Saturday, 31 January 2015

Hazel Flight Bow Flexing

I cobbled together a wooden riser and bound the limbs on with rubber strapping. It worked surprisingly well once I added a few extra layers of strapping.
The 35# draw at about 20~ shows how the left limb has uncoiled nicely, the right can flex a bit more. The inner limbs can move some more. I might take it to 26" rather than 28", I'll see how it looks.
I can maybe build a decent riser now and try to work out how I'll actually glue on the limbs securely. I may well improve the dovetail idea I've used on the temporary one.
The temporary riser has at least allowed me to have a quick look and to adjust the geometry if I want. I may make the next one a tad longer to give more hand room.

I'm not going for extreme recurve or anything too drastic, so the bow limbs will still have a conventional curve at full draw, just somewhat flatter looking and straight tipped than my usual arc of a circle.
Now it's flexing I'll probably get it mounted in a decent riser befor narrowing the limbs... it would be a mistake to narrow them now and then find the alignment wasn't quite right when glued up.

The tillering string with my aluminium adjuster finally turned up! I'd lost it when a bow exploded. It had been thrown right across the garage, it turned up behind the bandsaw.
I was giving the bandsaw a good clean and tune up... Ok, I admit it, I jammed the blade when ripping through some of that Yew so it needed some readjustment.

Friday, 30 January 2015


I've got too much going on, but then I'd rather be busy than bored.
That line in Kipling
" If you can fill the unforgiving minute, With sixty seconds' worth of distance run..."
Has always resonated with me.

Anyhow, during the week I got a call from a local tree surgeon who had cut some Yew. I went to his yard and got some nice stuff, there's probably a warbow, a smallish longbow and I split a lovely pair of billets from a 4' log.
Splitting sawing and cleaning up logs makes a mess. A couple of other bits of Yew were put to one side for me to collect later, I'll take him some of my cider as a thank you.

I've been messing about with the Hazel bow limbs too and trying to make a riser section that I can mount them on for testing. I'm using a chunk of old hornbeam, but it's tough as nails and makes the bandsaw wander. I'm torn between trying to make something quick so I can try it out, making something decent or making something adjustable... got me in dither mode.
When I started laying the limbs on the garage floor up alongside the original 35# Hazel bow I'm basing it on, I realised that it's lower limb is about 3" longer than the upper! Dunno how that happened... well I can guess, as it was originally made outdoors in my Woodland Workshop . Doesn't matter as it's a really sweet shooting bow. Maybe it's an illustration of how discoveries are made as often by accident as by design.

We can also factor into the mayhem my having a minor shunt in the car... the usual... car in front of me pulls away onto roundabout. I'm still rolling, glance right, to check I'm still ok to pull onto the roundabout BOOMPH... the one in front had stopped sharply... Because the one in front had stopped sharply... because... who knows? Anyhow, it was very low speed, just a minor inconvenience/irritation.

I've got other stuff clamouring in my head too.
I'd said I would make a sculpture for an art exhibition in the Spring with a theme of Jazz. All sorts of ideas come to mind made of offcuts of wood , polycarbonate sheet and brass. I keep getting E-mails saying they are having meetings??!!! Why do you need a meeting?.. I like to work in my head and on my own.. as someone once said "meetings are no substitute for work". Most of 'em are 'staying awake contests'. I'll probably suddenly get up and do it when all alternative activities are less attractive... like decorating or sorting through my finance... (groan)
Hey ho I'm ranting and rambling now. This is just a ploy to procrastinate as there's a sprinkling of snow outside and it will be freezing in the garage!

The blog has got over a quarter of a million hits now which is quite impressive, except people have no idea how big a million is in this modern world of mega this that and the other.
Humour me with a test of your understanding and feel for numbers. Just answer on you gut feel, then work it out and see if you are right.
Roughly how long is a million hours?
100 days? 100 weeks? 100 months? 100 years? 100 decades?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

New Steam Box

I've had a spare insulated ceiling board cluttering up the garage for a year or three. The insulation was just the job for making a new steam box long enough for the limbs of my experimental fight bow.
It was a right pain sawing the plaster board off the insulation. It would have only cost £15 for brand new insulation, but that would be a waste of resources and wouldn't help de-clutter the garage. Anyhow I like making stuff, the other advantage is that if it falls to bits I've not wasted any money.

