Through our common bond and cross-pollination, the seed for a series of books slowly took root and grew, finally resulting in these Traditional Bowyer's Bible. The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume 2 DOWNLOAD PDF The Cambridge History of the Bible: Volume 2, The West from the Fathers to the Reformation. [kim,_hyung_tak]_archery( Nov traditional bowyer's bible volume Nov k unknown.

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download Traditional Bowyer's Bible Volume 1: Read site Store Reviews - At $50 dollars each i cant really get any of them. I've seen a few books which can be read online before. Is this possible with the TBB?. How to Make a Recurve Bow. A recurve bow gives a traditional bow the ability to propel arrows further and with more power than a traditional bow. While it takes.

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Upcoming SlideShare. Like this presentation? Lower the string on one bow to 4". At 28" of draw, this bow's weight will drop to about Its first few inches of draw will now be considerably weaker than the 7" bow's. When plucked, the string feels limp and sounds dead. The 7" bow feels taut and robust.

Intuitively we know the 7" bow will throw an arrow farther and drive it deeper. But, as will repeatedly be true in archery design, intuition has lead us astray.

The 4" bow, despite its lower weight and spongy early draw, will out-shoot the 7" bow by a couple of feet per second. It does so because a low-strung bow stores more energy. More energy is stored principally because a 4" string travels 24", while a 7" string travels only 21". At ten inches of draw the 4" string has been drawn 6 inches and the bow weighs 13 lb. A high-strung bow is more strained. Tips, in this case, are advanced three inches farther, causing considerably more bend, therefore, limb strain.

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But there are disadvantages to low string heights. If not identically spined, arrows tend to spray right and left as each struggles to "paradox" around the grip. And low strings slap the wrist.

Each archer will find a personal string height which balances performance and comfort. For hunters, string height choice is less flexible. To avoid the gamespooking noise of feathers scratching as a bow is drawn, brace height must exceed feather length.

Varying string heights on a recurved bow cause larger performance differences than on straight-stave bows. Low strings make contact lower on the curve, the bow is therefore even "shorter" during early stages of draw. Bow Profile, or Side-View Shape This is the final factor affecting the amount of energy stored in a bow, and while the explanation is somewhat lengthy, it is by far the most important.

A straight-stave bow relaxed, braced, and drawn. The straight-stave bow shoots a grain arrow fps; the Asiatic composite shoots the same arrow fps. Both take equal effort to hold at full draw, yet note how much more energy is stored by the composite, especially during early-draw.

The secret to the difference in energy storage rests in their profiles. A braced but undrawn bow has no ability to throw an arrow. The only energy available to a bow for the casting of arrows is energy taken from the arm as the bow is drawn. The more work your arm is made to do, the faster the arrow will fly. Even when comparing bows of identical draw weight and length, certain bow profiles cause the arm to do more work.

The only way to put more energy into a given draw weight, draw length bow is to design it to be harder to pull in the early and mid stages of draw. In this way the total effort, or accumulated effort of drawing the bow is greater, even though its weight at full draw is the same. No mystical capacity for arrow speed resides in any particular wood, fiberglass, sinew or horn.

There is little difference in recovery speed or efficiency between various bowmaking materials. Virtually all such magic resides in a 60 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 10 15 20 25 30 55 Due to its reflexed limbs and tips, the Asiatic composite design "C", is much harder to pull during the early and midstages of draw, as its f-d curve indicates, thereby storing more energy.

When making wood bows, proper design and craftsmanship are far more important than wood type. I have many birch, ash, hickory, elm, etc. But only because they were better designed and crafted - the same reason some yew and Osage bows will out-shoot other yew and Osage bows.

Sinew advocate: I'll sinew-back it and it will shoot faster. Profile advocate: Give me any of your sinew-backed bows and let me make an all-wood bow with the same reflex, draw weight, and draw length, and its cast will be identical to your sinewed bow. High energy-storing profiles therefore require wider limbs, or more energy-absorbing material, in order to retain their profiles. Some excellent original profile which no longer exists doesn't count.

Its worked-in profile, its as-is profile after being pulled to full draw several times determines energy storage. The energy storing benefits of varied profiles can be seen even within a given design. Shown are four b o w s made of fairly straight staves, one slightly reflexed.

