Sunday, 30 June 2013

Straightening the Stick Bow

The bow is well out of line and finding the solution is a good example of problem solving.
It has to be bent sideways by about 4-5". (You can see in the pic of it jigged up ready for steaming.
I can't bend the limbs sideways as they are wide and flat.

Therefore I must bend the grip. One part of the grip has a big knot so I can't bend it there.
So I must bend the lower end of the grip...
The lower part of the grip is too thick to bend.
So what's the answer?
Well if it's too thick, make it thinner!
I cut out a big section about half the thickness of the grip to allow me to steam bend it straight.
I then glued in a block to restore the lateral rigidity.

You can see where I've cut out the section I've tried to leave the wood an even thickness, and I've been careful not to leave very sharp corners or saw cuts which could open up as splits.
One of the guys on primitive archer had a similar problem a while back and it took him ages to get it hot enough to bend, he was beginning to despair, but from our armchairs we all assured him it was just a matter of getting it hot enough for long enough to let the heat penetrate. He was using a hot air gun and applying oil to help the penetration of heat.

Give me steam any day! I got it set up, came back 45 minutes later, pushed the limb across, clamped it, gave it another 30 minutes of steam and then switched it off. A few hours later I took it off the jig and completed the repair.
If it had been a more precision job, I'd have given it a day to dry out, but this is just experimental.All this is part of going from just 'a bow' to a good bow (hopefully).

The steam had softened the bark, so I took the oportunity to scrape it off.

That knot on the back provides a nice location for the hand to sit under, I'll round it off nice and smooth to make a feature of it.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Stick Bow Full Draw

Ah yes, rushing a bow is always a bad idea! There is however some purpose to this exercise as I have a couple of long and much straighter skinny stick/staves which will be ready in November.
Having roughed it out I put on a string. The top limb was weak and had all the curve whereas the lower limb just about got out of its natural reflex and back to straight.
Half way up the top limb the distance from string to limb was about 4" but on the bottom limb it was zero! The string line was a mile out and it wanted to twist too.
I pulled it back a decent distance and both limbs were flexing.
I didn't put it on the tiller at all, I just drew it up in front of the patio doors and looked at the reflection, sometimes simple is quicker and just as good.
A bit of luck was that the top limb was a bit too long which was putting the geometric centre of the bow a few inches above a big knot which formed a comfortable natural grip.
However lopping a couple of inches of the top limb made the string alignment worse as the bit I cut off was actually wiggling the right way.
Adding a slip of yew offcut to the tip back and side allowed me to move the string line across a bit. An overlay at the other tip will also help alignment.
I've pulled it back to28" and nearly all the bark has popped off, I've shot it too, pretty slow, but it shoots.
The limbs are on the twist, but it doesn't really matter, it's a bow and it shoots.
Like I say, it's easy to make a bow... it's hard to make a good bow.
It shows how forgiving Yew is and that it doesn't have to take an age to make something that shoots. It also shows that something that looks awful can still be recovered into a shootable bow and that you can do a side patch on a tip and then add an overlay to help keep it together and give you something to file a nock into.
Some good lessons learned. I might even slim the handle down enough to put in some bend to correct the string line.
For the record here are some statistics.
Stick diameter at grip 1 3/4 "
Length nock to nock 60 1/4"
Draw weight 40# @ 28" !
It hasn't taken any real set but the string alignment is awful.

Just got the full draw shot, to be honest it's embarassing how good it looks! i could hardly believe it when I saw the pic'. Other pic tries to give some idea of how the flat of the belly is at 45 degrees to the arrow... but hey, it shoots.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Yew Stick Bow

I needed to go out and get some more PVA to finish sealing the Yew staves and some other stuff, but it started raining. I mooched about in the garage a bit looking over the staves I'd been sorting out. Well there is a really skinny waggly Yew stick, it has a decent amount of heart wood but is small enough to get my hand round.
I started chopping away at the fat end some time back, using it's natural curve as reflex and aligning it roughly so tips and centre were in line. I picked up the axe and did some more chopping but it was a bit slow and I needed a quick fix of bow making.

