Very impressive post about the flight- championships at the Bonneville Salt Flats by Kap Koppedrayer published in the Primitive Archer Magazine: go

A mustread.


The Vorderheubronn Flightarrow- Massacre

Last Saturday was the day, to chrono some flightbows and flightarrows I did all over 2013.

 The setup is like follows:

Chrono setup: the chronograph is placed on a rack, all  the lights(LED) in my workshop are turned on, plus the indoor shooting lights of the chrony.
Chrono setup: the chronograph is placed on a rack, all the lights(LED) in my workshop are turned on, plus the indoor shooting lights of the chrony. There is a backstop in the background.

I found as much light as possible gives exact and serious results when doing chronos inside.

Indoor shooting lights for the chrony, installed just above the photo- sensors.
Indoor shooting lights for the chrony, installed just above the photo- sensors.
Inside the chrony with the 9V alkaline battery attached.
Inside the chrony with the 9V alkaline battery attached.
The display told me the chrony is ready.
The display told me the chrony is ready.
Best speed of the 42lbs elm sinew backed bow, shot with a 260grs. arrow made of larch.
Best speed of the 42lbs elm sinew backed bow, shot with a 260grs. arrow made of larch.
Sinew backed elm bow with inuit- style tips, bow is 44" in length, 42lbs at 23".
Sinew backed elm bow with inuit- style tips, bow is 44″ in length, 42lbs at 23″.
elmuit backed 5 72013
Sinew backed elm bow drawn at 9″
The short wild rose sinew- backed bow is 43" in length, 40lbs at 23".
The short wild rose sinew- backed bow is 43″ in length, 40lbs at 23″.
3 new flights sideview 3 2013
It shots an 180grs. hollow cedar hex- shaft arrow at 204,6f/s.

The queen of this session:

Osage bow, inuit styled tips, 46lbs at 23"
Osage bow, inuit styled tips, 46lbs at 23″
iu#nuit side 12 2013
Sideview of the queen
The queen- braced. The arrow is made of thin baked strips of fine grown larch, with the tip and the nock enforced with bird#s eye maple.
The queen- braced. The arrow is made of thin baked strips of fine grown larch, with the tip and the nock enforced with bird’ s eye maple.
That' s it! Best speed of this session.
That’ s it!
Best speed of this session.

Success so far. But I was longing for more: 300f/s!!!!

I ignored my falling concentration and accuracy and ended up with 4 broken flightarrows, the 279,0f/s arrow is lost somewhere in the disorder of my workshop. I even hitted the wire rod of the chrony and failed the backstop, my hands and fingers began to suffer. Remember zen: don’ t overdo it, underdo it.

 The fletchings remained
These arrows are all composites. I guess I should choose the wood for the arrows much more serious and take much more care on the glueing.
The fletchings have survived for the next massacre.
The fletchings have survived for the next massacre.

First post since months – no excuse – just more bows and arrows!


Hope you enjoy the bows and arrows posted above, details will be posted soon.

I did a lot of bow- classes the last months, our new family members, the mountain- sheeps needed a lot of time: they turned out to be world class escapees, so we’ ve to try out different types of fences. Finally I ended up in making lots of the good old sheep hurdles, I don’ t like to see sheep dying in an electric fence.

This winter is really hard, not to cold but snow since five months, I almost forgot how the world is looking without snow. Where is the spring of 2013? Outside it’s still very cold and there’ s still this snow!

The lost and promised pics……………..bow sale………near future…………

Scythian hornbow, Persian shield, 3 arrows
The yew flightbow- 3 new flight arrows- still want to make 300f/s and 400yards!!!
The yew wood for this bow has been dried for 15 years and the hit is, that the bow didn´t got any set till now- it´s a 44″ long shortie drawing 51lbs at 23″. Can´t wait first chronos and flights………………..
The ash- longbow for sale- 66" in length, drawing 46lbs at 28"
The ash longbow for sale- 66″ in length, drawing 46lbs at 28″
the ash longbow- after about 18 years of heavy use no sign of set- a true companion.
First trial in cultivating flax- flax loves the salty air of the sea- the sea is far away from here- maybe the fibres will be not as strong as needed for bow strings…….
Our sheep(alpine stonesheep)-Carlos the brown ram, Frida on the left, Betty in the middle, they will provide us with wool, milk( precious cheese) and a lots of more sheep…………….
The plains double-bow for sale, braced- sinewed back
The plains double- bow- unstrung




Some News and a sale…………..

