Thursday, 31 July 2014

Work on the Spliced Yew

I've been working down the spliced yew stave that I'd started on at the Walkern Historical Society Summer Party. Some knots and problems have appeared , but hopefully some will have gone by the time it's tillered.
I wish it didn't have quite so much reflex, it's not so much that I glued it in, the billets had a fair bit of curve near the splice. Anyhow, got to work with what you have.
You can see some of the problems from the pics, the views of one temporary nock taken from each side show how the different it looks. The pink blush turned into a big diagonal knot that wasn't at all visible in the roughed out stave... it just goes to show, you don't know what's lurking under the surface. I might get some pics of it on the tiller over the weekend... if it doesn't explode!

The back view shows how I don't worry too much about that early on, the extra width is useful, and once it's back to brace height I can straighten the sides, taper tips and generally tidy it up.
The sapwood on the back is fairly even thickness and vaguely follows a ring along one edge, that will get cleaned up by degrees. The whole process of making a bow is (IMO )about bringing the whole thing slowly up to a finished state all in balance. Some people make the mistake of doing a fancy grip and tips before the bow is really ready for it.
Ha, that shows the value of writing the blog, it makes me stop and think and look. I've just spent a few minutes putting a straight edge along the sides of the bow and taking down the real high spots, after that I ran the edges over the belt sander just to clean them up a bit, I took a bit off the side at one tip too. I've worked the belly down a tad, but I'm always careful not to do too much before trying it on the tiller again. Hopefully it will be less inclined to flip on me now.

I've had it on the tiller with a slack string and it tries to flip over on me as I'm bending it against it's reflex. With one hand steadying the bow and the other pulling the rope I've had the tips moving back about 3 bricks (8") at about 80#. That would normally be enough to get a bow braced, but this is starting with about 4" of reflex, so it's only effectively back about 4" and not quite enough to brace.
Reflexed staves are notoriously difficult to tiller and get back to brace, it's easy to come in under weight as you have to take so much off just to get 'em braced. Anyhow I'm not too fussed about this bow, I only really glued it up to give me something to work on. I'll aim for 90# and see where it ends up.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Maple Billet Sir?

A bowyer friend of mine was asking if I happened to have a chunk of maple.
Now I've never actually met Mike, but he's one of the guys who will give sound advice and an honest opinion. What I like most is we actually disagree about a few things too! We've never actually met as he's up in the Lake district.
Anyhow it's easier for me to take a few pics and  post 'em on the blog rather than trying send them in a private message on the Primitive Archer forum.
Not sure if it's big enough or straight enough. He wants it as core wood for a composite (horn, sinew) Turkish bow. Funny thing is, that's exactly what I'd cut it for in the first place many years ago (from a wind felled tree) it was for a bloke in Wales who never got back to me.
(BTW. Mike, I can sand down the end if you want a good look at the ring count, it's quite tight grain)

Other than that I've pressed on with the Yew stave I was working on Saturday, the back is roughly down to a reasonable sapwood thickness and I've worked it down enough to just flex. the dreaded pink blush raised it's ugly head on the side of one limb, as I worked it down it revealed a dead knot which had grown over, fortunately it didn't go too deep. I picked out all the dead wood and filled it with epoxy/Yew dust mix. Hopefully it will disappear by the time the bow is worked down.
I'm aiming to make it into a 90# bow for one of the guys at the club who is finding the 100# Elm bow just a tad much, he'd be ok if he was using it regularly, but the realities of earning a living get in the way the fun stuff. Oddly I offered to turn it into a 60# for a guy who has been pestering me for a Yew bow for ages... he declined!... That's 2 he's had the chance of, I don't think he'll get an third bite of the cherry when I have plenty of people wanting bows.

