Longbow - the easy choice ?

geoffretired

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I've even made a string out of a steel cable before and it worked fine but was a bit too noisy.
Could cut cheese nicely, though.
I am a little unclear what you meant by adjustable strings. Were you thinking of other ways to fix them to the limbs; or ,,,???
 


cave dweller

New member
Could cut cheese nicely, though.
I am a little unclear what you meant by adjustable strings. Were you thinking of other ways to fix them to the limbs; or ,,,???
Yeah basically that's it. I have often wondered about for instance a limb tip made of brass or something that was just basically a little forked tip that you could slip a knotted string over, and then maybe have a couple of knots in the string at one end a few mm apart so as to adjust for brace height and that sort of thing. There are times I like a rather low brace height, such as for distance shooting, and at other times I like more brace because it seems to work nice for close range indoor shooting.

However, the same thing could be accomplished on any normal bow by having two different strings onhand, one a bit shorter than the other to change out as you desired.

I find my 63-inch bow a bit frustrating because it's awkwardly long so I'm always banging it on things and it requires a really long draw, so it needs really long arrows as well, and longer arrows are more wibbly-wobbly. My 51-inch bows (got two of them) are much easier to maneuver and can handle arrows as short as 26 inches which are generally much stiffer which I like.

I rather like a stiff arrow, said the actress to the vicar.
 


geoffretired

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Thanks for that clarification. I see what you mean now.
With the two sets of string notches on the bow I mentioned earlier, I think the archer could use other combinations to adjust tiller for string walking.
 


English Bowman

Well-known member
I find my 63-inch bow a bit frustrating because it's awkwardly long so I'm always banging it on things and it requires a really long draw, so it needs really long arrows as well, and longer arrows are more wibbly-wobbly. My 51-inch bows (got two of them) are much easier to maneuver and can handle arrows as short as 26 inches which are generally much stiffer which I like.
No offence intended, but how do you find a 63" bow awkwardly long? My longbow is over 6' long and I rarely have a problem, I have a 68" American Flatbow and have never had a problem with that. I shoot mainly field, so am used to walking through the woods with the bows, and shooting in dense woodland, so it's not that I'm always in an open field.
 


cave dweller

New member
No offence intended, but how do you find a 63" bow awkwardly long? My longbow is over 6' long and I rarely have a problem, I have a 68" American Flatbow and have never had a problem with that. I shoot mainly field, so am used to walking through the woods with the bows, and shooting in dense woodland, so it's not that I'm always in an open field.


It's an abomination and I'm selling it as soon as I can. Ever since I started messing around with shorter bows I can't stand long ones anymore.

My current favorite bows are between 35 and 50 pounds with 15" risers. I cut a bit off the lower limb to make them even shorter and that places the nocking point closer to the center of the string. I've done three bows like this so far and have found that it has no noticeable effect on power or function other than to position the arrow more central than is usually found with normal bows where the nocking point is always offset towards the top end. That just seems wrong which is why I started experimenting with shortening the limbs.

After my hack job they generally come out to around 51" give or take a bit. I generally have a brace height of around 5.25". I can use arrows as short as 26" with this setup, often with just two 3" fletchings and a 150gr head. Man do they punch on 50#.

The whole lot can be taken down and fit into a small yoga mat bag, arrows and all. Great for throwing in the camping gear.
 


English Bowman

Well-known member
Sorry but that makes me cringe, I struggle to see how that would work, and using shorter arrows, I struggle to see why that's a good idea. The longer the arrow, the longer the power-stroke and the more energy per a given draw length you get into the arrow. I'd like to see your bows and methods of shooting, rather than just hear about it as it sounds to me as if you're putting the tiller of the bow out and making the bow less stable, and with such a short bow you're making it a lot harder to draw, more likely to stack and harder to draw without finger pinch. Obviously it works for you, but I'd love to know how.
 


geoffretired

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It sounds to me that Cave Dweller is shooting with a style of his own if he can shoot really short arrows. As kids, we shot our homemade bows and arrows in our home made shooting styles. We pulled as far as we could in comfort but there was no formal style to copy. The bow was horizontal and both our hands were easily visible as we looked along the arrow to get a sort of aim. It was a bit like shooting from the hip with a pistol. Looking back, I guess the draw length would be just a bit longer than our forearm.
I would imagine a shorter bottom limb would give a stiffer bottom limb, which is what many bows have. Such a short draw allowed us to shoot shorter bows than normal but we had no idea what " normal " was anyway.
 


