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Recurve Build Along

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Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby OH Longbow » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:52 pm

Finally, I have a chance to continue posting some photos.

Here it is with all the epoxy still on it.

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Here it is afterwards. As you can tell by the photos, I moved outside for this step. Please don't take any shortcuts on this step. Take your time and go slowly. You don't want to get into the wood. You just want to remove the epoxy. Wear a respirator and use your dust collection system. I don't have one since I destroyed my shop vac so, I did it outside with the prevailing wind at my back.

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Now its time to peel the old tape off and re-tape. I wish I had used the blue painters tape. This stuff was really stuck on. I took my time and it did come off.

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For the re-tape, I used the painters tape. It is a lot easier to remove. I didn't have any 2" tape. I used 1 1/2" on the belly of the bow but, as luck would have it, I ran out. I then pulled out the 3/4" for the back. I had to make 3 passes in order to get the coverage.

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Here it is completely re-taped and ready to cut the limb tips to length.

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Here is a jig for marking the limb tips. The top of the jig is the cut-off line. The bottom is for the the string groove.

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Here the limb is after being marked. I marked both sides of the limb and made sure they lined up before cutting.

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Here it is, cut to length. It's getting closer to being an actual bow. I used a hack saw to cut it. I could have used the bandsaw but, it would have been a little clumsy. The hacksaw was just as quick.

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More to come.

John
"The path of least resistance is what leads rivers and men to be crooked." - my father quoting an unknown source.
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Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby OH Longbow » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:53 pm

Now its time to mark the centerline. In order to do this, I use two different methods and cross check them. The first is with my scribe. I used to work for a master carpenter right after I graduated from high school and periodically for a few years after that. This is one of the first tools he advised me to buy, right after a hammer, nail apron, WOODEN rule, and a steel tape. I set the scribe at 1" and then move it along the length of the back of the bow. I then flip it over and mark it again. The lines should be in the same place.

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The second way I mark the center line is with the use of a laser. I mount it to the top of my power rack and shine it down onto the bow.

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When using this method, I first mark two center dots, one on each end of the riser in the area of the fades. I then put it under the laser and line the two dots up with the laser. This then gives you the entire center line of the bow. I then make a mark every couple of inches, continually verifying that I haven't moved the bow. Upon completion of this, I use a straight edge and connect the dots. This method works best on a long bow because it lacks the radical curves on the end of the limbs. If the recurve bow is not perfectly flat, it will screw up your limb tips. The center line on the flatter portions may be correct but, as the limbs turn verticle, they'll be off.

When I laid the bow down, it confirmed that my pencil mark was correct.

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After marking the centerline, its time to mark the outline of the finished limbs. I didn't care for the pattern my friend gave me so, I used posterboard and traced the limbs of my current recurve. Just line up the centerline and mark away. I then flip the pattern and re-mark the same limb. This will negate any differences in the sides.

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Now its time to go to the bandsaw. Make sure you put your crappy blade on. But, don't worry, if you forget, you'll now have 2 crappy blades...lol

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Now, here it is looking more like a bow.

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With the respirator on, I start to sand again. This time, I sand it to the limb outline on both sides of both limbs. I start at the riser and work towards the limb tips. This also evens out my saw cut. Here's one with my dog in the background. His name is "Arrow". It's actually short for Aragorn, from the "Lord of the Rings". My wife and daughter named him. I said "Great! We'll call him Arrow."

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Last edited by OH Longbow on Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"The path of least resistance is what leads rivers and men to be crooked." - my father quoting an unknown source.
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Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby OH Longbow » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:54 pm

Its now time to put a string on it. Actually, I should probably do some other things but, I'm getting anxious to see it strung. First, I file string grooves in the edge of the limb. If you're going to do this don't file them across the face, just the edge. Use the marks you made when using the limb tip jig from one of the previous posts.

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I then used a stringer to put a string on it. It didn't look too bad considering this is the first string it ever wore.

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Here it is from the side. Man, I'm glad I save the waste portion of the riser block. That thing is handier than pockets. It makes a darn nice bow holder.

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Now its time to determine which limb will be the bottom. For this I measure off the center line. I decided on 9". I doesn't really matter as long as you use the same measurement on each side.

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Measure the distance from the string to the riser at the marks you previously made. The stiffer limb (the smaller measurement) will be the bottom limb.