Maybe that sounds grumpy? Let me explain why...
I'm sitting working a stave carefully glued up from two billets to be as long as I can get it, now the wood at one end is twisting away so there is too much sapwood on one side and very little on the other, also the grain is swirly and knotty. At the other end there is a weird bit of heartwood and some pin knots so the wood goes heartwood, sapwood weird knotty heart wood, more sapwood and then the bark. This maybe where it was thinking of forking or whatever... The point is, I'm evaluating the stave and thinking of loosing maybe two inches of each tip. I'm weighing it up and thinking, this stave as a bit of natural reflex and some glued in reflex. It will have a stiff handle due to the splice (which actually looks rather good) it won't maybe be full warbow length, but it will suit a lower draw weight and shorter draw, say 60# at 28" giving a very punchy bow, which is what I've been repeatedly asked for.
Of course all this thinking isn't obvious to someone who just strolls up thinking that making a bow from a stave is like walking into Tesco and grabbing something off the shelf. People have so little appreciation of how things work.
How many people have the slightest idea about the workings of their car, or their mobile phone? even the humble toaster? Talking of which mine stopped working the other day and I bought a replacement. However I did dismantle the old one and trace the failure to a broken spring (a straight wire spring lever) which operates the switch which energises the solenoid which latches the thing down when you push the lever down.  Yes a spring, and that's what a bow is after all!
Anyhow enough ranting, I'll try and keep the stave full length and try to make it into a 90# bow that takes a full 32" draw.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Walkern Historical Society Summer Party

I had a great time the above event to which I'd been invited to demonstrate some of what is involved in bowmaking. It was held within the ring and ditch of Walkern Castle. This is on private land so it was a privilege to be granted access to the land (details of the castle on the previous link) The owner of the farm gave a very interesting talk on it's history.
I got set up with my shave horse and tiller at about 4 pm and set to working on the spliced Yew stave (see previous post).
There were two guys who got armed up as knights, Paul Thompson ( right, Captain of Company de Lanvalei ) and his mate Chris. They had a bit of a demonstration fight too, they quite got into it and were sweating profusely when they finished, there was even blood drawn from one chaps chin!

There was have a go archery too and I shot my whistling arrows from the Monkey bow, I also shot Twister and my primitive crossbow (which I let a few people try).
The great thing was the people were all both interesting and interested and a great mix of the generations. Lots of kids and some adults had a go on the shave horse trying spokeshave and drawknife (for the bigger ones) on different woods to feel the difference. they all seemed to like making curly shavings. One mum was a little concerned that her lad would castrate himself with the drawknife, but I assured her it was safe (I kept my hands on the handles to reassure her) I couldn't resist teasing her by saying I'll let him try the axe next! (I never take the axe as it's too difficult for kids to use safely). I was pretty much kept busy all the time and barely had time to eat my hog roast. I had a good chat with an interesting chap who was a geologist, we put the world of engineering to rights bemoaning the proliferation of paperwork and certification for everything, and he said he'd watched his grandchildren using the tools happily with my supervision and no paperwork risk assessments and other nonsense (it's what you actually do that matters... I generally find that what's written on paper seldom effects reality) I found time to drink a beer whilst watching the knights (cheers for the beer Mark!), the whole event had a lovely informal atmosphere and it was a joy to see kids running about being kids, a bunch of them were on their bicycles too which was better than being run about by mum and dad.
Thanks to Janet Woodall and WHS for the invitation I had a fine time.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Tidy up and Splicing Yew Billets

I had a good tidy yesterday as I had a couple of people drop in for a chat and a play with the bows. Today I cut splices into a couple of pairs of Yew billets.
I'd had a couple of splices fail last year, so this time I did a Z splice rather than a simple V as it gives more glue area. The length of the splice is about 4", generally a V splice needs to be longer (possibly I left 'em too short on the failures last year)
As I glued up the first I noticed the glue starting to gel after about 15 minutes (I'd mixed it and was just fine tuning the splice). It should stay workable for 3 hours, mind it's a warm day.
Reading the instructions on the Resintite it says once opened the shelf life is 12 months... whoops I've had it about 4 years. Mind a lot of this shelf life stuff is tosh... why would the shelf life of some glue correspond exactly with the time it takes the Earth to orbit the sun? Someone just pulled that figure out of their backside!

Anyhow I popped down to Toolstation to buy some more... bugger... they no longer stock it. Pencil in a long and tedious rant about how, as soon as you find a decent product it disappears. Anyhow I drove down to Screwfix... no joy. Got home tried to order some online. Just about to click confirm when I noticed figures roughly like this.
Product £7
Shipping £6
vat £5 ..
Total £ 26
What????  So I order it by phone instead.
It's irritating as it comes in 1.5kg tubs which is far too much.
Of course I then find some on E-bay cheaper in 500g tubs (serves me right for looking).
Anyhow I think Resintite, Cascamite, Extramite etc are all the same stuff.