Seeing as how it's basically a scrap stick I ran it through the band saw. Well 'ran through' isn't the right expression really, I sawed off small slices and scallops from the belly slowly reducing it. When I flexed it 'floor tiller' style on the floor it was trying to twist in my hand so I needed to adjust the plane of what I was cutting from the belly. I took a bit more off until it was flexing and feeling ok. Now it's now to axe and spokeshave.
You can see in the last pic the belly has 2 sort of flat faces and it's been adjusted with the axe. This illustrates why you should always take off half what you think, give you room for adjustment.
It made one horrible 'crack' noise as I was flexing it, but that could be bark, cambium, a knot or anything. I've left the bark on as it will keep the back clean and removing it would be a waste of time if the whole thing blows up in my face.

The crack was obviously the bark, as it's actually popping off now I've cleaned the belly up with a spoke shave and flexed it some more. The sapwood looks perfect where it's now exposed.
It will probably end up pretty low draw weight, maybe 30-35# at a guess.
I can't actually remember when this Yew was cut, I normally date it, but as this was probably just an afterthough I hadn't bothered, it was probably November last year from a local churchyard.

One of the UK guys on Primitive Archer had got himself a bit of similarly skinny Yew from a church yard and was hoping to maybe swap it for something less challenging. I said I'd find him something if he came over.
I get lots of contacts and requests from people. It's those who make the effort to cut their own wood and come and visit who get the most help. Oddly if you just give someone a seasoned stave they don't put much value on it, but if they've cut some themselves and taken some trouble they appreciate it much more.I'd rather give a stave to someone keen than sell one to a 'chequebook hobyist' who will stick it in his shed and move rapidly onto the next fad.
Hmmm don't know if that sounds harsh?

Anyhow this quick stick bow will hopefully show the value of having a quick go even with unpromising wood. Of course I can get away doing it quick on the bandsaw because I have the experience, even so it can run away with you and become a quick way of ruining wood!

Meanwhile I've finished the Dogleg Longbow about 6 coats of Danish Oil and a couple of wipes of beeswax polish, it looks very handsome now.

Monday, 24 June 2013

More Bandsaw Work & Arrow Plate

Blimey I'm tired out!
Yesterday afternoon Alexi, the guy who'd put me on to the tree surgeon about the Newmarket Yew came over to help me run the longer pieces through the bandsaw. He brought a piece of his own Yew to saw too, it had been seasoning for about 3 years and was superb, a lovely colour and tight grained. We joked that it was obviously the finest quality high altitude Italian Yew despite being cut in Essex !
Some of the logs were a bit too much for the bandsaw, but with two of us carefully feeling it through we did a good job.
I had been hoping to give Alexi some of my wood, but he doesn't have a workshop of his own.
That quirk of life that when you are young and have the energy you don't have the time and facilities. Then when you are older you have the time and facilities, but have lost some of the vigour and your hair!
Anyhow I wrote his name and date on his Yew and I'll find room for it somewhere. We had a try out of some of my bows too and now he knows where I am he's welcome to use the facilities.
While shooting the Hazel recurve I noticed the tip misalignment had reappeared and the string was kicking out of one of the string grooves. I can sort that out sometime, maybe with dry heat this time. For the moment I've got too much on. Maybe storing it standing vertically resting on one tip didn't help, maybe it was the step through stringing (it's a pig to string) who know? Anyhow, that'll wait for another day.

This afternoon, I sawed out the last of the billets and cut up all the scrap stuff for firewood and stacked it outside. (that's not even all of it in the pic!) The size of the pile gives you an idea of how much timber I've handled (and most of it has been picked up 4 times at least!).

The final haul is 10 long stave (not all long enough for longbows) and 20 billets. Some of it will be challenging and interesting to work, but even a pessimistic estimate of my success rate would give at least 10 bows.
A very worth while haul, but a heck of a lot of work... yeah, remind me again 'how long does it take to make a bow?' :)

Time for a breather, then sweep out the garage and get on inlaying a Mother of Pearl arrow plate into the dogleg longbow. I should have it ready for next weekend, as I know there's a man itching to get his hands on it.

As you can see I've done the arrow plate... the pic is a bit yellow due to the artificial light in the garage.
Nice clean job., you can see the lovely thin sapwood and untouched back.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Tales From Medieval Corner

I got down the club today to test out the Dogleg Yew Longbow and a variety of arrows including the bamboo flight arrow I made a while back.
The  niggling question for me is will 175fps get you to 180 yards?

