New project - Ash longbow

For discussion related to primitive bows.
Dark Factor
Registered User
Dark Factor
Registered User
Joined: 29 May 2016, 16:15

10 Nov 2017, 19:05 #11

Also, 6-8% moisture is very low for a bow and I don't really understand how this can be so low in a porch. Whithout heating, that's hard to be under 12-14%
Reply
Like

Exciter
Registered User
Exciter
Registered User
Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 11:21

10 Nov 2017, 19:12 #12

It's not the most costly moisture meter.... I also find that weird to be honest :)

Also I thougth I read that 6% is the minimum for bows so I should be fine I guess??
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

13 Nov 2017, 07:22 #13

wish you good fortune with your bow.
Reply
Like

WillS
Registered User
WillS
Registered User
Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 10:15

13 Nov 2017, 12:17 #14

Ash makes a superb warbow, right up to weights over 160lb.  77" is a good length, especially if you tiller to 30".  32" is a modern "invention" - they weren't drawing 32" in the middle ages.  30" and 28" are the two most common arrow lengths from historical artefacts.

Good ash will take a rounded belly, but in reality the famous "D-section" is reserved for light Victorian target bows, and has somehow ended up becoming synonymous with warbows as well.  The actual cross section of the Mary Rose bows amongst other earlier finds vary from a slight D shape with a rounded back to a full, fat "galleon" section with swollen sides and rounded belly and back.  For heavy ash bows a slightly elliptical "pill" shape works best and is safest if you don't know the particular limits of the stave you're using.

If you are making a warbow type bow, be careful about the tips - you mentioned 8" of stiff tips and I'm not sure why you'd want that.  Your final goal at full draw is to have the bow either describe a perfect circle so no stiffness anywhere, or an ellipse to some degree which would mean a stiffer centre section and mid-limb to tips working slightly harder but certainly not stiff.
Reply
Like

Exciter
Registered User
Exciter
Registered User
Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 11:21

13 Nov 2017, 19:35 #15

River Rat, thank you for your wishes!

WillS, thanks for all that info, a man learns something new every day!

About the tips: I'm fairly new to bowmaking, haven't made a lot of them I just thought stuff up I read about bow making, and there's so much info and knowledge to be had on the subject and sometimes too much at once, mixing up stuff and what not ... However someone earlier already said I should go for working tips, and I get why I should now, so that is the way to go...

I find it strange tho opinions are sometimes so varried about the wood.... Sometimes I read ash is not good for high poundage or this or that, but I guess it's all to do with personal experiences with the wood?? (also 160#? holy! who can pull that kinda weight? it draws more poundage than I weigh)

Interresting stuff on the shapes also... To get a true "pill" shape a sapling with a nice rounded back is preferred I guess? I'm working with a log I'd say the rounding is moderate..

As for the section I have  it's about this: (the black)

and final shape should be rounded with the red... something like that

It's drawn in paint but I even think the back is about the same on the real bow, maybe a bit less radius on the real bow... it gives you an idea




Anyway here is the 'progress' from this weekend not much but I think I am fairly consistent in my arc, it bends throughout maybe not enough on the tips yet I think. next step is when saturday is dry to tiller it further to it's target poundage... The whole bow has a little twist to it also, but I think it wont matter it's not much.



(it is not raining btw, it was over)

It is strung with a loose string about the length ntn. drawing that to about 20" is about 40# already. It still goes back to it's original reflex. (which I am glad about, when I made my other bows, they quickly took "set" if that's the correct term).

I do have a problem stringing it however with a normal length string 4" shorter than ntn. I use paracord 4mm it's quick to make a string and strong... (have dacron and waxed linen and plan on learning the string making but first learning to make the bows) However, when I string it with my paracord (I need to pull it to the 20" with the loose string I mentioned) the whole thing just pulls my string and back it goes again to it's reflex shape. The string thus stretches I guess, paracord to stretchy for heavy bows? Have to figure this one out by the weekend as well...........

anyway this was the update sorry for all the text!
Reply
Like

WillS
Registered User
WillS
Registered User
Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 10:15

13 Nov 2017, 19:41 #16

You'll want to knock those corners off the top before you do much more. Way too sharp and edged.

160lb is nothing compared to what some people can shoot these days, and certainly "back then" as well. Ash is just as good as any other wood, provided you treat it carefully. It won't tolerate hinges or moisture but if it's kept dry and well tillered there's really no weight limit.
Reply
Like

Exciter
Registered User
Exciter
Registered User
Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 11:21

13 Nov 2017, 19:57 #17

should they be rounded a lot, wont that affect my one growth ring back?
Reply
Like

WillS
Registered User
WillS
Registered User
Joined: 01 Sep 2012, 10:15

13 Nov 2017, 19:59 #18

You only need a complete growth ring running down the middle of the back. Corners are stress points, so get them rounded right off (match the belly with whitewoods)
Reply
Like

JoachimM
Registered User
JoachimM
Registered User
Joined: 17 Jan 2014, 10:29

13 Nov 2017, 23:00 #19

Dark Factor wrote: Also, 6-8% moisture is very low for a bow and I don't really understand how this can be so low in a porch. Whithout heating, that's hard to be under 12-14%
Indeed, equilibrium moisture content in wood at 72% humidity (conditions in Belgium) indoors at 20°C is 13.6%. 
see http://www.csgnetwork.com/emctablecalc.html (convert Celsius to Fahrenheit). 
Reply
Like

JoachimM
Registered User
JoachimM
Registered User
Joined: 17 Jan 2014, 10:29

13 Nov 2017, 23:05 #20

By the way, your left limb is quite a bit stiffer.
ashbow_exciter.jpg
Reply
Like

Dark Factor
Registered User
Dark Factor
Registered User
Joined: 29 May 2016, 16:15

