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shawn rackley

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I am really interested in learning to build selfbows. I have worked on a piece of Osage and started to see the bow within. However turns out, the wood was trash and had some issues and the piece never became a bow. I still have the itch, but I am having trouble finding staves. Now sure I can find the premium $140 Osage staves. But I'm not quite ready for that I don't think. Lol who knows maybe they are "easier" staves to work. At this time I'm really wanting to cut my teeth and start making shavings. So back to my question. Where do u guys get your staves, that u don't cut yourself. I live in Northeast Ar, in the Ozark foothills. But Osage is not common, and even if it was I don't want to wait for years for wood to season to start on my first bow. So I'm looking for sources for some decent wood at a reasonable price. The bow (s) I would intend to make would be rather light poundage, 50#s being at the heaviest I want to try for now.
Any help or advice would be welcome. I don't know much about selfbows at all. But after I got a yew English Longbow from John strunk, my interest for learning is at an all time high. Lol
fdp

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First...the whole waiting for years for a stave to season thing is a farce. so there's that. Now, as for buying staves, get with Mike Yancey at Pine Hollow he normally has or knows who does have some really good staves.

Also, there are good staves on the big auction site.

You should have plenty of good bow wood in your backyard that you can use and get started tomorrow. You can have a bow shooting by the end of the month.
shawn rackley

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdp
First...the whole waiting for years for a stave to season thing is a farce. so there's that. Now, as for buying staves, get with Mike Yancey at Pine Hollow he normally has or knows who does have some really good staves.

Also, there are good staves on the big auction site.

You should have plenty of good bow wood in your backyard that you can use and get started tomorrow. You can have a bow shooting by the end of the month.


I have been doing some reading and I have been looking for a red mullberry, also elm. Just not sure what is the best elm we have growing here for a bow. I know we have slippery elm and winged elm. Also, I think I have found some ash. Not as easy to tell what they are without the leaves. Lol
We have honey locust but always read black locusts was better. And those aren't as easy to find here. In your opinion, Should I go for a large branch? Or fell a whole tree and split out staves?
fdp

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 Any Elm will be just fine. So is Plum, Hickory, White Oak. Locust, Maple, Birch, Sycamore, and the lit goes on, There are scads of woods that will make a good bow. And any thing you learn on one is something you'll use on the next one.
 
  Ideally to begin with a sapling is the easiest. You just remove the bark, and work down one side. Rough it out green and let it dry, then finish it.
Dwayne T

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You should give Yancey a call. He often has wood that is not listed on his website. Your close enough to drive down to pick something out. He’s in Van Buren. Probably get some pointers while you are there. He’s a good guy. Osage probably isn’t the best for a first build, unless you’ve got a teacher. I like mulberry if you can get it. I recommend getting Dean Torges book Hunting the Osage Bow. It was the book that turned the light on for me. Be forewarned, once you start down this path it can lead to an obsession!
steelflight

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A large branch from any white wood tree.(except alder.) Wil get you started. Just make surebot will be over 60" in length. This will give you A lot of wiggle room on the tillering.
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shawn rackley

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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelflight
A large branch from any white wood tree.(except alder.) Wil get you started. Just make surebot will be over 60" in length. This will give you A lot of wiggle room on the tillering.


A few months back my neighbor chopped out some limbs from her large American elm in her yard. I went over to the pile tonight and found a large enough branch that could possibly be a bow. But more likely it will be practice chasing a ring. Lol
Thanks for all the advice guys.
steelflight

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn rackley


A few months back my neighbor chopped out some limbs from her large American elm in her yard. I went over to the pile tonight and found a large enough branch that could possibly be a bow. But more likely it will be practice chasing a ring. Lol
Thanks for all the advice guys.


WAIT!!!! Stop cease! Elm does not require you to chase a ring. You can if you wish. But you can simply remove the bark and go to work. Put a glue or varnish on the ends to seal to wood. Have fun shawn

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shawn rackley

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I really don't think, there is a bow in this piece of wood. I have virtually no experience building a self bow. So I can't say for sure. I had really thought I would use it as practice for chasing rings. I intend to make bows from Osage and yew eventually. Just don't want to spend a lot of money making firewood. Lol I am pretty sure I am going to take a class from Mike Yancey, as he is only 5 hours away. If this happens I intend to bring home an extra stave of osage. By then (after the class) I may feel confident enough to work with Osage.
But I am confused about not having to chase a ring in elm. As said above, I know next to nothing. But can't imagine what it would look like without chasing a ring. I have only had Osage and yew selfbows.
shawn rackley

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It surely has some backset. Lol. It is around 68" long

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steelflight

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Reply with quote  #11 
That is narrow. But if you put thought to it. You m9ght get one. Good luck
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Jack Skinner

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Reply with quote  #12 
Shawn with white wood bows you remove the bark and any inner bark and the first ring you come to is your bows back. It is difficult to chase rings on white wood because of hardly any spring grow rings separating summer growth rings and they are the same color making them difficult to see. I have done it if outer rings have damage like worm damage but it Sucks. Osage has a pithy spring grow ring you can see, and even hear the difference from summer growth. Truth be known you can do the same Osage remove bark and inner bark use that as your back. A lot of use just chase rings to get at a thick ring maybe down farther in the stave.

You can always back with rawhide any bow you question.

For white wood bows The Bent Stick, for Osage BB1 has great info.

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Jack Skinner

Self Bows, OE's; Heritage, Vixen, Misty Dawn, Heritage II x 2 "The Twins", North Star x 2 Crown Jewel and Cousin It, 7 Lakes SF Carolina Night, Miller Sage, Ramer, Schulz Grandpa, Sunset Hill, Shelton

Cheyenne WY
steelflight

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I second Jack
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shawn rackley

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Reply with quote  #14 
Ok thanks guys. I'm going to try and get a draw knife now. Lol in anxious to get some practice in. Any other pointers are welcome.
steelflight

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Reply with quote  #15 
A bucket of cold water
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shawn rackley

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Quote:
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A bucket of cold water

What's the bucket of cold water for?
steelflight

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Reply with quote  #17 
To dunk your head in when you have anxiety over getting the bow worked in.
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Jack Skinner

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Reply with quote  #18 
When start to think I will just do X or Y to speed up the selfbow process you stick your head in it.

Firing up the bandsaw has ruined more staves for me than I want to admit.

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Jack Skinner

Self Bows, OE's; Heritage, Vixen, Misty Dawn, Heritage II x 2 "The Twins", North Star x 2 Crown Jewel and Cousin It, 7 Lakes SF Carolina Night, Miller Sage, Ramer, Schulz Grandpa, Sunset Hill, Shelton

Cheyenne WY
shawn rackley

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelflight
To dunk your head in when you have anxiety over getting the bow worked in.

Lol, ok gotcha
shawn rackley

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Skinner
When start to think I will just do X or Y to speed up the selfbow process you stick your head in it.

Firing up the bandsaw has ruined more staves for me than I want to admit.


Luckily I don't have a bandsaw at my cabin. But at my mom's house I do. Lol
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