The dogleg bow was tested at 171fps with my heavy arrows (568grain) and it sent these comfortably past the 180 yards. The chap who is getting the bow managed to turn up for a quick try out and was delighted, the draw weight was just right, although he tired after a few shots. He certainly got the first couple back to a nice smooth full 32" draw. A slight tailwind had come up by then and he was picking up his arrows a good 25yards past the flag with a big grin on his face.
We tried the really heavy 'livery arrows' (980grain) and these were still getting past 150 yards, they were possibly a tad stiff and heavy for the bow. I think it wa sthose arrows, it may have been the EWBS (English Warbow Society) standard arrow which is 802.5 grains. Still damn heavy.
I didn't dare try my lighter arrows for fear of putting them out of the field, so I shot these from my Bamboo Backed Oregon Yew bow, these made the 180yards.
Finally I strung the Hazel recurve with the wacky paint job, it dropped my standard arrow about 16 yards short of the flag, but the flight arrow made it all the way and was actually closer than anyone else.

I also had the chance to try a High Altitude 105# Italian Yew bow sold as a second hand 'training bow' not a pristine bow. It had a degree of set and the weight came in late and hard. I couldn't get it quite to full draw, but the performance didn't seem much different from the English Yew bows being tested. Doubtless with that last inch of draw and a dynamic loose it would have gained some distance, but it certainly wasn't the 'magic material' I've heard it touted as.
The above is of course just my opinion and the reader is invited to take or leave it as they are inclined.
Time will tell when I make an English Yew Warbow for 32" draw (the 90# bow I made a year or so back was only tillered to 28")

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Warbow Stave

The heavy bow fraternity up the club has been growing in numbers and I've tested the dogleg Yew longbow back at a full 32" draw as it might suit one of the guys.
The draw weight was a little down on what I expected, its 70# at 32" but it is smooth and fast.
70# at 32" has a lot more energy in the bow than 70# at 28"

It's quite deceptive, about 7" of draw length is lost as brace height* so you are really comparing 25" 'power stroke' with 21" , well that's 19% more!
I tested it through the chrono' with a heavy arrow (568grains) and my 'standard' arrow (414grains) and got 171 and 181 fps respectively which is pretty quick. I'm hoping to test it at the club tomorrow, I'll also maybe test a flight arrow in a lighter bow.

The Yew I cut last November is destined to become a 120# Warbow... (I hope... I don't want to count my chickens before they have hatched).
I took the half log down from the shelves and looked it over, it looks very good, pretty straight and knot free, Rather coarse grained, but I'm not over worried by that. I marked it out with chalk, very much oversize.
I ran it through the bandsaw to reduce it a little which will help the next 5 months of seasoning. It's now about 2.5" square and 82" long. I tested the moisture content of the offcut and it 16%.
I don't worry too much about moisture content but it's good to know that it is drying out..
the sapwood is fairy thin so I may try my trick of tillering it with the cambium layer left on to maintain a pristine layer of sapwood for the back.

* Brace height is measured from the belly so a 6" brace is about  7" when measured from the back the way drawlength is measured.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Yew Shoots as Cuttings?

I've pressed on sorting the billets and painting the ends with PVA. There were a lot of nice green shoots on many of them and I wondered if these would grow if stuck in the ground as cuttings.
I've seen ancient Yews where branches have touched the ground and re-rooted. I checked the Internet and it said that Yew cuttings will take ok.

I like the idea of having Yews growing that are genetically the same as the 16th century Yew in Newmarket, growing in the woods near me.

I picked off the lower growth, sliced down the stems and shoved 'em into an old builders bag full of soil in which we'd been hoping to grow peas last year. The snails ate all the peas and were still hiding under the folded down sides of the bag... There was a toad hiding there too which is excellent as it may eat the slugs and snails.

Hopefully the toxic nature of the Yew will protect it from being eaten.
If they grow I'll let you know and I'll go and stealth plant them in the woods, maybe in some of the areas where there is already Yew, so that it's in keeping with the woodland.
The bits of twig in the bag were there as a cat deterrent.