The ends of the box just push in and I glued on offcuts of insulation to act as handles.
The glue I used was a polyurethane wood glue which I tested on an off cut first. I think the insulation foam is polyurethane so it's a good match.
The box is propped up at an angle to let any condensate run out through the small drain hole at the back. You can see the steam coming out too. (Although to be pedantic, it's water vapour as steam is invisible). At the front there is a hole in the top right corner to allow steam to vent and ensure there is a flow of steam with no cold spots within the box. The end plugs are labelled A and B to avoid confusion.

I gave it a good 45 minutes in the steamer and it seemed to bend nicely. I'll let it cool for a good few hours and then do the other one.

Nuff chat, I'll let the pics do the talking.
BTW. The half brick (or inertial stabilisation device as we sometimes call it) on top of the box is just to hold it steady!
The form is made of two layers of 18mm ply screwed together. I may unscrew the halves and strap a limb to each for final seasoning to help stop any warping.

You can see in one pic how I've left the bark on, this keeps a nice clean back, it will pop off in it's own good time and you can see it's buckling where the limb has been bent.

In the final pic you can see I've used the other half of the form to strap the first limb onto whilst I did the second (turning the limb over as it's the reverse half of the form, e.g one is bark up, t'other is bark down) They are on a radiator in a spare room which doesn't get too hot. Hopefully in a week they will be ready to play with some more.
You can see it's not a huge reflex by modern standards, but bear in mind these are wooden limbs and I want it to survive to be some sort of reference. No good as a reference if I get too extreme and it explodes.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Working Towards a Hazel Flight Bow

I bought a sheet of 18mm ply to use to make forms for bending the limbs of the proposed bow.
It will be based on the 35# Hazel bow
Oddly I don't seem to have a full draw shot of that bow. I laid it on an off cut of hardboard I had lying about (packing from a table we bought... I don't throw much away!) and pencilled along the bow at unstrung, braced and full draw positions.
What I'm aiming at is to build a bow with similar curves but curved the other way and in the reverse order!
So at unstrung the limbs will curve similarly to the full draw on the existing bow, but bending forwards rather than back. At full draw the limbs will be angled towards the archer but each limb will be relatively straight.
This sketch hopefully shows what I mean.
I claim no credit for the concept of a bow starting with recurve and pulling straight, it's what Hickman's original patent was about.
I'm actually not going for a completely straight limb at full draw. The limbs will hopefully uncoil from moderate recurve to a slight deflex curve approximately equating to the curve at brace on the existing bow. The tip movement from unstrung to full draw should end up the same as on the existing bow.
The trick thing will be to find the angle I need to mount the limbs at (The will be mounted onto a handle/riser block). This could be adjustable of course.

The whole point of basing it on the existing bow is to give some sort of comparison. The current bow is good, it has very little set and has survived being drawn to about 30" by Ruth Goodman, I'll be able to shoot them through the chrono for comparison and test them both with flight arrows.
Being just 35# should also give a relatively low stress on the bow.

I'll steam bend the recurve into the limbs and model them closely in thickness and shape to the existing bow. If it doesn't explode it will be interesting to see how far a 35# wooden bow can lob a flight arrow.

Regarding steam bending I found a nice article/booklet by Veritas.
It suggests that steaming works better with green wood, or wood that is "on it's way down" in moisture content, which is exactly how my Hazel is. I shall press on and get bending.

The Cherokee bow now has a decent string and has shot a few arrows. It performs pretty much like a 50# longbow. It was ok with my standard arrow but was smoother with the 11/32" shaft ones.
I'm hoping to finish it with a cord or leather thong grip and some Turkey feathers for decoration, I might do a paint job the back too. It will be fun to take it to the next NFAS open shoot and shoot it as primitive. I'll post pics when it's done... Oh, that reminds me I was hoping to get a full draw shot today, too late now it's dark out.

Seasoning Progress:-
I've weighed the Hazel warbow stave, it's lost 2 lb in 9 days. I'll give it another week and maybe reduce it some more or bring it in doors  (or both!)

Monday, 19 January 2015

ELB or Cherokee?

What can you do eh?
Two bows smash in quick succession... one was the wood, t'other was the bowyer.
Jump back on... but what to make? I've had all sorts of high flown ideas about flight bows and warbows...