I keep the offcuts from splicing as they are V handy for tapping into a saw cut to hold it open when bandsawing, or for wedging things at a slight angle when clamping them up etc.
Enough waffle here are the pics (BTW I'm less grumpy now) The pic on the right shows them both dry assembled prior to gluing. Dunno if you can see, they will both have a hint of reflex which will doubtless pull out during tillering.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

NA Osage Pics

The pics speak for themselves really, I mischievously took some pics of it in the Yew tree to fuel the Yew Osage rivalry. The stone tipped arrow in the full draw shot is one made by Rich (Half eye) on Primitive archer, it adds greatly to the pic.
I used a linen string to get it at a decent brace and shoot some arrows, but it's about two foot too long.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Osage NA at Full Draw

I've put a lot of time in on the bow with several bouts of heat bending to remove some of the dips and swoops. The problem is getting the draw weight down! My friend wants 40# at 26" but I'm struggling to get that low as Osage is tough stuff. Normally one never draws a bow past the target weight, but I had the tiller looking good and thought I'd see how it was at 26" draw, bear in mind the bow is only 56" nock to nock.
The lower limb, left has some good sized knots in it too, one of which has opened into a nice character hole. If you click on the firts pic to enlarge it you will see L L L pencilled on the limb... that 'L' for Leave, as in don't remove any more wood from there, you can also see the rasp marks. Any edged tool will dig in around the knots and could rip out huge gouts of wood, so the rasp is preferred.

You can see from the full draw pic it's actually back at 50#, the bend looks pretty good considering those knots. I'll get in touch with my mate and see if he can take a bit extra poundage. I'm not sure if it will be much of a shooting bow, it's really something to be just a bit different and for him to finish and adorn in appropriate NA style, of course it wants to be shootable, but maybe 45# would do. I'm wary of trying to go too much lower as it's getting rather thin already!
I've just tried the CD test, the full draw shot matches the arc of a circle rather well.

I've since braced it a bit higher and tried it with a linen string. Mind I'm shooting left handed as the string line is biased slightly over to suit a left hander. Tricky trying to shoot left handed. The draw weight is down a little but is prob' about 48# now. Shot one right handed too and it seemed to fly fine.

It's modelled loosely on the Choctaw bow on p52 of the Traditional Bowyer's Bible volume 2. It's somewhat thinner to keep the draw weight down. It is much less symmetrical too due to the knots, dips and swoops. I'll post some more pics tomorrow.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Osage NA Bow

We were woken in the night by a thunder storm, it seemed to be set in, so we went downstairs and watched it for a while. The sky was lit up spectacularly and the occasional be long thin bolts cutting across the sky, I hadn't seen a good storm for a while it was a great leveller and made me feel nicely grounded, tired too when I went back to bed. The cat was safe and dry tucked up in her safe spot underneath the couch. It made me muse that Mr and Mrs Caveman must have huddled together too watching in awe.

The Osage bow is coming along, that stuff really responds to heat bending, a sideways bend at the grip (about 1" square) that would have taken ages with Yew, or needed steam, just went easy with five minutes of heat gun whilst brushing some sunflower oil on it to help the heat penetrate and stop it scorching or getting too hot. I corrected a nasty deflex twist/dip on the knotty end of the stave. I hope to have it up on the tiller later.
I can see why the guys at the Tennessee Classic tended to use a scraper a lot, I've been using my drawknife with the blade upright like a power scraper, it takes of nice fine shavings without digging in or tearing, it just seems to work very well on Osage. (You can see in that pic one of the fine checks (splits) in the end of the stave. I've put some low viscosity superglue in there, the tips may get bound with sinew anyway, or the y may lose the odd inch.
The pic on the right shows the stave after straighteneing and the last pic shows the tip clamped to take out the deflex dip/twist.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Indecision and Yellow Sawdust

