Juniper/sinew kid's bow

WhistlingBadger

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Made this bow for my hunting buddy's kindergarten boy, from a scrap of Rocky mountain juniper I had lying around in the shop. Backed with bison sinew, with elk antler tips. Draws 10 pounds at 18 inches: A mammoth killer for sure! :lol: First arrow through a new bow is always fun.

Juniper wood is a joy to work with. It's so soft it's almost like carving chalk (I usually work with hickory), it makes the shop smell absolutely wonderful, and the heartwood has an absolutely stunning, purple-red grain. I'll post some closeups once I get it sanded and oiled. Hoping to find a nice snake skin to cover up the sinew, too. Anyway, here it is.

 
Made this bow for my hunting buddy's kindergarten boy, from a scrap of Rocky mountain juniper I had lying around in the shop. Backed with bison sinew, with elk antler tips. Draws 10 pounds at 18 inches: A mammoth killer for sure! :lol: First arrow through a new bow is always fun.

Juniper wood is a joy to work with. It's so soft it's almost like carving chalk (I usually work with hickory), it makes the shop smell absolutely wonderful, and the heartwood has an absolutely stunning, purple-red grain. I'll post some closeups once I get it sanded and oiled. Hoping to find a nice snake skin to cover up the sinew, too. Anyway, here it is.

You have an outstanding hobby craft.
 
Another beautiful bow. Did you collect the wood yourself. Juniper is a lovely smelling wood.
Yes, the wood came from our friendly local canyon. Planning a trip into the hills next weekend to collect some more: I really want a hunting-weight bow of juniper. My last one broke while I was tillering it. Such beautiful stuff.
 
Ya know... As said in another thread I used to do archery. Your bow building stories makes me almost want to try it but I just don't see how, in a 1-bedroom apartment, I could possibly do so just due to a lack of room.

Still, just out of curiosity... When I lived in Florida I came across a 1x3 inch 8 foot strip of mahogany that I kept for a while. Of course mahogany is a beautiful wood but could it have been used to make a long bow? I would think that it would not be strong or dense enough...
 
Ya know... As said in another thread I used to do archery. Your bow building stories makes me almost want to try it but I just don't see how, in a 1-bedroom apartment, I could possibly do so just due to a lack of room.

Still, just out of curiosity... When I lived in Florida I came across a 1x3 inch 8 foot strip of mahogany that I kept for a while. Of course mahogany is a beautiful wood but could it have been used to make a long bow? I would think that it would not be strong or dense enough...
I've been told mahagony doesn't make a good bow. If I lived in the southeast, I'd be on the lookout for bamboo, hickory, mulberry, or Osage orange. I'm sure there are other options.
 
A little further along with the finishing work. Elk antler tips.
aza tip2.jpg


aza tip.jpg

The sinew is rough from sanding; I'll smooth it down with some warm water to give it a nice, glossy finish.
The grain on this stuff is unreal. Should look even better once it's oiled.

aza belly.jpg


aza belly 2.jpg
 
I've been told mahagony doesn't make a good bow. If I lived in the southeast, I'd be on the lookout for bamboo, hickory, mulberry, or Osage orange. I'm sure there are other options.
Hmmm, I would have never even thought of bamboo but why not as it is strong enough to make for an excellent fishing rod.
 
Check this out!
WOW!!!! LOL! I want to be him. That is totally awesome! I used to spend 2 months a year in the back woods of northern Ontario and am confident that I could survive off the land at least during the warmer weather by fishing and trapping grouse. I'm talking the most south of Ontario I did was like 600 miles due north of Cleveland OH and went north from there. Actually woke up to snow one year on July 4th. Anyway I wanted some fresh meat and where there are blueberries there will be grouse. The island where I did this had a LOT of blueberries. ;). Never met a bird that didn't like bread so whipped up some flat bread and placed on a flat rock. Found and cut some strong yet pliable thin branches and anchored with heavy rocks to where, when flat, would end up on the bread. Used some decent test black nylon fishing line to pull back the branch and hid. When a grouse went to eat the bread I just released the fishing line and the branch came down on the bird. Spent a few days on that island and ate quite well. Grouse are sort of like a small pheasant but with a sweeter meat from what I've been told. Since I've never had pheasant I can't personally compare. I WILL say that fire roasted grouse with a blueberry sauce is REALLY good. ;) I would love to someday go back to northern Ontario as part of me really misses it. Shoot, I could take you to two little puddle jump lakes called 'Skunk and Gull" lakes where you would throw back a 4 pound small mouth bass and keep 5+. Then there was a little 50 yard portage between Lake Tamagami and Diamond lakes. Ages past it was a lumber camp with the remains of a log shoot between the lakes. On the Diamond Lake side there was a pretty deep hole and the Northern Pike were like over 20 pounds before you would keep. To this day I still miss those northern visits. BTW, with how oily a northern pike is they make an awesome milk based chowder.
 
