What is a bow for?

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ChakaZulu

New member
There have been a couple of posts recently on the trad forum that raise the question of what a bow's purpose is.

Is it all about getting the most powerful, accurate bow necessarily, or is there more to it? If elaborately carved horn nocks reduce efficiency then should we avoid them? If a particularly pretty wood is not as good as a plainer one then which would you use? If you find a warped piece of wood do you try to make a 'character' bow or just move on to a nice straight one?

Obviously everyone will have their own views. Let's have them!
 

dusty

New member
A bow to me is to be enjoyed be it a top of the range or a bent stick I own or have made both.
I find I get just as much enjoyment out of a bow that I have made my self from a piece of wood that I have come across and spent the time turning into a bow and trying to get the best bow your skills allow you to make
I also love to shot my Andy Soars Flat bow such a sweet fast bow
 

ChakaZulu

New member
I agree. I am currently (slowly) making a bow for my wife. Maple, with the handle of satinwood and padauk (a really deep red) and padauk nock overlays. I've got some offcuts of padauk to make a dozen footed arrows to go with it as well.

I'm thinking of doing a buildalong, but it may take some time...
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
It's the fun of making things for me. Also, if you've made it yourself you have that intimate appreciation of the performance and how to tweak it and tune it to suit your requirements.
What is it for? Well whatever you fancy...
The Birch bark-on bow was mainly for fun, but also as a shoot-it-all-day-without-tireing bow.
Nor sure what my next will be, but I want to build an 'it will out-distance my self yew longbow'.. sometime this year.
Not sure what sort of bow to make with the longer and better half of that piece of Birch??? Maybe something the size of a longbow but with a slightly flatter belly? Or a reallllly loooong bow with a ludicrous draw length :) .... think Japanese!
Any suggestions?
BTW I've spotted a fallen Yew limb which is pretty straight, sap wood is rotten but the heart is prob' sound...I'll investigate at the weekend.
Del
 

tinkerer

New member
I like to look into the engineering of flight bows, experimenting with different combinations of woods and sailing as close to the wind as I can. My most recent was a half scale model of an under 35# flight elb. It drew 8# at 14ins draw and shot a 40grain arrow. I wanted to check the theory that it should send the arrow 200yards; like the full scale counterpart. David
 

tinkerer

New member
Well, not quite but I did get 195 yards (with a bit of help from a slight breeze). It was the arrow that was most interesting, bit by bit making changes and getting the distances up from 125yards. It was hard to give the arrow enough spine to exploit the cast of the bow. Usually the waggles coming out of the bow cost the flight 40yards. David
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
That's V impressive...Post some pics? (including the flight arrow... pretty please)
I'm into the engineering aspects too, I'm hoping my next bow will make 300yards... bit of an arbitary figure and I'm not into flight per se...it's just something to aim for <groan> :)
Del
 

tinkerer

New member
Del, I'll try to connect up my camera to the computer and AI at the weekend- with the help of my 17yr old son.

In the meantime here's some stats:

Bow is trilaminate, 2.5mm American ash backing (tapered), 3.5mm western red cedar core (not tapered) and 3mm tapered cumaru belly.

length 33ins
dl 14ins
bh 2in
max dw 8#
max width 11.5mm and at nocks 5.5mm
max thickness 9mm and at nocks 5.5mm
mass 1.25oz
set 3/8in
1 strand fastflite string

And arrow from pau amarello 3mm diameter, 40grains, inc. 7grain brass point. Flights 12 by 3.5mm parabolic from blackbird(?). Balance 1inch in front of midway. I'll try to post some pics soon.

What sort of bow do you hope to make 300yards with? David
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Cheers for the info.
I've found some old glass lams and I'm building them up as a composite Asian style bow with siyahs, with the active portion of the limb loosely based on a composite crossbow prod I made years ago.
I had some tapered maple lams, but contrived to glue one the wrong way round on the former :( . So I've cut down and thinned the limbs of my first 2009 bow which is a Maple flat bow of about 25lb (It was a bit of a muck up which I'd just knocked up quick over the Christmas Hol to assuage the cabin fever!).
I've made the siyahs of Ash and spliced 'em onto the maple core.
I hope to glue on the glass this week...I'll post some pics then on the thread I've already started on this forum.(Asiatic recurve with siyahs)
Del
 
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