Bow build for Josh! FINISHED

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Bow build for Josh! FINISHED

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:59 am

I hope you folks aren't tired of build-a-longs. :hair: I was posting this one on another site and thought I may as well paste it here as well, since I have lot's of friends over here.

She will be my Cumberland straight longbow model. She will have an ebony riser with an osage canine accent. Josh supplied the osage. Here are the riser pieces laid out.

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Notice my plexiglass template. This is mainly used to lay out how I want my accents.

Next I find the grain on each piece so that I layout the riser for the most strength. Notice how I draw lines on the cut end so that I can tell at a glance the grain is proper. The grain is really hard to see in the ebony. Then I cut each piece down to just over 1 1/2" wide. I want them the same width when I start to laminate them together. The thin piece will be used for accents behind the riser and on the tips.

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I then cut my arch on the osage and sand it close to the line.

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Then I trace the osage to the ebony and cut it outside the line.

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Next is a lot of fitting until no light shines between the pieces. Tomorrow you will see the next laminating step.

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Last edited by Apex Predator on Mon May 03, 2010 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:00 am

Here I am using my plexiglass template to see how the canine accent will look.

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Off to the bandsaw! I use this sander to take her to the line that I drew.

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Glue lines look fabulous!

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Now I use my riser to draw a line on the cut-out piece of ebony. After the first test fitting I can see some high spots. I mark them like this and take it to the sander again. Lots of back and forth fitting and sanding here.

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I have the pieces fitting well, so now I lay my template back on top to see how everything is gonna look.

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Time for the second laminating stage for the riser!

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150 degrees for four hours ought to do it! Stay tuned!
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by TradRag » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:34 am

SWEET Apex! I'll be watching for sure and trying not to junk up the post. I love this stuff!
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Newkirk Jerry » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:13 pm

Me too!!! Ditto what Mr. B said. Liking that wood combo. Keep it coming Marty!

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:49 am

This morning I started by sanding all the glue boogers off the sides of the riser. Then I layed out the riser with my template again.

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Now it's off to the bandsaw!

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Then it's time to sand the fades. I start with the belt attachment on my combo sander, since it has 50 grit paper, then move on the the spindle attachment for finer work. The Rigid combo unit is the most used piece of equipment in my shop! For $200 it's a must have for the serious hobbiest or amatuer bowyer.

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Notice the piece it's attached to. It's square to the sander and has an aluminum surface. This backing piece allows me to get the end of the fades super thin.

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A little hand sanding at the very ends, and it is ready for glue-up! The riser will stay on this sanding block until ready to lay-up the bow. This will protect the very fragile fade-out ends.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:34 am

This morning it's time to start on prepping the lams. Here they are all layed out. The cherry is awesome! It will darken and the grain will pop when under the glass. I start by carefully measuring each lam at the fat end. These are always very close to what I ordered, if not exactly. I record all the data in my book for future reference.

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I then sand the ends of both lams together so that I can join them into one lam. This is for all except the belly lam, which will stay in two pieces.

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When I flip the top one over it should mate to the first one.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:39 am

I've drawn lines on my bench to use as guides to make sure I glue them together parallel.

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I use a quality CA gel and an accelerator to join them.

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I want the joints as tight as possible for asthetics. You could have a gap here, and it would work fine because they are normally right behind the thick part of your riser. I like tight lines myself!

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Next is sanding the edges of the lams to knock off the splinters. These can get trapped between lams, or under the glass and will look horrible if not taken care of.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Okie » Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:39 am

Lookin' good Marty! I'll never get tired of your build alongs.
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Greywolf » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:23 pm

Marty
What's your target weight? and bow length NTN?
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:50 pm

Mark, this one will be 66" ntn and 58@29.
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by kevin12306 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:28 pm

Beautiful work Marty!!! Really nice figure in that cherry..

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:53 am

I appreciate all the kind words!

My glass came yesterday, so this morning I am prepping everything for glue-up. The belly lams have to be trimmed down some in length. I tape the back side of the glass to keep off the smooth-on.

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Then it's time for a dry run. I clean all the lams with acetone, and stack them on the form in proper order. For this bow it will be glass, cherry, boo, boo, riser, cherry, and glass. This cherry is awesome, and quickly becoming my favorite!

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I put the pressure strips on top, and with hand pressure determine if the riser fades are going to fade like they are supposed to. I don't want any gaps here at all.

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You can see a shadow where the lams over-hang the riser in the last photo.

I have to pick up an extra bicycle inner tube and another seam roller today, and should then be all set for the lay-up.
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:07 pm

Time for lay-up!

Here is my method for glue-up, which I don't think I've shared much of. It's really hard to take photos cause you are covered with epoxy! Don't really want to ruin my camera. Here you see the smooth-on all mixed up, a 1" wallpaper seam roller, and a wooden stick. I dab the epoxy down the lam and then roll it out with the roller. Works well for me.

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After the roller, I eye-ball the whole lam looking for this, a dry spot! Can't have those.

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After all the bottom lams are buttered and stacked, I butter the riser bottom and clamp it on top of the stack. I make sure the center is indexed to my form.

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Check out this cherry with smooth-on applied. This is close to what it will look like under the glass.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:21 pm

Now I fold the plastic wrap over the bow from each side and secure the whole works with a couple of wraps of electrical tape. I'm careful here not to trap any plastic wrap between the lams.