WOW!!!! LOL! I want to be him. That is totally awesome! I used to spend 2 months a year in the back woods of northern Ontario and am confident that I could survive off the land at least during the warmer weather by fishing and trapping grouse. I'm talking the most south of Ontario I did was like 600 miles due north of Cleveland OH and went north from there. Actually woke up to snow one year on July 4th. Anyway I wanted some fresh meat and where there are blueberries there will be grouse. The island where I did this had a LOT of blueberries. ;). Never met a bird that didn't like bread so whipped up some flat bread and placed on a flat rock. Found and cut some strong yet pliable thin branches and anchored with heavy rocks to where, when flat, would end up on the bread. Used some decent test black nylon fishing line to pull back the branch and hid. When a grouse went to eat the bread I just released the fishing line and the branch came down on the bird. Spent a few days on that island and ate quite well. Grouse are sort of like a small pheasant but with a sweeter meat from what I've been told. Since I've never had pheasant I can't personally compare. I WILL say that fire roasted grouse with a blueberry sauce is REALLY good. ;) I would love to someday go back to northern Ontario as part of me really misses it. Shoot, I could take you to two little puddle jump lakes called 'Skunk and Gull" lakes where you would throw back a 4 pound small mouth bass and keep 5+. Then there was a little 50 yard portage between Lake Tamagami and Diamond lakes. Ages past it was a lumber camp with the remains of a log shoot between the lakes. On the Diamond Lake side there was a pretty deep hole and the Northern Pike were like over 20 pounds before you would keep. To this day I still miss those northern visits. BTW, with how oily a northern pike is they make an awesome milk based chowder.
Yeah, Clay is an interesting guy. His videos are really fun, and he's a good teacher. some of them are extremely useful if you're into that sort of thing. A couple years ago he won "Alone." It was inspiring. He's the real deal, and a pretty nice guy, too. (I've emailed him a few times with dumb bow making questions. :lol: )

I love reading your experience about camping out in Ontario. I've never done a full-on, living-off-the-land survival trip like that; I'm pretty sure I have the skills but I've never really done more than just dabble. Sounds like a life-changing experience. I want to go to Lake Tamagami, just so I have a reason to say Tamagami.

Grouse are wonderful. We have ruffed grouse and blue grouse around here. They don't have as much meat as a pheasant but they're even better eating, in my opinion. If hunger isn't an issue, they're fun to just watch, too, with their fussy, uptight personalities. If you get into an area without a lot of predators, they act more annoyed by your presence than scared of you. :)

One time my hunting buddy and I whacked a couple of ruffed grouse right at sunset, after a long, hard day in the mountains. We had a cast iron pan and some olive oil back in camp, so we skinned out the birds, sauteed the meat lightly, deboned it, and added it to a big can of chicken stew one of us had packed along. Best camp meal I ever had. There were no leftovers. Ahhhhhhh.
 
When I went up in Canada we weren't exactly living off the land as we had dry-pack, dehydrated food. Just if we wanted meat it was on us to get.

Last year I went 12 of us followed the same route that the Hudson Bay explorers took which was ~750 miles by canoe. Went from Lake Tamagami to James Bay which is an inlet off of Hudson Bay. Lake Tamagami was always our base camp. Some interesting tales from that trip if ya ever want to hear... ;) As to our canoes we used 12 foot canvas covered wood Langfords with river keels similar to the following but two seats, not solo.
 
Those wooden canoes are works of art.
Wouldn't you LOVE to have $7500.00 USD to drop on this beauty? ;)

Anyway, canoes are not what this thread is about. ...

I almost started a new thread for this but it a bow build so..... It is a build inspired by a Viking ash war long bow. It is pulling just shy of 66 pounds. No voice but I think you will also like the background music. Hope ya like it. ;)
 

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