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Quick side $ for luthiers?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by VaantCustom, Mar 9, 2006.


  1. VaantCustom

    VaantCustom

    Feb 5, 2006
    Canada
    I ran into this guy a couple of times on ebay while searching w/ "blank" in the keywords. He makes these simple bow blanks; One kind of wood for the bow part, w/ a hickory backing, and another piece of wood for the handle.
    They all get bid on, sometimes $40 or more.
    Here's one of his auctions.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/MassBrazilCherr...ryZ20840QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    I just thought it might interest some of you, especially if you're in school and need $ or something, cuz if you can build a guitar, well..... I made 1 yesterday from hickory w/ a lignum handle in 15 mins.

    BTW use PU glue.
     
  2. Skorzen

    Skorzen

    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    once upon a time when I was younger I made a few bows, and I just wanted to mention that as in musical instruments, grain orientation can be critically important.
     
  3. Hookus

    Hookus

    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I have built bows, and it is not as simple as ripping a board and gluing it up. You really need just the right piece of wood. Ever wonder why people are buying them instead of making them? If they can tiller a bow, they most assuredly can rip a blank. Finding the right wood, on the other hand...
     
  4. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    ::looks at his title, below the username::
     
  5. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    being an archery myself, I find this kinda coo. It'd be a fun project to buy one of these, shape the handle, give it a finish, and use it as a long bow. I wonder how many pounds it is, and if it loses poundage over the years...

    Greg
     
  6. yes, it might take more than 15 or so minutes... but if it takes less than an hour and a half, in my opinion, it would make enough money for me to make them...

    but seeing as i have little to no experiance in this area anywho... my opinion isnt really vallid
     
  7. VaantCustom

    VaantCustom

    Feb 5, 2006
    Canada
    I thought it might be that easy to make the blanks fast and sell them, but from what the guys earlier were saying, it apparently isnt that easy.

    But...............if anyone has any other ideas how we can spend 8 hrs a day in our garages woodworking, and still pay the mortgage, please share.

    I'm a UPS driver. I leave at 7:00 and get home average 8:00.
    And, I'm married. This leaves me about 5-6 hrs to work on my projects a week. I'm on vacation this week, and I'm in heaven. I don't want to leave the garage!!
     
  8. barthanatos

    barthanatos Insert witty comment here

    Feb 8, 2006
    South Carolina
    I don't see the problem. You're at work, what... less than an hour a day?

    Psshht.
     
  9. VaantCustom

    VaantCustom

    Feb 5, 2006
    Canada
    BTW, about that blank I made, I sucessfully glued lignum vitae to hickory w/ gorilla glue. Solid. I love gorilla glue
     
  10. Hookus

    Hookus

    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Builting bows is an art, just like guitars. Just like selecting wood for a neck or body, you must be equally selective in bows woods, in order to build a viable, and more importatly, safe, bow. I have seen bows blow up at full draw, and I don't think you would want to experience a top limb coming back at you under 40 to 60 pounds of draw weight. This is exactly what will happen if you choose poor wood. Most self-bows follow growth rings as well, which means you don't hammer one out on a bandsaw, you do it with a scraper and drawknife. The only bow blanks I would buy, would be about 2"x2" or bigger, then I would rough them out based on the wood grain, which would also need to be straight. The idea being to avoid a run-up, or area where grain terminates on the back (which is actually the front) of the bow.

    Bow building is awesome, and a well-tillerred bow will lose very little weight over time, and in fact will gain a little as it ages. Properly finished, it could last a lifetime. To take an animal with a bow you made with your hands is certainly a primal experience.
     
  11. VaantCustom

    VaantCustom

    Feb 5, 2006
    Canada
    Woah.
    Then I guess the guys' stuff is a bargain.
    I'll make pen blanks from my scraps. Thanks Hookus, if I attempt a serious bow, I'de like to contact you if you dont mind.

    More pertinent info tho: (can be related to guitars)
    Eventually as I was bending the bow blank, the lignum vitae tore away from the hickory, but took most of the hickory with it!!
    Both hard to glue woods, especially the lignum. GORILLA GLUE is the BEST. Don't buy Titebond PU glue!!!!!! I had serious problems w/ this, and so have many others. Titebond wood glue is awesome, but their PU glue is terrible.
     
  12. Hookus

    Hookus

    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I would not recommend PU glu for bows anyway, stick to yellow.

    Contact me anytime, I can recommend many books and some web resources to anyone interested.
     
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I used to be into archery a bit, and my father and uncle were really into it- my father was very good, and my uncle won many state and national tourneys. I have my dad's old Black Widow bow...it really is a work of art, and I'd never want to draw on a bow that was just tossed together. I even get a bit nervous drawing on my takedown recurve sometimes because of the separated joints.

    As far as a quick, cheap way for luthiers to make money, you can make playing ramps for basses. Everyone's always asking where they can get them, as few luthiers make them and none really advertise that they do.
     
  14. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah, enjoy it while you can, as I'm working on making them obsolote :smug: :p
     
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Don't see how that's possible.....
     
  16. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I've been trying some different "ramp" designs: simply a small piece of clear plastic sheet arching over the top of the p-ups. Bent in a slight u shape at the side of the p-ups (for a thumb-rest) and held in place by the p-ups' screws. Simple, cheap and easily reversible; also lets the wood underneath be seen.
    Still trying to find the right plastic, though. This kind which the cd cases are made of look promising, I jsut can't figure out where to get them and how to bend them properly.
    Patented* :p

    * Just kidding. Anyone, feel free to use this idea
     
  17. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Interesting idea. You'd have to find a plastic that you could mold to properly radius the ramp, but still be stiff enough not to bend under finger pressure. Would you adjust the height of the ramp by adjusting the pickup screws? Good luck!
     
  18. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Well, this "ramp" would just be resting over the whole width and breadth of the p-ups, on top of them, so I don't think much height-adjustment would be necessary. Don't have pictures of it right now, as the prototype was not stiff enough, and I didn't find anything suitable then at home, and later some other things took over ... but it still lurks in the back of my mind among many other things.
     
  19. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
    *cough* fiberglass *cough*
     
  20. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah, something like that, but right now I was ill and had to stay at home, so I only had material that could be readily found.
    I'll keep you updated when I make some progress with this (that might take a while, there's lot of stuff to do...)