Tim Baker
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Tim Baker
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March 30th, 2007, 11:08 pm #21

Jaro: Your first argument is against a point I didn't make. Yes, the advantages of reflexing was well know. But there is no indication in any of writing I know of that same-profile Perry Reflexing had added benefits. Dan noted the speed advantages, and I worked out the common-sense of why. No scientific theory needed. Any other common man could have ages ago. And maybe someone did. There's just no evidence of such.

Tukka: Your first paragraph: Again, yes the advantages of reflexing was known, but not that Perry reflexing offered performance advantages apart from the reflexing itself. Dan is the first to grasp this, as far as I can tell.

Again, no evidence that belly tempering was understood to enhance performance. The mentioned scorching was as likely the result of heat bending. Yes, Elmer wrote on revitalizing wood with heat. But that's a different issue.

"(considering that modern-day wood bows don't cast arrows nearly as fast as the best bows of 1930's and '40's with flight records still far out of reach."

Arrows diameter, mass and feather surface area are more important than the bow. Arrow stats would have to be known to say one era's bow had better distances than another's. My bet is that today's bows outshoot past versions. But I too have no evidence one way or the other.

Per the Wilcox bow, yes, great F/D curve, but you're only assuming it was stable.

Even if belly tempering is a rediscovery, the knowledge has been lost to bowmakers for lifetimes, Marc's and Dan's achievements are as important to us as if new.

Great discussion. Tim
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howweird
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March 31st, 2007, 1:02 am #22

Another thing that has helped out alot for bows of today is the new finishes and I dont mean the F word ,
The oils and waxes we use today may and should play a good part on how bows preform in difret weater and locals .
As I do agree with MR Hamm that Tim has and NR cOmstock shw the bow world that the so called bad woods are as good as osage .
I love seeing eyes glaze over when I say that to them fellers who think osage is all there is LOl .
the other advancement is this very tool we all are useing to comunicat to each other .
How else chould so many form so far dayly write ....and in some cases try to write with the computer to tell what tya found that works and what does not work .

Printed word ! MY BE THE BIGEST BOONE TO THE BOW WORLD AND MAYBE the bigest curse as well LOL .
Thank You Tim ,for the wounderful way you make us think about what we do .
I should say Thank you all for the same !
Howard
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mole
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March 31st, 2007, 1:03 am #23

Seems to me like one of the greetest discoveries in the last several years is how to order a copy of The Bowyer Bibles. They may not be perfect or always 100% correct, but how many of us owe our bow making skills to those books? I know I do.
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toxophileken
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March 31st, 2007, 1:16 am #24

"There is nothing new under the sun..."

Don't know enough to say if we have anything new... But "rediscovery" is certainly worth celebrating in any case.

It is a bit off topic, and rather obvious (and implied in some of the posts above), but advances in communication would seem to be of some importance. In our own time, look at what the mass printing of the TBB series has done, along with the subsequent explosion of archery information being disseminated on the internet... (Category 2, then).

I would also categorize the temporary madness for **** and eventually wheelbows as an aberration that may have been helpful in some ways (we are all well aware of how it has been harmful). Using modern materials to explore new designs and find out that "modern" doesn't necessarily mean "better"... Both technical and philosolophical advancements, if only by allowing us to see better by contrast. For a time, before the advent of such modern "innovations", men were trying to find ways to mass produce wooden bows. The philosolophical crisis was coming... Having the space age materials just hurried it along (and exacerbated it). Much the way incendiary bombs were used by the USA at the end of World War II, prior to and even between the use of the two atomic bombs. The attitude that made the atomic bombs so dangerous was already present (willingness to attack a civilian population), and damage was being done, just on a lesser scale.

Another innovation we can thank Tim for - use of board staves. A "heresy" that has become quite accepted, and makes it possible for beginning bowyers to get started right away, without the daunting task of finding a perfect stave, or chasing a back ring.

Another vague suggestion would be the actual application of science (theoretical as opposed to empirical) and mathmatics to bow design and understanding bow and arrow performance.

Ken
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Kviljo
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March 31st, 2007, 1:30 am #25

design is everything. This knowledge is something entirely new in archery history, primitive or civilized.
Looking at stone age Holmegaards and Meare Heath, to narrow stone age yew bows, I would not agree that this is a recent discovery. The number of prehistoric bowyers outnumber all of todays bowyers by far, and they weren't any less skilled than we are today. Of course, some of todays bowyers may have a broader insight into different bows than any bowyer before, due to communication-issues, but we tend to see prehistoric people as inferior in some way, when it's probably the other way around. - especially when it comes to "primitive" stuff! So I wouldn't worry about discovering anything new in "primitive" bowyery

But as Tim puts is, even if they are all re-discoveries, that doesn't make them any less important! If it wasn't for the TBB and the like (like those who share their knowledge on the web), most of us would still be lacking a lot of insight into bowyery. I know I would. So, THANKS for sharing!

