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Making a pyramid board bow.

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On Saturday, February 6, 2016, I attended a class on making a bow with Chris Anderson of the Tama County Conservation Board.


This is a pyramid board bow.


The blank boards were cut to size and glued together in preparation for the class.




A shorter piece was glued to the center of the longer piece to reinforce the center, which will be cut out for the grip.






Here, Chris shows us the finished product he had done earlier.






The first step was to lay out the design on the board.




For this, first find the center of the end of the board. From there, measure out 1/4 inch in each direction, making the end of the bow 1/2 inch wide. 




Using a straight egde, draw a line between the outside mark on the end to the outside of the brace in the center.  Repeat this process on the other end.




Slowly cut along the line (cut on the outside of the line with your saw), making relief cuts as needed.






Continue until you cannot cut any further (this will later be smoothed off with a hand plane).






Repeat for the other three sides of the bow.




Now, mark the cutout for the center grip. I traced the grip from the bow Chris has made as a pattern (there are two sets of lines - I did this by tracing both sides, then flipping it and tracing them again. This way, I picked the mirror image sides for the pattern).




This seemed to take forever, but finally I made it through.




Then, on to the other side...




We needed to put string nocks on each end of the bow. Measure down one inch from the end on both sides of one end (mark along the back of the bow, which will be the side facing away from you when you shoot), then make a line at a 45 degree angle to the belly side of the bow.






Make a groove along this line on each side using a small round file.  I started this by cutting a groove along the line with my knife.




Now, it is on to the tiller. What this does is test the flex of the bow. You want the entire length of the bow to flex as evenly as possible and for both sides to flex as equally as possible. The rope is attached to each end of the bow in the string nocks, then pressure is applied to the string in the middle, flexing the bow. Any parts along the bow that do not flex as much are marked on the belly side with a pencil. Then you sand those areas enough to remove the pencil marks, then back to the tiller to check it again. Repeat this process until the bow flexes evenly.




On to making the bow string.  For this, we started with two sets seven strings of B50 Dacron string, making a loop at the end, working this back into the main line, and then continuing with the reverse twists for the length of the bow string.







Time to string the bow!! The loop goes over the top of the bow and is slid down the top arm as far as possible. The bottom is attached to the bottom nock with a timber hitch.  Now you step through the bow with your left leg, hook the bottom arm in front of your right ankle and then flex bow forward until you are able to work the string loop into the top nock (this takes some work as the bow if very stiff at this point).  You will probably have to adjust the string length a number of times.


Testing the draw...




The final step is to put a layer of waterproof glue and drywall tape down the back of the bow, then a second layer of glue. This will help strengthen the bow, but also, in the event of a catastrophic failure, will prevent splinters and pieces of the broken arm from turning into free flying shrapnel.






Let this dry and the bow is complete.  Sorry, mine was still drying - I will post pictures of the finished bow (with the excess tape trimmed off) later.





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That is awesome!  What kind of wood did you use?   



What is the draw weight?


Thanks. We used Red Oak. I have not measured the draw weight.

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Awesome wright up OFG. I learned a ton from it.    Thank You !!  :thumbsup:

Glad you found it useful.  I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot from it. Amazing how much you learn while doing something new!

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