Making a foreshaft- arrow with a bone- tip for a West coast- style bow

About 20 years ago I´ve harvested a short sapling of juniper at the coast of Southern Toscana near the wonderful Elba Island. I’ ve made my first West Coast style juniper shortie of it.

I love these bows, even it is hard to find a fitting stave of juniper or yew, even they are delicious to tiller. Some of these trials broke, the others turned out to be long lasting and great shooters. Due to the shortness of these bows, they are not that effective in penetration, but shot with matching arrows and a drawlength of about 23″ usually at 40-50lbs they are fast and a highly mobile weapon. Juniper or yew backed with sinew( usually one layer is enough) is a killer- lam.

I prefer to shoot these bows with the traditional fore shaft arrows and bone- tips. The West Coast arrows were made of a main shaft of reed and bone- or stone- tips. The needed thick- walled reed doesn’ t grow in Europe, so I go for small bamboo. Cause of my great experiences with well- grown larch, I use larch as a fore- shaft.

Usually I cut the main- shaft as long as the bow’s drawlength.

The West Coast bow is definitely the bow of Ishi, whom nowadays bowyers are owing a lot. Go here and there for further Information.

V- splicing of the foreshaft into the bamboo- shaft
V- splicing of the foreshaft into the bamboo- shaft
Wrapping the joint for to get some pressure and a close fit
Wrapping the joint for to get some pressure and a close fit when glueing.
The hideglue is dry, the joint is wrapped with sinew- fibres and sanded.
The hideglue is dry, the joint is finally wrapped with sinew- fibres and sanded.
You need a bulls thighbone for the bone- tips, it is heavy- walled enough. I prefer to make bone- tips with hand tools only, I love the challenge and and the real slow progress and the smell. Thus it is a real work to be done outside. I use a handsaw, different kinds of rasps and sanding paper. It is great to look how the tip becomes more and more shining when doing the final sanding.
You need a bulls thighbone for the bone- tips, it is heavy- walled enough. I prefer to make bone- tips with hand tools only, I love the challenge, the real slow progress and the smell. Thus it is a real work to be done outside. I use a handsaw, different kinds of rasps and sanding paper. It is great to see the tips becoming more and more shining when doing the final sanding.
Bone tips are ready and sharpened with a file
Bone tips are ready and sharpened with a file
wc1993 inserting tips92013
Inserting the tips
Turkey- fletching is done with sinew- fibres and hideglue, bone- tips are glued and wrapped.
All you Need for to make a real traditional paint: earth- pigments, hot water hideglue.  Mix up the pigments with a little water( just brushable), add some drops of hideglue, keep it warm in a waterbath as long as you need it, otherwise it will dry soon.
All you Need for to make a real traditional paint: earth- pigments, hot water, hideglue.
Mix up the pigments with a little water( just brushable), add some drops of hideglue, keep it warm in a waterbath as long as you need it, otherwise it will dry soon.
The waterbath with the ready paint, it is water soluble. It has to be protected by applying some oil.
The waterbath with the ready paint, it is water soluble. It has to be protected by applying some oil.
The arrows and the handle of the bow- wrapped with red dyed linen and deer- hide tanned with fat.  The bow is 37" in length, it draws 18" at 40lbs. This set is a quite fast shooter.
The arrows and the handle of the bow- wrapped with red dyed linen and deer- hide tanned with fat.
The bow is 37″ in length, it draws 18″ at 40lbs. This set is a quite fast shooter.

The set is for sale, go to my German speaking blog: holzbogenxplosion

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