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Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 8:22 AM

I have been into archery from early childhood (as soon as I could bend a stick and get a string tied around the ends). I have recently become interested building a primitive (or maybe not so primitive) bow. I have also made some strings for some bows I already have.

Do any of you guys dabble in creating primitive weapons? Do any of you have any experiences or novel ideas you would like to share?

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#1

Re: Re-curve Bows

10/08/2008 8:33 AM

I sure Del_the_Cat will be all over this. He's into primative weapons and even made this:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/3835/Chinese-Repeating-Crossbow

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#61
In reply to #1

Re: Re-curve Bows

10/11/2008 9:03 PM

Thats funny Bricktop!! I just had the exact same thought!! The Chinese Repeating Crossbow... Right down Dells alley.

Bill

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#2

Re: Re-curve Bows

10/08/2008 8:38 AM

Oh Del, where are you? Here kitty, kitty, kitty . . .

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#3

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 8:41 AM

Welcome, DAG. Check out some of Del's handiwork sometime.

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#4

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 9:26 AM

Sweet! I wonder if he's done any conventional bows?

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#5
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 9:43 AM

Ask!

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#6

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 9:44 AM

As soon as Del wakes up he will let you know. He's having a cat nap.

Regards JD.

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#7
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 10:24 AM

Perhaps he's stuck in the refrigerator fiddling with that confounded switch! I'm sure he doesn't want his milk to spoil.

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#8

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 10:35 AM

Miooow yawn stretch

Ah yes...at work at the mo, I'll post some pics when I get home....

Del

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#9
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 10:38 AM

You the man ...cat!

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#10

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 2:23 PM

Ah yes...I made a longbow from a piece of Yew which I cut from the tree myself.


You can see the bends and knots in it and the colour of the heart and sap wood (a natural composite!). It draws about 75lb at 28" but I recently cut a dummy arrow to 31½" which was a common arrow length in medieval times...I just about got it to full draw. It will throw a heavyish arrow 220yards.

In contrast I've made a nice little American Indian style 'flat bow' of Ash which is very supple and can draw to the same length despite being much shorter (the limbs are a flattish ellipse in section) It is very low draw weight, but if I had to hunt for my dinner I'd use that!

Here's a pic of my tiniest crossbow pistol (made for a bet). (The pound coin is 22mm dia)

And finally as they say here's a link which has some pics of my decent bow pistol.
Oh I also have a repro' of a medieval 'light hunting bow' 175lb draw weight.

I'll happilly discuss this stuff for ages...ideally over a beer.
Del

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 2:35 PM

Nice work. Perhaps I should take a stab at a long bow or flat bow before I delve into a re-curve.

What did you make the limbs out of on the bow pistol?

I'd love to take you up on the beer, but Texas is a long way from England!

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 2:48 PM

This thread...if you can manage the suspense shows two bow related items, one is a wooden mold for a recurved laminated bow (crossbow) made of fibreglass and rock maple laminates. The other is a tillering stick..there are pics ... way down the thread showing them in use.

I meant to say, the Ash bow has a nice recurve (but only slight) at the tips...maybe I'll take a pic, it was bent using heat* (hot air gun). Ideally it should have a sinew backing, it's nice easy wood to work.
There are plenty of woods which will give a reasonable bow, my first decent longbow was Elm but it followed the string rather (took a permanent set).

The two bow pistols have bows of High Tensile Aluminium alloy. The small one was made as a bet, I'd picked up an off cut of ali bar and said 'This is decent alloy' the other guy said it wasn't , so I said I could make it into a bow which could shoot over half the legth of a football pitch and I'd buy him a pint of beer for every yard less than that, if he bought me a pint for every yard more.... he owed me a few pints! (albeit shooting a tiny and very light weight bolt)

Del
* Steaming is often used as a method for bending timber, but I believe it's actually the heat that does it...steam just happens to be a convenient way of getting a consistent controlled temperature. I'm willing to be put straight on that if anyone is certain I'm wrong.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 3:12 PM

Ahhh...the suspense was rough, but I enjoyed the banter. The illustration of the tillering stick in use was very informative. I guess with the tiller in place you can use the draw knife, scraper or sander to work the bow into a smooth curve?

