Center Shot "Cyclop" Self Bow 3
Center Shot "Cyclop" Self Bow

Hi guys!

I’ve decided to create a series of posts discussing my most exciting projects. As I’m making them for a sixth year now, there are many that in my opinion deserve attention. I’m gonna start with my latest build – center shot style black locust bow.

These, who follow my work for a while now, know for sure that I love challenging and unusual projects. They are results either of full of character wood or extraordinary designs. Today I’m gonna discuss the stick belonging to the first group.

Its story has begun with splitting a load of black locust logs. This species often comes with many knots, twists and snaky grain - it’s the material full of surprises. Processing one of these pieces into staves, on one of them I noticed a huge knot right in the middle. Right away, I knew what 18 months later I’m gonna do with this piece. It had to be a center shot.

Hollowing knots is one of the ways to deal with these wood imperfections. It takes some skills to secure such spots properly, but it can be done. The knot, on this particular stave, didn’t require much work, as it was soft and quite empty. I placed it right above the handle and slightly dislocated the middle of a bow towards it. I laid out a wide-limbed (over 2”) flat bow design on that 70” long stave.

Besides the huge knot, the stave was offering high reflexes on both limbs – especially on the upper one. To be honest, these were tougher nuts to crack than the empty hole inside the weapon. All because of their impact on the bending profile and the whole tillering process. Despite all these challenges, I managed to make the stick bend decently and work properly. I ended up with 30lb at 28”.

What’s interesting, the bow took no set at all. Considering black locust properties in terms of bow making and significant reflex of the stave, it’s quite an accomplish.  I haven’t applied any heat treatment on this stick, only a few steamed bends to line up string alignment. I am pleased with the final result. The look of the black locust wood combined with extraordinary character is just mesmerizing. As a bowyer and traditional craftsman, I love to expose the beauty of nature in my works, just like in this unusual self bow.

I have a habit to name my bows. They usually refer to the character or the specific features of the particular weapon. After finishing this one, it didn’t take me long to come up with the name for this one. I think „Cyclop” is a perfect match for this single-eyed beast.

I have to admit that releasing a few first arrows from this bow, my aim was way off. All the bullets were going far to the right. It was the effect of being used to regular no-shelf bows and overcoming the „archer paradox”. Nevertheless, it’s a great fun to wield and use this unique piece of wood. For sure a memorable project!


See the complete footage from building and shooting this bow here:


Have you ever before seen a bow like this? Tell me in the comments!

Thank you for reading, all the best guys!



Post comments (3)

10 November 2022

Truly amazing work .. no offense but you have crazy skills to be so young lol

14 November 2022

I've often wondered about a bow on this design back when we were shooting dimes year's ago.glad to run up on another dreamer who thought a Bear made bow was all there was.ill bet it had shooting problems.

29 January 2023

Is the bow with the hole available, if so interest. Rich Tiberio

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