Monday, 30 September 2013

Warbow Stave

I've got a stinking cold, but I think it's just a 48 hour job. I've been doing a tiny bit of work on the warbow stave getting it close to dimension. I relented and took some Mary Rose bow dimensions from 'Weapons of Warre' as a rough start point. You can see in the pic how big it is compared with the little BooYew bow, the weird dip near the tip at the bottom of the pic is also visible. Features like this can be a nightmare but add lots of character. Also note the deflex.
I have actually put it on the tiller with a long string and wound it back to 120#, really just to see if the rope and tiller block/winch etc would hold. 120# on a long string is much less strain on the bow than 120# with a properly braced bow. The stave did flex a little. It's got to withstand that weight eventually so it might as well get used to it!

I'd been toying with joining the EWBS (English War Bow Society) as apparently they have a forum with some very good warbow bowyers on there. I think I'll probably leave it until I've got a few more warbow weight bows under my belt. I was V interested in their flight records as there is a 130# Hazel longbow shooting over 300 yards. I was somewhat put of by one of the articles about the war bow which specifically says it's ideally made of:-
A stave of yew wood, ideally imported from the Italian Alps or Spain (but not English Yew; it being too full of moisture)
In my opinion that's just tosh, but maybe I'll wait til I've made a few more. If it's "too full of moisture", then season it longer! Or heat treat the belly!

Anyhow, in the mean time I've had a call about Twister 2, it has always had a couple of long cracks on the back, these seem to be fine , but there are a couple of hairline cracks opened on the belly. I'm pretty sure these are fine, but I've asked to have a look as it's much better to be safe than sorry.
Out of interest that Yew is from the USA, (so not English Yew, too full of moisture ;-) ) maybe it was seasoned too quickly, but as any wood is removed the internal stresses are likely to allow a crack to either expand or open out from the centre of the log to the nearest point on the surface of the bow. I'll post pics once I get the bow back. Worst case it will be a thin belly patch just for security to prevent a crack breaking out into cutaway where the grip is. 


  1. You may be interested in this, although maybe not.

    This year I shot 221.3m (242yrds) at either the NCAS or National Flight comp (forgotten which now) with cheaply and poorly made arrows through a Adrian Hayes performance bow ( Tonkin Bamboo, Pau Amarello and Ipe English longbow.) at only 58lbs.

    And I'm pretty sure at the flight nationals 3 or 4 years ago then either Jeremy Spencer (or the guy who he was with, my mind struggles to remember that far) shot well over 400yrds with his warbow, however I may be wrong.

  2. Looks good Del. I love that boo yew, it looks super fast.

    What are your plans for the Deflex? Leave it in or heat it out? It seems that a lot of the EWBS bowyers quite like a bit of deflex, especially with heavy heavy bows.

  3. Hi guys, I've been away for a few days in Seville!
    @ Duncan, yes I'm interested! I don't do much in the way of laminated bows, but I think every bowyer wonders how far he can propel an arrow.
    @ Will, I'm probably leaving the deflex as the bow is a bit thick to be heat bending. Maybe once it starts to bend I might think again.