When in doubt go back to what you know, but with a twist.
I picked up the Hop Hornbeam stave given to me by Steve and Eric from the back of their truck at the Tennessee classic last year.
It had been trimmed down pretty tight so that I could get it back with my hold luggage on the 'plane. It's six foot long and fairly narrow so I've started roughing it out to ELB (English Longbow) sort of dimension, but then I thought maybe a Cherokee style bow, pretty similar to an ELB but with a nice nod to it's American origin.
I'll do some armchair bow making and read around the Cherokee bows.

The stave has a few tiny knits and one streak of fine knots. It's lovely wood, looks and works a bit like Hazel but 50% tougher and a hint darker.
Hopefully with a longer bow, I'll be back in my comfort zone and regain my shattered confidence.
S'pose I should call what I'm trying to build so let's say 50# at 28".

If it survives I'll post it on Primitive Archer so Eric and Steve can see what I've made of it...
Fingers crossed. Am I jittery... 'course not (cough splutter).
Update:- I've pressed on with it. I'm not normally one to get a bow virtually finished in a day, but I've got it to 50# at 26" Right timb tip is too stiff, but nearly there.
Done some more, got the handle flexing a whisker and the right limb moving better. 50# at 28" whew, yes I can make a bow!
Work tomorrow...


Some sad news, one of my fellow archers (same age as me) died suddenly a couple of days ago in his sleep. My thoughts go out to his friends and family.
It reminds us all of our mortality, so maybe next time you loose an arrow, spare a thought for those left behind.

Sunday, 18 January 2015


The Primitive exploded on the tiller. Damn!
Not a very auspicious start to the year.
I'd been cleaning up the lower limb and it was now bending a bit more, I'd been flexing it and thinking I need to ease off the upper limb to match, but I'll just pull it to 50#.
It had been there before... but it went Bang (at about 26")
I've highlighted the two breaks in red.

It would be easy to look at the back and say oooh there are lots of ring violations, that's the problem, but I think that's over simplistic.

There were plenty of knots and bumps on the lower limb, maybe the outer 1/3 wasn't moving enough. Maybe the sapwood had got too hot during heat treating? I don't know.
BUT, there is plenty of thickness of sapwood there.
Looking closely at the pics, you'd think the bow would be supple and durable with that much sapwood and so little heart.
The more I look at it, I think the break probably started at a point where the limb was slightly thin (between two bumps) and it narrowed slightly there. maybe leaving extra width and thickness at a knot merely creates a weak point adjacent to it!
Some scant consolation, I've just noticed a faint pencilled L  (for LEAVE) across the break at the thin point, I'd obviously spotted it was a whisker thin there. (Lower left pic)

The darker picture shows the back of the upper limb with fewer bumps and knots and  more even sapwood contours.

Pic left shows how the sapwood flows around the pegged knot, note the sapwood din't actually snap at that point.

Maybe the bow was just a tad short for that draw weight.
Anyhow, the lower limb fractured at two places both near knots/bumps. If I had to fault myself, I'd say I should have reduced the right limb to match as soon as I felt the left was flexing too hard. Mind, it was very subtle, it's not as if it was a huge clearly visible overbend.

To further the investigation I sawed a cross section from between the breaks... it looks great!

It's just a damn shame as it was going to be a V pretty bow.
On the plus side, I had been thinking of putting longbow style horn nocks on it, and at least I hadn't spent the time doing that!

Once more to the old question... How long does it take to make a bow? Maybe you need to factor in the ones that don't make it.
Just as well I enjoy makin' 'em.
Damn, damn and thrice damn.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Yew Primitive on the Tiller

It's coming on quite nicely. I re-did the recurves with a little more curve and more heat to heat treat the belly. There is still a long way to go and the left (lower) limb is a tad stiff, just inboard of a knotty area about 1/2 of the way from the grip. The right limb seems to working nicely, but maybe stiff mid limb?  (it looks a tad thick there maybe). The recurves are uncoiling nicely
I've had to adjust the width at the tips and grip to centralise the string line.That shows the wisdom of leaving wide tips and grip in the early stages.
Here's a composite pic of the unbraced and draw shot from the video. It's pulling 50# at 23"
The repeated flexing helps me to see what's actually moving dynamically. With the static pictures it's easy to mistake bends in the stave for flexing. The classic case in point is the knotty area half way along the left limb, is it stiff or is it flexing? You can decide for yourself...

