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sculpted risers and offset arrow-rests/sight-windows

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  • Evian Blackthorn
    The sculpted riser bow with an offset to allow an almost centershot has been around since the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition period (that s stone age, for
    Message 1 of 7 , May 13, 2000
      The sculpted riser bow with an offset to allow an almost centershot has been
      around since the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition period (that's stone age,
      for those who are still there). There were two bows from this period found
      at Holmgaard, Zealand, Denmark in 1944. To quote Robert Hardy, writing on
      page 17 of "Longbow", "...of considerable sophistication, with a cut-away
      handle allowing for an almost centre-shot passage of the arrow. They are
      made of elm, a timber used for bows 4,000 years later in Wales, ..." For
      those of you unfamiliar with Robert Hardy, he is a Trustee of the Royal
      Armouries at HM Tower of London, and of the Mary Rose Trust. While I have no
      objections to the use of fiberglass as a replacement for bone in a composite
      bow, I will raise a big stink if fiberglass is used, while I am being
      disallowed from using an offset handle on the grounds it is 'not period'. I
      did it once before when I was almost disallowed from using an archer's thumb
      ring. You know, like the kind that Genghis Khan's archers used. The marshall
      considered it to be the same as a modern thumb release devise. Well,
      actually, I didn't have to raise too big of a stink. The archery marshall
      backed down pretty quick when I showed him my documentation. Our job is to
      educate, is it not? If our equipment 'looks' too 'modern' to the general
      public, then I guess we need to teach them that the only real 'improvements'
      in archery in the past 5,000 years has been in 'modern' materials, and the
      invention of the Compound bow.
      Evian Blackthorn
    • Christian Gelszus
      ... [...] ... Well, almost centershot might be a not too perfect wording by Harding. From the drawings I found (Harding, 3rd ed. p.16, TBB) I cannot see that
      Message 2 of 7 , May 13, 2000
        > The sculpted riser bow with an offset to allow an almost
        > centershot has been
        > around since the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition period (that's stone age,
        > for those who are still there). There were two bows from this period found
        > at Holmgaard, Zealand, Denmark in 1944. To quote Robert Hardy, writing on
        > page 17 of "Longbow", "...of considerable sophistication, with a cut-away
        > handle allowing for an almost centre-shot passage of the arrow. They are
        > made of elm, a timber used for bows 4,000 years later in Wales, ..."
        [...]
        > I will raise a big stink if fiberglass is used, while I am being
        > disallowed from using an offset handle on the grounds it is 'not
        > period'.

        Well, 'almost centershot' might be a not too perfect wording by Harding.
        From the drawings I found (Harding, 3rd ed. p.16, TBB) I cannot see that the
        sculpted riser is a)asymetric or b) includes an arrow rest. These features
        are found in modern bows and it seems ok to me to 'reduce' (I did not say
        'ban' ;o) ) their usage in the SCA. A stone- or bronze age flat bow will
        still a) be shot from the hand and b) be subject to the 'archer's paradox'
        to a significant degree. I doubt that that is incompatible with a mor period
        approach.

        BTW: Your thumb ring example shows how far we are from using and
        understanding period techniques. If also heard of marshals turning down
        Flemish strings because they were made of linen or because they identified
        the little thread pieces showing up where the loop is braided into the
        string as a beginning breakage. If marshals don't know the stuff, how can we
        expect the general populace to go for it? And the 'research perspective'
        doesn't help here. Until you have made and shot these things you will only
        partly understand their functions, their problems and possible
        risks/problems to look for.

        In service

        William


        William of Llanfarne
        mka Christian Gelszus
        Barony of Sternfeld, Midrealm

        cgelszus@...
      • Chris Nogy
        Evian This is not the same type of documentation problem that you faced with the thumb ring - I can go to a museum just a few hours from here and get actual,
        Message 3 of 7 , May 14, 2000
          Evian

          This is not the same type of documentation problem that you faced with the thumb ring - I can go to a museum just a few hours from here and get actual, period examples of thumb rings (hundreds of them), and I can show the same thing in hundreds of places around the world. I can show chronicled documentation of their use.

          The marshal who questioned this was not very smart and knew little about period archery - the thumb ring is one of the first things a student of period archery learns about.

          Your conjecture on the window or riser is much less provable. Even if it is true, it shows that one bowyer well into pre-historic times built a bow or two that were unique (and many of the bows found in the bog digs were unique, and broken in places traditional bowyers predicted they would be based on design) but it doesn't mean they were effective, durable, or functional weapons - bowyers today working under the same design criteria have many failures to some successes. So basing the Society minimum standard of equipment on the conjecture centered on a single pair of bows from pre-history seems like a little stretch to me.

          If you have enough documentation to prove conclusively the design and continued use of the conjectured bow style, I suggest you quickly get it to Mr. Hardy so that you might claim your reward from the trust - they are still not positive about these pieces.

          Have you actually looked at or built a bow in the Holmgaard style? The bows are not preserved in perfect condition, some material deteriation has occurred. They are long, thus placing lots of leverage at the center of the riser. Many replicas have been built, and when built to exact dimensions of the remains, they are prone to failure in the riser. Only when slightly overbuilt do they maintain integrity. While they are narrowed risered, (thus the statement of the cut-away handle) they are not assymetric, pistol grip handles like modern bows. They are not center-shot any more than the Mongol bows were center-shot (though in comparison with many of the neolithic bows, they would appear much more 'center shot'). The risers are merely narrowed from the wide limbs (a practice not common before that) which made this bow more able to fit smaller hands. In the process the riser was left much deeper to compensate.