Do you make your own strings? Flemish, continuous loop, perhaps something more exotic?

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#14
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 3:43 PM

Yeh, I make my own strings but just a modern continuous loop.

The tiller is handy, but a bow tends to pretty much go into a smooth even curve on it's own unless you are wildly out, it does help you distrubute the bend along the whole limb.
The tricky bit on the longbow was working around the knots, leaving plenty of spare timber and slowly removing it...it was very nerve wracking. There is one huge knot right in the centre, I removed the dry dead wood from the centre of it and it left a hole big enough to stick a cigarette in! Needless to say I left the centre 'handle' area fairly bulky to avoid it snapping in two!

There is also a bit of twist in the bow so at one tip there is more sap wood than I'd like. (the dark heart wood has the power but is slightly brittle, the more supple sapwood acts as a backing and helps prevent it breaking...e.g the heart wood is good in compression and the sapwood good in tension.

It's a beautiful colour dark honey and cream two tone colour.

I think you guys in the States have some good timber for learning on, Hickory and Lemonwood which is probably nice and straight and knot free.

Del

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 3:57 PM

In my immediate area, we have elm, a few varieties of oak and plenty of mesquite (I'd be curious to try mesquite as it has interesting qualities and has dark red heart wood and bright white sapwood).

A drive to see my folks could provide me with some osage orange (or bois d'arc). My dad (an electrical engineer) started on an osage flat bow, but never has finished it.

Come to think of it, pecan wood has similar qualities to hickory, pehaps it would make a good bow. I'm not familiar with yew. Is it primarily a European species?

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 6:32 PM

Nope There is good yew to be had in the USA Oregon especially I believe.(It's an evergreen with small needles red berries and a smoothish bark) It's fairly easy to recognise, and even apparently dead branches are very stiff and springy!
The slow grown stuff up into mountains is best as it has nice tight grain. It's hard to find a straight relatively knot free piece.
The lowland tree I got mine from had 3 'trunks' all growing straight up very close to each other such that the inner faces of each had stayed relatively knot free, the piece I took was about 8-9" diameter at the bottom and about 7½ ' long, I split it in two to avoid it splitting where I didn't want it to, pained the ends to stop it drying to quickly and then just rough shaped it with an axe over the course of a couple of years, then gradually worked it down into a bow...I was almost in tears at times as some knots at the edge left me the awful decision do I tke off another 3mm and remove it completely or leave the knot in place?

Osage Orange is s'posed to be good...There are plenty of good books on bowmaking ideal for some armchair woodworking.

One thing to remember is that a bow string gives you a lot of leverage* so don't try and judge the draw weight of a bow by flexing the limbs by hand, put a loose string on it.

Anyhow my recomendation is, get hold of any straight logs you can find, split 'em and play with the worst half, that way you'll gain a lot of experience which will come in handy when the 'good' half has dried a little.
My little Ash bow was made from the 'bad' half which was naturally deflexed (curved towards the string side [belly]) the 'good' half is still in my garage and is nicely reflexed so it should have more tension on it when it's strung. (I'll get some pics tomorrow)

Have fun

Del

*This can be shown by considering that over a 28" draw the bow tips only move back about 12" or so.

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#30
In reply to #14

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 8:35 AM

An old man in North Carloina use to make bow string out of Poision Oak vines.

He would split them into lenghts almost thread thin, dry them and then twist them into a long string.

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#59
In reply to #30

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 7:13 PM

A lot of people call Virginia Creeper poison oak. Could that be it?

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 8:46 PM

"Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is often mistakenly identified as poison ivy"

Above is from Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide.