Getting more and more involved into flightarchery and bow-classes with kids I´ve decided to sale some of my longtime personal favourite bows- I don´t need them anymore. I´ve posted  3 of them here, this is my german speaking blog, if you´re interested in one of these bows or if you want more details and pics post a comment here or send me a mail. The next days there will be more offerings.

Next posts are dealing with a new retro-styled flightbow made of yew, some new flightarrows and the final tillering of the crossbow.

The summer has finally begun to be hot and our family has grown- 3 young sheep, a very rare breed, an endangered species, the alpine stonesheep, actually there are less than 1000 of them alive. They will provide us with wool, milk, maybe with horn( I even can´t imagine to slaughter the ram, his name is Carlos and he´s such a smart and tough guy).

And I´ve seeded flax for the first time, even the summer had been wet and a bit cold, the flax is in flower now- what a great blue-, now I´ve to wait some days before harvesting and drying it for to split into fibers and to make my first homegrown bow- strings. I´ll post the whole procedure in details.

Sorry, I´ve lost the pics somehow, I promise they will be posted tomorrow.

Speed, Speed, Speed………………….is the place!

Recently I came across the following discussion http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/topic/11885/Questions-about-really-fast-wooden-bows?page=1#.T69m8JOljb4 in the PaleoPlanet forum. Asking if anybody has made a so- called catamaran– bow  in the same forum I got some comments focused on very fast wooden bows: http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/topic/50882/very-fast-wooden-bows#.T9YPeZOljb4 in general, but no comment about that bow. I guess nobody has made it to date.

Anyway I decided to give this design a try by modifying 2 bows I´ve yet done as flightbows. Maybe you remember my article “Making of a wooden flightbow- 2.5×2 double dragons” and this pic:


I chose the osage bow(2nd from above) and the euonymus bow( at the bottom). 

The osage bow was 44lbs at 23″.

First I made a jig for to steambend the long non- bending tips of the bow into an about 30° angle. The bending worked well, osage is really one of the best woods for to be steambent. I left the bent tips in the jig for some hours, then I heat- treated them for to dry and to fix the angles.

Originally I wanted to split the tips with my small bandsaw as Tim Baker has posted it in his comment about the so- called catamaran bow. But when I braced the bow for to check its new tiller, I was heavily surprised by its power and springiness.

I´ve made my experiences with split- limb bows when being the bowyer of a research- project focused on the reconstruction of Boeotian and Egyptian bows. Cause there had been some problems with stability I decided not to split the tips. But for security reasons I added some string- bridges, they are thought to be removed when I´ve  done the first shots with the bow.

Bow unbraced, sideview
Bow braced
Backview, some leftovers of the pics I had originally glued to the back
Bow drawn to 20″

The length of the bow is 45″, the handle is 51/2″ in length, the tips are 91/8″ in length. The limbs are 13/8″ at the handle and about 1/2″ at the nocks. The draw- weight has increased to 51lbs at 23″.  I´ve left the tips in their grown shape. That´s it.

The chronos were done with a 155grs. hex-shaft made of cedar.

First shot, drawn to about 21″

The following 8 shots were 240- 255f/s, one last shot for today.

I´ve never expected such a killer- speed!!!!!!!

I couldn´t help to do another shot, but ended up with 262f/s.

To chrono a bow is a somehow a tricky thing, it depends a lot on the release of the arrow, I don´t find myself to be very experienced in speed- or flightshooting, I´ve still to practise it much more.

I´ve  to thinkover this design and this high speed,actually still enjoying it.

