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54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long (Pics added)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:44 pm
by Jumper
Ok folks, here we go with a basic laminated 54” youth reflex deflex (RD) longbow. This bow will have trapped limbs with power wedges at both the limb tips and in the riser section. It will be laminated with clear e-glass with scrim using Smooth-On two part epoxy. You will notice different bows during the build-a-long because I built three of these youth longbows last week and took the best pictures from the three to use.

First I designed a bow and drew it out on a piece of micro-lam that is trued and squared. I don’t use a computer generated design, I just compare other bows that I like and then draw what I think I want using an aluminum ruler held on its side bent by hand then traced by my wife while I hold it in place.
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Cut it out as close to the line as you can but make sure that you square your bandsaw blade to the table first.
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Square your sander than sand your form/press down to the exact profile. Safety tip here. Tuck in or remove any loose strings on your clothing before this step or it will yank the hell out of your neck when it goes into the sander disk.
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Make up a batch of auto body filler and apply it to the form face (back surface of the finished bow, it is the pink stuff on the form). Let it harden fully then sand with a block so that the surface is smooth and square. Next seal your form/press pieces with something weatherproof like Spar Varathane. You do not want moisture getting into the form as it heats and cools in the future causing it to warp.
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Cut and attach you spacers to the form. We used ¼” plywood, glue, and brads. Taper the upper edge of the spacers so that your upper form straps will slid onto the lower spacers easier when putting the form halves together.
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Bolt on the pressure straps (you have to make these or order a set from Binghams) and measure all of your gaps to make sure that everything is going to fit and line up properly. Wala! You have a bow press.
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Re: 54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:14 pm
by Jumper
Select the materials that you will be using in your handle. Just an opinion here. Try to use hard woods that will help add weight and stability. Additional laminated layers will also add rigidity. Cut them to 1 1/2” squared, and in this case 14” long for a 54” youth longbow. These are Redheart and Quilted Maple.
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I have an arc designed into my riser creating deflex in this bow. I use an arc jig that I made out of scrap aluminum. It has holes drilled at various intervals and a common old nail is used as the pivot point so that you can adjust the radius of the arc as necessary. The end that you attach (screw) the handle pieces to is squared to the bandsaw table. The screw holes are drilled outside of the belly arcs that will be cut out of the handle when it is finished so that you will not have holes in the finished product.
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If you are making an arced wedge for the handle, make the first cut then place a wedge into the jig at whatever angle you choose before the second cut.
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Sand and square all the pieces. ALWAYS dry clamp your pieces together to make sure that everything fits properly before you mix up any glue. If I’m doing a wedge in the handle, this is where I drill a small hole through the butt end of all the pieces. Sliding a small finish nail through the layers during glue up will stop them from squeezing the wedge out during clamp up.
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Lay out all of the pieces in the order you will lay them up. Mix your glue (I use Smooth-On) and apply a thin coat to the surfaces using a putty knife. The stiffer the blade the better. Its easy to get too much glue here.
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Clamp it up and put it in the oven/heat box at 180 for a minimum of four hours.
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Here is what you should get when it comes out of the oven/heat box.
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Take any excess glue off on the belt sander and then square the handle section cutting off the excess from adding the wedge. Screw the handle back on the jig. Cut the back arc out on the bandsaw.
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Use whatever profile you have chosen for your form and draw it onto the belly sides of your handle. In this case my handle is 3 1/4" at the palm (top to bottom) 14" long and 1 1/2" deep from back to belly. Cut these arcs out on the bandsaw.
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Since I don’t have a nice sander with a jig to make sure that I get a clean edge and paper thin fade outs(refer to Gino’s set up for the best way to do this process), I do it by hand on the end of my belt sander. Constantly check square to make sure that you don’t get off during this process. Your fade outs have to be paper thin or you will end up with glue lines. And there's your handle!
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Re: 54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:16 pm
by Gino Bruno
keep it coming buddy!!!!


i moved this into the bowyers gallery and am making it a sticky until its done..... once it has run its course, we then archive them in the build along section so they don't get lost....... right now, it goes to the top of the bowyer's gallery for all of us to enjoy. :D

Re: 54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:27 pm
by Kirkll
Great job bro!.......... love that swing jig. :) i've got one 8 feet long i mount a router on now and then.... great stuff going on there... :D

More ....More! :D :D :D

Re: 54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:25 pm
by BK in TEXAS
I love build-alongs!

BK

Re: 54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:13 pm
by Sixby
got all my attention, I'm with Kirk , I love these

Re: 54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:04 am
by MOUNTER
Looking good, I need learn all I can. Plan on starting my first bow soon!

Re: 54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:23 am
by Gino Bruno
scott..... i just noticed in one of the pics that alyson got a new car...... i know it is a dodge but what is it?

Re: 54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:49 am
by Hornseeker
Very nice builalong!! Thanks Scott!

Re: 54" Laminated Youth R/D Longbow Build-a-long

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:12 am
by jwillis
Cool build along. I hope to make one of these kid's bows soon. You know, I was thinking that bending a ruler and tracing it creates about the same curves as a bezier curve in the computer drawing program that I use. If you hold the ruler on the ends and apply different pressures with your hands, it should create a progressive bend, which is good. These curves in the limbs are simply a portion of a cam, I think. Jim