Sunday, 4 July 2010

Re-working Old Bows

As well as reworking the '1 hour bow' I've been looking at an old Elm longbow, which I made many years ago, but was never shot a great deal.
It has chrysals on the belly, is about 70" long drawing 36 pounds at 28". I'm going to cut it down to 61" as a Saxon bow at 30 lb for re-enactment.
I don't like making bows much below 35-40lb, but this seemed a good opportunity to try something new, revitalise an old bow and have something to tinker with.
There is not much Elm about these days and it's an attractive dark wood.
I've been playing with it most of the weekend off and on to see if it's feasible.
First I sawed 5" off each end...a bit irreversible, so I hope it works!
A lot has been taken off the belly with a spokeshave, I was surprised how deep the chryasls went, more than 3mm. The handle has also been drastically recuced, as the Saxon bow will need to bend through the handle to get 28" draw from a short bow. Although the bow will be 61" the nocks are 2" in from each end, which gives a working length of 57" and thus half of that as a realistic maximum draw, that's 28.5"
I've roughed it out and had it on the tiller back to 30 pounds at 26", it really is bending in the handle which is a nice change for me as I have a tendency towards making bows whip ended (or at least this old Elm bow was...)
By the way, I put the giant ladle back together on Friday, it needs some more work, but at least it's back in one piece.

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