"Poison oak (Toxicodendron toxicarium) is very similar to poison ivy, however poison oak ... "

ibid.

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#17
In reply to #12

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 8:01 PM

Australian aborigines used to straighten brittle hardwood for their spears over an open fire.

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#18

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 10:56 PM

i am lazy a sling is the poor mans bow (or a stick and a stone as basebal attack mode?)

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#19

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 11:00 PM

I don't dabble but I offer this. I just listened to a book on CD called Spy by Ted Bell. Part of the story is set in England. One of the characters commented how an ancient king planted several of a certain type of tree so his longbow men would have plenty of arrow stock.

Next, I recall some group, somewhere actually bends the wood for the bow while it is growing on the tree. They use props and weights to "grow a bow".

I'm interested in how primitive folk even survived. Ever try to light a fire with a stick?

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 12:10 AM

You can even use a bow to light a stick if you use a looser string

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#22
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 12:23 AM

I tried once while camping with my son. We made a makeshift bow with a stick and shoelace. I disapointed the lad. It is harder than I expected. Good thing we had bics and matches.

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 12:45 AM

well if you put weigt on the stick when using a bow like construction to turn around the stick it will heat up quicker, a flintlock maybe easier

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#28
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 8:29 AM

In High school my buddies and I tried the bow and stick to make a fire. We achieved a small ember, but that's as far as we got. We had no char-cloth or any thing.

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#20

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/08/2008 11:29 PM

You will need a spinning wheel. What are you going to make the string from flax, tree roots, or vines ?

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#29
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 8:32 AM

Hmmm...I never considered spinning my own string. I just use waxed dacron. I might try a natural fiber though, that sounds fun.

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#36
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 10:15 AM

I watched an old lady in Thialand use a spinning wheel make yarn for her daughters weaving loom. She couls make about 400 feet in an hour or two. The way the fibers are added to the twist is amazing to watch and it runs thru some liquid that was white in color reminded me of the white sap from some weed. The yard was really strong too.

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#23

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 12:38 AM
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#27
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 4:36 AM

Oooh!
At school we had a mad craze of using Bic biro outers as blow pipes and making darts out of pins with a twist of wool bound around the head end. We all had different coloured darts...(the boys this was...didn't know what the girls we doing...wasn't interested in them yet, I wuz only 11)

Del

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#31
In reply to #27

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 8:36 AM

I guess boys are boys no matter what continent! We did the same, however, we ended up using a bit of paper instead of wool.

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#37
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 10:53 AM

We used to do the pin-and-wool thing. Raiding the bamboo canes (from the gardening stuff my parents used) produced some fine blow-pipes There weren't too many Biro/Bic type pens around then. The acme was pinning a housefly or bluebottle to the wall.

[Aside - the larger canes were also good for firework cases].

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#25

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 2:33 AM

One day it would be nice to goi into the woods with nothing but a (big) knife or a(small) axe and make a bow..the string is the hard part.

Dunno if it's true but I heard a tale of an archer who went to a small local tornamnet and his bow case got lost/left behind but he still had his tackle box... He went to the adjoining woodland, cut a stave an produced a makeshift bow and was able to shoot.

The common mistake is starting with the wrong timber and too small a piece, as a kid I made 'n+1' bows from Hazel which is straight, fast growing and soft..but it is pliable and is used for making hurdles (old fashioned fence panels) as it is easilly split and woven...
Completely unsuitable
But they still worked for shooting 50 yards or so.

Del

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#26

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 2:57 AM

Hers's the middle of my longbow...showing that knot! (And anothet pound coin I guess?). Shows the heart vs sap wood nicely, the surface of the back of the bow (white sapwood side -away from the archer) is virtually untouched from it's natural state, the bark is removed but there is very little shaping in order to retain the continuous fibres of the sap wood. (I had to shape it a bit at the tips because of the natural twist).

