Tuesday, 14 July 2015


I've never got round to making a Mollegabet bow and to be honest I'm a bit dubious of the concept which concentrates the stress and bend onto a short working limb, with the outer limb being a light stiff lever.
Do the light outer limbs make up for the extra stress and bend? Some people say the levers give extra movement at the tips, but I don't see how they can give more movement than the same length of limb that actually bends a bit.

Anyhow having finished the last bow and getting ready to lay some flooring next weekend I wanted a quick fun project.
One advantage of having accumulated loads of odds and ends of timber over the years is that I can usually find something for a quick try out experiment. I have some cherry that was cut from standing almost dead a good few years back.(2010)
There was bug damage in the outer wood but it had been planked up to a suitable size.
because of the bug damage I laid the bow out with the central pith on the back of the bow (see middle pic). Now that and the fact that Cherry can be a bit brittle made me decide to back it,...but with what?
Ash, Hickory, Hazel, Rawhide are all candidates, but I found a piece of Yew that I'd sawn off a stave that had very thick sapwood. It still had the bark on and was probably too short for a longbow.
Perfect, both the Yew and the Cherry work easily and quickly with with drawknife and spokeshave. They are both very light woods and hopefully well matched. I do have Bamboo, but felt that was probably much to strong in tension for the Cherry.

The cherry was first cut to shape on the bandsaw. I had it all done in about an hour or so and I've got it glued up this afternoon. It was quiet at work, so I took the afternoon off... I can't abide enforced idleness and the components I'd ordered hadn't been delivered yet.

I strapped it up and then tied it down to a length of 2x2 back side down with a small block under the grip just to hold it straight /slightly reflexed while gluing. (The Cherry had a slight deflex as it was worked down).

The bow may well explode as I'm planning on pushing it hard to see how it performs. I'm aiming for 40-50# at about 24" draw. I'm going for a short draw to get a more aerodynamic arrow length for flight shooting. It should be interesting to see what it does.

1 comment:

  1. Cool stuff, I'll follow closely. I haven't made a mollegabet type bow yet, either. It always seems to me the bending limb portion should have a taper. Then, I' don't know what the fades should ideally look like. At the grip, usually don't care much and make them as I think is pretty. But out in the limbs? So I make them as seamless as possible. Just constantly decreasing the bend as I figure this must be light. For aesthetic reasons I do the same on the inner fades.
    So I twice ended up with a paddlebow with elongatet tips. And then ruined them by bracing prematurely.
    Good luck on this one. Cherry's often quite soft, but nicely elastic. I'm not very familiar with yew sap, seems kind of waxy sometimes.