small sapling bow

For discussion related to primitive bows.

small sapling bow

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

24 Dec 2017, 02:24 #1

well i found this hickory sapling back last summer. real small diam. thought hmmm, pretty small...might work? so i took it home, cut it exactly in half lengthwise.you can see the pith center, whatever you want to call it. anyways, while im working on them plains styled bows i thought hey why not get this little guy shaped and ready for sinew as well? so i been working on it a little. dont take so much time on a little pony bow.its a 1 1/4 wide down to 3/4 in. wide at the nocks. the thickest part of the bow at the handle area is only 5/8 in. thick. its 42 inches long between nocks. and a lot of crown on the back. i know, i know why waste my time its gonna be a kids bow right? lol last "kids bow" i made ,out of white ash same size almost, after 4 layers of sinew it draws 50 at 22 inches.with absolutely no set after hundreds and hundreds of arrows put through it. so im going with 4 layers of sinew on the back of this one to see what i get. if its over 40 lbs at 22 inches ill be happy, if i can get close to 50 pounds ill use it hunting.if its under that 40 lb. mark, yep some kids gonna be really happy. lol i wish it was closer to 3/4 in. thick at the handle area but i got what i got so lets see. :) limb cross section looks like this... D
Reply
Like

Quest for fire
Registered User
Quest for fire
Registered User
Joined: 22 Mar 2007, 06:19

25 Dec 2017, 03:19 #2

river rat wrote: well i found this hickory sapling back last summer. real small diam. thought hmmm, pretty small...might work? so i took it home, cut it exactly in half lengthwise.you can see the pith center, whatever you want to call it. anyways, while im working on them plains styled bows i thought hey why not get this little guy shaped and ready for sinew as well? so i been working on it a little. dont take so much time on a little pony bow.its a 1 1/4 wide down to 3/4 in. wide at the nocks. the thickest part of the bow at the handle area is only 5/8 in. thick. its 42 inches long between nocks. and a lot of crown on the back. i know, i know why waste my time its gonna be a kids bow right? lol last "kids bow" i made ,out of white ash same size almost, after 4 layers of sinew it draws 50 at 22 inches.with absolutely no set after hundreds and hundreds of arrows put through it. so im going with 4 layers of sinew on the back of this one to see what i get. if its over 40 lbs at 22 inches ill be happy, if i can get close to 50 pounds ill use it hunting.if its under that 40 lb. mark, yep some kids gonna be really happy. lol i wish it was closer to 3/4 in. thick at the handle area but i got what i got so lets see. :) limb cross section looks like this... D
The best primitive bow I ever made was a small hawthorn sapling.
I knew it was a kids bow right from the start.
It was given as an extra when I sold a fibreglass bow.
That little kid got a dandy primitive bow that even survived the father
turning the bow upside down and thereby reversing the tiller.😮

I always like to hear about kids getting a good bow.😊
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

29 Dec 2017, 17:15 #3

heres a couple pics. have it tillered to brace.next to my white ash sinew backed bow of very similar size. but its thicker. that one draws 50 at 22.
KIDSBOW1.jpg
KIDSBOW2.jpg
KIDSBOW3.jpg
Reply
Like

Quest for fire
Registered User
Quest for fire
Registered User
Joined: 22 Mar 2007, 06:19

30 Dec 2017, 03:28 #4

Cool beans bow brother.
I like the tuft of hair ornament.😀
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

30 Dec 2017, 04:31 #5

thanks. that ash bow is my favorite. i use the tuft of hair as a wind direction. on some bows i use a feather tied to a piece of sinew string. does the same thing.i have stronger, and better looking bows. but i just really like the style of that ash bow.it has a mild gull wing shape to it. i can shoot it pretty good for such a short bow.
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

31 Dec 2017, 07:22 #6

have it tillered to 21 inches. what its drawing for weight im not sure. i cant find my fish scale.it feels decent , but these small bows all feel heavy compared to what they actually are.im going to go ahead and back it after i put a little more reset in the handle area.using a heavy weight tiller string {thin rope} it shot one of those 24 inch arrows of mine pretty quick for a lighter bow.im thinking i might just keep this one after 4 layers of deer leg sinew.from looking in my books on plains bows its right in the ball park in size. just wish it would of been a tad thicker to start with.when i sinew it im going to put it under some reflex as the sinew is put on and dries.it should end up a zippy little bow.sure hope it ends up at least 40 lbs. so i can take it hunting.
Reply
Like

Quest for fire
Registered User
Quest for fire
Registered User
Joined: 22 Mar 2007, 06:19

31 Dec 2017, 22:42 #7

Forty pounds is a nice hunting weight.
Mine is thirty seven but forty+ at my drawlength.
Right through a deer including nicking a rib.

