I´ve had a very busy time the last months, now it´s time for to relax and to study this highly interesting topic: Hysteresis in wooden bows. A great work of Dick Baugh of “Primitiveways”. I always thought hysteresis to be the final key in making great performing wooden bows. So go for: Internal friction in bow limbs and: Bow and arrow efficiency.
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!
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.
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.
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:
So far, Christmas is family- time.
Cheers, 2012 is coming, have great times……………………………………
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.
After having drawn the rowan bow up to 18″ I had to work the tiller a bit for an equal bending. I left it aside for about 7 weeks, last week I could finish the bow. Checking tiller again, sanding, cause of the beauty of the wood at the handle I didn´t wrap the handle with leather or some woolen cloth:
I always try to leave the natural grown shape of a stave. Usually I end up with a very charming and comfortable handle.
The string is made of linen, two- coloured, some natural coloured strands mixed up with some yellow dyed strands.
The padding of string is done with red silk.
I left some tracks of the inner bark(cambium) at the back.
The tiller of the bow is looking uneven, but limbs are still twisted a bit, maybe I ´ll try to balance it. Depends on the performance of the bow.
The wood is dry now(12%), I picked up the stave 5 month ago.
In the meanwhile I´ve done some more bows of green wood, I really prefer to do wooden bows of green wood now. I could exercise much more control on the drying- process, the wood seems to be much less stressed by the drying, done the usual way causing splits and twists. Now you´ll always find some preworked green staves fixed at square timbers.
Green wood seems to respond way better to a heat- treatment and could be pre- shaped by just fixing it near to the final shape at a square timber for some weeks.
Bows made of green wood perform as well as bows made of 2 or more years air- dried staves!
I´ll shot the bow for performance this weekend and will update you soon.
After having survived 3 winters here in the heights of the Black Forest, the actual winter began a bit lately in December but such heavily with tons of snow. Around the 15th of January there was a bit thaw, but the snow came back, again icy temperatures. We all were awaitng spring to come at the earliest in April. But my horse was telling me another story, since a week or so I was wondering why she was rubbing her winter coat off.
Last Saturday I found it to comfortable outside for not to go for staves. Last fall I´ve cut down some locusts nearby, time for picking them up and to split them. The last 3 winters there was no way to go to the forests for picking up staves cause of the heavy snows.
The slope where the ranger has adviced me to fell down the locusts is quite steep, the ground was still frozen, a bit dangerous for to handle my chainsaw. I preferred to use my heavy tenon saw.
It was quite exhausting to carry the logs to my car, cause I had to leave it about 100m away.
Last Monday I splitted the logs into staves.
The drying crack indicates my way for to split the log, again self bowery is much on cooperating with nature.
Using the first drying crack will guiding the split just right along the center of the log, 4 blows with a light hammer did the job.
Almost knotfree straight staves, some of them reflexed and so some deflexed staves too.
After cutting of the bark it´s drying time, I´ll leave the staves outside till it will rain or snow, the first warm breezes of February will let the staves dry fast.
Next bowXplosion will be of “The perfect bow Vol.1”, a picture- heavy build- along of a real ideal design for wooden bows including how- to´s and measurements, heat-treating revisited and explaining “the tracking of a selfbow”.
I´m deeply impressed by the “revolutions” in Tunisia and Egypt, first network revolutions?
There are much more important topics than self- bowery?
The power of the social networks is such great, I don´t know it exactly, but traffic on blogs is increasing heavily too. Whereas the traffic on forums is running down, it´s a pity but my favourite bowery – forums- PALEOPLANET and ATARNET- are going down. Maybe people have had enough of the always pro and contra debates and the so- called chief- arguers.
The books of Don Tapscott are very enlightening the understanding of social networks and the web 2.0. Here is a link to a so-called digital native
That´s exactly my experience when running bow- classes with kids
This is the blog of the Canadian archaeologist Tim Rast, he´s above all a flintknapper and specialized in reproductions of the Arctic and Subarctic.
James Harrod of the Originsnet gave me a hint to the most exciting report focused on arrow- making of Amazonian Indians, I´ve ever read. Go for the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, Vol. 30, “Ontoloy of the self and material culture: arrow- making among the Awa´hunter- gatherers”, no way to set a link, google it. The article is telling how an arrow is related to the human body.
Next bowXplosions will be Vol. 4 of bow-staves, sinew- backing the crossbow, next volume of Making bows of green wood and Vol.1 of nothing else than “The perfect bow”!