English Bowman

Well-known member
It sounds to me that Cave Dweller is shooting with a style of his own if he can shoot really short arrows. As kids, we shot our homemade bows and arrows in our home made shooting styles. We pulled as far as we could in comfort but there was no formal style to copy. The bow was horizontal and both our hands were easily visible as we looked along the arrow to get a sort of aim. It was a bit like shooting from the hip with a pistol. Looking back, I guess the draw length would be just a bit longer than our forearm.
I would imagine a shorter bottom limb would give a stiffer bottom limb, which is what many bows have. Such a short draw allowed us to shoot shorter bows than normal but we had no idea what " normal " was anyway.
I agree with you there, but I'd love to see how it worked and how well.

I suspect that the level of accuracy he can achieve is well below what could be done with a more conventional set up, as what we shoot, and I'm including traditional styles here, has been developed over thousands of years by copying what works, and so if having one limb shorter than the other and a very short draw worked better it's what we'd all be doing. (That said I know that uneven length limbs can work as the Japanese prove)

No offence to Cave Dweller is meant and I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but I have the suspicion that he thinks that he's good because he hasn't seen some who is good shooting a traditional bow.

I'm sorry if this comes across as condescending, I'm not trying to be, and I'd love to see what he can do, but I have been shooting since the mid '80s and involved in all styles of archery including working in a pro-shop and have never seen someone do what Cave Dweller is doing and make it work. (I've seen it tried, but it's never worked)
 


jerryRTD

Well-known member
Having started to shoot before takedowns I can see that shortening the bottom limb might be a good thing to do. Bows in those days were 'Tillered ' and the bottom limbs were usually shorter and stiffer, most extreme of these one piece bows is of course the Yumi (Japanese long bow).
 


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English Bowman

Well-known member
Having started to shoot before takedowns I can see that shortening the bottom limb might be a good thing to do. Bows in those days were 'Tillered ' and the bottom limbs were usually shorter and stiffer, most extreme of these one piece bows is of course the Yumi (Japanese long bow).
Yes but tillering the bow was done to put it into balance. If you do what Cave Dweller describes surely you are putting the bow out of balance. The bow is designed to work with the handle in a set place, which dictates where the arrow will be which dictates the amount of tiller that you need. All three are dependent on each other. If you change the length of the lower limb you're also changing it's stiffness which changes the tiller which affects where the arrow needs to be, which affects where the handle needs to be. In effect you are completely redesigning the geometry of the bow. The Yumi that you're talking about was designed to have a shorter bottom limb and so is in balance. (In fact the bottom limb needs to bend more to balance out the longer upper limb, so is weaker)
 


geoffretired

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I think Cave Dweller has tried to get something he likes to use rather than putting up with something that is not working the way he wants it to. I would do the same ,if the grip wasn't the way I wanted, for example.Interesting stuff.
 


dvd8n

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I can't see how or why it would work, but more power to him for trying it out.

I've got an odd xl limb in the attic that I always thought would be fun to pair with an odd short limb from somewhere to make an ilf yumi. But I never came across a free limb to try it with. And I didn't want to pay money for what was probably a stupid idea o_O
 


English Bowman

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I wasn't intending to have a go at Cave Dweller, I just want to understand how it works. As dvd8n says I can see it working with odd limbs but not if you shorten one of a pair.
 


geoffretired

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From reading English Bowman's post I don't get the sense of having a go at anyone.Reading Cave Dweller's post, I get the feeling he likes to find out for himself. I know how that feels. I also know that people sometimes wonder why I want to bother finding out. All I can say is I would rather find out what happens than always wonder if....
When Kevlar strings were popular, I had to try one. They frequently broke, so I wondered why it always happened at the nocking point. Perhaps the continuous flexing caused friction to wear them under the serving. I decided to make a Kevlar string in two parts, an upper and lower section joined under the centre serving by a short loop of Dacron. The string was like three links of a chain with two long ones joined by a short one roughly in the centre. I guessed that would stop the nocking long from giving way first and the Kevlar could remain straight for most of its shooting life. It broke on its first shot!
So it didn't work but at least I knew it didn't work. Perhaps the linked loops were the culprits.
 


cave dweller

New member
Bows aren't rocket science. Most are overpriced fashion accessories, and there's a certain amount of bow snobbery that comes from owning only the "correct" bows and using them in the "correct" manner, a bit like how car drivers or motorcyclists get religious about their choice of vehicle.

