Ok, more accurately, I should have said "Turning a 72" English longbow into a recurve.
Over the past year or so, my longbow has started taking more and more of a set. It also seems like it has dropped about 5lbs of force as well. So I was looking at recurves the other day and noticed that they are basically just a longbow with the ends bent back toward the "target", then when it's strung up, the curves are more or less flat against the string.
Would it be possible to steam my longbow and make a rig that will allow me to bend the ends of my bow forward... and do it?
Well, I'm sure it's possible, but would it add some poundage back into my bow and help fight the curve that it's starting to form?
Or, another option would be to just steam the bow and just try to straighten it a bit.
I have a 60# bow on the way, so it's not like if I screw this up, then I'll have no bow. I'm just looking for options.
Oh, and one more thing. Is there any treatment/product/oils/whatnots that I can put on my new bow that would help keep it from bending over time? Or is this something that every longbow has done since their creation?
I would not try to steam the bow or turn the bow into a recurve. I am pretty sure this will ruin the bow. bender
Agreed. Unfortunately, all self-bows take a set. Laminate bows do too of course but not nearly so quickly or as severe (very slight with my laminate bows). I have an ash longbow of about the same length as yours Greg and it has quite a substantial set. Nature of the beast I suppose...
If you wish to buy another longbow I recommend investing in a laminate. I say "investing" because it will no doubt take much, much longer to replace (if ever). They cost more than self-bows in some cases but unless you're a stickler for historical accuracy this shouldn't be a problem.
One of the instances where a self-bow cost more than a laminate can be seen here, though it's pretty obvious why!
Rudderbows have some very nice (and relatively cheap Longbows/Warbows)
Last Edit: Jun 11, 2011 4:28:42 GMT by cristi01
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IIRC bows made from Yew and Osage Orange will actually get stronger over time. Someone I knew had an Osage Orange one that was originally 60lbs but after about 5 years it was 65lbs. I'm not sure how resistant they are to taking a set though.
Morrigan's Talon by Brendan of Fable Blades
Herron's Flight by Brendan of Fable Blades
Evil is what we make of it. We use the tools we must. --Gerald Tarrant, Black Sun Risi
As far as I know bows all take a set to some degree, some types more than others. I believe it is normal for the draw weight of a bow to decrease somewhat with use. How much and at what rate would depend on the type of bow. Though if it is severe and decreases to rapidly there is probably something wrong with the bow.
Has your bow been finished with some sort of sealer. If it hasn't it may be absorbing moisture which can effect the draw weight of the bow. I've also read that storing your bow by standing it with one limb on the ground can cause that limb to increase its moisture content more than the other( upper limb off the ground). I don't know how much any of this effects the bow, but is something you might want to consider.
i agree with bender and ceebs,all self bows will take a set eventually,you'll lose some cast but a lot of times it actually makes the bow sweeter to shoot,if it's still sending arrow's at a decent speed id leave it,if it becomes bad you could either try backing the bow ,or shortening it a bit i wouldn't steam it,however if you do make a new bow at some point,and want to add some curve to the tips (like a reflex/deflex longbow) then yes you can steam it before tillering,steaming a finished bow will weaken it
if you want to try shortening it,id first secure some wooden wedges (temporary knocks) tie them onto the bow where you want the new knocking points to be,string it and see if it improves,if it does by all means shorten it ,if it doesnt well you havent done any lasting damage
I believe I rubbed it down with danish oil a while back, and that's about all I've done to it.
The bow has it's own place at the top of my sword stand, so it's always stored horizontally (totally by accident, I didn't even consider the negatives with standing a bow up like that) and the bow has never been wet.
It's not like it's taken a huge set, but I was just remembering how straight it was when I first got it, and now the center raises about 4" off a flat surface in the middle. And now that I think about it, the bow wasn't even completely straight when I first got it either.
I suppose my best option is backing at this point. I've seen some for sale on ebay, but I have a few lumber yards around here that I might be able to get some veneer from without having to pay the $20 shipping.
Now, when I attach a backing, do I use any old wood glue, or is there a magical glue that I'm supposed to use?
I would use Titebond III (air dries). You need a clean smooth surface with as little gap as possible between the two surfaces to be glued. Plane the back of the bow flat and smooth then glue on the backing. Use several small clamps all along the length of the bow. Let the glue set for 3 to 4 days. Quarter sawn Hickory about 1/8" thick should work nicely for the backing.
Greg, you might find this of interest. Its about the historical usage of Osage Orange bows and there are some DVDs you can buy showing how to make them. If you are going to make your own bow, this is about the strongest wood to use. It actually increases in draw weight with age. Plus you can grow it fairly easily if you have the space for it.
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