Draw knife for bow making

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Jan 8, 2013
1
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Ilkley
I have made a few bows in the past using "modern" tools. However, I would like to try and go more traditional and use a draw knife and spokeshave. Can anyone give me advice as to the size of draw knife I need, and any other useful information. The wood I'll be using will be ash. Thanks in advance.
 
Hi emoryi

Like you, I've just started making bows in ash - loads of fun.
Being a devout cheapskate, I made a quick and dirty drawknife using OFD tool steel (Old File from Dump :) )
9" blade seems to work ok, handles in the plane of the blade, cranked back about 30 deg. Ok, so it's a copy of the Gransfors design ;)
Other than the drawknife, I just used wedges to split the stave, carving axe to rough out the shape, old Stanley spokeshave, knife as a scraper, and chainsaw file to cut the nocks.
I'll post up a picture later when I can get on my home pc.
 
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Just a suggestion, if you want to get the best out of your draw knife, spending a little time making a shave horse makes their use SO much easier. An eg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ga5uFmQ4CQ or plans at http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/how-make-shaving-horse. They don't require too much effort to make but you'll really appreciate it when you come to use the tool.

+1 on the shave horse - also have a look for "Champion the Lumber Horse"

This is the quick & dirty drawknife (excuse cr@ppy mobile phone pics):

Drawknife_1.jpg


Drawknife_2.jpg
 

Everything Mac

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 30, 2009
3,106
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34
Scotland
I'm half way through forging a draw knife for this sort of thing. I just made it fairly short with a 6" or so blade, but longer would be more versatile.

All the best

andy
 
You can ruin a bow pretty quickly with a draw knife after a certain point.

My preferred tool is a Bellotta farrier rasp. That may just be me though.

Yes, indeedy :D I managed to restrain my drawkniving enthusiasm and switch to the spokeshave and then the scraper at about the right point.
I could maybe have done with switching earlier, but you live and (hopefully) learn.
Next bow will be shorter and wider.
 

dwardo

Maker
Aug 30, 2006
6,286
289
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Nr Chester
Yes, indeedy :D I managed to restrain my drawkniving enthusiasm and switch to the spokeshave and then the scraper at about the right point.
I could maybe have done with switching earlier, but you live and (hopefully) learn.
Next bow will be shorter and wider.

I have to have a word with my self and hide my draw knife on a regular basis. Never got on with spoke shaves but a cabinet scraper is a stunning tool.
 

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