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How many build glass AND all-wood bows - preference?

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How many build glass AND all-wood bows - preference?

Postby kiltedcelt » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:19 am

The title pretty much sums it up. Up until now I've only made all-wood bows, though I've experimented (miserably) with fiberglass in the past. I bought some lams to use with some brown glass I had laying around and I'm intending to make a Hill-style longbow. Anyway, (probably) unlike most of you guys, I'm not a hunter yet, although I hope to be some day when my accuracy improves. Anyway, not being a hunter primarily I approach bow building from a woodworker's perspective. I live in an apartment and in the past have had a very limited ability to work with really messy stuff like fiberglass. However, I do have a place to work on the really messy stuff now, so I'm hoping to do a bit more. I love the way you can get some amazing looking bows with fiberglass, where the grain pattern can be wild and crazy unlike with all-wood bows where grain must generally be perfect. It would seem like here on Pirates, most of you guys are fiberglass bowyers which is one of the reasons this has always been a favorite stop. I especially love browsing the gallery of bows time and again, drooling over the craftsmanship.

Grain pattern is also the reason I've steered away from stave bows in the past because, well, staves are expensive. I've dabbled a bit with backed bows and found they allow me to work with more marginal pieces of wood for my belly pieces. I'm getting back into making bows, and honestly I like the finished product but frankly I've NEVER liked the tillering aspect. I know with a lot of the all-wood bow guys, that's the great part because you're coaxing a bow out of the wood a little bit at a time. With me, it's always been a huge frustration. I'm hoping that an Eric Krewson Tillering Gizmo (TM) ;) will help with those few all-wood backed bows I've got sitting on the shelf waiting to be finished. I do think that in the future I might make the occasional all-wood bow, but will probably tend more towards glass just because there's very little tillering involved and I can generally stretch myself a bit more as a woodworker using the wild and crazy wood combos. Also, I should add that probably my favorite style of bow is the simplistic but classic Hill style of longbow. I see my future bow building efforts leaning more towards glass and probably mostly towards Hill style bows. In that regard I'm probably in the minority along with Dick Wightman, in not being terribly interested in designs such as reflex/deflex or recurves. Although, at some point I really want to make a few fiberglass Asiatic-style bows ala Saluki/Kasai/Grozer. So, how about you guys all-wood, fiberglass, both?
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