Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Presents and a Review of 3013

I got a handy little pocket GPS thingy from my Son which will allow me to record the location of promising Yew trees and also measure distances of flight shots (probably to within about 5-10 yards).
My wife made me a super Warbow bag, long enough for the longest bows. It has a reinforced leather base, a draw string with tassels and my DH Bowyer's mark on it... excellent. Got some more 40 grit belt sander belts too.

I've been tinkering in the garage, I'm trying to make a couple of whistling arrows using Walnut shells, I'll post some pics when I've done it. I've also been fiddling and fettling the stick Yew longbow and reducing the sapwood on the 90# @ 32" bow.

Review of 2013:-
Over the year I seem to have been building increasingly heavy draw weight bows. I seem to have broken a few personal records too (not to mention a few bows!)
The first heavy bows were "Trans" in April (A Transatlantic bow with Oregon Yew spliced belly and a continuous back of English Yew sapwood) and "Dogleg" which was a wobbly Yew stave that was heat treated and belly patched when it cracked.
Both those bows featured in being filmed as a contributor on Tudor Monastery Farm in July , a glorious day out on the South Downs.

I really enjoyed the fairly experimental Hazel with static recurve tips and an abstract paint job on the back which I made in May. Hazel continues to impress me, and maybe next year I'll try a Warbow from it.

The 120# spliced Warbow that exploded on the tiller was rather educational and is still the most viewed page on the blog!

I broke the score of 500 barrier at a field shoot in October (I scored 532) . It gave me great pleasure as I managed to avoid the after lunch dip, and getting 'tired and hungry' (our family euphemism for grumpy Dad syndrome), which often puts a dent in my scores.
This was followed by the 100# Elm warbow which I could just about manage to draw. The 100# mark being a bit of a mile stone even though it's just another number of course! The 302 yard flight shot I managed with it also broke another barrier.
Th 130# self Yew Warbow was finished next and this is the heaviest bow I've built to date, beyond me to draw it though! Hopefully I'll see how it performs next year.

The less bow related highlights were refurbishing a small lathe and making a couple of copper Archer sculptures. The cider making in the Autumn is an activity which marks the passing seasons, as does making Blackberry and apple pie!
I opened some on my Cider at Christmas, the clear fizzy batch was great.... the cloudier stuff was rather sour, but fine for sploshing in the cooking or quenching your thirst. Next year I'll do smaller batches in 5L containers... the big 25L fermenting bucket seemed to be a mistake.

It seems the word 'Warbow' ensures plenty of page views and I've also learnt to title my pictures so that Google Images will find them. This has resulted in a steady increase in the the number of people finding the blog. It's fun watching the numbers increase, but the real purpose of the blog remains to encourage and inform people who want to have a go at making bows and as an aide-memoir for myself, It truly is a working diary.


  1. Hi Derek, glad to hear santa brought you some nice stuff. He brought me a yew and hickory laminate bow 60# at 28" that i am intching to get out with. I have really enjoyed your blog so make sure you keep us updated, i hope you get to do a hazel warbow now that is something i would like to see. Treated my self on xmas day to a bottle of elderberry and blackberry wine i made in '94... yummy! Plans are afoot to recommence winemaking in 2014 so looking forward to that, i have roughed out the hazel primitive and i will let you know if i dont break it gulp!! all the best pal and am looking forward to seeing your exploits in 2014. Best wishes Adrian

  2. Thanks.
    I walked through the woods today and spotted a big fallen Oak that had knocked down some Hazel. I'll go and liberate some of the Hazel tomorrow.