Marc's Bows and Arrows

Selfbows

   This page deals with self-bows.  By definition a self-bow is a bow that is made from a single piece of wood called a stave or from 2 pieces of wood, called billets, joined at the handle by a splice.  From this stave or spliced billets a bow is made by tillering the limbs out and then shaping a handle.  The handle can have an arrow shelf to support the arrow or it can be made to shoot off the hand.  A self-bow can also be made as a D style bow.  The definition of a D bow is one that has no defined handle but bends through the handle, an example of this would be most North American native bows and English longbows or warbows.  This is how a D bow gets its label as its braced and drawn shape is that of a D. To be a self-bow the bow must not have a backing, this would mean a hard backing such as a thin strip of wood or soft backing such as rawhide or sinew.  Such bows are called simple composite or backed bows and another part of my site deals with those.  Generally speaking a backing such as snakeskin or fish-skin does not make a self-bow a simple composite as its purpose is decorative only.
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    Below are images of many of the different styles of selfbows that I make along with a brief description of said bows.  At the end of the description is a base price that such a bow would cost you, shipping in all cases is extra.
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    This first bow is the simplest that can be made and I have made and sold many these to parents wanting to get their young kids started in archery.  These bows are made of hardwoods and are of a very low draw weight suitable for children of between 6 and 10 years of age.  Draw weight for these run from 10# to 20# and they come with a quiver and 3 target arrows.  Please e-mail me for prices and availability.
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   This next bow is the next step up for young people wanting to get into archery.  Once again these bows are made of durable hardwoods such, as White Ash, Ironwood and Elm.  These bows are of a slightly heavier draw weight and made for a longer draw length.  These bows are suitable for kids of 10 years of age up to 16 years old.  Draw weight for these run from 20# to 30# and these also come with a quiver and 3 target arrows.  Please e-mail me for prices and availability.
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    Moving on we have adult bows suitable for target or hunting large game.  This next bow is a D bow, meaning the bow bends throughout its entire length taking the shape of a D.  The bow pictured is made from Elm and is representative of what the natives on the North East would have used several centuries ago.  I made this bow for our local Algonquin chief, Clifford Bastien Jr, several years ago and decorated it very much the same as a historical bow in a museum.  The bows was heat-treated and of a heavy draw weight.  Please e-mail me for prices and availability.
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    The next line of bows are called flatbows.  These have straight, wide limbs, with a stiff handle.  The bow pictured below is made of HHB and is in the possession of a man in KY.  It was heat-treated and the handle shaped so that the arrow pass is nearly centered on the bow.  This bow performed very well with a high draw weight and suitable for hunting any game in North America.  Please e-mail me for prices and availability.
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     Moving on we come to the bow I am more widely known for, the recurve.  The first line of recurve is the straight handled static recurve.  These bows are heat-treated with several inches of reflex added to the bow.  They have very high performance and will shoot an arrow as hard as flat-bow of at least 10# heavier draw weight.  The bow shown  was called White Lightning and was made for a guy in AR, it pulled just under 60# @ 27".  The performance of this bow was such that it shot a 550 grain arrow at more than 190 FPS.  Please e-mail me for prices and availability.
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    Next is the Reflex Deflex selfbow.  These bows are usually made from spliced billets glued together and then heat-treated with the limbs shaped with dry heat.   These bows are fast, easy to use and make great hunting tools.  The bow pictured was made for a young man in Pembroke.  Please e-mail me for prices and availability.
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    This next bow in the self-bow line is a deflexed static recurve.  These bows are also made from billets glued together.  The recurves are steam bent and the reflexed limbs done with dry heat when heat-treated.  These bows are fast and great shooters and can be made shorter than a straight handle recurve.  Please e-mail me for prices and availability
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       This last bow in the self-bow line is the traditional English longbow.  These bows can be made out of any decent bow-wood but are best made with top grade wood with Yew being the best of these.  They are classified as D bows and typically made to have a deep D section, hence the need for top grade wood.  They generally are made with Horn nocks but these are not necessary especially with bows of a lower draw weight or bows made out of hardwood.  These are the bows of the Robin Hood movies but they are also the bow used by the English in their many war campaigns before the invention of firearms.  The bow pictured below is made out of Yew, has Horn nocks and has a very high draw weight.  Bows like this one pictured sell for $900 but can be made for considerably less money when made out different types of wood.


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     This area is to show bows I have recently completed, in this case self-bows.  These are bows I have made for customers, bows I have made as the basis for an article for the Primitive Archer Magazine or simply bows I wanted to make.
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     This bow is one I made recently to test the working properties of some Elm I recently cut.  The bow is 65" long with 1 5/8" wide limbs that taper to 3/8" wide nocks.  It pulls 55# @ 28" and with a couple of inches of reflex is a fine performer.




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    This is a bow I recently made for a guy in Pennsylvania.  The fellow wanted a native style bow representative of natives that inhabited his area.  I chose the Lenape (Delaware) to copy.  All of the known Lenape bows situated in Museums were relatively short which would not do for his 30" draw length so I made the bow a bit longer.  Besides this the bow is a close copy of a bow in the Museum of Natural History.  The bow is 65" long and 1 1/4" wide tapering to 1" in width at the tips.  The nocks are typical for Lenape bows.





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    If you have questions or are interested in buying a self-bow that I may have in stock or in ordering a custom made bow then you can contact me here: marc@ironwoodbowyer.com
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