All would be classified as straight-stave, " D " bows. All are 50 lb at 28", and show varying worked-in profiles. Such profiles may be due to natural stave deflex or due to set. Set may be because of limbs being too narrow for the strength of wood used, an incompletely dried stave, overstrain during tillering, being overdrawn once made, or other reasons.

The cause of set, deflex, or string follow is irrelevant to a bow's performance. Its as-is profile, its side-view-shape after being worked to full draw determines energy storage.

If it displays this profile after being worked in it will, CAN ONLY, store precisely the amount of energy indicated on line " A " - the same amount of energy which would be stored by any other bow of the same profile.

But how? Different woods have different bending strengths, breaking strength, and degree of elasticity. For bows made of "inferior" wood to take the same set, and therefore shoot as fast as bows made of "superior" wood, their limbs must be made wider.

Wider in proportion to differences in strength and elasticity. Wider, thinner therefore more flexible weak-wood limbs can do the work of narrower, strong-wood limbs in the same way that a wider line of weaker men can lift as much weight as a narrower line of stronger men. Wider limbs contain more wood, which would normally raise limb mass, which would normally slow the bow, but this wider wood is lighter wood, so limb mass remains about the same. How to choose materials and limb widths to insure low-set profiles will be covered in "A Standard Bend Test" later in this chapter.

To restate: If by proper craft a bow is made to have less string follow after break-in, as with " B " and " C " , it will store more energy. If an after-break-in reflex is achieved, even more energy is stored. All four bows depicted above have the same draw length and weight.

All four are equally hard to hold at full draw. Yet " D " stores considerably more energy than " A " because its profile requires more arm work in the early and mid stages of draw. Straight-stave bows can be purposely, or unintentionally, tillered to a variety of different profiles.

Each affects a bow's storage and release of energy. For this to make complete sense the effects of string angle must be understood. String angle affects the storage of energy as much as any other factor. Shown at full draw are bows 72" and 48" long. Both are made from straight staves, both draw 50 lb at 28". Note that the 48" bow's string angle exceeds 90 degrees. When a bow becomes suddenly harder to pull during these last inches, it is said to stack.

When trying to understand the cause, our intuition outsmarts us again. Between 15" to 20" the 48" bow draws smoothly, with weight increasing at 2 lb per inch of draw. Beyond 20" a mild sensation of stack begins, with weight increasing just under 3 lb per inch. Beyond 25" the bow starts to "hit the wall," with weight increasing about 6 lb in the last inch.

The bow is stacking badly. You feel certain the bow is about to blow. Your face automatically winces, anticipating a shower of splinters. This is an almost universal reaction to serious stack. It is based on the common misconception that wood itself stacks, that wood approaching its breaking point becomes suddenly harder to bend. In fact the opposite is true. As wood approaches its breaking point belly fibers begin to fail; p o u n d a g e i n c r e a s e per inch b e g i n s to fall.

Y o u can easily demonstrate this using a pull scale and a stick of wood secured at one end. Then what causes a bow to stack? Given equal early draw weight, stack is purely the result of increasing string angle during the draw. The approximate 20degree string angle of a normally-braced bow provides great mechanical advantage in the early stages of draw. Each inch of draw advances limb tips only some fraction of an inch - a gear effect is at work.

Later in the draw, as string angle increases, as the string is pulling more at a right angle to the bow tips, this gear effect is lost, and each inch of draw advances the bow tips a similar honest inch. The "wall" of hard stacking. Pull a moderately short, full-draw b o w using a pull scale. Note weight increase per inch of draw.

For a 50 lb bow this will be about 2 lb at mid draw, but about 5 lb during the last inch of draw. Now replace the normal string with one half-again longer. This new string hangs far down below the bow. Using the pull scale, again draw the limbs to the same degree of bend as at mid draw when strung normally. String angle is now about 90 degrees, as at full draw when strung normally. Each additional inch of draw now increases weight by almost 4 lb.

If you're not yet convinced that stack is due to string angle alone, make a 56", 50 lb at 28", hard-stacking, "about-to-break" bow. Pull it to full draw, just to get that sensation in the pit of your stomach.