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"The path of least resistance is what leads rivers and men to be crooked." - my father quoting an unknown source.
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Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby OH Longbow » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:55 pm

This will probably be the last post for the night. I will now be doing the overlays for the limb tips. I will also add some accent pieces and extra thickness to the belly of the riser. First, I measure the areas that are going to have additional material and remove the tape.

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Next, I rough up all the glue sides on the bow and each individual piece. This is for the limb tip overlays, the accents strips and the belly pieces.

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Here is everything laid out. For the limb tip overlays, I'm using phenolic (white, black, red, black). For the belly of the riser, I cut a couple of 3/8" stips from the waste section of riser block. The order will be original riser, white phenolic, 3/8" strip of dymondwood, white phenolic, and another 3/8" strip of dymondwood. All of the phenolic is 1/16". It is much easier to bend to conform to the shape of the limb tips.

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Here is the riser after the pieces were added. I saved you the boredom of watching me mix the epoxy. I was able to use my handy block of wood one more time. This time as a clamp block. It mirrored up to the riser perfectly for this job. It gave me two flat surfaces to clamp against.

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Here is one of the limb tip overlays. The other looks just the same.

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Here it is curing. I put the lights over it to supply just a little heat and to hopefully lower the humidity a little. It started raining today, after a long time without any. I don't want to add too much heat because one time I had a near disaster. While putting the limb tip overlays on one of my longbows, I used a piece of hard, black rubber between the overlay and the clamp. I was trying to protect the overlay from the clamp's hard surface. I used a 300W halogen lamp for a heat source and surrounded everything with aluminum foil. While we were working on my buddies bow, we looked over and saw smoke rolling out of the foil. I rushed over and the rubber was melting. Also, my limb tip delaminated. I put more epoxy in it and re-clamped with much less heat. It worked, but you can still see it in the fiberglass. Luckily, it is in an area mostly covered with the string.

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Also, I supported the limb tips with shims and the c-clamps are also supported with shims. This minimizes the amount of torsion felt by the limbs.

L8R,

John
"The path of least resistance is what leads rivers and men to be crooked." - my father quoting an unknown source.
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Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby Sulphur » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:08 pm

i've been considering making one of binghams one piece recurves. looks like a popular design. Yours look like it going pretty good!
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Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby OH Longbow » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:25 pm

Sulphur wrote:i've been considering making one of binghams one piece recurves. looks like a popular design. Yours look like it going pretty good!


So far, so good. This is a bingham designed bow, however, I think I'm going to change the riser. I added more thickness to the belly side of the riser. My thoughts are to flattten the front of the riser so it doesn't have that curve look. After flattening it a bit, I will add some accent pieces topped off with something like a piece of walnut.

John
"The path of least resistance is what leads rivers and men to be crooked." - my father quoting an unknown source.
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Location: Hocking Hills, OH


Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby PAarcher » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:40 am

I've got to tell you, I'd be hard pressed just to put the tape on the limbs properly, but I am really enjoying your build along!
Take a sick day and get busy!! :D
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Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby michbowhunter » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:03 pm

Looks great man...looking foward to the rest! :D
If you say you can, or you say you can't....you're right!

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Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby jwillis » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:31 pm

Very cool build along...love the pics. I think you'll like it here...lots of good builders and good people. :D Jim
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Re: Recurve Build Along

Postby OH Longbow » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:40 pm

Guys, thanks again for all the nice comments and encouragement.

PAarcher, I have thought about the sick day thing...you know...a little bow builditis setting in. lol :D

Here is just a small upload. I haven't done much this week. Work has been hectic.

After unwrapping the riser and the limb tips, I hit the sander again. This tool is one of the best $100.00 tools I have ever bought.

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This is what it looked like after some initial cleaning.

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Here are the tips. I'm just starting to shape them.

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Now, here is where I need some opinions. I'm thinking about cutting the curved portion off the front (really the "back", in bow speak) of the riser. I marked a line where I want to cut. It's the one that is perpendicular to the centerline.

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I would then put on a piece of white phenolic, black phenolic, and then a piece of walnut. I was also thinking about putting a piece of Elk Antler on it instead of the walnut. What do you all think? BTW, I know this will have the net effect of raising my draw length by about an inch because my handle will now be set back that much more.
"The path of least resistance is what leads rivers and men to be crooked." - my father quoting an unknown source.
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Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:52 pm
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