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Old 04-14-2017, 02:05 PM   #1
bassmatt72
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Default Building a take down long bow.

Going to try another DIY follow along on building a take down long bow. I have done a youth take down recurve and a regular recurve. Here are the links to those.
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...d.php?t=484345

http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...d.php?t=378494

This thread will be very similar to those. These have all been Binghams designs and plans with just a few personal changes here and there.
So, just like with the others this is my first of this style so we have to build our forms. These plans call for 12" X 33" X 1 1/2" plywood form. I used 3/4" Ash cabinet grade plywood but it wasn't going to be a full 1 1/2" thick so I have some phenolic material that I sandwich between the plywood and got it to a full 1 1/2". Lots of Titebond glue and screws. Of course trying to not put any screws where the form will be cut later.
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:18 PM   #2
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I did something a little different next from what I've done before. In the past I actually cut my blueprints up to where I could tape them down and draw the lines through them.
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This time I taped the whole plan down and used the round curved end of a pick to press the lines into the form.
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This way my prints stay in one piece and its easier to store them, and use them again. Here is a close up of the lines "transferred" into the wood.
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:23 PM   #3
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In this way of building bows we use thin pieces of wood called laminations, or lams, fiberglass, and laminate them together with a two part epoxy. We use heat over a period of time to cure the epoxy, that's where I am now. Can't really do any more work on it until epoxy is cured and cooled. So, its a good time to catch up on the DIY thread.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:03 PM   #4
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Well, I did run into a snag already.....bandsaw quit???? A little searching and discovered burned contacts in the on/off switch. Cleaned them up, reassembled switch and I'm back in business!!
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:08 PM   #5
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In for this one!
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:20 PM   #6
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Following this one Matt!

How thick is that phenolic you have there? I'd be interested in buying some, if you have extra.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:29 PM   #7
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Ok, saws up and running time to finish forms. Lines transferred from plans to form, and cut close to the top line for the top half of form. The top half doesn't have to be real perfect but the bottom...its got to be exact!
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMiddleton View Post
Following this one Matt!

How thick is that phenolic you have there? I'd be interested in buying some, if you have extra.
I'll have to check. It was some seconds/rejects from a local manufacture. I have some extra I'll give you. I was originally using it to skin deer stands.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:40 PM   #9
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Going to follow along here as well. Pretty awesome building your own. INCLUDING the form!! My hats off.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:49 PM   #10
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Ok. The bottom of the form....this is what gives the limbs their shape. If it is wavy, your limbs will be also. Crooked, yep, limbs will be too. Twisted, you guessed it, limbs will be too! So, it needs to be a smooth curve to the shape, and it needs to be square to the sides. Being square to the sides is how you know there shouldn't be, and helps prevent us "building limb twist into it".
Oh my! How do we get this form all smooth, squared and a nice sweeping curve to it?!?!? Here's how I do it. I cut close to the lines from our plans with the band saw but not to the lines.
Then I'll make a thin pattern and temporarily screw it to the form. It is much easier to cut and sand this to a smooth graceful curve.
I use a pattern following straight router bit, it has a bearing that "rides" along the pattern. Here you can barely see the pattern on top of the plywood form. There is the bearing right on top.
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The router bit is not long enough to get it all in one pass, so we lower the bit and use our first pass as our new pattern and finish the job.
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Last edited by bassmatt72; 04-14-2017 at 04:23 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Bones View Post
Going to follow along here as well. Pretty awesome building your own. INCLUDING the form!! My hats off.
Well, I don't do any of the "thinking" on these builds. I call Binghams and tell them what poundage I'm trying for and they figure the thickness of the lams for me. I build off of their plans, which anyone can order, and order my supplies from them. I'll do a few personal "tweeks" to the bows but pretty much just follow their instructions.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:10 PM   #12
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Ok, checking the form for square.... we're good!!! I checked multiple places all the way down the forms.
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Well crud!! I use my hands a lot when I'm doing sanding to "see" imperfections, sometimes I can feel a spot but not see it very well. While I was checking square I ran my hands over the form to feel for any waviness. Found a spot on each form in the same locations. My pattern must of had a little wave in it.
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I normally will use bondo to fill low spots in my forms but I didn't have any and these are really shallow.....two part 5 minute epoxy! Put a thin layer in the wavy spot, let cure and hand sanded to smoothness.
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A couple other little things, add closing hardware and..Ta Da! Two completed forms!
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Yes, we could do this and only build one form, but that means we would have to glue up one limb and put it in the hot box for several hours, cool down for several hours then do it again with the second limb! Now I can just go a head and glue up, and cure both limbs at the same time with only one curing process.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:35 PM   #13
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Remember I said we use heat and time to cure the epoxy? Here is a pic of my "Hot Box". It is big enough to do full length one piece longbows and recurves, and anything shorter. Since this picture I lined it will foil backed Styrofoam insulation, indicator lights and a small internal fan to keep the air circulated and avoid any hot or cool spots. It has an inline thermostat set at 180 degrees.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:44 PM   #14
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Ok! Ready to see the choice of materials???? This bow is for a coworker and he decided on Dessert camo action wood for the riser and Burgundy camo flat grain under clear glass for the limbs. He said he wanted a little "craziness" to it?
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What's the difference in edge and flat grain?? It has to do with how the material is cut. Edge grain is where it looks like the side of plywood, you can see all the laminations, flat grain is where it looks more like a board with wide, broad grain patterns.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:04 PM   #15
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Binghams plans has a very shallow grip and the limbs are sitting out on the back (the side that is furthest away from the shooter) of the riser.
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This doesn't give it a very clean appearance.....
I don't really like the riser/limb pad design, might have to change things up a little?????
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:19 PM   #16
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Good idea using a fan in the bow oven, might have to add that to my setup
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMiddleton View Post
Good idea using a fan in the bow oven, might have to add that to my setup
I have it wired in before the thermostat so it runs continuously.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:16 PM   #18
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Ok. The limb/riser issue??? I don't like how the limbs sit way out on the riser.
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Ooo! I was looking around in my scraps and found a really nice piece of Bubinga that was left over from building his son's bow!