Then lash on 6" long tips, retroflexed to a 45 degree angle, converting the bow to a makeshift recurve. Note the substantially lower string angle during all stages of draw. As the bow limbs reach the degree of bend which once caused defensive wincing, you will feel a smooth, sweet draw, with no sensation of stack. The limbs are bending far more than before. They may be silently screaming from the abuse, but you hear nothing.

If the wood does not break, it will have massive set. Stack is due to string angle alone. Two bows of equal full-draw string angle, but having different early-draw weights will stack differently. A f-d curve's end-of-draw climb can not be as steep if it begins its ascent from a higher plane. With the cause of stacking understood the effect of varying profiles can now make sense. Note the variation in string angles in the illustration.

A working-grip, roundin-the-handle bow A permits the lowest near-tip string angle. Therefore it is the least-stacking, highest energy-storage bow.

Such bows must be tillered with insight and care: Even small near-grip set causes large, permanent tip deflection, or string follow. There are other benefits of working-grip bows: Eight to ten inches of wood is taken out of commission by thicker, non-working grips even more on widelimbed bows.

A stiff-gripped bow is, in effect, a less severe example of a whipended bow. As a result, the rest of the bow need not bend as much, will therefore take less set, and is less likely to break. And because less mid-limb wood is needed limbs will have less mass. Longer draws can be obtained from bend-in-the-handle bows, which is useful if full length staves are not available. Bows which work in the grip need not jolt the hand as reputed.

When tillered as suggested above they shoot as sweet as any bow. Well-made working-grip bows are highly efficient, but have some limits. Since the grip is part of the working limb, it cannot be narrowed.

This restricts wood choice to only the strongest, most elastic woods, or to draw weights in the 50 lb range. Safe, efficient poundage can be raised by increasing bow length, but above 72" or so, too much energy is spent throwing such long limbs forward. Length can be extended anyway, raising bow weight, trading slightly lower efficiency for somewhat higher net cast, but a wider-limbed, 64" to 69" length would be a better choice.

Medieval English longbows chose the longer-limb option, with bows in the lb range reaching 80".

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This choice may have been forced on them however, for two reasons: Why safe, wide-limbed bows cannot be taken from small diameter stock will be covered farther on. There is one style of working-grip bow whose limbs are wider than their grips. Tillering such bows require the highest levels of skill. Narrower grips must be thicker to hold their own against wider limbs.

But they must be thin enough to bend only slightly less than wider, near-grip portions of the limb. If not perfectly crafted, such grips become overstrained, either breaking or taking a set in the worst place to take a set. A very delicate balance. Stiff handles would have been much quicker and easier to make. These superior bowyers were obviously aware of the benefits of working grips. Average-weight bows which work in the handle will be too thin at the grip to hold comfortably.

A built-up riser of leather, cloth, or such, remedies this problem. Wood risers can be used if wrapped or tied in place, not glued, so the handle can continue to bend. Bows which bend too much in the handle also have high energy storage, but this potential cannot be exploited.

Since most bending takes place in a relatively short area less total wood is asked to do all the work. Bows which bend too much in the handle must be bending too little everywhere else. Mid-limbs are too thick to bend normally, which means that in addition to not storing energy their excess mass must be thrown forward at great energy expense.

A too-round-in-the-handle bow is in effect a very short bow with useless staves attached to each end. And all this on top of excessive tip deflexion due to inevitable grip set. A hinged-near-the-handle bow C has near identical problems as a round-inthe-handle bow. A too-flat-in-the-handle, or mildly whip-ended bow D also makes less total wood available for energy storage.

Since only outer portions of the limbs are fully working they must bend more severely. This more severe curvature produces a higher string angle. Such limbs stack badly, storing considerably less energy. A whip-ended b o w is effectively a stave with half of a short b o w attached to each end.

This is a bad situation, but not as bad as its F-D curve alone indicates. These overworked outer limbs are less massive. And hardlyworking inner limbs take no set whatever. Still, such bows have poorer cast than if ideally tillered. Whip-ended bows are, however, generally sweet to shoot, with little or no hand shock. In fact, the outer limbs of bows with severe hand shock can be retillered, slightly "whipping" their ends, then shortened sufficiently to maintain draw weight.

