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Name: Steve Harville
Location: Indianapolis
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    Selfbows
    Making and shooting selfbows
    Note: Pictures are thumbnails, click them to see the details.
    Sunday, 21 August 2005

    The cow rawhide makes too big a string if I make it strong enough to keep from breaking. I had made one string from gut and it makes a small strong string. I looked at Jim Hamm's book and noticed that most of the Cherokee bows have gut strings. I found a sausage maker here in town who sells beef casings and I got 2 hanks. It's a lot of gut, about 30-40 yards per hank, about 1 1/2 inches diameter when filled with water. I soaked the salt out of them and split them using a "splitting horn" I made from a razor blade and some locust wood. I soaked them last night in a weak lye solution to get the fat inside them to liquefy, changing the solution several times. Soaked in clean water a couple of times this morning and started making strings. I made two with 6 strands, one with 8 strands and one with 7 strands. I hope the 6 strand will hold up to shooting. I will let them dry this week while I am out of town. I'll practice shooting and do some tuning the next week before the trip to Oklahoma.

    On the way back from picking up the casings I noticed a groundhog behind the house. I never knew there were groundhogs so close. I snuck back there to see if I could get a shot, but he ran down the hole. I sat next to a bush for a while waiting on him to come back up, but I was getting funny looks from people passing on the road so I gave up on him.

    Splitting Horn, kinda like the one in this article, it took some work and some adjustment to figure out how to use it.

     

    Test string made from 6 strands of narrow gut strips. I couldn't break it at 85 pounds. It's too short to try on the bow. The six strand ones I'm drying now were from wider strips of gut. This one fits my regular arrow nocks.

     6, 8, 6, 7 strand gut strings - you can see the fat squeezing out as the gut shrinks. The one on the left has been drying about 6 hours, the one on the right is about two hours old. 

    The bow all slicked up with bacon grease.  

    Steve Harville posted @ 12:50 - Link - comments



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