No disagreement there, James! I
use linen primarily because it's fairly inexpensive, and easy to glue with wood glue (I prefer Titebond III). And with board bows it's sometimes hard to know for sure what you're getting into, even when the grain looks good. I've blown up a light linen backed bow (blown up
!), but I've also had linen save me from serious injury on a much heavier bow. A backing is primarily a peace of mind thing, especially while learning. Linen also gives you a canvas to work on if you're into the decorative thing, and some folks are. Not necessarily period, although some of the Turkish bows were quite elaborately decorated.
But, agreed, an unbacked wood bow is
the gold standard.
--- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "James W" <jameswolfden@...> wrote:
> First choice would be to make a unbacked wooden bow.
> If you have to back the bow, don't use linen. Instead, use fiberglass cloth tape designed for sealing seams in boat building.
> Just because linen is period doesn't make a linen backed bow period. There are no examples of period bows being backed by linen nor any evidence that I am aware of it ever being done in period. Sinew backing, sure, there's plenty of evidence of that.
> Fiberglass cloth will dry clear giving the appearance of unbacked bow and, hence, a more period looking bow. In addition, the fiberglass cloth will offer more protection from the bow breaking when using less then ideal wood which is the only point of backing with linen. If one is concerned about fiberglass giving an unfair advantage, that would apply to a proper fiberglass lamination strip but not really to the cloth tape I am suggesting.
> I realize that on some traditional bowyer forums the use of fiberglass including the cloth tape variety is taboo but fiberglass is not banned in the SCA.