But the most interesting time for cars and bikes was during the late 1920's and 1930's when all the excitement and innovation were at a peak due to people pushing the boundaries and trying new ideas. That excitment carried on until about the 1960's and cars and bikes ever since have been dull and boring because everybody has been indoctrinated to believe what's what, but I'd take a 1930's hot rod over any new car just because that's me. Sure, a modern Ferrari might be faster but it's got no soul.

Not all archery is about sticking an expensive twig into a paper target. There's a bunch of rain forest Indians who manage to feed themselves using short bows, so it must not be a completely daft idea or they wouldn't do it.
 


geoffretired

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Yay! Long live those who think outside the box!
I made a stick on rest for my compound from some polymorph and part of a feeler gauge. It was received with lots of negativity because it had no micro adjustments. The Hoyt super rest had none either!!! I just turned their idea through 90 degrees.
One of the best benefits of diy is the ability to mend and make again at very little cost. No looking for suppliers of small replacement spare parts,only to be told you have to buy the whole thing.
As a kid, we had to straighten nails that had already been used more than once before. Screws were put in with a hammer. Everyone had a hammer, screwdrivers were for professionals!
 


English Bowman

Well-known member
Bows aren't rocket science. Most are overpriced fashion accessories, and there's a certain amount of bow snobbery that comes from owning only the "correct" bows and using them in the "correct" manner, a bit like how car drivers or motorcyclists get religious about their choice of vehicle.

But the most interesting time for cars and bikes was during the late 1920's and 1930's when all the excitement and innovation were at a peak due to people pushing the boundaries and trying new ideas. That excitment carried on until about the 1960's and cars and bikes ever since have been dull and boring because everybody has been indoctrinated to believe what's what, but I'd take a 1930's hot rod over any new car just because that's me. Sure, a modern Ferrari might be faster but it's got no soul.

Not all archery is about sticking an expensive twig into a paper target. There's a bunch of rain forest Indians who manage to feed themselves using short bows, so it must not be a completely daft idea or they wouldn't do it.
I don't understand this post, or how relevant it is.

My main bow is an English Longbow, I have made my own longbow, I don't shoot it as my main bow, as it doesn't perform as well as the one I do use, but I don't look down on anybody who makes their own kit. I do make all my own arrows.

My comments were trying to understand how what Cave Dweller did works, as everything I have learned about bows from making my own, working in a pro-shop, and shooting for over 30 years has taught me that what he's saying he does shouldn't work. I don't care how interesting something is if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

As for the comparison with motor vehicles, there's a subtle difference between them and bows, bows have been around since pre-history and what does and doesn't make a bow work has been (with the exception of compounds) worked out thousands of years ago. Everything since then is variations on that theme.

I would like to see Cave Dweller shooting his equipment, to prove me wrong and give me the opportunity to learn, or to put my curiosity to rest when I see what I expect to see.
 


KidCurry

Well-known member
I've cut some of the lower limb off to make it shorter, which baffles "The Experts", and it made my bow better.
Perhaps the use of the word "better" is the issue here. Short bow, long bow, modern bow, ancient bow, all have qualities of their own if you understand them.
I think the only issue here, if it is an issue at all, is taking a bow designed to do a specific task in a specific way and changing it to perform outside its original envelope. It will perform differently, and possibly to the preference of the archer, but almost certainly will not perform as efficiently or as elegantly as the original design. But each to their own.
 


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geoffretired

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I find it natural to want to see it working and just as natural to know how and why it works. A wider understanding so often leads to a deeper one too.
 


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