Black Locust, Mohegan (No. 60) and Algonkin (No.61)

I’ve got a nice BL stave from my good friend Marc to make him a short recurve. The stave is about 1½” thick and 1¼” wide, clean free of knots and with a nice relative even reflex. Some sap layers are on and has a really nice color. Length is 66”.

As Marc is now 78 years old he wants a bow 30-40#. This made me think over not to waste that good wood. That stave has two bows in it. I split it from the middle outwards to the tips. Everything went o.k. , I just lost one or two rings for the split.

Next step chasing ring on the belly split and working down the back split to the fat ring. I will leave the sap on because the nice look.

Now look what I’ve got! The back split is upwards the belly split downwards.

Why the hell has the back split more reflex than the belly split? Because of the sap? Is sap more tension strong than heart wood? I’ve read the opposite.

Here are two pics of the cleaned staves

And here already the back split with evened out reflex (heatgun), and the belly split cut to 52” and steamed in recurves. I will try to make a Mohegan recurve for Marc and a Algonkin  bow from the back split. (Source will be ‘Encyclopedia of american native bows, arrows and quivers’ from Hamm / Allely).

Here is Marc’s mohegan
it’s about 40#, measurements follows exact Hamm/Allely encyclopedia

The Mohegan was tillered out with a rectangular crossection near to f/d. Then I did the beveled edges and lost about 5 or 6 pounds, but I had enough to play with.

Here is my attempt on an Algonkian bow, follows again the measurements in the encyclopedia. Haven’t weighed it, but is about 50#. I expected shocky, but isn’t. The unbraced profile has good reflex, got nearly no set. I like the look of the sap and the strips in it.
Instead of incised (original) on the back below the nocks I did a painting. I had the knife already in the hands  –  but really couldn’t do on the back.
The incised turtle marks the handle position.


1 Comment

Love your work. I made this one from the book too and did get a it of hand shock. – not a deal breaker and like you it took no set even though I was using ask and didn’t even heat treat the belly. Great fun..

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