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Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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5 posters

    Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod?

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    Seventeen76
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    Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod? Empty Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod?

    Post by Seventeen76 Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:52 am

    Has anyone tried taking a reasonably decent (no knots, good grain) piece of building lumber (southern yellow pine likely) and wrapping it in fiberglass to compensate for the wrong wood and marginal bowmaking skills?

    I have studied long bow making in some detail and as I understand it you should use lemonwood or osage orange and must not damage the front grain otherwise the bow will snap. I'm looking for something of a shortcut and I think woven fiberglass stained dark (ie aged linen) would look old-timey enough to look cool if not historically accurate.

    Bow is going to be a simple pinlock made mostly from pine stained dark, maybe steel or horn for the string catch. I don't need a huge draw weight or top performance as it will only be a toy and conversation piece.
    Geezer
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    Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod? Empty Re: Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod?

    Post by Geezer Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:27 am

    geezer here:  the question was, can you use yellow-pine from the hardware store to make a crossbow.
    Yes, you can use yellow pine for the stock... and you can stain it and laquer it, and when you're through with all that work, you'll have a crappy looking pine stock.  Do yourself a favor, spend a LITTLE bit extra and buy some oak boards... most of the big box stores in the US have it for fairly cheap.  You can laminate 1 inch (or 3/4 inch) boards together to make a stock, you can even use oak laths to assemble a prod and then reinforce with fiberglass for a reasonable prod.  If you go cheap and use pine, you'll get a cheap looking product.  This is simple guys, a no-brainer.  To some degree you can improve on low-grade materials with lots of extra work... sometimes you can salvage decent wood from old shipping pallets, etc. but if your time is worth ANYTHING to you, spend the extra nickel for decent materials.... Okay, I'll get of my soapbox now.  Geezer
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    Seventeen76
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    Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod? Empty Re: Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod?

    Post by Seventeen76 Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:54 am

    Thanks what do you think about oak boards vs hickory floorboards for the prod? Hickory floorboards are about the only traditional bow material I can find locally. Any idea what kind of draw weight I would get out of a glass backed 3/4" thick 2-3" wide width tapered hickory prod? Obviously wood varies but are we looking at 20lb or 200lb?
    Geezer
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    Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod? Empty Re: Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod?

    Post by Geezer Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:20 am

    Personally, I never work hickory or pecan, 'cause I allergic to it.  However, hickory can be used successfully for bows.  Hickory is very hard and heavy, but also very springy.
    With most bow-woods, you want sapwood for the outer layer, but that may not be so critical with hickory.  We'll need input from some of our other members on that.  Oak is also an acceptable bow wood, even without the sapwood...it's not as good as yew or Osage or even mulberry, but it will make decent prods as well as excellent stocks.  
    The best I can say for Oak is that it's a good, honest wood, works tolerably well and is available for cheap throughout most of the US at the big-box chains, like Lowes and Home Depot.  If you can find ash, you might try that as well... but don't get the lightweight yellow mountain ash.  You want the dense stuff.  Geezer
    mac
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    Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod? Empty Re: Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod?

    Post by mac Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:30 pm

    Seventeen76 wrote:Thanks what do you think about oak boards vs hickory floorboards for the prod? Hickory floorboards are about the only traditional bow material I can find locally. Any idea what kind of draw weight I would get out of a glass backed 3/4" thick 2-3" wide width tapered hickory prod? Obviously wood varies but are we looking at 20lb or 200lb?
    1776,

    I think it would be a mistake to try backing hickory with glass.  Hickory is a good "tension wood".  Bowers sometimes use a strip of hickory as the backing for woods that are not as good in tension.

    I once built a sinew backed hickory prod.  What a total waste of time an materials.  I don't know what I was thinking.

    You might try using the hickory floorboards or glass to back some other wood, but I would not recommend backing hickory with glass.

    On another note.  Have you looked into making a prod out of hickory replacement handles?  You might find something suitable if you pick through what's available in wheelbarrow handles.

    Mac
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    Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod? Empty Re: Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod?

    Post by Todd the archer Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:09 pm

    Could try a red oak board with fiberglass drywall tape about three layers set in titebond glue. Have done this with a cherry board board and worked although I have not put a lot of arrows through it maybe a hundred.

    Todd
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    kenh
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    Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod? Empty Re: Building lumber wrapped in fiberglass = prod?

    Post by kenh Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:38 pm

    Don't think I'd use Southern Yellow Pine for the prod of a crossbow, as the OP asked, wrapped in fiberglass or not.  

    Red oak yes.  Witrh drywall tape as Todd suggests.  That's a well-known and documented "board bow" technique documented all over the place.  SYP for the tiller, yes.  The bow in my avatar photo has a stock of SYP that's well over 100 years old.

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