The sapwood has been reduced on this bow, and it's at this stage I'm going over it meticulously trying to make sure it's smooth and to follow a ring where possible, or to make any exposed rings blend gracefully in, ideally at an angle rather than straight across the back of the bow. There is some adjusting of the tiller by removing sapwood but not much.
Say there is a raised bulge on the back, that will make the limb stiffer there. Do you remove wood from the belly if there isn't much heart wood, or do you reduce the sapwood on the back? Well it's a little of each, trying to get the right compromise without weakening the back.

The things you don't do are as important as the things you do!
The string line still looked off. Peering down the bow whilst doing some armchair bowyering I thought, this limb is off by a good half inch, it's twisted too... If I heat it and twist it I can bring it in line.
I started to jig it up and the more I looked at it the more I thought, no, it's fine! A little off one side of the grip and the edge of the limbs and it will be good. Taking some off the width will also help get the limbs bending more. I slackened my temporary string so it was just taut and looked at the centreline. An 1/8" off here and there and it's looking better, it's coming an inch further back on the tiller too.
Another thing I've decided not to do is to leave a hole through the limb as "character". It wasn't a big hole and to be honest looked a bit of a pathetic attempt at character. It also meant I was leaving extra wood round the hole for security and worrying about the strength of the limb.
I've fitted a Yew peg, it will make the final tillering less nervy.


Friday, 16 January 2015

Yew primitive Progress

 I've been cracking on with all sorts of stuff. The Hazel log has been sawn, ends painted, weighed and put on the shelves.

 Weighing a log is a handy way of keeping an eye on it's progress seasoning.
I don't usually bother, but I'm trying to season this one rapidly. I don't want to get it too hot too quick, so I'll leave it a few weeks keeping an eye on the weight, then maybe bring it indoors.

 I've improved the ventilation in the garage by opening up above the door (it was just blocked off with timber so it was a relatively quick easy job).

The Yew primitive...well it may not end up primitive, if I cut in an arrow shelf, but that's just another reason for leaving the grip wide.

 Anyhow, as I was saying, I've got it rough tillered (outer limbs still a bit stiff, but basically bending reasonably). I then put some reflex into the outer half of each limb.
 This was done by heating the belly with a hot air gun and then pulling the tip down onto the former and strapping it with rubber.
The belly was coated with vegetable oil to help stop it scorching and to hopefully help the heat conduct into the wood. The sapwood back was protected from the heat to some extent by a few layers of masking tape. For the same reason the sapwood was also left a little thick and will be reduced a bit more before the bow is finished.

 I should be able to do more tillering over the weekend.
It's meant to end up left handed, but I'm tempted to make it ambidextrous as I don't really want to end up with a left handed bow if it doesn't get taken up.
I haven't heard back from the guy who wanted the 40# Boo' backed Yew target bow, but I do realize we all have lives to live and there are plenty of things more important than bows. None of us knows what's round the corner.

Oh, by the way, I've flexed the back patched Bickerstaffe and shot an arrow through it. It looks fine and I've given it 3 coats of thinned Danish Oil now. Once the last has dried I'll wax it and shoot some more arrows. At 50# it still bangs out the arrows quite nicely despite a bit of set.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Back Patch for a Friend

One of my friends came over the other day with a yew limb which will make a nice stick bow or primitive.
He shoots warbow mostly but brought along his old Bickerstaffe which he'd overdrawn and it had a crack/splinter raised on the Hickory back. They wanted £100 to put a new back on, which is pretty reasonable, but I said I'd do him a back patch while he waited as I happened to have some of a Hickory backing strip left over !
Well it was glued on and strapped up while he waited and we chatted.
This evening I took off the rubber strapping and cleaned it up... I haven't shot it yet though!
You'll have to look closely to see where the patch is. It doesn't quite extend full width or full depth, as it's good to maintain some continuity of the original back. But I took care to make sure I'd rasped down past the depth of the crack.
Note:- The superglue bottle is there as I used the low viscosity superglue to help show up the crack, it soaks in and you can see it better. I used my usual Resintite for gluing the patch.