Some adds: I was really hesitating to post the high speed of the bow, cause I´m not quite sure what´s the reason for. I´m still thinking over it and above all I´ve to do more chronos for to confirm the results. And I hope the rainy weather we are suffering from since weeks will stop very soon for to make the flightshoots with the bow, I´m expecting shots at 350- 400? yards.

If I look at the working of the limbs it is very obvious that the further the bow is drawn the straighter the limbs become, so the long tips are not working like static recurves at all. Maybe my wife is right when stating that this bow is built up of 6 bows, 2 longer bows( main limbs), 2 short bows( the transition from the main limbs into the tips) and 2 stiff bows(long tips).

Next BowXplosion will be on the modifyied euonymus- bow mentioned above. 

Don´t be to impatient with the crossbow, it is still in the drying state, cause I´ve had to add another sinew- layer for tiller- reasons.

Flightarrows are flightarrows are flightarrows………………..

Flightshooting has turned out to be a kind of drug to me.  If there is some spare time I go for making a new flightbow or trying some new ideas for flightarrows.

Maybe you remember my trials on that gliding- arrow- thing, coming up every now and then in traditional bowery- forums. I have really given it a chance and  against my expectations I had ended up 20% succesfully. Sorry, no post about now, but within the upcoming 2 weeks.

Trying gliding- arrows I got the idea that it is not only possible to laminate arrows or to build them up lengthwise( inserting a foreshaft and nocks, like  some Native American tribes have done it). It´s also possible to insert a tapered strip of very hard wood into a given common wooden shaft, for to get a relatively light, but anyway hard and barrelled  arrow. The following pic will make things very clear:

Flightarrow( cedar) enforced with a strip of hardwood, nock and tip enforced with hardwood too

That´s it! I swear, this is the best arrow I´ve ever shot. I admit not to have shot an Alan Case tonkin- hex- arrow. Cause of  the actually very cold winter, I will have to wait some weeks for making some flight- shots, but chronos I´ve done with this arrow are promising a real yards killer.

The building plan:

The making of is not to easy, but manageable and takes some time. First of all check out your wooden arrow shafts, I recommend cedar 5/16″ in diameter and 28″ in length, take the best you´ve in stock: very clear running through growthrings, no knots, physical weight about 150grs, for to end up with an about 180grs. arrow, that´s the best weight for a short flight bow with a drawweight of 45- 49lbs at  a 23″ drawlength. Don´t shorten the shaft, the extra length is a must for the making of.

Look for the hardest hardwood you´ve, the inserts should measure about 1/3 of the 23″  arrow length plus 2″ for the taper(1″ in length at each end), a bit more than 5/16″ in width and about  1/16″ in thickness. Make the insert very accurate, I use my small bandsaw and a real tiny Japanese plane for the tapers.

Splitting the shaft exactly along the centerline seems to be very delicious, cause it is round. I fix the shaft on a blank with screws(that´s why the shaft is still 28″ in length), an adhesive tape or glue is thinkable. The shaft has not to be splitted its whole length, I split it from the nock side towards the head, stopping at about 2/3 of its length.

The cedar- shaft is fixed on a blank with screws at the ends(extra length) for to assure a cut along the centerline

After the shaft is cut, the first insert could be glued in.

The usual way to glue laminated arrows, wrapped with a strong yarn(flax, silk, hemp) and clamped to a straight blank

When the glue is dry, the second insert has to be made, same procedure, but it has to be done exactly in a 90 angle to the first insert.

The inserts at the top and the nock should be calculated well for to get the right weight. I´ve checked out the arrows point of gravity and then cut the inserts: the point of gravity should be located a bit towards the tip. After having done some test- flights I added a second shorter insert at the top perpendicular to the first insert. Beginning with this kind of arrows, this is a try and error- game, but with some experience this will be a very calculable kind of flight arrow. It is even possible to make hollow arrows with this method, when inserting 4 strips of hardwood about a 1/4 in thickness of the shaft, so there is a gap within the arrow.