I'm having a bit of a sort through my staves, not the best.
I want to do another Deflexed Recurve. I had hoped to use Laburnum, but the two staves I have are barely 60" long, same with much of my Yew. The longer bits will splice to make longbows, I s'pose I can splice two of the shorter bits of Yew to make the DR, and the splice gives a chance to introduce deflex in at the join, mind a spliced join isn't going to like heat treating later. The shorter billets aren't very deep and you need some depth for the splice and to give a deep narrow grip.
Oh dear the indecision... I could use the Osage I got from the Classic, but that's rather fine ringed, mind Osage would take the strain of that design, but it's not very wide or deep... maybe a narrower version?.... maybe cut some more Elder? No, that can wait for Winter.... maybe make the Native American (NA) bow I've been threatening to make for a mate of mine?
Oh dear, maybe I'll just drone on writing this and drinking my tea.
Well I set to on the scruffy Osage I got from my friend a while back, he bought it on t'web from Eastern Europe I believe. It's got some splits in it, but I've roughed it down and followed a ring. I've cut it to about 60" long 1 1/4" wide for an Eastern NA style bow. It's twisted a bit and got some swoops and dips, plus a gouple of knots and a longitudinal crack, and rather thin rings. The lateral bends would make it suit a right handed shot but my mate is left handed, but other than all that it's fine! It will need plenty of heat straightening, might even give the tips a little hint of recurve like some NA bows.
Osage is tough as heck so it should be fine for 40# @26".
Just for the record I've heard people call it Oss-idge  (like sausage)

but over in the USA they all called it Oh-sage which is how I thought it was pronounced.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Good News Bad News

I got the RD looking really good 69# @ 26", I shot some arrows through it and it was more like a Warbow!
My heavier 11/32" arrows went like rockets, I could barely see 'em go and the bow rang like a bell. I moved up to my 3/8" 32" long light warbow arrows (763 grain) Whoooomp, went dead straight and rocked the target boss backwards.
I set up the chrono to get a speed reading. Got myself all set up and... she exploded in my hand as I hit full draw.
Maybe I over drew to 28" ? Who knows, one hell of a BANG!
Still it's given me a feel for the design and the wood. I think the moral is always tiller to your natural full draw, and keep the camera running!
Also if going for a flight/speed bow, get the best materials and be meticulous.
This post shows the Elder when I collected it...

Anyhow, while the chrono was up I shot the refurbished 70# yew bow through it and I got 178fps with my standard field arrow, then I tried a flight arrow, I got 193.5 fps! Mind the arrow stop netting didn't stop it beacuse its so slim at the point. pretty impressive, it shows the 200fps mark is acheivable.
At least Monkey bow lives on!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

RD Nearly There

The braced and full draw shape is much better now.
I'm not saying it's right as I may have too much bend near the grip, the left tip doesn't straighten and amid portion of the left limb has lost some reflex.
I'm easing off the right limb a whisker near the grip (one brick out from the centre) and I'm heat treating that left mid limb to restore the reflex and to hopefully stiffen it a tad whilst easing off the tip.
On the FD pic it's pulled to about 70# at just over 26"... it was an act of blind faith/optimism, and I made sure I was pulling the rope from well back!
Once it's finally finished I'll post it on Primitive Archer for an opinion from those who make RD bows.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Why You Should Set a Target Draw and Weight!

The deflexed recurve is coming along, I heat treated the belly and restored some reflex to the upper limb. Blimey I can't string it now! I've taken some video which shows it at 65# at 18.5" .
Prior to heat treating it was 60# at 20", this shows how much heat treating can add!

I've eased off the limbs carefully leaving that area on the lower limb just below the grip which was a tad weak. I've tried to get the right limb moving a whisker just above the grip to match. It's taken a lot of work to keep the string line on track by shifting the tips across. I've added Laburnum tip overlays.
BUT! The big problem is how far dare I draw it? I don't want to pull out all the reflex and even 65# at a short draw seems very heavy... I suppose my body interpolates the draw weight back to 28" and say whoa, you're not going to pull this back.
So, like I said, I have no idea what I'm doing, so do I aim for 65# at 26" or do I heave it back until it explodes and then decide?
I've been doing "bad" things like tillering from the back, where one edge is much thicker than the other I've rasped the back of the bow along that edge. Now all this stuff about following growth rings is all right and proper, but sometimes we have to be pragmatic. Elder seems to have very thick rings and appears to be pretty tolerant, of course, if it goes BANG then I'll look an ass. I'm very much flying by the seat of my pants here, and I'm probably going to end up with a slow pudding of a bow with a load of deflex and all the reflex pulled out. But hey, sue me! Hopefully I'll learn a bit. Here's a pic of it at 65# and unbraced... mind that was this morning before I'd done a ton of work.
I've got a visitor in the garage too! I've just looked him up, I think it's a Drinker Moth (Since been corrected, it's an Oak Eggar Moth)Most of the pubs in Harlow are named after moths and butterflies (or at least the ones built with the New Town) and there is a Drinker Moth pub, rather an apt name.

