Ken's Ipe/Boo Bow Tips, made in Bozhenci (A Photo Tutorial)

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Ken's Ipe/Boo Bow Tips, made in Bozhenci (A Photo Tutorial)

123Sharo
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123Sharo
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July 22nd, 2009, 8:23 am #1

While Ken finished his Ipe/Boo bows, I messed around with my camera, enjoying his skillful work and learning a lot. I'll share with you the photos, hopefully someone else will find this photo-tutorial helpful.





















And working on another tip:















Here is one of his beautiful nocks (on another Ipe/Boo bow), finished and sealed:


Thank you for the lesson, Ken !

Iliana
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toxophileken
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toxophileken
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July 22nd, 2009, 8:49 am #2

You are more than welcome, Iliana; and thank you for posting the photos.

I hope you don't mind if I make a few comments...

On the first nock, notice I put some sapwood of this beautiful specimen on the side, so I could get a streak of contrast going down the nock. It takes some spatial thinking to get it to come out where you want it, considering I glue it on as a rectangular block, then go to a triangular shape. You can see I got a little sapwood for more contrast against the dark in the second to last photo, too.

The shinto rasp, chainsaw file, and coarse sandpaper are a really good combination for this job. I use the 60 grit sandpaper like a rasp once I get the shape close.

A good tip is to rotate the chainsaw file as you make the grooves, to avoid splitting out the hard nock overlay.

Note that I like to use side nocks as well as a groove across the back. Probably not necessary, but it makes me feel a little more secure, especially as these bows were intended for novices. I do prefer that style for all my overlays, though... I just would have made the nocks more narrow, ordinarily.

Also worth noting that Iliana only shows the initial nock shaping. This is done right before the bow is strung. Once the bow is tillered, the tips are narrowed considerably, which gives an opportunity to refine the nock shape quite a bit (as you can see in comparing them to the finished nock).

Another thing that might be of interest is that I remove a certain amount of belly wood, which is replaced by the nock. My philosophy is that if you can trust the overlay/glue, then it can be part of the thickness structure. So I don't lighten the very tip much further... It might not withstand the pressure of bracing when it is pushed on the ground or an instep. I leave enough total thickness (belly combined with overlay) to make a sound tip. I consider it all one unit, if that makes sense...

Ok, thanks again Iliana, and I hope my explanations made things more clear, rather than confusing a nice photo tutorial...

Ken
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123Sharo
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123Sharo
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July 22nd, 2009, 9:03 am #3

Thank you for the explanations, Ken! I really hoped you will chime in and say more !

Just a suggestion - if you like, you could edit my post and put the text right to the photo it belongs. It may be more helpful for future reference .



Iliana
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Boru
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July 22nd, 2009, 9:10 am #4

Sexy knees, Ken!
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Boru
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July 22nd, 2009, 9:11 am #5

But sexier knocks :-)
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Boru
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July 22nd, 2009, 9:21 am #6

Ken,
On a more serious note, I notice that your nock overlay intersects the the back at an angle that penetrates the original surface. is this just a visual preference (it does look stunning) or is there a design consideration at play here?

Thanks,
George
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toxophileken
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toxophileken
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July 22nd, 2009, 9:32 am #7

Thanks, George... Lol.

If you are talking about the fact that I ground through the bamboo into the ipe belly, yes there is a design consideration. I have heard that the bamboo can shear off, and that is a good idea to get down to the core. That way, you are glued to both the belly and backing. I feel like it is more secure. If I remember correctly, it was David (DCM) who I heard this from originally; but I have seen it done by a fair number of bowyers.

Iliana, I like your suggestion about editing in the text. I thought of some more comments, which I will interject (with your kind permission/suggestion) later.

Ken
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Boru
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July 23rd, 2009, 7:53 am #8

Ken,
Ok. I get that now. I notice it in other examples too. They are all backed or laminated when this is done. I notice it is not done (at least generally) on self bows.

Thanks,
George
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roger
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roger
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February 21st, 2010, 12:08 pm #9

very nice...
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zml5322
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zml5322
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October 24th, 2014, 1:48 pm #10

I would like to ask you what is made of wood。 Thank you !
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toxophileken
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toxophileken
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October 29th, 2014, 7:25 pm #11

Welcome to the forum.

The bow limbs are bamboo backed ipe, and the overlays are desert creosote, which grows everywhere where I live, including my yard. It is a dense, hard wood, and very beautiful when finished out. I've used it for tip overlays, Ishi sticks, atlatls, and knife handles. It is difficult to find pieces of any size without bug holes, but these can be filled with epoxy and saw dust, or left for character.

Ken
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