You may have noticed that it has been a while since anything has been posted. Many apologies but I have been distracted making some archery equipment – a pyramid-style selfbow, in fact. The bow is called pyramid-style because the limbs are triangular in shape when viewed from in front or behind. Selfbow merely means one carved all in one piece.
This one is made from hazel, because I am cheap and could cut it from the wood behind my house ! Hazel is also an excellent bow-wood and soo nice to work with.
So, here it is.
Carving the bow was relatively straight-forward as the wood was fairly green (not recommended – best to let it season properly), cleaved cleanly and was a joy to cut with a hatchet and draw-knife. The nocks are antler tines. One change from the normal practice was that because the back of the bow (the side facing the target) was very rounded as it was the surface of a fairly narrow log, the belly (side facing the archer) was hollowed to match – this is not normal and probably not necessary but it looks good and equalises the compression stresses across the wood as it is all a similar thickness (I hope).
The overall dimensions are 60 inches long, the limbs tapering from 1.5 inches wide and with a uniform thickness of 9mm to produce a really nice youth’s bow of about 20lb draw weight.
Be warned bow-making is highly addictive, I have now harvested enough staves to make another dozen bows, even though I only need two!!
Grateful thanks go to the contributers to the Primitive Archer forum.