[Horsebow] Interesting research article on Asian composite warbows

Dorset Lass

New member
Ironman
Very interesting! Thanks for posting. In 'Korean Traditional Archery' by Thomas Duvernay (highly recommended if you haven't read it), he points out that the bow was used as the primary weapon of the Korean army right up until 1894 and gives the reasons for this. This ties in well with the discussion in the research paper here. Really fascinating stuff...

I also particularly like the photo of the Manchu archer at draw because it shows well that he is canting the bow towards his thumb. At first this might seem as though it is the 'wrong' way but I now understand that with a thumb loose this is a desirable element of form (but that is another topic!)
 


Yew Selfbow

Active member
Nice find Bob .... thanks for posting it up .... it would be interisting to have the authors definition of "complex machines"
 


Big T

New member
A complex machine is a combination of simple machines grouped together to perform one purpose. The 5 simple machines are: Lever, Pulley, Inclined plane, Screw, Wheel and Axel.

I would disagree with the statement that a bow is a complex machine. Except a compound bow. I would say that bows fulfill the defination of a simple machine as they use a single applied force (pulling back string) to do work against a single load force (arrow, then target).
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Edit.

Although having thunk about it, the bow does store energy (however briefly) so that may be why the author classified it as a complex machine...
 


payneib

Supporter
Supporter
I was wondering about that myself, I thought it could be that he classes it as two levers working together, joined in the middle?

A very interesting read!
 


Dr.Bob

New member
You're welcome all, I've been reading the arXiv blog a lot longer than I've been flinging pointy things around (bit of a techie-geek in some ways. ok, massive techie geek, the 'Dr' bit isn't a nickname, there's an actual thesis with my name on it gathering dust and going yellow in an unused basement in a university library somewhere :) ), and it's the first time I've ever seen archery appear there so I thought I'd share it, especially as it was a pretty good bit of work too, I figured you trad lot would like it.

Dorset Lass - nope, haven't read it, I'm sure it's good though, he definitely knows his stuff, it's because of Mr Duvenay and his youtube channel that I now own a Korean trad-ish horsebow (a Kaya 40#), it was his videos where I first came across the Korean style bow. One of his Hwarangs would be lovely, it'd be very nice to have a bamboo bendy stick to go with the bamboo pointy sticks I've just made (also the first arrows I've made ever) but they're a bit pricey for me, my other bow is NOT a Border ;) a book I can stretch to though.

I've been wondering about the 'complex machine' bit too, can't think of anything that works without getting deeply pedantic, and that includes the boomerang but not the lever, they are after all, both examples of the implement known technically as "A stick" :) Them lot down under didn't half complicate the technological history of the species by skipping over the entire 'wheel' stage and going straight for 'wing' instead.

I disagree about the compound bow vs other bows distinction, given that the trad horsebow essentially gets it's performance by the same principle as a modern "two wheels and three strings" compound bow does, most of the bend is in one short part of limb (near the middle) and the rest of the limb stays pretty much the same shape all the way to full draw, ie it acts as a lever and not a spring, and thus it 'compounds' the effect of the bendy bit by virtue of being stuck out on the end, modern 2&3 compounds just use a pulley system instead of straight levers to get the same effect, apart from that they're no different IYAM, take a look at the shape of the string at full draw (the string with an arrow stuck to it, that is :p training wheels :p) on a modern compund bow and a trad 'horse-bow' type, they're persuasively similar.
 


Dr.Bob

New member
A bow is definitely NOT a 'simple' machine by any definition you like though. Proof: Step 1 - Lever up the lid on a tin of paint with a screwdriver. Push the lid back down. Repeat 99 times. Step 2 - Pick up a bow and a big pile of arrows, and shoot 100 golds in a row :)
 


Big T

New member
.
I disagree about the compound bow vs other bows distinction, given that the trad horsebow essentially gets it's performance by the same principle as a modern "two wheels and three strings" compound bow does, most of the bend is in one short part of limb (near the middle) and the rest of the limb stays pretty much the same shape all the way to full draw, ie it acts as a lever and not a spring, and thus it 'compounds' the effect of the bendy bit by virtue of being stuck out on the end, modern 2&3 compounds just use a pulley system instead of straight levers to get the same effect, apart from that they're no different IYAM, take a look at the shape of the string at full draw (the string with an arrow stuck to it, that is :p training wheels :p) on a modern compund bow and a trad 'horse-bow' type, they're persuasively similar.

In my mind the jury is still out on whether a trad bow is a complex machine or not although I kinda get where your coming from with limb shape.

Its just that a compound bow is very clearly a complex machine. It uses bothe pulleys and levers to achieve the aim (however accurate that may be ;-) ) therefore its a complex machine, no matter that it achieves the same thing as a horse bow or any other sort of bow, whether they look similiar or the forces controlled and directed are the same.
 


Dr.Bob

New member
I'd thought we'd already agreed that the previous jury still hadn't come back in yet on what a 'complex machine' is at all, never mind if any particular machine is complex or not? To misquote a famous mathematician, deciding if something is simple or not can be a pretty complex problem sometimes :)
 


Big T

New member
Not really, the definition of a complex machine is (for the want of a better word) quite clearly defined. It was how the author defined a trad horsebow as a complex machine that the jury was out on.
 


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