Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Bow is done...

The bow is done.  And now I want more J

So I learned a few things making this one – unsurprising since it was my first one.  I ended up doing two coats of fiberglass and epoxy, since I sanded through the first one in one place.  I also clearly didn’t work the bow enough while I was tillering, since a slight hinge appeared later on.  I also managed to pop the riser off a couple of times, so I switched from epoxy to wood glue, and no problems after that.   But!  I hit my target weight about exactly.  My cheap luggage scale (about $10) reads at 39.8# at the cheek.  I think my draw might be a little short of 28” so I am pretty much on track there. 

I also didn’t brace it quite far enough out initially, so the string was pounding my thumb each time I took a shot.  A slight shortening of the string, increasing brace height, and no more problems.   No propeller to the bow so I guess I chose a good piece of oak.

Now I have a couple of problems…I have one arrow, which probably isn’t the right weight for the bow.  I’d like to have enough that I don’t have to go to the target quite so often and can practice nocking a little bit.  I also don’t have a particularly good place to shoot.  Not that this should be a problem in New Mexico, where there is quite a bit of open space, but I need to find one.

And now I want to make a couple more.  I’d like to try osage orange and hickory and a bamboo backing and a recurve or reflex/deflex of some sort.  Obviously not all at once, although I guess I could with a laminated bow.  I’ll probably order some fiberglass tape, and I wonder if I should try carbon fiber as well?  I don’t think I am ready for a real sinew bow yet though. 

Now, I don’t really have the time to do any of this, but having a successful first attempt is always invigorating, and having some (4) of my co-workers ask to buy it is a pretty nice compliment.

I took it in to NiceArchery here in Albuquerque, and plan have some arrows built for it.  I’m not quite ready to build my own yet. We shot it a bit in the store and Robert thinks it needs a 400 spine, although he was expecting it to need a 600. I'm sure I wouldn't know :)  But I'll take his advice.  Once I learn to shoot again, maybe some nice wooden arrows, but I'll go with the durability of carbon fiber for now.

I did make some slight progress on many of the knives too, but they still aren’t done.

In other news, one of my awesome staff members made me some traditional Laguna shoes!  No I am not pigeon toed, but it was easier to take the picture :)
Thanks Nevin!