I also cut some more Hazel at lunchtime from along the cycle track behind the factories where I work. I'll get it roughed out for thickness with plenty of spare width and see if I can get it seasoned in a couple of months.
I'm on a roll this evening so I put a coarse blade on the bandsaw and ran the Hazel through it. Gorgeous clean white wood... no nasty streaks of grey. I sealed the ends with PVA, did the Yew limb too. I'll probably leave the hazel for a week or two up on my shelves, but I might open up above the back door of the garage to get more air through. After a week or so I might bring it indoors or see about some heat/forced draught and maybe strap it to a former... who knows. Good to be getting back on track as the Hazel warbow had fired my imagination.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Two Bows, Primitive Yew and Hazel Warbow

With 2 bows being worked on, it's in danger of getting confused, so do pay attention at the back! ;-)
Yew Primitive:-

I sawed a thin slat of Yew from an off cut, actually it was a half log I had put to one side for firewood, but my other off cuts weren't wide enough.

The point of doing a thinnish slat is that it will more easily bend to the curve of the bow (where I deflexed it) and give a better glue line (especially if you clamp it at the ends where it meets the limb and will be very visible on the finished bow (ok, yes I forgot this and just used rubber strap. Hopefully I'll remember, or re-read this next time).

It then provides a raised surface which can be flattened on the belt sander to give a nice face to glue the riser block on to. It also gives a transition from riser to limb. On some bows this is a longer lamination known as a 'power lam'. I think its a daft name myself, a blend lam would be better IMO as that's what it's there for.
(Bear in mind that laminated bows aren't my thing, so maybe I have the terminology or reasoning wrong...)
Anyhow getting a nice blend on the fade without dipping into the limb can be tricky, and an extra thin lamination/slat/whatever helps. Note the grip area has only been narrowed slightly to allow for later adjustments. 'Nuff chat, here are some pics.

Hazel Warbow:-
The two pics on the left show the two staves side by side edge up, and back up for comparison.

Having roughed it out, just going by experience and starting at about 40mm wide at the grip I glued on some scaps of Yew as temporary nock overlays, filed in string grooves and got it on the tiller.
It flexed quite nicely with one limb being a bit stiffer. I took a bit off that limb with the draw knife... what gorgeous wood to work, it was like paring cheese, barely needed any effort.
I noticed the wood had some gey streaks and a hint of blue under the bark. I don't think this can be rot as the limb was off the ground and live when I cut it. It was also seasoned

high up in my garage where it's warmest and airy.
Back on the tiller and I heaved it back to about 70 odd pounds.... CRACK.... CRACK. Did I panic? Of course not (well just a tad) It was the bark on the back cracking off leaving a perfect surface underneath. There was one area popped off on each limb, that's natures strain gauge telling me the limbs are bending fairly evenly
As the curve and poundage seemed reasonably I'm now going to put some deflex into the grip. I've taken a 'before' pic to give me a reference.

Some time later:-
The warbow exploded on the tiller, dumping me onto my backside!
The deflex allowed it to be strung to about 3" of inches brace and I was flexing it to near 80# at somewhere near 26".

It seems to have smashed mid limb on both limbs. I'd been getting the outers moving more before heating in some reflex. My big worry was a nasty dip on the back at one edge of the grip...
At least it didn't break there!
I checked the moisture content and it was up at about 12-14% typical of wood in my garage.
Maybe the grey colouring was some problem with the wood, it certainly doesn't look like some 'good' Hazel I have....  Must admit warning bells were ringing when I first ran it through the band saw.
At least I hadn't wasted too much time on it. Shame I was hoping to use some of the off-cuts from the belly to make an experimental 35# flight bow... but I don't think the wood is up to it now... damn.
Ha, just confirmed it. I tried flexing one of the offcuts, it just snapped like a rotten dry stick. Seems like that would have been a good test before I started on the actual bow.

Onwards and upwards, I can concentrate of the Yew primitive.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Bending and a Cherry Slice

My Laser Rangefinder arrived, and once I'd read the instructions it worked great (You press the power on button and then dab it again to actually take the reading... I knew that really ;-) )
I'd tried it on a van at the end of the road, about 100yds away... turns out it was only 97.

I've done some on the primitive Yew narrowing the grip area V slighty and bending some deflex into it. I'm going for a reflex deflex shape, but not a lot of bend.

The handle area isn't really thick enough for the finished bow, so I'll be glueing another piece of Yew onto the belly side to build it up like a riser.

I took a different approach to the bend this time, hanging a weight (small anvil and 2 lump hammers) onto it while heating the belly with the hot air gun.
the advantage with this method is you can see it starting to move and you are less likely to overstrain the wood by being over zealous with the clamps.
I took about 25 minutes heating it and got a slight colour change on the wood, this will have hardened it a tad, which is a good thing as the grip will be quite narrow in the finished bow.
I'm going to try the same technique on my Hazel warbow stave but I'll need a heavier weight. My mate Mick the blacksmith is going to lend me a 56lb weight which should do the job. The warbow will also have a slight reflex deflex thing going on.
You'll see that's my theme for this this year, it's all building up expertise for a flight bow or two.

