 in wide and 1.5 in thick for a rigid, narrow handled bow. Thee are other options ie (handles that bend to varying degreres) and I can continue if there is interest. jawgehttp://mysite.verizon.net/georgeandjoni
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Rangeball
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January 26th, 2006, 11:38 pm #11

George, I agree thinner arrow pass bows won't shoot any better if proper care is taken to select the appropriate spine, but from a hunting bow perspective it would seem that the stiffer a spine would could use, ie with a thinner arrow pass, the quicker the arrow can recover from paradox to maximize penetration, especially if using wood arrows.

George wrote- "Thee are other options ie (handles that bend to varying degreres) and I can continue if there is interest. jawge".

By all means please do
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George Tsoukalas
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January 27th, 2006, 12:13 am #12

Rangeball, could be but we have to remember that the Native Americans typically had wide handled bows and they made their living hunting (LOL and through agriculture). Again proper tuning is the key. I settl for nothing visible but the fletching. I was going to say that sometimes you can get the handle to bend in varying degrees. If the handle is 3/4 by 1.5 for a 4 inch long handled area it will bend. When drawn the bow will appear to have a stiff handle but will give. You'll feel it. Typically, a bow with this handle design will have no fades. It's a ffairly easy tiller too and the bow can be made shorter. If the handle is made to be 1 inch thick and 1.25 in wide it will bend less but will give. With limbs 1.5 in wide or more the handle area will have a give to it and the bow will bend thrrough the fades. Tougher tiller. See Aerobow buildalong. With the handle 1.5 thick and 1.25 in wide and 1.5-2.0 in fades the handle will be rigid. Time to go. Be back later. See Handle Styles on my site. Jawgehttp://mysite.verizon.net/georgeandjoni
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Sharparrows
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January 27th, 2006, 12:27 am #13

George, what do you mean by the handle will give? Break?

My last bow had a 4" long handle 1 and an eigth wide, fades 1.5" long and 2" wide. A red oak riser was glued on too. I intended it to be a stiff handle but as I draw it I can feel it bend slightly, I think it will pop off. There are only around 100 shots through it and it has been accidentally dry fired, but I felt the bend before that. Too scared to shoot it now.
Matt
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George Tsoukalas
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January 27th, 2006, 3:34 am #14

No I meant "give" as in bend. Sharp, 1 1/8 wide but how thick? Jawgehttp://mysite.verizon.net/georgeandjoni
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Rangeball
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January 27th, 2006, 3:46 pm #15

Thanks George.

In the first shorter bow bendy handle grip description you gave, I'm curious about the "have no fades" part.

Do you just go full width on the limbs right below and above the grips, like squared off? How would this bow be gripped and where would the arrow pass be?

Do you have any pics of such a bow?

I have read your grip style stuff on your site. Thanks
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Sharparrows
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January 27th, 2006, 5:48 pm #16

It is about 1.5" thick and I forgot to mention that I have rounded the belly side and the back side of the handle some what.
Matt
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