I'm going to use it to build up the riser and "move" the riser profile forward and make the transition from limbs to riser smooth. I'll post better pics of what I mean when I start shaping the riser and attaching the limbs.
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Cool! More Bubinga...limb tips! This is cool, it will make a special connection between the two bows.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:28 PM   #19
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Materials are to expensive to make mistakes so I like to build and mock up risers out of cheap softer scrap woods. "Practice riser block" glued up and drying.
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Real riser block epoxied and clamped ready to put into hotbox.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:47 PM   #20
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Now we're getting into the "meat and potatoes" of the build! Materials laid out.
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Work space cleaned and covered.
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Form covered with regular kitchen plastic wrap, helps keep form clean from epoxy and the finished limb to release from form.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:52 PM   #21
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Awesome! I'm in!
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:02 PM   #22
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The paste wax in the earlier picture, put it on the form just incase some epoxy gets on it. The wax makes the epoxy come off the form a little easier. But, be extra cautious to not get any on the limbs it will really mess things up! I wear gloves when I put the wax on the form, toss them and put on new gloves before I even think of touching the lams.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:48 PM   #23
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I kinda feel like a little bit of a tease. The next steps for me are so messy with epoxy that it is hazardous to the camera. So, very few pictures. The limbs are built up from a fiberglass lam, then a tapered, a parallel, a wedge, tapper and then a fiberglass lam. Apply epoxy to both surfaces of each lam, except the outside of the fiberglass. Now we have several long thin pieces of wood and fiberglass covered with slick epoxy. Try and hold them in place as we put them into the form. Fold plastic wrap over them and use strapping tape to hold them down until we get the top of the form on and fastened. Sometime we need to use some clamps to get the form closed. Then we add 60lbs of air to the air hose.
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Everything placed in the hot box.
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Throw a few old moving blankets over the hot box to help keep temps up, and let it cure for 8-9 hours. After that turn off the hot box and LEAVE IT CLOSED!!!! This is tough!
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We must let it cool on its own time, don't rush it. I usually try and let it have several hours. So, overnight we wait. I work tomorrow but I will do my best to get some pics before I go in and try to post them tomorrow night.
That's it for today.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:38 AM   #24
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That's a complex process, Matt! Impressive.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:59 AM   #25
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Letting the forms cool down to room temperature is the hardest thing to do. I'm like a kid at Christmas, I can't wait to unwrap it and see what I got!

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Old 04-15-2017, 09:10 AM   #26
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Nice work man. I built a lot of bows, I started with Bingham's form plans and bow designs, then moved on to my own designs later. I lined my hot box with foil insulation because of how cold it got in PA in the winter.
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:49 PM   #27
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This is cool!