Sorting out my logs has turned up some timber I probably won't use, so if any bowyers or serious aspiring bowyer wants some seasoned Hornbeam, Hawthorn, Maple etc. I've a few skinny Yew billets which might make a low weight primitve. Also a couple of half logs of Laburnum.
This isn't top grade super duper stuff but it's seasoned and good to have a go with. I do have some other odds and ends inluding the 'bad' half of all the Yew I've just billeted some of which would do for try outs miniatures or crossbow prods.
It's mostly 2-3" diameter logs or half logs , with some skinny character staves etc. It's not roughed out,' make a bow by numbers' pre shaped staves!

I do have two or three primitives which were commissioned and then uncollected (35# 40# ) if anyone is interested.
Obviously this is 'collection only'.
Anyone visiting can have a go with some of the bows and a look at what i'm doing.
The timber is free, although a bottle of wine for a long visit is always appreciated.
Contact me via the 'contact' page on my Delsbows website if you are interested.
I'm in Harlow Essex.

Friday, 14 June 2013

The Interconnectedness of Things

I put my coarsest blade onto the bandsaw ready to rip down some of the Yew billets, 3tpi with an alternate set on the teeth for good clearance and a slightly wider cut, essential when ripping down the length of green wood.
While I was doing it I remembered the lessons learned from my new little lathe that slower is better for heavy work. I enjoy the way new skills and knowledge transfer to other jobs and remind one of things which may have otherwise been ignored.
I swapped the drive belt over onto the slower speed / higher torque setting and noticed it was badly frayed.
A quick look online located one and I ordered it over the phone. The guy who took the order was V helpful and said the old one would probably hold out for a while.
Well it lasted until 3:30! long enough to go through most of the short logs which were for billets. Generally they each yielded a single billet, but there are a couple from which I may get pairs of matched ones.
It was heavy going and a few times I was at the limit of both me and the bandsaw. The bigger logs needed coaxing through and a wedge banged into the saw cut behind the blade to help stop it pinching.
A good session of sawing.
My wife  was relieved (and possibly the neighbours too) to get some peace and quiet when the belt finally gave way.

I can get on painting the ends of these with PVA writing where and when they were cut and reorgansing my shelves to stor them for a year.
People always ask 'how long does it take to make a bow?' Maybe they'd like to come and lend a hand with this stuff which tends to get forgotten in the general scheme of things.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Early Father's Day Adventure.

One of the guys from the club was contacted by a tree surgeon ( )
who was going to pollard a V old Yew. He was unable to go and see if there was any decent wood there, so I nobly stepped into the breach ;)
My daughter ran me up there in her trusty Suzuki Carry Van 'Binky'.
When I first saw the tree it looked a bit bushy and over trimmed in the style of a church yard Yew and I thought there wouldn't be much decent timber there.
Closer inspection revealed some decent thick stems which would make excellent billets and a good few cleanish ones long enough for full length staves. The stems hadn't shot up ramrod straight, but were rather undulating, there will be some work involved in teasing out the bows, but then ramrod perfect staves would soon pall and become boring.
As the tree was rapidly reduced by Alexander and his two guys, the potential timber was piling up and I was struggling to appraise it all sensibly.
By lunchtime we'd done and the van was pretty much full to overflowing and I was flagging a bit.
Once we got home and unloaded I was very pleased with the haul, plenty of good 4' lengths each of which should yield a good clean billet, with some yielding a matched pair.
Some of the longer bits were a tad tight for length, with the tips encroaching into knotty areas or where there was a fork (drat I've forgotten the tree surgeon term for a fork.. update next morning:- Ah yes 'union'... amazing what a good nights kip will do.) but there were quite a few promising staves.

Despite being too tired for safe sensible work I set to trying split off the bad half of one of the large logs. I managed to gouge a lump out of my thumb, on a splinter of steel on the edge of an old axe blade I use as a wedge.
It had been caught with the axe blade driven in from the other side of the log and a big curved splinter of steel had been raised from its edge. A pretty weird accident, but an plaster and a cup of tea soon had me fixed up. The billets are piled up nearest the camera in the last pic, the longer bits at the back.

I'll have my work cut out over the next few days tidying up the wood and painting the ends with PVA to stop it drying too quickly from the ends and splitting.
It was great to make contact with a tree surgeon who is keen to work with a bowyer, and I'm hoping to help out showing some bows on his stand at a village fair later in the year.