For to end up with a perfect round arrow I´ve made the jig I was thinking of since years. A kind of selfmade turning machine by using a common drilling machine, some wooden boards and screws.  It has turned out to be such helpful jig for every kind of arrow that I´ll post a making of soon. Anyway pics of it.

Turning jig for shaping and grinding arrows
The jig viewed from above

And the most perfect arrow I´ve ever shot:

That´s it: barreled and ultimately hard

Next BowXplosion will again be dealing with flightbows. Succesful flightbows need sharp recurves, so I´ll post a making of naturally grown recurves  and a post focused on steam- bent recurves, inclusive a how- to- v- splice recurves.

Finally winter- there´s another life than snow- flakes

Are selfmade bows political correct? Dealers will suffer....................

This blog has not turned into a stage for political debates in the face of the worldwide financial crisis. But I wonder  Marx being so actual and very right about the behaviour of the big capitalists. Nothing more to add , but I support “Occupy Wallstreet”. Everything made by yourself will bring the power back to you. I´m still dreaming of a world without any political, financial or whatever leaders and the growing social networks make me very hope. Get your power back, that´s what shamans all over the worlds and times are telling us.

I´ve not blogged since weeks. Main reason was the best fall we´ve ever had here. From August till mid- Decembre we´ve had about 6 rainy days. Too dry for sure, but I could cut a lot of bow- woods ( black locust, rowan, whitebeam, mountain- maple………….), I´ve never had so many staves in stock. I could do a lot of fire- woods too, making some new fences, preparing the grazing land and a barn for our sheepfarming we´ll begin next spring. And a very sad thing has happened: in the last week of Octobre one of our horses, the brown gelding died of some diseases of age. We knew since about half a year that this will happen, but anyway, a horse is so big and he was for about 20 years a true companion!

Even I had been so busy, I´ve prepared a lot of articles about making retro- and other flightbows, flight arrows, about my bow- classes, for not to forget the finishing of the crossbow.

There´s to much snow outside, vacations, time for heavy blogging.

Some pics of soon upcoming bowxplosions:

From the top: another flight 137.5 made of rowan and walnut, osage retro- flight, the MARX NOW made of black locust, sinew- backed. All made with inserted siyahs (recurves )mountain maple
Same bows as above- backview, they are all about 45" in length
The osage retro- flight bow with a grip made of cherry braced. It´s 49lbs at 23", I´m very sure it will make the 200f/s
The best flightarrow, I´ve ever made- cedar shaft with inserted hardwood- a real burner- it´s making of will be another article with many pics

So far, Christmas is family- time.

Cheers, 2012 is coming, have great times……………………………………

Flight- bows, flight- arrows, bow- classes

Actually the results of the US- Flights 2011 are heavily discussed among the bowyers of the PALEOPLANET, go here

I found it highly interesting to know, that from 1920- 1940 flightshooting has been much more popular than nowadays. It´s a bit frustrating to see these men and women shooting further than nowadays bowyers. What the hell they know and do better? Following the PALEO- discussion , I think nowadays bowyers are still at the beginning.

I´m really able to make very fast selfbows, but I can´t get 300- 400 yards. Maybe my arrows didn´t match the bows, maybe I´ve to work on my flight- shooting style………………..maybe…………….there´s a lot to learn.

Some pics of flight- bows made in 1920- 1940:

A Bill Folberth- style bow- osage orange, deflex/reflex, 3" wide at the handle tapering to the infinite
A Lee Sublette flightbow- mixing traditional and modern techniques- spliced at the handle
Sublette- logo- arrow
Sublette- bow- sharp static recurve, enforced with horn
Sublette- bow- arrow rest made of a teeth- brush

Pics taken from the http://www.tradrag.com/forum

I can´t wait to have the spare time to give these bows a try.

Recently I had been asked for the dates of my upcoming bow- classes at my workshop here in Vorderheubronn:

14th- 16th of October

25th- 27th of November

For details go here holzbogenxplosion

Fall is a great time here in the heights of the Black Forest, a lot of sunshine and fog in the valleys, often very clear views till the Swiss Alps. Enjoy!