          This practice continued from that point on, and the only exception might be the Native American bows, many of which maintain a constant width across the entire bow.

          Just because a riser was narrowed (ELBs by comparison have similarly narrow, deep risers) does not make them cut-riser, center shot bows.

          The Welsh elm bows (though not one remains today, but some records of their existence do) are theorized to be similar to the Holmgaard bows - and in the strengths that the Welsh chronicles describe (able to completely penetrate a 4 inch oak door) there is no way that a Holmgaard design bow with a center-shot, cut riser would be able to remain intact while shooting like that.

          Mr. Hardy is English, do not try to understand his traditionally British method of describing things in an American manner. Also, he is just one man, and though a trusted expert, there are many who believe these bows have undergone more material loss than the trust states, and the jury is still out.

          There have been numerous real improvements to bows since the first application of mathematics and physics to the design of a bow. These improvements in bow design have increased cast, devreased stack, increased impact of teh projectile, increased the general stability and shootability of shorter bows, and much of this is in modern design (computer-assisted reflex / deflex design, forced optimum profiles, etc) - these were not possible with the variation in natural materials, so they were not explored. So I guess the use of modern materials brought on a new science of bow design, but the science is as important to the improvement as the materials.

          Kaz
        • leigh
          ... This makes a beautiful place for sadism and masochism to come together -- document everything, bring your documentation, show up early, and if the
          Message 4 of 7 , May 15, 2000
            At 12:02 AM 5/14/00 -0500, you wrote:
            >BTW: Your thumb ring example shows how far we are from using and
            >understanding period techniques. If also heard of marshals turning down
            >Flemish strings because they were made of linen or because they identified
            >the little thread pieces showing up where the loop is braided into the
            >string as a beginning breakage. If marshals don't know the stuff, how can we
            >expect the general populace to go for it? And the 'research perspective'
            >doesn't help here. Until you have made and shot these things you will only
            >partly understand their functions, their problems and possible
            >risks/problems to look for.
            >
            >In service
            >William

            This makes a beautiful place for sadism and masochism to come together --
            document everything, bring your documentation, show up early, and if the
            marshalls give you trouble, make 'em read it. If they're interested in
            period practices, they won't mind. If they balk at reading it, and still
            won't allow your equipment, have a bard standing by to compose an ode to
            their idiocy (for performance at court) -- by and large, people who take on
            an office without the intention of trying to perform it reasonably are also
            people who care very much about their public image.

            It may not work every time, but it's more productive than just fretting,
            and has the beauty of being period practice, as well. (Here's my charter
            for this property -- please tell this squatter to clear off -- do I need to
            commission an ode to your deficient sense of honour and justice?)

            -- della
          • Caley
            ... I doubt archers could afford gloves, but perhaps they wrapped a strip of cloth around their hand? And what is the proper technique for avoiding fletching
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 27, 2011
              > While hand damage from vane tips may be in the realm of papercuts for
              > some, putting a lifted quill into flesh might put an archer out of
              > action. Previously on this list some methods to avoid and minimize injury
              > were shared.

              > Proper technique should take most of the risk out of shooting off hand.
              > I'm not so certain I could always maintain such when faced with a
              > charging line of enemies, or a case of buck fever.


              I doubt archers could afford gloves, but perhaps they wrapped a strip of
              cloth around their hand?

              And what is the proper technique for avoiding fletching cuts?


              Thanks!


              Caley
            • Taslen
              ________________________________ From: Caley To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sun, February 27, 2011 10:57:52 PM Subject: Re:
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 28, 2011



                From: Caley <caoillainn1@...>
                To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sun, February 27, 2011 10:57:52 PM
                Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: sculpted risers and offset arrow-rests/sight-windows

                 

                > While hand damage from vane tips may be in the realm of papercuts for
                > some, putting a lifted quill into flesh might put an archer out of
                > action. Previously on this list some methods to avoid and minimize injury
                > were shared.

                > Proper technique should take most of the risk out of shooting off hand.
                > I'm not so certain I could always maintain such when faced with a
                > charging line of enemies, or a case of buck fever.

                I doubt archers could afford gloves, but perhaps they wrapped a strip of
                cloth around their hand?

                And what is the proper technique for avoiding fletching cuts?

                Thanks!

                Caley

                Caley,

                 

                Agreed inquiring minds want to know!

                 

                Gazelen


              • gee
                ... I don t think I have ever seen a period picture of an archer with a cloth or a glove on his bow hand. A correct nocking point will stop the fletching
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 28, 2011
                  --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Caley" <caoillainn1@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > While hand damage from vane tips may be in the realm of papercuts for
                  > > some, putting a lifted quill into flesh might put an archer out of
                  > > action. Previously on this list some methods to avoid and minimize injury
                  > > were shared.
                  >
                  > > Proper technique should take most of the risk out of shooting off hand.
                  > > I'm not so certain I could always maintain such when faced with a
                  > > charging line of enemies, or a case of buck fever.
                  >
                  >
                  > I doubt archers could afford gloves, but perhaps they wrapped a strip of
                  > cloth around their hand?
                  >
                  > And what is the proper technique for avoiding fletching cuts?
                  >
                  >
                  > Thanks!
                  >
                  >
                  > Caley
                  >
                  I don't think I have ever seen a period picture of an archer with a cloth or a glove on his bow hand. A correct nocking point will stop the fletching cutting into the hand - to stop a fletching from lifting, I always use an extra blob of glue on the leading edge and I also bind them from the leading edge right through to the back of the fletching - I also whip under the nock to prevent them from splitting as they are bog basic self nocks - see them in photos under 'longbow quivers' by geebarjay
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