Counting rings on one of the large stems showed the stem was about 120 years old, and that was when it had last been cut. The main bole of the tree was vastly bigger and had doubtless been pollarded (or copiced?) several times before. There was a set of wooden steps leading up into the heart of the tree which had doubtless seen generations of children playing in it.
The copious new growth near the base, shows it will doubtless recover nicely and be ready for another trim round about 2133 !

Monday, 10 June 2013

Shoot report Cloth of Gold:- plus Pic

Shoot report Cloth of Gold:-
I shot the Hazel recurve and it performed better than I did.
It was a master hunter round (2 arrows at every target) I shot ok but was shooting with 4 others who are all excellent shots. One guy is the holder of multiple national records. ... so I scored lowest : (
He was a fount of some good advice and info, but he did rather preach as if I didn't know the first thing. (The explanation of how increasing brace height reduces paradox was totally unnecessary). 
At one point he was questioning if Simon Stanley's 170# Yew Warbow was really 170# and he wanted to see it on the scales. I assured him that I'd shot with SS and Robert Hardy, handled the bow and could vouch for it's authenticity.
He then asked how I knew that! I'm sure you can imagine the ire of my response! 
He was a bit more deferential after that.

It was a long slow day (do compounders really have to hold at full draw for about 15 seconds? Even the crossbows were quicker)
Great course, a lot of down hill shots and some real long ones.
My shot of the day was second time round, a standing bear at 60yards. I set up relaxed and comfortable lined up and just let slip.. I knew it was on a good line... I sat down and did the times crossword while the arrow was still in the air, then I heard a satisfying thud : ) First arrow kill!
Out of the 10 arrows shot by our group, only 3 were in him and one of those was a 'lucky leg' mine was the most central. (Of course, my second missed, which one reason I didn't much like the 2 arrow format, what's the point of shooting a dead bear? ; )  )

Thanks to all at Cloth of Gold (Catering, Marshalls, course layers organiser etc) for a great shoot.
Bit tired this morning... 

My bow was much admired too, by Russel Crowe and Damien Hirst who were just passing... which was nice.

Just added the pic, courtesy of Ray who was one of the marshalls, cheers Ray.
It almost makes me look like I know what I'm doing ;)

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Repair Done

The strapping came off this morning and I carefully rasped the patch down to roughly conform to the bow, then it was a bastard file, 2nd cut file and finally 240 grade wet or dry paper. It blends in nicely.
Inspecting rest of the bow, it seemed in good order, the colour has darkened a bit and it's taken a bit of set.
I shot 5 arrows to give it a test and it felt as if it had maybe lost a couple of pounds, it certainly shot clean and true.
I went over it lightly with wire wool soaked in white spirit to take off any beeswax polish, I'll give it a couple of coats of Danish Oil and then a wipe of beeswax polish. There was a little dink on the sapwood on one edge near the tip, but the old 'back of a hot spoon' trick lifted that out. I also fussed over a couple of tiny marks with a bit of wet or dry paper.
I'll shoot it in a bit more and get it finished, it will look as good as new, or maybe a tad better now it's matured in colour.

The pic lower left shows how the patch has a hint of heartwood in it and you can see how I've tried to get the flow of the grain right to match the undulation in the bow.
The pictures have a dark background, this is because if they are shot on automatic setting the sapwood just bleaches out as white and you can't see the grain. It's quite tricky to get shots showing the grain in the sapwood.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Repair Job

I got an E-mail a while back from a guy I'd sold a bow to back in 2012. He'd had the bow in hibernation over winter and on it's first outing two cracks on the back at a knot were spotted by another archer.
He sent me pics and it looked like a relatively simple repair... just as well it was spotted before it failed tho'.
I can't be bothered with a long description. I'll let the pics do the talking.
The only real point of note is trying to find an off cut of Yew with matching grain.
First pic shows the shape of the rasped out section.
Second pic shows  a couple of potential offcuts with matching undulations in the grain (I used the bit on the left) and the patch rough cut to fit.
Final pic shows the patch taped down in position as a try out prior to glueing and binding with rubber strapping.