Gotta go to work now.
Maybe more pics tommorrow.
Del

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#32
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 8:38 AM

Very nice! Dang work...

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#39
In reply to #26

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 6:24 PM

Bit off topic but was at a Sioux pow wow in Saskatchewan a few years back and saw the hand made bows. They take a small scrub oak (no big ones on the prairies) and stone scrape one side flat (while the wood still fresh and wet). They then slowly seared one side by pushing it through glowing coals (compounding it I guess).

One rather amazing accomplishment was when a blindfolded archer stepped into a circle roughly 30 yds. in diametre. The audience was asked to maintain complete silence. A rabbit was let loose.....running full tilt.......the archer listened for the sound of rabbit feet running..........in a heartbeat he pulled back on the bow and ran an arrow through it in mid run.

Bad day for the rabbit. Amazing to have witnessed it.

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#40
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 3:17 AM

Wow..
Those Native bows weren't weak either..there are documented accounts from the time of 'Buffalo Bill' of an Indian Chief on horse back, riding alongside a Bison and driving an arrow right through it's chest. (Flint arrow heads have better cutting properties than steel)
There are some great hunting stories in
'Hunting with the Bow and Arrow' by Saxton Pope (probabbly out of print now)

It includes stuff about making bows and about Ishi the last of the Yana Indian, who could flake an arrow head from a piece of bottle glass and who killed a Bear armed only with a stone knife when he was a young man!
It is one of the 'popular Library' paperbacks which falls apart but it has tons of pics and is a 'must get' for any archery enthusiast.

Also recomended 'Longbow (a social and military history)' by Robert Hardy
ISBN 1 85260 4123 has a section on the bows recovered from the Mary Rose (Henry VIII's warship)

Del

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#41
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 4:59 AM

I haven't looked at it, but maybe you can get a freebie of that book ; http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/8084. If not, Amazon have it for $25..

( Nice outfit )

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#42
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 8:10 AM

I've heard that the native's bow was around a 90# draw. I don't know if that can be confirmed or not...

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#44
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 8:13 AM

I'll look up some figures in 'Longbow' it compares various native bows I think...
Del

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#47
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 8:48 AM

'Longbow' has a section on Ishi and just about all the various native bows (taken from a work by Saxton Pope), I quote some figures here.

Yaki bow...70lb 210yards range
Yana (Ishi's bow)...48lb 205yards
Blackfoot...45lb 145yards
Cheyene...65lb 165yards

An Alaskan (Eskimo?) bow made of Douglas Fir and backed with bone...80lb 180yards.

An Ironwood bow from Paraguay nearly 6' long was 60lb and shot 170yards, interestingly this bow was re-worked, shortened to 67" the weight went upto 85lband it shot a flight arrow 265 yards! "Providing an excellent example of the difference between poor native bowyery and the much more efficient European methods of bowmaking"

Some African bows draw about 100lb...but they need to to shoot Elephants.

If you want exteme distances of flight shooting look at Turkish Flight Bows... extremely recurved* composite bows which can shoot half a mile!!!!

* The recurve is sooo great the tips of the bow almost meet at the back and the bows need to be warmed up before they can even be strung.

Del

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#52
In reply to #47

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 9:21 AM

The Ojibway and Algonquin nations (Woodlands natives) have various sized bows depending on what they were hunting. Some were less than a couple of feet in length.

The Longhouse nation had some formidable bows....some were fired laying down by propping the bow against the feet. No idea of the range but the arrows looked more like long spears with feathers attached.

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#62
In reply to #47

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/13/2008 9:21 PM

Do you have any comparison stats on those Mongol bows that were used to defeat most of the European forces during their invasions?

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 2:26 AM

I don't think so, but I'll have a look later. Those re-curve composite bows were pretty formidable, probably better than the English Longbow .
The thing that made the Longbow the supreme weapon of it's day was the organisation and training that backed it up. When The army went across the English chanel the organisation and supply chain wasn't bettered until the D-Day invasion in WWII
It was the discipline of the archers and tactical superiority which beat the French in battles like Agincourt despite being vastly outnumbered by the French.

