Thursday, 16 August 2012

Hazel Braced and a Question of Nocks

I'm toying with a different style of nock.
Previously I've gone for a wideish tip with a simple shoulder so the string is supported on the edges of the limb or a skinny tip with an overlay so the string is supported by the overlay on the back.
An alternative is the skinny tip somewhere between a pencil and your little finger with a binding round it about half an inch down to support the string, this would have been of sinew and hide glue, but a suitable modern equivalent would be linen thread soaked in epoxy (hide glue goes tacky in hot humid weather). This sort of tip has been found on ancient bows in North America and Europe. The advantage of the skinny tip is the reduced weight, the down side is you have no margin of error for adjusting the string line... mind if the bow is left wide at the grip, then the adjustment can be made there. You can see the difference in tip mass (both Hazel bows), the skinny one on the left is a bit thicker at the tip to maintain rigidity, and you can see how that style evolves into the Mollegabet style (type Mollegabet bow into google images if you don't know what I mean) with a long rigid light tip with the bending part of the limb being the part near the grip. I'm sure that the various styles weren't rigidly defined or categorised like they are today, which is to my mind a nonsense.  You hear arguments about "is that a primitive or an American Flatbow?" And one archery society insists a bow can't be an 'English Longbow' unless it has horn nocks!
The bow is still looking a bit chunky, but as I work it down over the next day or so it will hopefully become more elegant.

Last evening I made up a quick jig for supporting one end of a bow when the other is on or in the vice.
I'd seen something similar posted on the Primitive Archer forum and I was getting fed up with resting the bow on the toolbox, or miscellaneous scraps of wood. I can clamp it to the bench wherever is convenient, hopefully it should make things a bit easier.
A good days work on it, I've slimmed the tips considerably with the last 6" almost parallel. The reflex has pulled out except near the fades and there is a hint of set mid limb. Overall it's about straight now and pulling 24" at 45#
It's looking much more elegant and I've had a few test shots.

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