Update on retting nettles:-
They had been left in the garden pond since I last made some nettle cordage a month ago... I tried stripping threads out of one, totally hopeless! Maybe they need longer, I don't know, they seemed to have lost their colour and to be softer, but the outer fibres just didn't separate out or strip down. the inner pith was still intact. I'll leave 'em in there and try again in a month or so.

Update on Bow and Moth!
8:30 in the evening, the moth has gone, I've just had the bow on the tiller after the day's work. It's looking much more symmetrical and is about 65# at 22". I've shot a couple of arrows from it at short draw, can't really tell how fast it is. The string alignment is much better and I'm narrowing the limbs a bit to make them symmetrical about the string line, so everything is becoming more even slimmer and more symmetrical. Should get it back to 26" tomorrow unless it explodes!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Deflex Reflex Bow

I'll explain some more.
This style of bow is essentially the shape of all modern target bows. It was the first "scientifically designed" bow designed and patented by Clarence N Hickman in 1935 as a bow of radical design. There had been plenty of recurved bows in the past, like all the Asiatic bows.
Hickman describes his bow as a deflexed recurve. Essentially it is a recurve but with the limbs mounted deflexed towards the archer. The maths and physics is beyond me, but the theory is that it gives a more even acceleration to the arrow rather than the huge kick up the backside that you get with a longbow.
The reason he set about designing it was to allow him to be competitive with a lighter draw weight as he had lost some fingers of one hand in a rocketry accident. (He's the guy who designed the Bazooka used in WWII amongst may and varied other achievements).
The limbs start at brace with the reflex showing (although you can see it's mostly pulled out of the right limb on my bow) as the bow is drawn the limbs uncoil to almost straight, angled towards the archer. This shows quite well in the video. The left limb needs to uncoil a bit more. You may be able to see I'm pulling it to 60# from a low brace, I'm not sure how hard I actually dare pull it, I do want to see it perform before it goes bang,
As I've been at pains to point out, this is all experimental for me and I'm doing some things which are "wrong" if I'm after maximum performance. E.G I've decrowned the stave at some points on the back and also removed wood from one edge of the back where the limb is twisted.
Some twist and misalignment has been removed with heat.
So, I can't really explain more, and there may well be people out there scoffing at my efforts, which is fine. The joy of making bows is the constant learning and trying new things.
The left limb seems to hinge near the grip, but this is just part of the rough and ready deflex I put into it with heat. If you watch, you will see the 'hinge' barely flexes.
The bow is pulling back fairly nicely and I'll heat treat the belly, whilst restoring the reflex in the right limb.
Hope fully it will draw smoothly and shoot fast... ok, maybe not as smooth and fast as a Bazooka!
There is a book about Hickman.
Clarence N Hickman, the father of scientific archery ISBN 0-9613582-0-3

He also made high speed cameras for use in rocketry development and was the first to film the answer to the archers paradox using the cameras.
I don't feel Hickman get the recognition he deserves. In fact I heard one rather pompous chap explaining how he'd applied for various scientific papers from America about the aerodynamics of rocket fins to help him fletch his clout arrows. When I said, you mean Hickman's work? He said words to the effect of  "I don't know, I'm not interested in other people's preconceived notions!"
He added that he had a library full of archery books, some of which were quite rare, but he didn't read them as he didn't want to pollute his own ideas!
He was happy enough to use Hickman's work but couldn't even acknowledge it.
For the record, I believe Hickman allowed free use of his ideas and designs and didn't use them for personal profit.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Elder Reflex Deflex Progress