14 Nov 2017, 18:45 #21

your section seem very large to me. I mean when it's too large you don't have it well on the hand and I consider you can't shoot so well (just my point of view, not sure if other archer here feel the same). But if it's not too large, you could add a piece of rawhide.
Generally longbows have rounded square section or a near round section, not a flat one.
but if you change this, you could loose a lot of draw weight... about the half of draw weight.
Reply
Like

Exciter
Registered User
Exciter
Registered User
Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 11:21

14 Nov 2017, 19:03 #22

@JoachimM

The moisture thing probably learns me my moisture meter is pure crap ... :) I don't believe my bows will be at 6% in the environment they're in when indoors @20° it's about 13%... hmm gonna need to think about this

about the arc... well I don't know if you can trust the pic 100% if it is taken a little "crooked" or so. I also always check the cement lines on the wall, according to those the limbs are quite even, however... I wont disregard your observation and I'll check it anyway

@Dark Factor

Ehm well, it is smaller than that... I meant the shape is almost the same, but it is smaller. It's quite good in the hand at the moment for shooting (I also add a leather with laces handle piece when the bow is ready)

The belly still needs to be somewhat rounded like I've drawn the red (the back also a bit now, I'll probably  follow WillS advice and look up some more about it). Or do you mean it needs to be rounded from the start? Because I started like that but I found that a pain in the ass to work with. So then I just flattened the belly and was planning to tiller up to the intended draw weigth at about 20 or 22" draw length or so and then start rounding the belly.
Reply
Like

Dark Factor
Registered User
Dark Factor
Registered User
Joined: 29 May 2016, 16:15

14 Nov 2017, 19:31 #23

the handle is the most important to be good on the hand, but if you feel it well, so that's not a problem. I just mean the proportions seems too large and you could take out wood on the sides to be closer to a square section and not a rectangle. but it means you had to take out half of the wood and so half of the weight.
Reply
Like

Dark Factor
Registered User
Dark Factor
Registered User
Joined: 29 May 2016, 16:15

14 Nov 2017, 19:33 #24

A too large handle add archer paradox to the arrow too, that's why it's always better to have a narrow handle. for flabows, limbs are flats, but bowyers (milleniums ago too) understood that's better to work the handle differently to reduice paradox with a narrow handle.
Reply
Like

Exciter
Registered User
Exciter
Registered User
Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 11:21

17 Nov 2017, 19:31 #25

Yes of course I also keep mind of that if I a flat bow to narrow the handle more, but with this bow to keep the appearance of a "D-style longbow or warbow", or whatever :) it should be the widest part of the bow I think, however 1 1/2" is I think personally the borderline for this for the arrow issue.

Anyway this week I watched some helpful videos made by richard head longbows on youtube...

here's a link to a series of 3 videos of roughing out and tillering a longbow, I really learnt some good tricks and new stuff from this, going to help me a lot!



really helpful cool videos

grtz
Reply
Like

Dark Factor
Registered User
Dark Factor
Registered User
Joined: 29 May 2016, 16:15

19 Nov 2017, 13:18 #26

that's not as I work at all, but yes, that's interesting to see how other bowyers do.
Reply
Like

Exciter
Registered User
Exciter
Registered User
Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 11:21

19 Nov 2017, 14:22 #27

they have lots of videos with tips like fitting on horn nocks etc..., it makes things much easier once you can see them... for instance I tillered the bow by just drawing it on my tillering stick and looking at it, not drawing it like 50 times..... now I do that it really helps much really glad I found these videos
Reply
Like

Exciter
Registered User
Exciter
Registered User
Joined: 02 Aug 2017, 11:21

28 Dec 2017, 10:49 #28

Heya guys, here with an update (weren't able to continue work on the bow for a month.... and after that I first made better work of my workbench and tiller tree...)

However the bow is 'ready'... it's both a failure and a succes I guess. It's a succes because it's shooting, also my best bow to date... and it's a failure in everything else  hahaha

I didn't manage to make the tips bending as you'll see in the pics, took of wood, made them less wide.... however, they just wouldn't bent, and so I decided I'll let them like they are, to not further eat away at the draw weigth (which is way below target haha) The handle is bending but less than the limbs which is also not good for a full bending bow I think?

draw weigth at 24" is about 39-40 lbs, and at 28" it's about 46-47 lbs. way below my 70# target weigth or the 60# I would settle for... however, I just tried to have a shooting bow after I knew I wouldn't make it anymore.

I think the bending is quite evenly however, you experts will probably still find some "uneveness" in there hahaha. although I wouldn't trust these pictures 100% either, quickly taken to not let the bow stay drawn for too long.

braced at 6"


24"


28"


unbraced

here you see it has a little set now ... but the right nock (upper limb) still has a very little reflex in it.... also one of the reasons I think I'm not getting it to bend enough.

Next is sanding, putting on some finish and a leather handle and after last sanding I'll probably end up 45# at 28"...

All in all still quite happy with it. If only I had more time  ......

next up I want to try a hickory board pyramid shape with slight working recurves made by heat. Who knows..... not gonna aim for high lbs probably 30-35.

bye!
Reply
Like

Dark Factor
Registered User
Dark Factor
Registered User
Joined: 29 May 2016, 16:15

28 Dec 2017, 12:06 #29

Oh, that's a success I think. Don't make too many goals on your first bows, this one is already nice. the bend isn't so bad (even if the light near the handle only don't make easy to see the right shape).
It seems to bend a bit too much on limbs at 1/3 of the tips. this could bend a bit more for the rest (but light and contrastes sometime can create illusions)
Reply
Like

river rat
Registered User
river rat
Registered User
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 15:24

29 Dec 2017, 12:08 #30

looks nice.as long as your happy with it your good.
Reply
Like