Shortly after finishing my first bow (before I even test shot it), I began working on my second bow. For my second bow I decided to keep things simply and use the same layout as the first bow, but do some fancy stuff with the handle and tip overlays. The bow is 72" tip to tip, parallel to a bit less than mid-limb, and has an 8" stiff handle (including fades). It took about an inch and a half of set.

The Bow

I start my board bows out by cutting the limb width tapers with a table saw and then using a power planer to do the thickness profile. With this bow the width tapers came out pretty messy (freehand table saw cutting is difficult, I've since made a jig that allows me to get perfect tapers). This forced me to plane the sides of the bow, which resulted in much more narrow limbs than originally intended. Right from the start, this bow bent a lot in the tips because they were so narrow and thin, which meant that I spent the whole tillering process working on the inner and mid limbs only. By the end of the process I managed to get a fairly even bend, if a little stiff in the inner portion of the limbs.

The funny thing about all of this is that my mistake forced me to make a better bow. The tips are around 1/4" wide, which is very narrow by most standards. I wouldn't have risked narrow tips on my second bow ever, but it turned out to be a good thing. This bow shoots quite fast with no hand shock thanks to the low mass of the outer limbs.

Thin Tips *Finger for Scale

The bow is about 40# at 28", and has a paper backing just like my first bow. The handle has three layers, and the tip overlays have 2 layers.

Tip Overlay Tip Overlay 2

The alternating layers of different wood give a really nice contrast. I'm not sure what species the darker wood is, but it looks amazing. It has a really nice shine to it when oiled. The handle is bulb shaped, which turned out to be pretty comfortable.

Wood Glue up Shaping Done

No handle wrap because I don't want to cover up the nice looking wood. The arrow rest is 3D printed and bent to fit the bow using heat. The idea behind the design is the allow the use of arrows with vanes (shooting vanes off a shelf can cause inaccuracy because the vanes aren't flexible enough).

3D Printed Arrow Rest

I'm not sure if the vane actually passes through the slot when the arrow is fired, but it seems to shoot fairly accurately.

This bow is paper backed like my first bow for some extra security and to add some more contrast. If you want to paper back a bow, I have a handy tutorial.

Paper Backing

All in all I am very happy with this bow and feel that it is a significant improvement on my first, albeit not entirely intentional.

Full Draw

The tiller on this bow is quite good I think. If anything it might be a little bit whip tillered, mostly on the top limb.

Mainly I'm just happy that I've made it through two bows without breaking any! This bow has at least 500 shots through it at this point and looks as good as ever.

Tags: Archery