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!

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

Recently I came across the following discussion 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: 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.


Ready for spring 2012, we´ve finished our selfbows we were working from last fall on!!

Wow, I love those kids! 

Since 10 years I´m instructing  kids of the Hans- Thoma– Gymnasium in Lörrach to make selfbows and arrows the traditional way. The lessons take place every Thursday afternoon, 90min., we begin in the first week of October, usually we´re ready at the same time when the first warmer days of  spring are finally happening. That´s a perfect time management. The kids are such excited after having finished the bows and arrows, they want nothing else than to shot. Even me can´t wait to see them bracing their bows, drawing them and releasing the arrows, but there has still some instructions to be done about the handling of the bow, not to forget the safety rules.

The first bracing is done! Ready for the shots!
Some unavoidable posing
They should better look where the arrows will go!
Anyway it is done.

I instruct kids in bowmaking the old way since 19 years, the great thing beside being around with following up generations is the fact, that of every workshop I did there´s at least one guy or girl having found a passion and will stuck for a longer time to selfbowery. Or far better will become a self- employed or part- time self- employed bowyer. I know 2 former disciples of mine being now full time bowyers, about 10 being part- time bowyers, quite a lot of them making bows and selling them via ebay or flee- markets or instructing bow- classes. I´m really proud of that.

Spring, Spring, Spring…………………….

After a short but very cold wintertime, spring is back again!

First outdoor shooting 2012 with my kids- bow-class at the T.Heuss Gymnasium at Schopfheim. The times inside we made new arrows, armguards , we did some maintenance of the bows and strings and some gymnastics focused on the course of motions when shooting a bow.

The  kidswere fit as fiddles, Simeons first shot 2012 was a “kill”, the balloon explodes!

Checking the bows and arrows, dressing the new selfmade armguards
Stephen shooting a bamboo bow
Looking for the arrows, the red balloon is still alive
Simeon( in the middle ) has just "killed" the balloon with a mountain maple selfbow.

Spring has come.

Next bowXplosion is on flightbows again, the retros are ready as well as an interesting tonkin- cane bow with forged limbs.

The Great Fibre- Glass Mind Destroyer!!!!

As the BOWXPLOSION has turned out to be one of the most popular blogs focused on the making of PRIMITIVE BOWS and ARROWS ( the term primitive is used proudly) worldwide, I´ll enforce my posting. I´ve persuaded some guys to leave their high- tech archery tackle and to give the primitive way a try.

That´s great!

This year turned out to be the year of wooden bows. Bowyers from all over the world have contributed to enforce  the capablities of wooden bows. Now we´ve got it: wooden bows outperforming fibre- glass bows.The 200f/s bareer has been broken several times.  Thanks to Marc ,St.Louis, Steve Gardner, Alan Case……….for to call a few of these restless guys.

This year turned out to teach much more children and teens for me. My cooperation with schools has heavily increased, I love it. For to make it short: the kids told me that target archery is a mess! I do more and more flight- archery with kids, that´s it! I would go so far to recommend every archery beginner to do flight- archery at first, cause it reqires every capablity needed for accurate shooting without that boring, outmoded kill- pressure. Make your arrow travel as far as possible, kids love it, you´ll love it! Target- archery is a male dominated one-way road.

I´ll post a closer look to flight- shooting kids soon.

Mindful readers of the bowXplosion just have noticed my own growing passion for flight- archery, that´s true, since almost 10 month I´ve not done any target- shooting. I´ve tried to make some great performing wooden flight bows and succeded. It is pure fun to shoot one of my flights 137.5 or one of my double dragons and to think over how to improve them or my flight- shooting style.

This will end up in a new design for the bowXplosion- blog too, more focused on flight- shooting and a closer look behind the scene.

This is an old traditional Hopi kachina- the spirit of the bow- hunter- the first great fibre- glass mind destroyer