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Old 04-15-2017, 06:02 PM   #28
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Your attention to detail will benefit you. I am concerned that using two different forms for the limbs will cause differences in the limbs so I wish you the best on them.
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Old 04-15-2017, 07:47 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTK View Post
Your attention to detail will benefit you. I am concerned that using two different forms for the limbs will cause differences in the limbs so I wish you the best on them.
I've thought about that too. I have done a lot to try and duplicate identical forms. Used the same pattern on them and measured 15 ways to Sunday. We'll just have to see how things work out tomorrow when I can get back out in the shop.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:02 PM   #30
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I managed to get into the shop for just a little time this morning before work. Hot box was turned off yesterday evening and stayed closed and cooled overnight. Took everything out and getting ready to open the forms.....
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Plenty of excess epoxy oozed out, that's better than no epoxy!
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:06 PM   #31
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Ok!! One limb was a little stubborn getting out but went nice and easy and got it out. Limbs look good! Riser block and "practice" riser block glued and cured.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:07 PM   #32
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Just a little peek.....Oooo! I'll retape it for protection from scratches.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:51 PM   #33
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Looking pretty slick Matthew!!
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:51 PM   #34
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Quote:
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Looking pretty slick Matthew!!
Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:22 PM   #35
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Ooooo Is right!!!
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:01 PM   #36
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Eating supper then going to load some pics of progress.
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:55 PM   #37
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Alright. Riser block and practice block ready.
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Looked at several of my patterns from other bows, took ideas from each and started shaping it.
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Some hand filing.
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Add some time... a sample riser! The shelf isn't done on it.
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:57 PM   #38
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So next I worked on the limb pads. I could sand most with my belt sander but there was some that had to be hand filed.
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:05 PM   #39
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The limb hardware.
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Use the screw and a backer nut to keep it from spinning to screw It into the riser.
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The jig for drilling the necessary holes.
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Cool color sawdust!!
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:08 PM   #40
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Well, this bow caused me all kinda fits working on it today. But I finally got the limbs attached!!!! Looks pretty straight with no noticeable twist yet!
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:55 PM   #41
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I'm concerned with how the limbs are mating up to the riser. One is flush to the riser side and the other...well, isn't.
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I just don't think I can leave it like this. So I removed the insert and plugged the holes with hardwood dowels and then redrilled them.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:28 PM   #42
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Location: Belton TX
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This riser and limb fit has been giving me challenges the whole way and I think it is because I've changed the riser design just a little. I have learned several things on this one that if I get the chance to do another I'll have to remember.
The original design had the limbs sitting out in front of the riser

I didn't like this, it just doesn't looked finished, or complete. Looks like a half hearted effort. So I wanted to fill this area in and have a smooth more finished look to the riser. Maybe I'm dumb but I thought I could just cut a 90 degree to the limb pad and have it work.

Nope, has given me fits the whole way!!!!
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:35 PM   #43
bassmatt72
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Had to convert the pics. Original design.

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Added material and cut at a 90.
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Next time I'll try to cut my limbs at a 45 degree angle to allow them to set on top of the added material but in a more finished appearance.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:59 PM   #44
bassmatt72
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On to the next step. Transferring the pattern onto the limbs.
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Then cutting them to shape. This is my most nerve racking part of the project!!
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I didn't get any pictures but I cut close to the line then use my belt sander to finish shaping.
then cutting string groves.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:10 PM   #45
Horn chaser
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When I am cutting out my limbs I cut about an 1/8 inch away from the line then send to the line. For me it is just to easy to accidently cut past the line not to mention a a good belt sander can sand the limb down to the line pretty quickly and accurately. Looking good so far.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:55 PM   #46
2014FusionM
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I wish I had not only the time and patients but the talent to pull something like this off!
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:41 PM   #47
bassmatt72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn chaser View Post
When I am cutting out my limbs I cut about an 1/8 inch away from the line then send to the line. For me it is just to easy to accidently cut past the line not to mention a a good belt sander can sand the limb down to the line pretty quickly and accurately. Looking good so far.
Yep. Pretty much what I do, might get a little closer than an 1/8". But I usually draw my pattern just a little big. We can always take more off but can't put it back on!!!
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:30 PM   #48
Horn chaser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmatt72 View Post
Yep. Pretty much what I do, might get a little closer than an 1/8". But I usually draw my pattern just a little big. We can always take more off but can't put it back on!!!
Exactly I learned that lesson on the first one I built.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:50 PM   #49
bassmatt72
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Another member PMed me asking what bandsaw blade I used. Here it is. One of the important thing about this blade is it only has 4 teeth per inch of blade, it cuts a little slower but will last longer than a blade with more TPI.
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:07 PM   #50
bassmatt72
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Worked on the bow some today, will try to post some pics tomorrow.
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