So, since my red oak and fiberglass tape bow broke. And my salt cedar bow broke. And my at home laminations failed and broke, I decided to try something closer to a kit bow, and as I mentioned in a June post, I ordered a lamination kit from Bingham Projects. The kit I ordered was: 50#, clear glass, maple outside laminations, Action-boo core laminations, and a strip of core-tuff. I didn’t order any riser material since I have wood, but I did buy a couple strips of tip overlay.
The lamination kit arrived superfast (USPS Priority) with the instructions and blue prints a few days later. I started by laminating my riser material together. I had just purchased a lovely piece of curly maple from Albuquerque Exotic Woods locally, so I cut that down the middle and layered in a strip of Cocobolo that was about the right size. After glue-up and rough sanding that seems to have gone pretty well.
Next step was gluing the parallel laminations. This took a little more work and a little more glue than I expected (I’m using Smooth-On epoxy). It was a really windy afternoon. I lay down some non-stick paper, then the fiberglass, added glue, then glued one side of the maple strip, lay down the maple, glued the other side, glued the 1st bamboo…core-tuff…bamboo…paper…then put it in my flat form and clamped it down. Got back to it two days later and took off the paper and sanded off the excess glue. Looks pretty good so far.
Step three – Rough shape the riser – So I cut out the curves with my bandsaw then smoothed the curves on my belt sander. Still looking pretty good.
Glued on the riser, and the last maple lamination and fiberglass back – and put back in the press. I used the negative riser curves to try to get a good press for the laminations up the sides of the riser. It worked pretty well, but not perfectly.
After a little cleanup, I put the blueprint over the bow, traced out the design, and rough cut it with my band saw. I decided that I would make it the maximum length that I could, so it’s currently about 72”. I hope it works. More cleanup with the belt sander and its starting to look like a bow.
Did some work on the riser to add a grip and arrow rest.
Almost the last step – I added a couple layers of phenolic material to the tips to reinforce it for modern strings. Now I just need to shape the tips, carve in the string notches, and then try to string it. I’m afraid it will break. It stressed me out badly enough the other night that I couldn’t sleep well. Your hobbies shouldn’t stress you out should they?
SUCCESS! – It’s all put together and finished. Pretty! It’s a little lighter than I had targeted. The kit that I bought (at 68”) was supposed to be #50, but this one (at 72” overall) is #37.5@28 according to my scale. Nice weight for a target bow. I’ve got a 68” Flemish twist dacron string that works pretty well, with a brace height around 7.5” to avoid smacking my wrist. I’ve tried it with the Nice! Archery arrows that Robert put together for me and it shoots them pretty well and consistently. It doesn’t do quite so well with the aluminum shafts – too stiff I guess.
I bought a set of test wood arrows to figure out the right spine - but haven't tuned it in yet. I also had a custom FastFlight flemish twist string put together by one of the local shops.
I’d hoped that finishing one successfully would cure the bug, but apparently not. I’d like to try something similar with a little reflex and at a little higher weight, but same length. Maybe a little darker color- or with some fancier veneer, or maybe with some carbon. But it will have to wait a little while, there are higher priority projects.