I am a woodworker and an archer and wish to make a long bow. I have a
quantity of Yew wood but cannot get enough clear wood out of it without
laminating. I am cutting laminates 3ft6in long by 2" by 1/4" Then
thicknessing them down to 3/16th. I will glue these lamination together
to make two 42x2x11/2 staves. These I will join together with a finger
joint and another lamination for strength. Question is What glue do I use?
I have been told Cascamite but am unsure.
Thanks for any help.
I've never used Yew wood, but unless it is particularly oily, I'd use
Franklin Titebond II or Titebond III. If the wood is oily enough that
adhesion may be a problem with water based glues, I'd use a
polyurethane glue such as Gorilla Glue or Elmer's Pro-Bond.
"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do
nothing." - Edmund Burke
get here is from the perspective of folks that build wooden things
like boxes, cabinets, furniture that does not experience much flexing
of the wood. An answer that would make a strong table or chair may
break up or fatigue under the flexing of a bow.
Wooden airplanes experience flexing, and are generally glued with
epoxies. But I don't know if that is because of flexibility or other
Check with a couple of manufacturers who carry a wide range of glue
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
The issue with airplanes isn't really flexibility. If there is *that* much
flexing in an airplane, you've got a real problem. The two issues we face in
building wood airplanes (on top of overall strength, creep, etc) are
resistance to long term exposure to moisture and resistance to
failure/weakening due to heat. Epoxy doesn't have any problems with
moisture, but you'll notice that many wooden (and composite) aircraft are
painted white to minimize heat gain in sunlight.
Some glues that are widely used in aviation in the US are resourcinol,
weldwood, and epoxy, with T-88 epoxy being a favorite. Some people are using
the polyurethane glues, but the aviation community is slow to adopt new
You can't make a longbow by laminating. You can make a "long bow" that
way, but not a true longbow (cut on the boundary between yew heartwood
I'd suggest you find some green riven ash (not sawn) and make some bows
from that. When you've a bit of experience with that, try yew. Ash is
cheap, easy and plentiful, yew isn't. Most yew bows just aren't much
good - unless you really know what you're doing with it, it's hard to
get anything moderately useful from it.
If you have to laminate, then (almost) anything will do it. Technique is
more important than glue material. Hide works, although there are
traditional additives to make it more flexible and rabbit skin is
probably better. PVA (inc Titebond) works too. About the only glue that
doesn't work is PU. You need to bind the lams _very_ tightly when the
glue is curing - either vac bag them, or bind tightly with wrapped
string and tight knots.
Epoxy is used and appears popular, but that's mainly with people who are
making crazy drawweight compound bows.
Try this site, and check out their message boards. I've purchased a dozen or so
issues over the
years. Good magazine. Hunt up a Bois d'Arc (aka horse apple, osage orange,
Actually, quite a few woods will work.
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