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Next I place the pressure strips on top and start wrapping bicycle innertube clamps. I use lots of rubber here folks! About 7 strips per side. A typical bike tube will yeild 2-3 strips depending on the diameter of the tube. I pay special attention to the fadeouts here.

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Then I set up my oven. It's a simple affair, but works great! During the colder months I will use four 100W bulbs. When it's warmer, like now, I use four 75W bulbs. My timer is a $6 job from Lowes. I want 140-160 degrees here for around five hours to set the smooth-on epoxy. My cover is made of pvc and plastic/foil water heater insulation.

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Medium-rare beef is what we are shooting for! :) It takes about an hour to get up to full temperature.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:31 am

This morning I took her out of the form. Here is the blank with all the excess epoxy on the sides. I've always been one to use too much, but I sleep good after putting one in the oven. It only takes an hour, or even less to clean it up. First the bandsaw, then the belt sander.

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My favorite part of bow building is cleaning up the blank and peeling the tape! This one looks really good. Perfect glue lines and zero air bubbles under the glass.

I'm really liking the wood combos Josh chose!

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:12 am

Next step is to mark the center of the riser. I use my fancy centering jig here to mark the center of the riser. Then I stretch a line that bi-sects the center, then mark the tip centers.

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Then I mark the top of the limbs 3" outside the fades, and make marks on either side of the tip centers for a 5/8" wide tip. I draw a straight lines from mark to mark.

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Then I take it to the belt sander and take the limbs down to the line. After sanding there will be small fiberglass splinters on the edges, so be careful handling the bow.

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I then take another little jig I made and make lines parallel to the limb edges on the last 10" of limb. I then taper the last 10" down to these lines at the tips, until my tips just fit in my nock groove line drawing jig. Lot's of jigs huh?

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:25 am

I draw my lines with the little line jig in place, and then I cut shallow grooves. I progress through the grooves with three tools in order. I start with a tiny jewlers triangle file, then to the tile saw blade, and finally the chainsaw file. The three steps allows me to make any needed corrections each time I move up to the bigger tool.

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This lady now gets her first stringing! Alignment looks good, the bottom limb is just a little stiffer, and she draws 65@29. Perfect for this stage of the game. I want her to be around 8# over my target draw weight, cause there is limb timing, tiller, and limb narrowing ahead.

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Here she is with a little too low of brace. Need to find a little shorter string before I continue.

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Now its time to build my overlays. I use my belt/spindle combo sander for this. The fence I use is square to the sandpaper. I thin pieces of osage and ebony for the overlays.

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I will laminate the overlays on tonight.
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:49 am

I rough up the glass under the overlays with 80 grit by hand, then clean all the pieces with acetone. Do a dry run here to make sure everything mates well! Sometimes you have to get creative in your clamping. Overlays want to slide all over the place. When using two pieces it's even worse. Then it's on to the smooth-on. Like always, I use too much! :)

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My three headed monster supplies a little heat. I just want to keep everything nice and warm for several hours while the epoxy cures.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Greywolf » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:44 am

Marty
Glad to see your work bench looks like mine, amazing how things just appears on the top, and the stuff is even non magnetic too.
I have 4 work benches, a 12 footer, 2 eight footers and a 6 footer they are full most of the time.
Plus, it's all stuff I use all the time............ :rolf:
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:33 pm

Today I cleaned up the edge of the riser and tip overlays first. Then I start to work on the tips. I carry my string groove across the overlay on the tip. Then I start to shape them. First I have to narrow the tips, being carefull not to sand all my groove away. I continue to deepen them as the tips width narrows. Here are some photos.

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I got on a roll and forgot to take some photos! I used my free standing belt sander for most of the tip shaping. Then I carefully sanded the joint with a dremel and then sandpaper by hand. Here are the tips 80 percent complete.

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Now to work on the riser overlay. I use my 1" belt sander to thin the bevel some, then I tape the glass and dremel up to the tape. Hand sanding finishes them out. The joint on the tips get the same treatment.

Here are some before and after photos.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:39 pm

I got some work done on the riser as well! I'm gonna hate to put a piece of leather on this one. I'm really diggin' it!

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Okie » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:00 am

Wow Marty, another nice one for sure! That combination turned out great.
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by TradRag » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:08 am

WOW!!! Looking real nice Marty!
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:09 am

Not a lot to show right now. I've got her hand sanded down through 150 grit. After 220 grit I will fill the pores in the riser, then time to spray.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Okie » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:04 am

What do ya fill the pores with? This is one of the nicest I've seen ya build Marty. Your attention to detail is fantastic. The Osage accent is perfect in every way. Can't wait to see this finished.
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:41 am

Thanks for the compliment!

I use a high quality thin CA (super glue) to fill the pores. Usually a couple of applications will do it.
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:35 am

I've got her sanded through 220 grit now. Here she is after the first coat of CA (super glue). This will fill the wood pores to give the riser a nice level look after spraying. I will sand this down with 220 grit. Ebony and osage aren't particularily porous, so this one coat may be enough. Some woods like wenge or walnut need quite a few leveling coats. This photo shows how dark the ebony will be under finish.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Oklahoma Leatherman » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 am

Very nice indeed! I too am looking forward to your finished photo's. Thank you for taking time to share with the rest of us.
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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:53 am

When sanding down the super glue, you can easily see the low spots that need more sanding, or another application.

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Re: Bow build for Josh!

Post by Newkirk Jerry » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:45 pm

Very fine lines Marty, that's some pretty wood.

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