English Rose shoots a modern version of one of those Mongol bows, but she's not on line so often these days, she may know more.

Del

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 3:01 AM

Not to mention all those different arrowheads they used, it is like different rounds for different armor in tank warfare

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#66
In reply to #64

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 8:44 AM

No can load picture of Japanese Yumi.

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#67
In reply to #66

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 9:20 AM

How about a link, Duck?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yumi

Not to be confused with this Yumi I hope big brother wasn't watching...

http://images.google.com/images?ndsp=20&um=1&hl=en&q=Yumi&start=0&sa=N

Anyone know how to change the font color?

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 9:22 AM

How 'bout that! The font came through black when it showed up pink in the editor!

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#69
In reply to #67

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 9:56 AM

Yeah....that works. I have one I built but couldn't download pic.

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#70
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 10:06 AM

Bummer...Keep trying, I'd like to see it.

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#71
In reply to #70

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 10:11 AM

I think there's a problem with the CR4 server.

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#72
In reply to #71

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 10:22 AM

Ya,:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/293072

Also, have you noticed there has been no new "Engineering News" since Friday?

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#73
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 10:31 AM

I couldn't get "on" at all for a big chunk of the weekend.

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#74
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 10:36 AM

Buy her some flowers.

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#75
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 10:46 AM

splarf...drat that's my tea all over the desk..

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#76
In reply to #74

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 11:31 AM

Even as I was typing it - I could feel some sma**-a** working on a come-back!

But I thought to myself, "Na, leave it out, John - just for once, you'll get away with this one."

Wrong again !

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#79
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 3:06 AM

LOl - it was worth it, just for the thought of Del trying to explain the damp patch on his trousers !

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#77
In reply to #67

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 1:11 PM

That'd be more of a "Yummy" than a Yumi but....

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#65
In reply to #63

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/14/2008 3:33 AM

According to a documentary (Mr Hart-Davis or similar) I watched the other day, ground conditions played a fair bit in Agincourt - the poor old Frenchies got bogged down in mud as English arrows rained down on them. The rate of English fire was so great that it almost was like rain, but with a somewhat sharper point.

Going tangential, I recall reading that a longbow was/could be used whilst lying prone. I've no idea how that could work with feet against the bow, but I'm sure I readed it somewhere.

ER..........alas, absent for so long.........maybe you could push for a 'Bow' user group, CR4 has plenty of fans. I'd like to read more on it - I'm not sure what properties are required of the string bit ; stiff/elastic, that kind of stuff. The existing weapons group seems a bit broad-ranging. Catapults and related are cool.

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#43
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 8:12 AM

One rather interesting artifact at this Pow Wow was the pistol the Indians claim to be the one that ended Custers presidential aspirations. At the time it was understood that Sitting Bull was to be the one to to deliver the coupe de gras but the opportunity presented itself to another.

(this should get the Yanks stirred up)

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#45
In reply to #43

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 8:31 AM

Your comment on Yanks made me wonder where you were from. I guess according to your coordinates, you really are a duck in the pond! I'm jealous, nothing but sand and tumbleweeds around here...

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#46
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 8:46 AM

I believe the Duck is from somewhere in Canada.

Beware of the Canadians! I'm convinced they are preparing to attack the US. They've amassed 90% of their population on the border! HOW CAN WE TAKE THIS PROVOCATION!

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#48
In reply to #46

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 8:54 AM

I typed his coordinates into google. I'm afraid he can no longer hide. Now, we will need a boat to get to his island in Lake Huron!

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#50
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 9:10 AM

He he......if we bash you lot then we'd have to feed you. No way!

B'sides Bricktop....weren't you threatening to invade the Maritimes in a former post? If you do I'd caution you to watch out for the baynoddies.........they can be irritating.