Can you scrape a hickory sapling?
I have only touched hickory once or twice and
had more luck with a rasp than a blade.

A bowyer friend of mine made my daughter an ipé backed hickory bow.
Quick flinger that bow.😊
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

01 Jan 2018, 11:06 #8

its a lot of rasping, then cleaning up with a blade. if i get a area that a rasp has a tendency to "pull up" and a knife will not clean it up. a huge piece of sandstone i have out back does the trick. you rub the bow belly against that sandstone slab. it wears it down. like sands it down. you could do the whole belly like this but its a lot more work than using the rasp. plus i can rasp it indoors. its cold out right now. but i did finish it up on that sand stone before i ran the knife over it one last time.
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

01 Jan 2018, 11:17 #9

the law here is 40 pounds for hunting. fishing is o.k. with a lighter bow though.so i have no choice lol. i know a 30 pound bow would take a deer no problem so long as you were close enough and had a good shot.but law is.......so it has to be 40 pounds.otherwise it goes to the wife, some kid, a gift, like that.but if it was 37 pounds, i bet if my drawlength became 24 inches instead of 22 inches it would pull over 40 .lol
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

03 Jan 2018, 04:47 #10

have the bow strung up backwards. useing two rocks, one at each end , under the string to keep the string off the back of the bow. just put on one layer of sinew just past the rocks at each end down the entire bow. except the area under the rocks to the nocks. after it sets up and dries so i can pull the string off. ill run my other layers of sinew.im using deer leg sinews. i dont have any backstrap sinew so i use what i have. either works for backing.it dont lay as flat or look as pretty as back strap sinew. i kinda like the ruff look of deer leg sinews.
Reply
Like

Quest for fire
Registered User
Quest for fire
Registered User
Joined: 22 Mar 2007, 06:19

03 Jan 2018, 15:56 #11

Are you saying the rocks are near the nocks with the bow laying on them?
I didn't think the weight of the bow would make it flex/sag.
I wish I had a cup of coffee in my hands watching you work.
You make good coffee I hope.😉 
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

04 Jan 2018, 03:18 #12

i string it up backwards then shove the rocks towards the nocks under the string. it puts a good angle on the string so it cant touch the back of the bow.when i sinew the back the first layer can only go to the rocks. after it dries , like it was enough today, itll hold that shape after you remove the string. now you can ad the second layer of sinew from nock to nock. which i did today. ill be adding 2 more layers nock to nock.which will give me 4 thick layers of sinew. itll shrink alot as it dries. it should end up about a 1/16th-1/8th in. thick.the sinew that is.i do make good coffee. lol your more than welcome anytime.the bow sets on some guides {rocks, boards, ect} on its belly the back is up. this is where i apply the sinew on the back. its tricky since the bow is flexed.one wrong bump and itll fall over. so im careful to keep my sinew bundles away from where im working. only grabbing them as i need to dunk them in hide glue and apply. then smooth it down with a finger.otherwise if it topples over, the sinew bundles will stick all over the wet back of the bow. lol been there done that!.so in other words im sinewing it to gain strength in tension.works good for hickory since its known to follow the string.the sinew will help with that from the back of the bow.
Reply
Like

Quest for fire
Registered User
Quest for fire
Registered User
Joined: 22 Mar 2007, 06:19

04 Jan 2018, 06:10 #13

river rat wrote: i string it up backwards then shove the rocks towards the nocks under the string. it puts a good angle on the string so it cant touch the back of the bow.when i sinew the back the first layer can only go to the rocks. after it dries , like it was enough today, itll hold that shape after you remove the string. now you can ad the second layer of sinew from nock to nock. which i did today. ill be adding 2 more layers nock to nock.which will give me 4 thick layers of sinew. itll shrink alot as it dries. it should end up about a 1/16th-1/8th in. thick.the sinew that is.i do make good coffee. lol your more than welcome anytime.the bow sets on some guides {rocks, boards, ect} on its belly the back is up. this is where i apply the sinew on the back. its tricky since the bow is flexed.one wrong bump and itll fall over. so im careful to keep my sinew bundles away from where im working. only grabbing them as i need to dunk them in hide glue and apply. then smooth it down with a finger.otherwise if it topples over, the sinew bundles will stick all over the wet back of the bow. lol been there done that!.so in other words im sinewing it to gain strength in tension.works good for hickory since its known to follow the string.the sinew will help with that from the back of the bow.
Cool beans.😊
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

10 Jan 2018, 16:13 #14

4 layers of sinew on now. going to let it dry a few weeks.
Reply
Like

Quest for fire
Registered User
Quest for fire
Registered User
Joined: 22 Mar 2007, 06:19

11 Jan 2018, 09:27 #15

That sounds like a job that requires a lot of patience.
Where do you shoot? Do you ever go to a range or tournaments?
Reply
Like