I was originally going to go for black Waterbuffalo horn nocks , but I had some 'white' Waterbuffalo horn left and I though this would look much more like the traditional cow horn.
(It's hard to get good cow horn as it can be prone to peeling apart in layers).
I spent most of Monday doing the nocks, and I couldn't resist getting them finished off today.
The pale horn looked a bit dull and uninspiring until I got it up to the buffing wheel.
Great decision, it looks a treat, I couldn't resist cleaning up the top limb and getting a coat of Danish oil on it. It's a bit dark now to get a decent photo, but this gives some idea.
I think it's a nice match for the fairly pale Yew, I've gone for a fairly small slim understated nock.
It's such a big bow I don't think it will take a leather grip without feeling too bulky, having no grip will also look more traditional, I'll do an arrow plate of matching horn. Hopefully the look of it wouldn't offend a medieval bowyer.
I've been doing some exercises and thought I'd shoot my 75#bow to help build me up. It felt very hard to draw at first but once I put on my glove and tab and nocked an arrow it felt comfortable. After a few shots I was deliberately getting a nice smooth slow draw and holding for a second before loosing. It made me realise that if I'm to pull the 90 pounder I will need to warm up sensibly first. I used to think warming up was just tosh and for old men... hmm I s'pose I qualify as the latter now. I expect we're all still 18 in our heads, as someone on one of the websites commented the other day 'The older I get, the better I was'.
I've been over the limbs with a scraper and fine wet & dry paper, my heart leaped a bit when I felt a slight 'pinch' on one of the big knots on the belly, it can be felt as a very fine ridge a bit like a chrysal, on the edge of the knot. I think it will be fine and it'd just the discontinuity between the parent wood and the knot compressing.
I put a load of superglue on it and rubbed it down smooth. I took a few scrapes off the belly either side of the knot just to help spread the load and a whisker off one of the tips.
The only way to see if it is a problem is to get the bow back on the tiller, so that's what I did.
I winched it back to 90# at 28" and I then took it very briefly to 29" glanced at the scale, about 100# a quick sigh of relief and let it down quick.
(Note:- it probably didn't gain 10 pounds in the last inch, I was doing it very quickly and was trying to look at the draw and poundage, I think it was over 90 at 28" and hit 100 at 29".
this gives me some poundage to play with for fine tillering tweaks and the bow will doubtless loose a tad as it settles it. I wasn't allowing for the weight of the scale either, which gives me another pound or so).
The tiny pinch had returned, which is fine, it's just one of those things I've seen before around pin knots on the edge of a bow. It's just something to be aware of and to keep an eye on while the bow is being shot in for a hundred arrows or so.
Flushed with success I donned my glove and tab, yes I got it back to a reasonable draw! Not quite sure if it was a full 28" but I took a couple of test shots. It thumped the arrow pretty hard into my backstop.
I've ordered half a dozen 3/8" Poplar shafts and some heavier heads (150 grain) so I can make up some suitable arrows.
I think I should be shooting it with a bit more conviction by the weekend.