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#49
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 9:01 AM

Yep. I'm a working holiday duck in a big pond for the moment(until it snows)....Georgian Bay, part of Lake Huron....quite beautifull here actually. I'm about 100 miles SE of those posted co-ordinates and heading W.

You're in southern central Texas? or west?

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#51
In reply to #49

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 9:15 AM

North West Texas. Not quite the panhandle. 34°9′4″N, 99°17′26″W

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#53
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 9:31 AM

Looks like a fairly prosperous surrounding agricultural community. Fait bit of irrigation....is it an undergound water source?

Thanks for sharing!

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#54
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 9:44 AM

Ahhh...Yes indeed. Agriculture is king around here. Our main industry is a plant that processes guar beans. When the big pivots aren't running our water table is about 25 feet. The big pivots are very wasteful. 300 gallons per minute, 40% efficiency, 24 hours a day. Last summer we were in a drought and the water table dropped to below 45 feet. Needless to say, there were times we didn't have any water in our 35 foot well.

Also we are adjacent to the largest contiguous ranch in the world... The Waggoner Ranch.

Oil is a big deal around here too. The Story is W.T. Waggoner was digging a well to water his cattle and just ended up with this flammable black stuff.

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#55
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 9:59 AM

Are you on the Oglala aquifer?

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#56
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 10:07 AM

We're a little too far south to be in the Oglala. There are several aquifers in this area. The one we're on is an active underground flow that terminates in the Red River. The farmers in this area seem to think that it is an infinite resource, but the drought has proved otherwise. They are finally starting to see some logic in conservation.

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#57
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 10:16 AM

Our western provinces went through a severe drought two years back (which actually began 20 yrs ago). Big talk about conservation went nowhere when climate swing occured courtesy the Pacific Decadal shift.

Doomed to repeat again in 20-30 yrs.

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#58
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/10/2008 10:22 AM

I'm afraid that's the way it goes. Inspite of what we have sen in history, we repeat the same mistakes. We have shelter belts as constant reminder of the dust bowl, yet the vast majority of our farmers are still using farming techniques that will end in the same result. We do have a few innovators using no-till planting and some subsurface irrigation, but not many.

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#33

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 8:58 AM

Here's a pi of the flat bow and other half log it came from (poor pic)

Its 53" long...the longbow is 71"

The black binding is to protect a crack where I drew it back to 31½"
Del

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#34

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 9:58 AM
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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 10:14 AM

Hey, nice site.
Not sure why you need to splice two billets together when you are starting with nice straight graied timber? I can't imagine Native Americans ever doing that.

I wish I had some sinew to play with.

Del

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#38

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/09/2008 5:27 PM

Several friends in KS made nice bows from Osage orange. Since it splits while seasoning they started with five or six blanks and selected the best to shave down, and saved spares in case of miscues with the first.

dental floss makes a good string if you can get a long enough spool to loop numerous times then bind the nocking area & tips with sinew. Actually artificial sinew from muzzleloader catalogs.

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#78

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 2:56 AM

Here are some pics of various oriental/asian bows strung and unstrung showing the extent of re-curve.

From 'The Crossbow' by Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey first published 1903

Del

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#80
In reply to #78

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 3:45 AM

so what are the ranges and exit speeds of these bows?

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#81
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 4:25 AM

C'mon...I don't know everything...I'm just a cat.

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#86
In reply to #81

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 9:08 PM

Then cats should not play with bow's and Arrows

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#88
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/16/2008 2:29 AM
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#82
In reply to #80

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 6:28 AM

Exit speed depends on how thick the Frenchman is . This might give an indication of launch speed:

http://www.cs.utoronto.ca/~apostol/arrow/

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#83
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 8:08 AM

I see you are jumping for joy now you have your Avatar pic (just who is Joy?)

Nice link o linkmeister...but I dunno how these speeds tie in with longbows and such like...more readin up for me later I suspect.