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allask
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March 31st, 2007, 4:17 am #26

i like kens quote...cant argue when you know where it comes from,anyway i been on the planet a while and it seems old jaro is pretty stuck in his ways as we all are but ive seen you in more near arguments on the planet than anyone even tim ease up man
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Richard Saffold
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March 31st, 2007, 4:43 am #27

We can't change what did or didn't come from the past, but we can sure take advantage of every little bit we of knowledge we get..

Everything "new" we do has to be a "rediscovery" otherwise we don't give credit to the millions of past bowyers who did this stuff for a "living'.

What we got from the past is why we are continually progressing now, with a few modern items..I remember hearing at Mojam years ago "theres nothing left to do in wood bowmaking"..ya right!'

This show is just getting started

Rich-tillers like an Indian, and uses "demonic" string material Richards Bowyery
GoodlandArchery.com
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badger5149
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March 31st, 2007, 5:59 am #28

It had skipped my mind about the all types of wood being worked with, no doubt that was very significant. There were also a good amount of subltle findings that Tim had written on that led others on to the right track. We often just start doing things not realizing where we got the idea. I remember a few years ago we were all bending bows in every shape you can imagine and then most of us kind of settled into an r/d design which has remained popular. I have gone back to just a straight bow with a touch of reflex. As Richard said, the game is really just now getting started. The last generation worked out all the basic bugs for us now it will be a slow and ardous process of small improvenments here and there. When you stop to think about it not really all that much you can do to a piece of wood.

You have the wood itself
You have the style
You have the demensions
you have the mass
And you have any natural treatments that you might give the wood, heat treating is all I can think of.
And most importantly having the skill to blend all the above into the most optimum form for what you are working with. Or better yet a tecnique that will guide you there.
Steve
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huflungpu04
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March 31st, 2007, 6:06 am #29

this is an awesome topic guys, and many great insights....im not even going to try and add anything intelligent being fairly new at this compared to many of you, but im really enjoying the post and learning a ton, thanks again..let the good times roll
.
Luke"the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese"
"the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese"
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sumpitan
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March 31st, 2007, 7:10 am #30

Yes. Comstock, Baker, Hamm etc. were incredibly important to the present-day wood bow Renaissance. I know which one of my couple hundred paleo-genre books has seen the most use. Thank you, guys.
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For a couple of centuries it was generally thought, among literate people who left records anyway, that anything other than yew or osage made inferior bows
But the yew/osage dogma didn't apply to the whole world, mostly just the Anglo-American one. Here in Eastern Scandinavia the general thought in the 20th century was that juniper is the only wood one can make primitive bows of (we have neither yew or osage). Yet long before I had read Paul's and Tim's arguments for using ordinary woods for bows, I had been using some half-dozen different second- or third-string woods for my bows, just as countless primitive bowyers outside the A-A influence had and still do. The big thing you guys showed was that we weren't losing some magic extra power by not having "premium" bow woods to work with. And how to make best use of our weakish bow materials.


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Arrows diameter, mass and feather surface area are more important than the bow. Arrow stats would have to be known to say one era's bow had better distances than another's.
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I'd say arrow tuning to bow, within certain, quite loose arrow diameter, mass and feather surface area parameters, is more important than the bow. We have ample data on pre-WWII flight arrows, with all those stats, given. Nothing different there: same mass, same diameter, same fletching arrows, yet the present-day records are roughly 150 yards below what was shot with wood-based bows in the past. As we do have dedicated flight shooters with very-well thought-out and tuned gear, I am certain we simply haven't reached the same speeds yet (you can't shoot 500+ yards with an ultra-light 240fps arrow, no matter how optimal it's dimensions are).

Assuming, yes, but I don't think a world-class target master such as Elmer would have extolled the virtues of a bow that wasn't, among other things, more than stable enough. Aren't the most accurate modern bows, the Olympic recurves, very similar, with their stiff, deflexed centers and long, open-upon-draw recurve tips?

Tuukka
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sagitarius boemorum
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March 31st, 2007, 7:22 am #31

Jaro: Your first argument is against a point I didn't make. Yes, the advantages of reflexing was well know. But there is no indication in any of writing I know of that same-profile Perry Reflexing had added benefits. Dan noted the speed advantages, and I worked out the common-sense of why. No scientific theory needed. Any other common man could have ages ago. And maybe someone did. There's just no evidence of such.


