Saturday, 30 April 2011

Side Nocks!

I've been having some minor trouble heat straightening the latest longbow, so while it's having another rest clamped up after heating I've been working on my own new longbow.
The nocks I've done recently have all been similar, and I was considering having a go at medieval style side nocks. These are a horn nock with a single groove in the side which looks a bit weird at first.
I found plenty of info' on Alan Blackham's excellent 'side nock page'
which inspired me to go for it. Here's a pic, I used 'white' Waterbuffalo horn (from Highland Horn).
I've just seen the 'explain more' box ticked below, so here goes.
The pic shows the archers eye view of how the top nock looks, a sort of 'off the shoulder' look if we use a ladies dress ananogy!
It does tend to pull the string slightly to the right but the bottom nock has the groove on the right, so the string ends up sitting slightly on a diagonal. I havn't got it finished and shooting yet so I cant explain much more.

I'm still undecided about the rest of the finishing on the bow. Do I add an arrow plate? I'm not sure there's any real evidence for them on medieval bows, and what about a leather grip? I rather like the plain no frills bare wooden Yew longbow.
I've unclamped the other longbow and it's nice and straight now... on the other hand the bow with the side nocks has taken a hint of twist/bend now it's fully tillered. This was always quite likely as I'd heat tempered the belly and put in a fair bit of reflex, I was anticipating this pulling out during tillering to give a fast bow with no set or maybe even a hint of recurve.
Of course as the reflex pulls out you can't be certain it will pull out straight. Side nocks may be exacerbating the issue though.
To put it in perspective the bow is actually fine and is perfectly shootable (my big Yew bow is bent and twisted like a dogs back leg) . To give you some idea of what it's like, if you look down the length of the back of the bow, each side should swell slightly out towards the grip and then taper back towards the far tip. At the moment one edge runs about straight while the other tapers out and then back in, so we're talking about half an inch, which is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things.
I've put that onto my heat bending jig, clamped it and given it 45 mins at 250 degrees C. I've got to resist the urge top tinker with it for a few days now.
Just as well I've got 2 others on the go to play with!

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