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Tradslinger

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have access to some decent sized bamboo. We have a nice patch of it on our land. We cut some that is around 3" in diameter and hopefully big enough to maybe use for limb material. How long do I have to let it dry and age before it is usable? I had tried this years ago and used a machete to split it and then used a block plane to plane it down but then it got sidelined and lost.                                                                                                                                                   Can a person just use Bamboo to make a lamenated bow? is it feasable to try this at all. All that I would be hoping for would be a 40-45# bow, from 62 to 64" long. would I have to keep the joints together or apart? would I still need to back it with glass or something similar? I figure that the bigger diameters make it easier to actually get any flat strips of bamboo but 3" is about it for this bamboo. Then I would need some sort of a riser, I'm sure. where would I find the plans or dimensions for a riser? I had seen a video where some guy used bamboo from his place to back a bow but I want to try to make the whole bow from it. ??? Thanks for any help. Jerry 
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Steve Graf

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Reply with quote  #2 
3" is kind of small to get laminations from.  You will end up with a lot of pith, and not much fiber.  I think the bamboo lams you buy from places like Bingams are made from culms that are maybe 10" or more in diameter.

But if you employ Howard Hill's method, Aromakr posted a thread about it in this forum, you could get it done.

You don't need the good equipment that Aromakr made to get the job done.  A draw-knife or cabinet scraper will clean up the outside, and a round chissel / curved cabinet scraper will take care of the inside.  It takes longer and is more work, but for experimentation it's good enough.  I made a bow this way, but it was a very fiddly effort to get the culms to nest perfectly.
stickandstring

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Reply with quote  #3 
I heard bamboo flooring boards can be used?
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chuckc

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes, but not all types...and...you need back and belly material
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I did too !

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aromakr

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Reply with quote  #5 
Steve:

Your not going to get tight glue lines doing it by hand, I don't care how hard you try!

Bob

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Tradslinger

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Reply with quote  #6 
well it looks the first project with the bamboo will be as backing for a red oak board bow. I went to get fitted for an Arizona foot brace via the VA in Hot Springs today. picked up what I hope is a decent board with pretty straight grain. This will be slow and easy build as it will be my first. But even as backing, the bamboo needs to be fairly thin, right? I may be totally wrong but I was thinking about a layer or two of the fiberglass matting stuff that they use for sheetrock in between the oak and the bamboo. is this just over kill? or will this prevent a good bond of the backing? The bamboo backing should help some in keeping the bow from breaking as the red oak does sometimes, correct?
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"But a man drew his bow without taking special aim and struck the king of Israel through the joints of his armor." 1 Kings 22:34
Steve Graf

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aromakr
Steve:

Your not going to get tight glue lines doing it by hand, I don't care how hard you try!

Bob


That is for sure [bawl][mad]
longcruise

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Reply with quote  #8 
A "perfect" board can get by with no backing BUT perfect boards are hard to come by so backing is a good idea to back it with something. 

That said, bamboo might not be a good choice for the backing.  Red oak and most (if not all) woods are stronger in tension than compression.  Simply put, the tension of the back will compress the belly somewhat.  The result is "set" or  string follow.  Some set is to be expected with red oak and more or less with other wood species.   a bamboo backing on a red oak bow increases tension and the back will overpower the belly even more. 

A good red oak board can be backed by gluing down a couple layers of brown paper bag.  That will give protection without increasing tension. 

Bamboo backing shines on a tri laminated bow where there is a center core of a light tough wood like maple or elm and a belly lamination of a wood that is strong in compression such as osage.  

Mike Westvang of Dryad bows does a tri lam build along in one of the Traditional Bowyer's Bibles.  I think in volume three.  I'll look it up to be sure. 

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steelflight

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Reply with quote  #9 
Volume three should be right
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longcruise

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Reply with quote  #10 
Yup, #3
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Hud

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Reply with quote  #11 
     I know of a few bowyers, that are using bamboo flooring to maker laminations for their bows. Another bowyer preferred using bamboo poles, to split and temper before using. Similar to what rod builders do before building fly rods.  However, there are many species of bamboo and Moso and Tonkin two that are used in bows.  Moso is a giant species that is 7" in diameter found in Japan and China. The larger 10" diameter poles are harder to find, probably because of demand or over harvesting.  Moso grows to a height of 75 ft.  Although some bowyers do not temper their bamboo,  Howard Hill discovered tempering made a better bow after talking with Winston Rod Co. in Montana.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
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