Friday, 19 July 2013

Tudorfication of Stuff

I'm going flat out getting all my stuff looking medieval for a forthcoming demo/re-enactment.
There's more to it than one might think. I've had to drawknife out any bandsaw marks from all the timber and  put wooden handles on tools that had modern ones. My portable tiller tree has been rebuilt using a baulk of Ash all done by hand and a pulley fitted with natural fibre rope. I got a new pulley off the internet, but of course, it's galvanised, so I've had to burn that off out doors (Zinc fumes are toxic). Once it cooled, a rub over with beeswax polish and some peening on the ends of the pivot with a hammer makes it look good as old!
I'm also getting a bow up to the early tiller stage, I want it to look the part but to be a manageable draw weight.
You'd think it was easy to make a low draw weight bow, but this one thinks it wants to be a warbow. maybe the knots on the belly are making it extra stiff.
I've got arrows to make too, but I'll also be borrowing some decent EWBS spec arrows and a couple of my bigger bows from their owners  (thanks guys). The owner of one big bow, another guy from the club and another archer/bowyer friend will be joining in the enterprise to put on a bit of a clout shoot.
Making those arrows took some time (the 12th one is still on the fletching jig) If you assume 10mins to put on one fight and for the glue to dry. Three flights per arrow, that's half an hour per arrow. So 12 arrows... six hours! Of course you can do stuff in between and I could always make another two fletching jigs....
Had to cut the nocks by hand, get the points red hot to get the shine of 'em and glue them on too.

I particularly like the handle I put on an old padsaw blade (cut down and the teeth filed) It's an off cut of Ash riveted on. The big half round file has a handle made from the smashed warbow... seemed sensible to use what was lying around.

BTW. The arrow shafts are 3/8" Maple from Nidderdale Archery (sadly no longer trading) They come 34 1/4" long, These have been cut down to give 32" to the start of the point. Very nice shafts, tough enough to have a self nock with no reinforcement in moderate draw weight bows. I got 'em spined 70-75 and they seem to shoot pretty sweet. Still fairly heavy compared with my usual 5/16" !


  1. I absolutely love those tool handles, especially the yew!

    Out of interest, what glue are you using for fletching? 10Min per feather seems like a crazy long time, considering that using superglue I can fletch a whole arrow in just under a minute. I've no doubt you have your reasons for the materials you use - you're no newbie! - but I'd be interested in hearing what potentially puts you off using faster setting glue? Is it just a reliability factor?

  2. Cheers:-
    Regarding glue,it's down to cost and habit. I use UHU glue from poundland! I've never had fletchings come loose.
    I usually give 'em half an hour! But these longer fletches and the hot weather 10 mins is fine. It doesn't worry me too much as I get with other stuff and just do one when I next think of it. It was really just an illustration of how time adds up when you have lots of little jobs.
    I didn't want to risk changing what works. I've found superglues can be great for some jobs and hopeless for others. I certainly wasn't going to spend ages putting thread round the flights...that would drive me bonkers.
    A big tube of UHU from poundland lasts for years an is handy for leather work and paper or card too.

  3. Understandable!

    Best of luck with the Tudor re-enactment - never heard of something like that before, rather jealous! Hope it goes well and you get loads of interest in bow making!