More Bow Making

I’ve been working on this bow for about 6 to 8 hours during the past two days.  Its really freakin cold outside so I didn’t feel like working outside, which would make cleaning up sawdust a lot easier and the only room in the house that my mom would let me use was the laundry room and I had to put up sheets all over the place to keep sawdust from getting all over my parents’ stuff.  Note to self, don’t have nice things so that you’re always worried about them getting dirty or broken.  Anyway, I’m in the process of tillering, which is removing wood from the belly of the bow so that the limbs bend evenly and uniformly while maintaining the right draw weight.  The draw weight is how much force it takes to pull the bow string a certain length.  Tomorrow I should get the tillering finished and then all thats left is to sand it all smooth and then put a bunch of coats of oil on it to protect it.  Then I can start shooting stuff, yay.

This is a picture of the bow on a tillering stick.  A tillering stick is just a piece of wood with slots cut in the side so that the bow can be drawn progressively farther and the string can be put in the slot so you can step back and look at it.  You start out not bending the bow much and then make sure that each limb bends evenly and then make sure that both limbs are bending the same amount and take off more wood from the belly of the bow to make it bend right.  Then you draw the bow a little further and stick the string in the next slot down and do the same thing over and over until you get to the last slot and then you’re done.  This is a very long and tedious process of putting the bow in the tillering stick, looking at it, marking areas of wood that need to be removed, then taking it off the stick, putting it in a vice and then rasping away some wood then back on the stick, and repeat and repeat.  Putting the tillering stick on a floor scale will tell show the draw weight as you push the string down.

This is looking down the tillering stick at the floor scale.

This shows the slot in the top of the tillering stick where the bow handle rests.

Setting the tillering stick on a tile floor can help make it easier to see if the limbs are bending evenly.  Just line it up with the grid of tiles and its pretty easy to see any differences in bending.

Working on this the past couple of days has been pretty fun, and has been a good bit of work.  I’m kinda tired and hungry now, so I’m gonna go rest and then have dinner.  If you have any questions or comments, let me know, please.  I keep asking people to comment on my blog posts and nobody does.  I can see the statistics of how many people are checking it out and reading stuff, so I know you’re reading this, so tell me what you think.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Richard on February 26, 2011 at 3:46 am

    I just happened upon your blog today. Are you still looking for someplace to go before you get to the possibility alliance? I am garden manager ate East Wind Community in the Ozarks of southern Missouri, and I could guest you for a bit if you wanted to come visit here. I am bringing more elements of permaculture design into the gardens here, and always love meeting others interested in such things. My email is



    • Posted by dantruesdale on February 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm


      Thank you for checking out my blog and for contacting me. I have some things to take care of, including selling my car, and I have other plans for my time in the next month and it would be difficult to try to fit in a visit to East Wind before I go to the Possibility Alliance. I hope things go well for you with your gardening and implementation of Permaculture at East Wind. Keep up the good work. Feel free to tell others about my blog.

      Thanks again,


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