Black locust recurve

Black locust static recurve

This stave has a few knots on one limb and had a sideways bend in the middle but the other side is really clean.
After roughing out I corrected the sideways bend in the handle with steam. It also has some twist but I could not get that out. The grain curves down in the handle section (still visible in the handle pic below). Because of this grain dip the stave was thinner at the handle so I glued some maple, walnut and bamboo on the belly.

Started the hollow limb with a large gouge and bent the recurves with steam just after first stringing.
The original plan was a 70/75 lb bow but halfway during tillering the large knot on the side split from the side (which I left extra wide for safety). I thought the bow was ruined! Examined the bow the next day and decided to fill the crack with superglue and rasped of as much of the knot and crack as possible. Now there is half a knot on the side, will see how long this lasts…

Lowered the draw weight about ten lbs for safety because there is stil a little of the crack on the side. Shot about 50 arrows to see if it holds up and then fumed it for 4 days.
Kinda liked how the handle glue up turned out after fuming so decided to leave it without a leather handle wrap.


Wood: black locust
Length: 64 inch ntn
Draw weight: 63 lbs at 26 inch
Handle wrap: build up wood laminates
Extras: Fumed, Hollow Limb Design
String: 8 strand fastflight


Elder HLD Flatbow

Elderberry HLD Flatbow

So I am just trying out all the local woods which I think can make a nice bow.

This elderberry stave was cut in may with a hld in mind. I split it immediately, debarked it and threw in the corner of my shed. Thickest part was about 2.5 inch. A few weeks ago I decided to take it out of the corner and start work on it. The hollow pith was split across the whole stave while drying but this was only a problem in the handle. Roughed it out and steamed a sideways kink in the handle straight. After that I rasped the handle flat and glued on a small piece of acacia over the split and the remaning hole.
First plan was to make it short but I kind of liked the snakey tip so decided to keep it long and see what would come out.

The limbs where also twisted about 40 degrees, got some of it out during heat treating and left the rest. (Twisted staves plays tircks on you while tillering because it looks so different from opposite sides!)
Ended up at 60@28 and shoots really smooth! I think hld and lighter woods like elder make a great combo! Shot it quite a bit and still shows no sign of set so I probably could have gone narrower or shorter. Did not really measure anything, just chopped away and left it as wide as the stave allowed.

The back was dyed with ecoline ink. This stuff soakes in quite deep. It will probably fade a bit over time, just an experiment to see if it will work.
The handle was wrapped with four peaces of leftover leather lace.


Wood: elderberry
Length: 66 inch ntn
Draw weight: 60 lbs at 28 inch
Handle wrap: 2 different leather lace
Extras: ipe tip overlays
String: 8 strand fastflight


Black Locust static HLD

Black locust static

This bow came from a stave I got from a fellow bowbuilder in the Netherlands. It was quite big so I decided to split it in two, this is the first bow from that stave.

The stave had some propellor twist and a sideways bend in the middle section. After roughing out I steamed most of the bend in the middle section out and started the tiller. Since this was going to be a hollow limb bow I started with a gauge until I could brace it. After getting the first brace even I steamed the recurves in and fixed some of the prop twist at the same time.

From then on I tillered the whole bow using a gooseneck scraper, this works great for HLD bows and is surprisingly quick too! I heat treated the bow thoroughly and fixed some more of the twist. There is still some twist end bend in the bow but the recurves line up perfectly so it is not a problem.

After some shooting and finetuning the tiller I “fumed” the bow for five days to get the dark colors. I taped the middle section and removed some of the tape every day to get the fade effect.

This bow won the Primitive Archer April/may 2016 BOM contest.


Wood: black locust
Length: 66 inch
Draw weight: 62 lbs at 28 inch
Handle: leather wrap (from old jacket)
Extras: fumed, ipé tip overlays
String: 8 strand fastflight, double loop


Hazelaar HLD

hazelaar hld

Geen platte buik

Eén van mijn favoriete bogenbouwers die vaak bogen post op het primitive archer forum is Simon Siess ( uit Duitsland. Hij maakt echt prachtige bogen en is een paar jaar geleden begonnen met zogenaamde “Hollow Limb Design” bogen. Hij heeft de theorie dat vooral bij kleine diameter takken het uithollen van de armen aan de buikzijde een betere verspreiding van de druk oplevert, alsmede een lichter totaalgewicht. Dit wilde ik al een tijd proberen dus een redelijk dunne tak genomen om een hazelaar hld testen.

Het uithollen van de armen in eerste instantie met een hole steekbeitel gedaan en later met een schraapstaal. Dit werkte eigenlijk erg makkelijk met hazelaar. Gaat niet erg snel natuurlijk maar je hebt fantastische controle.

Omdat ik erg van selfbows met “flipped tips” hou en om de boog nog wat meer te laten werken voor de test heb ik na het eerste opspannen de tips dus gebogen met stoom. De boog kwam precies op 50 pond op 28 inch uit en heeft tot op heden bijna geen set. Dit is best bijzonder voor een 64 inch selfbow met recurves.
Omdat dit een relatief dunne tak was en ik deze over de lengte gespleten heb vond ik het handvat wat dun dus daar heb ik nog een stuk mahonie opgelijmd.


Houtsoort: hazelaar
Lengte: 64 inch
Trekgewicht: 50 lbs op 28 inch
Handvat: mahonie, paracord wikkel
Extra’s: ipé tip overlays