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Home > Books > The Flat Bow > The Flat Bow
The Flat Bow
Part 7 of 9

Then place the other clamps at regular intervals along on both sides of the vise. As many as 16 clamps plus the vise may be used on a 6-ft. bow. Be careful that the pieces of wood do not slip sidewise while applying the pressure.

If the worker has no clamps, he may wrap the three pieces of wood with a good piece of washline. To do this, after placing the two glued pieces together, let them remain a few minutes under some slight pressure, and after placing the pine strip next to the hickory, tie the ends with a piece of heavy cord or rope. Then proceed to wrap the three pieces of wood spirally as tight as possible with the rope. Then drive small wedges under the rope at intervals to further increase the pressure. Figure 29 shows a section of such a wrapped bow. Notice that the pressure is great enough to cause the glue to ooze out on both sides. Allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours; 48 would be better. Do not try to bend the bow for a week at least. The stave can be worked into shape without being bent. When the clamps or ropes are off, scrape off the glue on the edges and then proceed as with the flat bow. Round off the belly or walnut part of the bow a little more than the back which should have only a slight curve. See Figure 30.

The handle is glued on as on any flat bow. It may be made of walnut or of a light colored wood for contrast. It also may be wrapped with a light trolling line if so desired. Then the bow must be tillered until the correct curve is attained.



The man who wants to back his bow with fiber has four colors of fiber to choose from: red, black, gray, and white. There doesn't seem to be any difference between these colored fibers as far as strength is concerned.

Fiber can be bought at electrical supply houses, and in some cities there are dealers who sell fiber only. It should be at least 1 16 in. thick, but no thicker than 3/32 in. It would be better if it could be obtained in 5 1/2 to 6-ft. lengths, but it usually comes in 3-ft. sheets from which the strips are cut. They must then be butted together in the center of the grip or handle, and a piece of the same wood used for the grip, about 1/8 in. thick, should be glued over the handle on the back. A fiber-backed bow is made the same as the backed bow already described, excepting that the back is not to be rounded at all.


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