The picture of the knot shows an apparently good solid knot. I gently tapped it out and cleaned it up removing all the trapped bark. It shows how much soft manky worthless material is in there. A drop of superglue just isn't going to soak right in and strengthen all the black stuff, it is just asking for it to compact and become a pinch. I whittled a plug and glued in to fill the hole.

The cherry slice was spotted by my Daughter in the town park where they'd been taking down some old trees. By counting the rings we could see it must have been planted when the fist laid out the town park in the mid 60's. She'd rolled it down the hill to her trusty van 'Binky' but couldn't lift it in.
She collected me so I could give her a hand, My wife fancies having a go carving it or using in the garden in some way... it was too handsome a slab of wood to leave to rot.

In the background there is a skinny Yew stick from the Yew tree in our garden. We'd cut off that branch as it was overhanging the path to the patio. It might make a fun stick bow, just chop away some of the belly and slap a string on it to see what it will do.

Monday, 5 January 2015


I agreed to go up the club yesterday to take some leather up for one of my mates. It looked mild outside, but when I went out it was freezing and foggy... but it was great!
The course had been re-laid since I last shot with a good few new targets, I was in good company, my feet were dry and despite chilly hands I shot rather well a couple of shots thudded home exactly where I was looking at the target.
I only needed 3 arrows on a couple of the small targets.
One of the best targets was a big tiger across a pond. V difficult to judge the range, I went point onto the target and then just elevated a little, the arrow slipped away and I though "good line" then completely lost sight of it. I thought it was over the target... then I heard a satisfying thud, when we walked round the pond it was an inch above the kill zone.
Going round once (18 targets) was plenty for me, but a breath of fresh air certainly reminded me how much I enjoy shooting.
Getting back home after some re-heated chilli con carne and a cat nap I looked over my staves. I'd been contacted by a guy from Norway interested in a Yew primitive with some character and he didn't mind billets or whatever I came up with... Exactly the sort of commission that sparks my interest. Now I don't export, but this chap regularly visits relatives in the UK so I can ship to them.

I've also been working down the re-spliced Yew longbow stave. Usually I work on one bow at a time but I feel like getting several roughed out so I can then finish them when I feel like it.
One project is a Hazel warbow, and if I rough off the belly from each limb on the bandsaw, the offcuts may form limbs for a 35# Hazel experimental flight bow, I might rough that out tomorrow.

the pics show two views of the staves and a couple of features of the spliced longbow stave. A buried knot which forced me to adust the lay out of the bow to try and loose it off one edge and the weird heart wood sapwood boundary where it goes sap heart sap heart.

I'm excited about flight bows and succumbed to the temptations of the web by clicking "BUY" on a laser rangefinder, (about £90) that takes care of the Christmas money from my Mum!
The flood plain where I could shoot is about a foot deep under water at the moment but it will dry out eventually, and hopefully by then I'll have a couple of bows to try out.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Target Bow Finished

This is the bow I built to replace the deflexed recurve target longbow which was too recurved to comply with some definitions of longbow.

The pictures don't really do it justice!

The buyer has disappeared off the radar so it's up for sale.
£300 with free shipping (UK only I'm afraid).
I prefer a buyer to collect so it can be tried.

Just to clarify, the bamboo back is a single continuous piece. The belly is English Yew spliced billets both from the same tree.

It's pretty much ramrod straight with no sign of reflex in the braced pic.
I've deliberately exaggerated the nocks to keep the string completely clear of the limbs. At the Windsor great park ILAA shoot I had a good look at a lot of longbows and many of them had the loop making contact with the wood of the bow limb.
I spend a couple of days doing the Mother of Pearl arrow plate, the leather grip and going over the bow again. I reduced the nodes on the bamboo back a little more and took out a few remaining tool marks, the Danish Oil was stripped back and re-done at least twice. The attention to detail was worth it as it's a gorgeous bow.

It's been shot in with about 100 arrows total, some of which were going round a field course, where it performed admirably.
I'd rather see it being shot than languishing in my garage, So if someone makes the effort to visit and they like it I can drop a few quid.