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Re: [SCA-Archery] Older Wooden Bows

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  • Dan Martin
    Outstanding article,,,,,,,,,,,, Grate info to I have wood bows over 80yrs old shoot as good as my new ones. Heck Im 50 so Im no spring chicken myself. I have
    Message 1 of 8 , May 30, 2006
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      Outstanding article,,,,,,,,,,,, Grate info to
      I have wood bows over 80yrs old shoot as good as my new ones. Heck Im 50 so Im no spring chicken myself. I have broken many old and new bows in my time all were (MY) fault. if a bow is oild and treated it will out live generations.
      A friend just brought me an old Comanchie bow that is at least 120yrs old. its going into a bathtub of linseed oil for the summer. I have a small heater that keeps the oil warm. I have has as many as 20 bows in there at one time. I even treat and oil and seal new bows. You just dont know if the factory may have missed on this one.
      Well done you guys got your acts together
      Dan Martin\
      blackwaterincorp@...

      James Koch <alchem@...> wrote:
      Ed,
      >
      I have never had an old wood bow I bought break and I have purchased at
      least two dozen over the years. Your best bet is to remove any flaking
      finish and the leather wrap on the grip if it is bad. I rub the wood with
      a good coating of lemon oil and leave the bows in a humid environment like
      my basement in the summer. The less humid, the longer I leave them. At
      this point I clamp and straighten any bad bends. Once the wood has had
      time to soak up some moisture, I seal it with boiled linseed oil. I then
      string the bow and draw it slowly until I reach full draw. Most old wood
      bows have an extra piece glued on for the grip. This often fails when
      being drawn. In this case I chisel it off. sand both surfaces smooth and
      re-glue it with a strong modern wood glue and replace the wrapping on the
      grip. Some old wood bows are actually made of two staves lapped
      together. In both cases the extra grip piece is essential to provide
      strength, so re-gluing correctly is essential. From then on store the bow
      in a not too dry environment like the first floor of a house. Don't leave
      it strung in the sun when not actually being shot. I have fixed and used
      several such old bows which I subsequently shot for a year or two. I then
      sold them to customers who broke the bows immediately during
      stringing. This was obviously due to the buyers not knowing how to
      properly string a wood self bow. My belief is that most of the breakage
      you hear about with old wood bows is due to incorrect use rather than to
      the wood having gone bad over time.
      >
      Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)
      >
      >
      >At 04:10 PM 5/27/2006, you wrote:
      >I have been given two unstrung wooden bows. They were stored in an
      >attic for 20 or 30 years. Both do not appear to be warped or twisted
      >in any way.
      > I'm afraid that they will crack or break if I attempt to string them
      >at this point. Any suggestions on how to treat/restore the wood
      >before I attempt this? I'm excited to get the bows and would hate to
      >destroy them due to impatience.
      >
      >Thank you,
      >
      >Ed
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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      Dan Martin
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      blackwaterincorp@...
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    • Carl West
      ... I know what _I ve_ been doing and getting away with... In your experience, what is the proper way to string a wood self bow? And for that matter, examples
      Message 2 of 8 , May 30, 2006
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        James Koch wrote:

        > ... My belief is that most of the breakage
        > you hear about with old wood bows is due to incorrect use rather than to
        > the wood having gone bad over time.


        I know what _I've_ been doing and getting away with...

        In your experience, what is the proper way to string a wood self bow?

        And for that matter, examples of doing it wrong would be helpful too.

        - Fritz

        (I realize this can be read with a sarcastic tone, please don't, I
        really want to learn this part in case I've been endangering my bows)
      • James Koch
        Fritz, ... If you have been stringing old wood bows and not breaking them, you are already doing it right. If an old bow breaks while being drawn, it was worn
        Message 3 of 8 , May 31, 2006
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          Fritz,
          >
          If you have been stringing old wood bows and not breaking them, you are
          already doing it right. If an old bow breaks while being drawn, it was
          worn out or the glue holding the grip let loose and the archer didn't hear
          or feel it and let off. If the bow breaks while being strung or unstrung,
          this is strictly due to someone putting too much stress on one of the
          limbs. I don't use a stringer, but am very careful to press my knee
          against the grip and flex both limbs evenly while stringing. I have seen
          people simply pull the top limb down and snap it off. You can get away
          with this with a fiberglass starter bow, but not with a good wood bow. If
          in doubt, use a stringer. The moral of the story is that stringing
          shouldn't stress the limbs as much as drawing and shooting if done correctly.
          >
          Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)
          >
          >
          >At 11:39 PM 5/30/2006, you wrote:
          >James Koch wrote:
          >
          > > ... My belief is that most of the breakage
          > > you hear about with old wood bows is due to incorrect use rather than to
          > > the wood having gone bad over time.
          >
          >
          >I know what _I've_ been doing and getting away with...
          >
          >In your experience, what is the proper way to string a wood self bow?
          >
          >And for that matter, examples of doing it wrong would be helpful too.
          >
          >- Fritz
          >
          >(I realize this can be read with a sarcastic tone, please don't, I
          >really want to learn this part in case I've been endangering my bows)
          >
          >
          >---8<---------------------------------------------
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          >Get Medieval at Mad Macsen's http://www.medievalmart.com/
          >
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          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
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