I'll get the strapping off tomorrow morning. It can then be shaped in and tested. I'll shoot it in for about 50 arrows and then ship it back to it's owner.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Paint Job and Tiller Video

I've done the paint job, I'm not a great fan of painted bows but I thought I'd have a play on this one. I have some black and brown acrylic paint, so I applied those colours by massaging the paint into a length of string and pressing it onto the bow. I quite like the look, it's got a randow abstract primitive feel.
The video shows how it looks on the tiller. I think there is a slightly stiff area mid limb on the lower (left) limb, I shall go over it lightly with a scraper and be V careful not to over do it. The 50# draw weight is a good manageable weight, but anywhere between 45 and 50# suits me nicely for field shooting.
Its had a fair few arrows shot through it now, so I'll do a little work getting the grip more comfortable and tweaking the arrow pass too.
These changes will be very small as it shoots fast and clean. I might try it through the chrono to.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Law of Unintended Consequences

I strung the hazel recurve, it looked great, the lower limb had stiffened up nicely.
Maybe a hint too much, but I wasn't going to fall into the trap of weakening it and ending up back at square one.
I flexed it a few times in front of the patio door so I could watch the reflection to see the shape of the tiller.
It was just right, but then as I came down, I noticed the string wasn't sitting in the string groove in the reflexed tip. The heat used to temper the belly had allowed the twist to relax back into the bow... drat.
It didn't take too long to jig it up and apply some gentle heat, you can see how I did it in the pics. After 5mins of heat (with the gun further away from the wood than in the full heat treating) the tourniquet holding the tip in position had gone almost loose. The heat had obviously relaxed the wood and the tension required to hold it in place had all but gone.
I gave it another 5 mins having shifted the gun along a bit.
The arrows taped to the tips are to let me see the alignment.
The other pics show the remaining bark near the grip and the colour resulting from the heat treating.
I'm hoping to maybe shoot it at the weekend. Once it's had an hour or so to cool I'll take it off the jig and I might do a wacky abstract paint job on it. I won't string it until it's had a day or so to recover.
Note the baby anvil. Very useful thing a small anvil, it's also very reliable ;)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Hazel Recurve Tweaking

Glorious morning sitting in the sun with a fine rasp, scraper, load of wet & dry paper and the Hazel bow, I've been narrowing the tips a bit now that the string line is good.
I've noticed the tiller has changed a bit, the lower limb is now a tad weak. In the previous full draw shot it looks maybe a hint strong.
I think if a limb is going to shift it tends to be either the lower one or one which started out reflexed as they will be subject to greater strain.
I also think that maybe shorter wide limbed bows may be more susceptible, this is one thing that puts me off trying a Mollegabet design with short wide hard working inner limbs and thin stiff levers for the outer limb. Doubtless I'll man up at some point and make one.
Of course all the above is just guess work based on sparse evidence. It amuses me how much claptrap is spouted by people jumping to conclusions based on very little evidence.
Anyhow, meanwhile back in the garage, I'm heat treating the lower limb to stiffen it a bit and take out a tiny bit of the set from just above mid limb. I'm keeping the heat well away from the glued tip reinforcements. I'm typing this up while the heat is on, my trusty kitchen timer is in my pocket ready to bleep every 4 minutes (I may increase this to 5 as it's barely discolouring the wood).

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Shooting Withdrawl

Been so busy doing up my new lathe, I've been missing out on shooting.
After a long day which had a few frustration I strung a couple of bows and vented my frustration on my target.
The Hazel recurve shot well, but the heavier longbow felt a bit much and was jarring my elbow, I didn't quite have the nerve to try it with the full 32" heavier arrows.
I'm not shooting this weekend, but hopefully I'll get over to the 'Cloth of Gold' shoot next weekend if I can scrounge a lift. Not sure what bow to take, it's debatable if the Hazel qualifies as 'primitive' but then I'm not too worried by how my score compares with others, I tend to feel I'm shooting against myself.

Now the lathe is up and running I might use it to have another go at building a force/draw plotting machine. My previous attempt worked briefly but tended to jam up and wasn't really any good.It would be handy to actually see the curve from the Hazel recurve compared to a longbow.

Just in case you are feeling let down by the lack of pics, here's one of the lathe... ok I know it's not bow making, but it will come in handy for arrow heads and crossbow trigger mechanisms.