Recurve building supplies?

Firedude

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Sep 2, 2015
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So I'm finding my wandering mind has found focus on bow building again. I used to do a lot of self bows. We dabbled with laminated longbows for a while. I still have a 98# at 28 inch bow that's just to much to pull back anymore. Originally it wasn't ment to be so heavy but we messed up somewhere. In my early 20's I could shoot it effectively. I started back up by building my own recurve. I ordered parts and pieces from Bingham. Built the necessary tools and furnish a fairly decent bow. 62# at 28 that I will be toting around the woods this fall. My question is if anyone knows a good way to acquire the fiberglass for the limb cores and outside besides Bingham? Not that I have anything against them. But it would be fun to be able to make all my own laminations from scratch-ish. My daughter and son have both expressed a desire for me to build one for them. It would be neat to show them more of a complete process on how to do it. Also as I continue developing my own style of risers and limbs a cheaper source would allow more experimentation. .
 

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ZBB

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I actually just finished a longbow with supplies from binghams yesterday. I was looking around also for supplies because the limb kits are pretty expensive for what they are. I know 3 rivers archery sells individual pieces at a decent price. I’m pretty sure you can get just glass from binghams too. Good luck, this is the second laminated bow I built, it is really an enjoyable thing to do.
1890C15C-32B6-40C6-AAB7-058C9F270070.jpeg
 

cfree

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Jan 1, 2003
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That's a really nice bow! I don't have any idea where to get supplies but I've been wanting to get into this for a while. Looking at the 3 Rivers Laminated Longbow Blank (3 Rivers Laminated Longbow Blank), would that be a good starter? I'm pretty good at woodworking but have never attempted something like this before. Do you have any advice? Special tools that are recommended?
 

Firedude

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That's a really nice bow! I don't have any idea where to get supplies but I've been wanting to get into this for a while. Looking at the 3 Rivers Laminated Longbow Blank (3 Rivers Laminated Longbow Blank), would that be a good starter? I'm pretty good at woodworking but have never attempted something like this before. Do you have any advice? Special tools that are recommended?
It looks like an ok start. I've never bought one to try. I'm sure it comes with instructions. Bow building is a patience game. The more work you put into the build, design, tillering, and finish the better the result. This kit might be a good way to learn since you don't have to build a press and oven. The advantage of doing all the extra work is picking your wood, core, and glass combinations as well as your size and poundage. You get more wiggle room in design when you start from scratch. Plus a little extra satisfaction in doing more to get there. The tools recommended are what you will need. Some of the things like a tillering string and tillering board you can make yourself. You can make a Flemish string jig to make your own strings. I've made stickbows with nothing more than a good stave, hatchet, rasp, pencil, string, sandpaper and a TON of patience for a few bucks. This bow cost a few hundred to build. I prefer Binghams to 3 rivers myself. Nothing wrong with 3 rivers but bingham's has more of what I need for what I want.

I guess it just boils down to what you want and how much you want to spend getting there. Honestly I would decide what finished bow you want first and then research how to get there. Feel free to message me or post with any questions.

This guy is Big Jim. He's a heck of a bowyer. My next recurve will be based off of his bighorn. This video is a REALLY good start to finish on laminate bowmaking. https://www.realtree.com/bowhunting/videos/big-jims-bow-building-how-to-build-a-traditional-bow

An afterthought, if you want to buy a "you finish" bow I wonder if you could get one from Big Jim? Then you would get the wood and glass you want. If I were looking for one I'd sure as heck call him and ask! He has about the best selection of wood choices I've found.
 
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Firedude

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Sep 2, 2015
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168
I actually just finished a longbow with supplies from binghams yesterday. I was looking around also for supplies because the limb kits are pretty expensive for what they are. I know 3 rivers archery sells individual pieces at a decent price. I’m pretty sure you can get just glass from binghams too. Good luck, this is the second laminated bow I built, it is really an enjoyable thing to do.
View attachment 110131
This is my pronounced longbow. From the looks of it they are the same blueprint. Purple heart handle and cocobolo limbs with clear glass. Bamboo and uni-weft core. I have figured out how to cut lams. Even the tapers. But I'm stumped on how to get the glass and core glass.
 

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ZBB

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Nov 30, 2016
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Pueblo, Co
That's a really nice bow! I don't have any idea where to get supplies but I've been wanting to get into this for a while. Looking at the 3 Rivers Laminated Longbow Blank (3 Rivers Laminated Longbow Blank), would that be a good starter? I'm pretty good at woodworking but have never attempted something like this before. Do you have any advice? Special tools that are recommended?
I don’t think I could add much more to what firedude said as far as the 3 rivers blank OTHER than if I were to only build one bow that is probably the route I would go. Because like he said there is a lot of other cost in the oven and form then the glue and lam kits and things like that. You might even be money ahead with the blank. But you do get to build the whole thing which is really fun. For what it’s worth I think the hardest part is cutting the string grooves. It’s a real bitch getting both side equal without a jig.
This is my pronounced longbow. From the looks of it they are the same blueprint. Purple heart handle and cocobolo limbs with clear glass. Bamboo and uni-weft core. I have figured out how to cut lams. Even the tapers. But I'm stumped on how to get the glass and core glass.
It is based off the pronounced. I didn’t want to cut the blue prints all up so I made my form close to the curve as I could. That’s my second pronounced takedown that I made. The first one didn’t end up where I wanted it to for my draw weight so I changed the angle that the limbs come off the riser, maybe 5 degrees and I gained about 6 pounds of draw weight. On the first one I was pretty meticulous with my layout and didn’t have any twist in the limbs. The second one I had a really bad twist, it was fun to figure out and correct. How are you cutting your lams? I’ve been toying with making a small drum sander with a sled grind the tapers.
Good looking bows, it’s really a fun thing to do.
 

cfree

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Jan 1, 2003
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The videos make it look so easy. I would love to build multiple bows but it would be nice to join a club or take a class that teaches the skill. Did you guys learn by trial and error or did you have a mentor?
 

Firedude

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Sep 2, 2015
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The videos make it look so easy. I would love to build multiple bows but it would be nice to join a club or take a class that teaches the skill. Did you guys learn by trial and error or did you have a mentor?
I had a mentor. My friends grandpa was into building recurves in the 70s. Life happened and his equipment was shelved. Then in the late 90s he picked it up again. He bought " The traditional bowyers bible" and started making self bows. I was intrigued. I got into it at age 15. I started finding every tree within biking distance to get permission to cut down for staves. When I was about 20 he started making recurves again. His son started making longbows. I did what I could to buy laminations. I've been in and out of bowmaking since then. Mostly selfbows. I just got into recurves again. There's lots of information on making bows cnn out there. You don't really need someone to show you how.
 

ZBB

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Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
133
Location
Pueblo, Co
The videos make it look so easy. I would love to build multiple bows but it would be nice to join a club or take a class that teaches the skill. Did you guys learn by trial and error or did you have a mentor?
I didn’t have a mentor. I started with a couple board bows and a couple from staves. There are a lot of videos, south cox has one on YouTube that is really good. I like google searching bow build alongs too. I wanted to do a write up with pictures and descriptions for here but I didn’t take enough pictures of the important parts of the build. I think the laminated bows are easier because the tillering isn’t as involved. It would be nice to have a mentor to show certain steps, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
 
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