- So they reflexed the bows just to be reflexed? That is hard to believe. Belgian bowmakers used a technique in which reflexed laminated bow back is glued on straight or even again reflexed bow core. This has been recreated by Richard Galloway and Chris Boyton. It creates bow which ultimatelly stores energy in the glueup. I think you are wrong on this one.
There is too little actual bowmaking text left to make any conclusions from "writing".

Jaro
32 down on the Robert McKenzie
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George Tsoukalas
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March 31st, 2007, 12:43 pm #32

Time to get the discussion back on track. Tim, you said since 1500 AD. Here we go in no particular order- stiff handled bows (though I'm not sure if some of the earlier European bows were so designed), the ELB, the hornbow (horn,wood, sinew), the Penobscot, Buchanan dips, all wood composites. That's it for now. Jawgehttp://mysite.verizon.net/georgeandjoni
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George Tsoukalas
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March 31st, 2007, 12:46 pm #33

To add, Marc's heat treating, Steve's mass work, Perry's reflex. Jawgehttp://mysite.verizon.net/georgeandjoni
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sagitarius boemorum
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March 31st, 2007, 1:02 pm #34

Merovingian bows from Oberflacht dated 6. and 7. century have long raised handle with "buchanan fades" as you only want to have them.

Jaro
32 down on the Robert McKenzie
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March 31st, 2007, 2:53 pm #35

For all the talk of wood types and design factors, perhaps the biggest leap in wood bowyery is the result of.....the internet. The nearly instantaneous dispersal of ideas and techniques provide incredible cross fertilization unknown in times past.

I think this is a Golden Age of Wood bow archery.....
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Tim Baker
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March 31st, 2007, 9:00 pm #36

My list so far, with an asterix on the first two per Jaro's re-discovery remarks, is:

The Perry Reflex
Marc's belly tempering
Adam Karpowitz' low-stack design
Steve Gardner's guided-by-mass technique.
I'll add my adjust-width-per-wood species/properties notion, and invite arguments.

The first preemptive counter argument: Yes, bowmakers through time adjusted width/length per species. This as a result of long trial and error. Knowing and applying comparative density will let the first bow of a new wood, or a light or dense stave of a same species, be safe and efficient, allowing a bowmaker proper use of unlimited wood types. Tim
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rwelch
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March 31st, 2007, 9:14 pm #37

Tim , the page in my copy of TBB were you made a list of wood species and suggested widths ,is the most dog eared page in any book I own. Thank you very much.

A huge fan

Ralph
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badger5149
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April 1st, 2007, 11:29 am #38

Tim, I think Adam has some theories now on high stack designs that would be interesting. Most of these are regarding the asiatic designs. I will ask him to explain it. High stacking in a bow usually amounts to a much higher draw weight for mass involved as net stored energy is lower, kind of like using a bow limb as a tow chain instead of a spring catapult. Some of the old turkish bows were very short like 42" yet being drawn as far as 34". The last 10" or so almost pure stack with a very rapid weight gain per inch. A bow like this might weigh less that 1/4 of it's all wood higher energy storing counterpart. He has some interesting thoughts on this and I am not sure I grasped the correctly or not. Steve
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Tim Baker
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April 1st, 2007, 8:49 pm #39

Steve: Adam K? Post his ideas if you can. He's a topnotch design thinker.

One more for the list: Jim Hamm Tillering: Revolutionary in a sense, allowing a first-timer or veteran to come in exactly at intended draw weight while never overstraining the limbs. Tim
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DCM
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April 2nd, 2007, 2:23 pm #40

I think it's appropriate to recognize the contribution of all who have been cited, and others. But I see their contribution as being different than discovery, or innovation and more like a rekindling or rebirth. And I think it's important to keep a fair perspective of where we've come from as well, so as not to minimize it's inherent value.

For example, regarding the use of "other" woods, when my own interest started several years ago I recall my uncle telling me about building a hickory bow from instructions in the Popular Science (perhaps another popular magazine) in the 50s. Not to mention the thousands of "old hickory" bows Ben Pearson mass produced during the same time which for all practical purposes where/are indistiquishable from the modern "board" bow.

Many other examples could be cited, where we've essentially found the same trail as our forbears and artifacts of same abound, for those who have the exposure to the history and presence of mind to see it. I can't imagine how rediscovering our history could be any more fulfilling, certainly not as much as simply reading it in a book, but it is substantially rediscovery or at best observing and expressing time honored fundamental principles in a new or slightly different perspective. I see it as honing anew what was a keen edge laid rough and pitted by the passage of time and inattention.
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