I'm just doing this all by eye for the fun of it, a style I've not done before and a wood I've only used once. I'm aiming for highish draw weight  (say 70#) shortish draw (no more than 28" maybe just 26")  fast as hell it would be nice to get over 200 fs , but that's unlikely, if I can get over 180 I'll be happy. Bear in mind I have not the faintest idea what or why I'm doing! It's based on reading, experience, stuff I've picked up on Primitive Archer (PA) and a healthy pinch of Bowyer's optimism. There was a thread on PA about creating the curves for a caul (or former) for clamping up RD designs for glue up or heat treating. The advice shunned any fancy maths or formulae and said find a suitable round object, a paint can a bucket etc and draw round that for your curve then join that to whatever curve you drawn for the next section!
I'll let the pics do the talking.
First shows it jigged up whilst steaming to remove twist and pull the limb across into alignment. the close up shows the big channel that is filled with pith in Elder, the pith has been scraped out.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

ILAA Torry Hill Shoot

Just got back from the shoot. It was a two day event, but I only shot the Sunday. I was keen to try my refurbished old 70# @28" Yew longbow (the first Yew bow I ever made) for distance with a flight arrow. I also took the Hickory backed Yew 70# @ 32".
The morning was a bit damp, but it brightened in the afternoon, I didn't take any pics as I was encumbered with rain gear in the morning and carried both bows in the afternoon.
Here's a pic of me and JT during the damp morning session.
During the course of the day 3 bows broke! I lent the Hickory backed yew to one of the guys whose bow had broken. he was understandably nervous of shooting but I assured him it had a full 32" draw and he was favourably impressed with the bow.
The shoot was at various marks up hill and down dale, often just over a ridge or beyond trees to make it difficult. Variety was added with one shot at 120 yards when it was as many arrows as you could loose in 30 seconds. I shot six, two of which were close enough to score and indeed six seemed to be a common number of arrows to get off in that time.
The flight shot was what I was after and I was interested to find the 70# @ 28" out shot the other bow managing just over 275 yards with the slightly stiffer and heavier arrow. I'd noticed the weakest one had waggled for a fair distance as it flew off. I was really pleased with this as the bow had shot further than ever before, a testament to a bow made over 40 years ago.
I only shot two arrows from each bow so it's difficult to really draw accurate conclusions about performance. I would dearly love to find somewhere I could safely shoot for distance near home.
The flight shoot was won by Neil Harrington with a 338yards from what I think was a laminated Yew longbow of 85# @ 34" draw. (I'll amend those figures later if necessary).

It was very interesting to meet with old friends, Neil and several other bowyers who were there, especially Gunther and his friends from Austria who were shooting heavy bows.
There was a very good turn out with a good mix of ladies, gents and juniors. It was very sociable as we wandered round in the glorious grounds of the Torry Hill estate.
We didn't stay for the scoring as a bit of a drive round the M25 back to Harlow and a hot bath was beckoning!

Thanks to Brian Mooyaart and the Fraternity of St George for a thoroughly enjoyable shoot.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Ladies Yew Longbow

I've pressed on fast with this bow as a favour for a friend. I suffered a bit of creeping spec' syndrome, with it starting out as 25#-30# at 26" then creeping up to 30-35#.
I don't mind really as I'd rather make a 35# than a 25#. I was a bit nervy as I couldn't vouch for the quality of the wood, also it is as highly stressed as the primitive I've just finished!
How so? Well the primitive was twice the draw weight but twice as wide. So if I taped two of the ladies bows side by side I'd pretty much have the primitive!
I've got horn nocks on it, trying to keep a simple medieval look, it's never going to look like a warbow, but it has nice clean lines. the horn is dark with the lower nock having some nice pale streaks and the top one having a smoky look.
The stave had some natural deflex at the centre which possibly helps take some stress of the limbs which have remained fairly straight. There were a couple of knots to fill and I've noticed a tiny pinch on one knot where it goes diagonally from side to belly, the hard centre of the knot has got a hairline crack across it and you can feel it raised with a fingernail. I don't think it's a problem, being on the belly, but I will unstring it and put some low viscosity superglue on it. There is no loose manky material round the knot and it's near the limb tip anyway.
The pic shows the bow at 25" draw and if you zoom in the scale reads 34.7, a triumph for the digital scale and new camera. Mind the brace height needs to come up a whisker yet.