Osage snaky flat 59#/28″ (No.138)

The stave was clean and has some nice snaky curves, it needed some heat corrections to come along. Cross section is a rounded rectangle.

The back is painted, a how to is here.

Tip overlays are buffalo. The effect on the leather handle is from a pressed in pattern in the wet leather.

dw/dl: 59#/28”

ntn: 63½”

bh: 5”

max. w.: 1¼ “

reflexn: 3”

mass: 556 gram


08”: 07,4

10”: 14,6 (+7,2)

12”: 20,9 (+6,3)

14”: 26,1 (+5,2)

16”: 30,6 (+4,5)

18”: 35,0 (+4,4)

20”: 39,6 (+4,6)

22”: 44,3 (+4,7)

24”: 49,1 (+4,8)

26”: 54,0 (+4,9)

28”: 59,0 (+5,0)


Really beautiful bow Simon. I’ve got to try that camo effect. It looks amazing!

Maybe you could do a “how to” on pressing leather. That handle is very cool!

I hope you don’t mind me asking, how do you come across so many quality characterful osage staves? Do you import them from the US?

Great to see you back posting bows again by the way. Missed your inspiring content!

Regards from the UK.

Hi Mark,
thanks for your comment!
regarding the handle: look for a textured piece of metal or plastic or anything else hard enough, cut it to desired size, wet the leather for 30 min, lay on your stamp piece and press all in a vice or clamp, wait til dry, now wipe on some dye and wipe of immediatly – the dye will stay in valleys. That’s all.
Osage: Many years ago I have imported from US, nowadays it is too expensive. Another source (cheaper) is Hungary.
I have a pile of staves in my garage, many different woods – enough for the rest of my life …
Regards from Bavaria.

I an constantly amazed with how much reflex you manage to retain in the final bow profile!!

Could you tell us how much reflex this bow started with when you began to tiller it? Did you happen to add any (via heat treatment or simple heat, etc.) during or even at the end of tillering? Or was it all added pre-tiller??

I usually try to heat in about 3-4”, sometimes 5” of reflex…sweeping out toward the outer limb and tips…but I just cannot seem to retain more than 1/2” – 1” at the very most!

I feel as though a lot of times the majority of the induced reflex will simply pull out (as opposed to set), and then some of the induced reflex will come out due to set…but overall I just cannot come anywhere close to keeping as much as you do!!

Obviously I fully admit I am not near your level of bowyering skill…but my bows and my tillering have really improved over the last 10-15 bows. My last 5 or 6 bows finished with 1/2” to 1” of set, with an average of about 5/8”. Of course I only added about 2” of reflex for those last 5 or 6 bows, so my finished bow profiles ended at 1/2” – 1” of reflex. Maybe I would have retained the 3”+ like you on those…but I HIGHLY doubt it!!

Tim, thanks for your note.
You are not the first with those questions, folks frequently are asking how I do it.
Well, I will write a little article about that, but need a bit of time to do.
So I would like to ask for a little patience. I promise, I do when I have a little more time.
For your bows: When you could manage to finish with less than 1.5″, you have done a very good job.
One tip: make sure the moisture is about 7-8%.

Thanks for the response, and I look forward to any articles of yours!

I think a lot of people/bowyers have asked you about the reflex issue because sooooo many of your bows retain soooo much MORE reflex than the better self bows out there! It is just the fact that you are able to do it with such amazing regularity that blows me, and I assume others, away!

I’m working on an Osage flatbow with this bow’s exact profile (well, I’m STARTING with your bow’s FINAL profile!!). Would you say this bow is a fast bow? I know that sometimes you say in your write-ups whether or not the bow is fast…but you did not say anything about this one. It LOOKs like it would be a speedy shooter, based on the thin width & the 3 inches of reflex!!

Hi Tim,
I would say this is a good bow, above average. But it is not a speed demon.
This is my personal impression when shooting, I do not own a chronometer.

Good luck with your bow, don’t try the first bends (floortiller) until you are really very accurate. A loss of 1 to 1.5 inches due to tiller and shooting in would be a very good value.

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