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Discussion Starter #1
A few months ago I built a red oak board bow backed with linen. I used a piece of poplar for a riser. Used TB2 to glue it on.

I've shot a few hudred shots out of it since completion, and have been really enjoying shooting my own bow. I shoot almost everyday.

Today I was out, and shot several arrows without issue. I left it strung to do a few things knowing I would get back to it in a bit. I got back to shoot a bit more, and when I started to draw it had a bad creeking noise. It doesn't appear to be damaged in any way.

The only thing I think I might be seeing is that the riser came loose a bit right where I cut out the arrow shelf, but it won't even catch my finger nail.

Anybody have any ideas? If it did come loose I could probably cut it off, and glue a new one on eventhough I don't wan't to. It feels solid just like it had before.
 

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Is there any way you can put the bow in a press and draw it? I am thinking that perhaps if you can distance your ear/s from the bow while it's being drawn maybe you can get a better vector on where the creaking is coming from. Also, could the linen backing be stretching due to the humidity and causing the creaking noise?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just don't know. I was thinking the humidity. The bow has been working fine up till now. I haven't tried to pull it to full draw. I let the string down, and let it sit for awhile. I came back some time later to try it again. At first it seemed OK. I only drew it back about 1/2 draw a couple times. Then the creeking came back. For obvious reasons I didn't draw it back to full draw. I was more concerned with bodily harm than anything else.

Now in years past I have shot compound bows that had that sound. I always thought it was something that moved. There isn't anything that really moves on a longbow.

I looked everything over the best I can, but just can't see any reason for the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I just strung the bow up and pulled it back several times. At first I thought the problem curred itself, but right before when I was going to stop drawing the noise came back.

It feels like it's in the riser. I moved my hand up and down the limbs while pulling on the string, and the feeling is strongest at the grip.
 

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I read somewhere that the glue that holds the backing on can crack and make a creaking noise. But I thought that happened when you fist pull it back
 

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Try waxing the string loops where they ride in the bow notches. They may be dry and the creeking is the rubbing sound. Let us know if this works. I am also thinking that this is a warning of wood seperation that can not be seen with the eye. I hope this is not the case!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, Thanks for the thought. I just tried that, and it started creeking again after several draws.

I tried holding the bow by the tips with the backing down and pulling. The noise is deffinately coming from the grip area. It doesn't seem to be delaminating. It's a solid red oak bow with the only thing glued on is the riser and backing. The backing around the grip area is quite thin width wise.
 

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Do you have a pic of the bow? From what you said about your handle separating, it sounds like that could be your problem. A glued on handle should be a non-bending area. Maybe yours is bending slightly, causing your separation, which will eventually lead to it completely popping off. It would be helpful to see a pic. How long (more importantly, how deep) is your handle? How long are your fades from handle to the limbs?

If the handle is the cause, then you already know the remedy for that. Take off the handle and remake it with one that's deeper. Or you could scrape off the linen from the back of your bow (handle area only!) and glue an overlay (short lamination) on the back to stiffen up the handle area. It might ruin the aesthetics a little, but it would add strength to the handle area while leaving your original hard work intact.
 

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hunt/fish365 said:
The noise is deffinately coming from the grip area. It doesn't seem to be delaminating.
It has to be delamination if your noise is indeed coming from the grip. Since the glued on handle is not a working part of the bow, the handle should never flex, and so should never make noise. Delamination is the only explanation. If it's not delaminating, then the handle can't be your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The handle is a foot long, and about 1.5" thick (not including the bow). It doesn't appear to flex at all. It's kinda weird, I can pull the bow back 5-6 times before the noise starts.

I'm thinking since I have more riser material I might just cut off the riser and make another one. Should only take an hour or two.

I would post a pic, but have camera to computer upload issues right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
As sad as it sounds I thought about spraying some on the riser/bow lamination to see if it made the sound stop. I can't really see what it would hurt? If the noise stopped I would know what it was then. I'm just afraid it will break where I cut out for the arrow shelf if I try to draw it to full draw. I would have thought something like this would have happened right away instead of a few hundred shots after completion.

I've been holding on to the extra riser material to make another bow for hunting. I would like another one a bit shorter with a heavier draw.
 

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This sure is a stumper! I don't know what to suggest other than be careful with that thing and wear some eye protection. One last thing, have you thought of taking it to a bow shop or maybe contacting Bob Hildebrand who is a member of this board and a very knowledgable bowyer.
 

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hunt/fish365 said:
I would have thought something like this would have happened right away instead of a few hundred shots after completion.
Selfbows have a habit of being unpredictable. And so the saying goes... "If ya ain't brakin, ya ain't makin"

If you want to, you can have some fun and build another. I just finished a red oak pyramid style selfbow backed with linen. 72" tip to tip and 40# @ 28". But.... that was my 2nd attempt at a pyramid style. The first one had too many runoffs, so I backed it with a thin strip of (you guessed it) more red oak. I couldn't find hickory. I read that a strip of wood backing should only be 1/8" but all I could find was 1/4". So...I had the wrong wood with the wrong thickness. I used it anyway
. Stupid me. I had it pulling 24", but after that it exploded into 5 pieces. I still don't think all of it landed yet.
 

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i wonder did you taper the board into the handle at the fades? if not it may very well pop off. when gluing a handle onto the belly of a bow your taper at the fades should taper up slightly to match handle...or...you can glue in a power lam..between back and belly to relieve stress on the glue joint. also urac is a much better wood to wood glue for bows....if your handle pop's off , don't despair it can be fixed..but unless you remedy the problem, it may come off again.
 
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