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!


  1. The moth actually looks like Oak Eggar (Lasiocampa quercus) to me. But whatever it is, moths are cool!


  2. Ha, yes I think you are right! Tricky chaps Moths :-)