BTW 200fps is about 136mph so don't try catching an arrow in your teeth...
(Ok I know in the TV series Kunk Fu, David Caradine? could brush them aside as the camera man threw them at him)

Del

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#87
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 9:09 PM

Thanks for the info!

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#84

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 3:11 PM

How about this for target practice?

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#85
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/15/2008 4:59 PM

Oh dear me...gold should be in the middle, lets at least have some attention to detail

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#89

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/16/2008 10:00 AM

If you guys over there acros the pond were to buy a bow, are recurves and other "primitive" bows difficult to find? Around here (I should qualify this as Texas, I'm not sure about other states) if you walk into an archery shop and ask for a recurve, they look at you like you came from another planet and offer you a compound.

Anything without cams and cables has to be home made or purchased via the web.

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#90
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/16/2008 10:41 AM

Download the catalogue from these guys D G Quick they have a terrific range of stuff. They have a shop a couple of miles from where my folks live, very handy.
Del

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#93
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/20/2008 8:36 AM

Awesome. I will have to look into this more when I have some time.

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#91

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/17/2008 2:06 PM

You have re-kindled my bow making interest and I think I've found a source of sinew so I might use the other half of that Ash billet and make a Native American Bow with some extra recurve at the tips and a sinew backing. If I do I'll take some pics and post the story...it should only take a few months as the timber is well seasoned.

Del

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#92
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/17/2008 2:39 PM

I made mine out've a wood called Osage. Nice close knit grain and very straight. Indians in central and southern US made some remarkably accurate and powerfull bows from it.

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#94
In reply to #91

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/20/2008 8:40 AM

Where did you find the sinew? I've tryed to remove some from a deer skin, but it wasn't very strong...This was quite some time ago...I might not have cured the skin properly for good sinew...

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#95
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Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/20/2008 8:51 AM

These guys have sinew from Red Deer legs. One of the earlier links in this thread had a bit about stripping sinew from deer legs. (Post #34)
I've tryed to remove some from a deer skin.
Not sure what you mean...whatever it was you were removing probably wasn't sinew.
I think you can get good long sinew from Giraffe necks but there aren't many of 'em around here!

Del

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/20/2008 9:02 AM

Hmmm....Interesting. No wonder it wasn't very strong...I suppose all it was was the membrane from the flesh side of the skin. The book with the instructions identified this as sinew...

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#97
In reply to #96

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/20/2008 9:15 AM

Instructions!
C'mon...who reads instructions?

From what I've read over the years it's the big sinew up the back of the nech of deer/Bison/giraffe etc which is best as it's a big long stretchy one which has to supprt the weight of the ctritters head. I always get confused beween Ligaments and Tendons so I've no idea which is sinew.
Del

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#98
In reply to #97

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/20/2008 8:21 PM
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#100
In reply to #98

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/21/2008 8:25 AM

I followed your link, Epke, and the re-searched sinew on google and came up with this:

http://www.primitiveways.com/secrets_of_sinew.html

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#101
In reply to #100

Re: Re-Curve Bows

10/21/2008 9:02 AM

Nice article.

Even if the sinew doesn't increase the draw-weight per se, it's addition means you can draw the bow further without the back splintering and thus it will increase the draw weight. Dunno if will increase the 'cast' (liveliness)..I certainly hope so.

I've ordered some sinew and 'suitable?' epoxy adhesive.
I've started working down my Ash stave...spent 45 mins on it yesterday. (the 6 years seasoning in my garage should be enough)

Ooooh I'm getting all excited now..It'll take a while to make and I'll take loads of pics, and try to get a fair bit of recurve on it. I just hope it turns out ok.
I'm only aiming for a low draw weight say 30-40lb, but a real supple loooong draw.
If it's too feeble I can always stick some horn strips up the belly and pretend I meant it to be a fully composite bow from the begining .

Del

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