DIY Bow Project – III

This is the third post about making my first serious DIY hunting bow. I decided to number these posts, like I did during the spear fishing trip to Lofoten, making it easier to follow the story. Here are the first bow posts so far:

Learning to make Bows (I)

Continuing the DIY Bow Project (II)

So, during the weekend I made a couple of bows. The newest one, the biggest one, is quite promising, as I found a pretty good trunk of sorbus for it! First of all, the wood of sorbus is tough and flexible material for making bows. Secondly, because I like Finnish mythology, and sorbus used to be sacred trees, it is somewhat intriguing to use it as bow material. On the other hand, someone might think that it will give me bad luck as I killed the holy tree. Luckily, I’m not much into superstition 😀 Unfortunately, sorbus has usually quite twisted trunks, but the newest bow I’m making had a good stem! It had only one big branch which I managed to place in the middle of the back, so that it is now behind my grip, in the rigid part of the bow. But I almost managed to break the bow as I tried to use the heat gun and oil for conducting heat into the limbs and make small recurves. The first limb bent unevenly, why I needed to stop the bending – obviously, this is the part I’m not good at. Still, I also baked the other limb, so that the limbs are now symmetrically treated. I have read that the baking makes the wood stiffer and can even increase the pounds of the bow. I believe that baking removes the crystallization water from the resins, proteins and sugars of the wood tissues, making the molecular structure more compact and harder. The symmetry helps the later tillering, in another words the balancing and adjusting of the limbs. Now the bow is drying on a support wood, so that it won’t twist as it dries. I made many sequential holes into the support wood for helping water to come out and avoiding the molding – I don’t want to feed the precious cellulose and lignin fibers to mold.

As you can see from the coming images, I also continued my older, much smaller bow. Without the smaller bow, the bigger bow would now be ruined because of the lack of the experience. Thus, I need first to tiller and finish the smaller bow for learning more. As it can be seen, I successfully managed to remove the twist from the smaller bow by steam bending, as the bow became twisted during the drying without a support. I’m still keeping the bow in the support wood so that it will settle fully after the steam treatment. So, here are the latest images, now I need to go to sleep. See ya!

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