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Finished a bow

I shrink their heads, means I can keep more on the shelf. I learnt how to shrink heads from a tribe in New Guinea. It's all about smoking them over a period of time.
 
That’s very beautiful. How long does it take to make a bow from start to finish..?
Thanks! It takes me many, many hours. A really experienced bowyer with all the nifty tools can knock one out in ten hours or so, I'd guess. I don't keep track, but I bet I put over 40 hours into this one. Maybe closer to 100? Who knows. I'm still a beginner; this is my fourth successful bow. I've broken a few and almost managed to mess this one up too, but was able to save it.

I've heard of bow strings being made from deer or elk gut. Cat would be pretty light-weight for a bow string. Besides, Mrs. Badger would never forgive me. :lol:
 
Is this similar to your method of making a bow?
 
Is this similar to your method of making a bow?
Yeah, that's the basic process. Board bows are a little different. My first bow was a board bow backed with linen, and I made a pretty nice stave bow backed with deer rawhide. Fabric or rawhide backing just make the bow a little safer, since bows made from less-than-perfect wood have an annoying habit of exploding on you. But those kinds of backings also add weight to the limbs, which diminishes performance. So it's a trade-off. The one I just finished is a self-bow, meaning it has no backing. That's a lot easier because there's no backing to mess with, or a lot harder because it will break if your tillering isn't done right. Depends on how you look at it. Kind of like high-tech vs. low-tech tanks, I guess. :lol:

I'm currently researching the local bow woods, which pretty much limits me to juniper and chokecherry. Both of these woods are strong in compression, meaning they won't get compression cracks on the inside of the bend. But they're weak in tension, meaning they tend to come apart on the outside of the bend, which is an immediately fatal event for a bow (and not so much fun for the archer, either). So, you back them in sinew, which actually adds to the performance because it is outrageously strong in tension. We found some nice, straight juniper up in the canyon that I have permission to cut. I'm excited to make one from all local materials. Should make a nice bow and I'll learn a ton. Never worked with sinew before.

For further confusion, the part of the bow that points away from you, toward the front? That's called the back. The part that points toward your back? That's called the belly. No, I didn't make that up. :lol:

Hey, it's 2022! happy new year, everybody!
 
what is the part you hold called and what is it made of?
 
That part actually makes sense--it's called the handle or the grip. :) Mine is wrapped with braided deer skin. Other than that and the tip overlays, the whole thing is carved from a single piece of wood.
 
I always thought BC had terrific hunting. Not so? I hunt deer, elk, rabbits, and grouse.
When I lived in the East Kootenays as a kid there was lots of game, I also did a short stint in NWT where I did a lot of hunting for Caribou (We lived on Caribou and Lake trout when living in Lutselk'e). I have now lived on Vancouver Island for 20+ years, unsuccessfully hunted the first few years and frustrated with the number of other hunters out there, driving around in their trucks. I don't see near the game I used to see and kind of feel that when there is that small amount its best to leave them where they are. There is still good hunting up North both on the island and the mainland but in the southern areas I have seen the game drastically decrease over the 50 years I have lived in the province. I was never an avid hunter but always liked to get wild meat whenever the opportunity arose.

I have a couple of recurve bows with pulls of 42 and 35, and a Misson compound that is set to just under 70. I enjoy the recurves more than the compound. Hunting was always more of an excuse to go ridge walking for me. They don't get used much these days.

I always like to see the hand made long bows because of their simplicity of function and elegance. I have no wood working skills but still can appreciate the effort that goes into building a beautiful bow.
 

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