From all of the above, it's obvious why normal tillering was chosen to be normal. But there are subtleties to "normal" tiller worth examining. A bow limb should not bend in a perfect arc of a circle. To resist increasing leverage, a limb must be progressively thicker moving from tip to grip. But, thicker wood will not bend as far as thinner wood before breaking or taking a set.

Each part of the limb should be strained to the same percentage of safe capacity. To achieve this, thicker sections must be tillered to bend less than thinner sections. An ideally tillered limb will therefore be somewhat elliptical, with two additional refinements. Low string angles decrease stack, therefore increasing energy storage.

As limb tips progress from deflex to recurve, two thing happen. Energy storage rises correspondingly. This is why the last few inches of a straight bow should normally be tillered for little or no bend. Bows of equal draw weight and length, showing various profiles due to tillering and recurving. The bows shown have equal draw weight and length. Their f-d lines terminate at the same spot, but they store different amounts of energy: A - Whip-ended tips, having steeper string angles, produce a steep f-d line the last inches of draw, therefore, fairly severe stack.

The f-d line must therefore rise up from a lower level, which translates to low early and mid-draw weight. As a result, less energy is stored. B - Straight tips, having moderate string angles, producing a near-straight f-d line the last inches of draw and stack moderately.

The f-d line rises up from a higher base, which means higher early and mid-draw weight. More energy is stored than with whippy tips. C, D - Recurved and retroflexed tips, having low string angles produces a slightly convex f-d line, therefore no stack. Early and mid-draw weight is higher still. Even more energy is stored than with " B ".

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This design receives added early-draw weight from another source: Recurved limbs are therefore under higher strain when braced, just as are reflexed limbs. Picture, for example, a non string-contact, short-recurve bow whose tips rest three inches forward of the handle. This extra three inches of travel pre-strains the limbs exactly as if bracing a bow having three-inch of setback or reflex.

Early draw weight rises considerably. E, F, - The percentage of limb length devoted to recurve determines average string angle, therefore energy storage. A very low-percentage recurve has essentially no string-angle benefits. If measured at point of string contact the illustrated bows are shorter when braced, longer when fully drawn. Early in the draw, when deprived of the leverage of longer limbs, such bows are very hard to pull.

During mid-draw, when draw weight would normally become uncomfortably high, strings lift off their contact points, letting their retroverted tips work as levers, keeping final draw weight at tolerable levels. In effect, such tips work as cams.

Because such two-stage designs are harder to pull during early inches of draw, total energy stored is very high. The energy storage capacity of each of the above two-stage profiles varies due to: Early and mid-draw weight, as determined by: Late-draw stack, as determined by string angle during latter stages of draw.

Is is similar to " B " , about 60" long, wide-limbed, heavily sinewed, with Asiatic composite-type static retroflexed tips. He makes the tips just the correct length and angle to yield maximum energy storage short of causing limb failure. Asiatic-style string bridges permit normal brace height with less limb strain. The most energy-storing design illustrated is " E " , the highly reflexed and retro-tipped 46" long Turkish flight bow.

Four-hundred years ago such bows cast flight arrows up to one half-mile. Energy storage is high because early and mid-draw weight is high, largely due to the great strain involved in bracing such severely reflexed limbs.

Tension and compression work is done by sinew and horn on such highly strained limbs. Many explanations have been offered to account for the speed of Turkishstyle bows.

A common one notes that because of very high early draw weight, syiahs retroflexed tips suddenly slam home on their return, snapping the string taut with greater than ordinary force and speed. But that's putting the cart before the horse.

A bow's profile only determines how much energy is stored, not how it is expended. Syiahs simply make the bow store more energy. After that, arrow speed is inevitable. The author draws an Asiatic-style composite bow.

Enormous energy would be imparted to such limb as it is straightened and braced. As a result, total energy stored could be made to match that of a syiahed composite. Assuming equal mass, length, and draw, both bows would have equal cast.

The deflex-recurve, " D " is probably the most efficient design for a woodbased bow. Because of its deflex little of its ability to do work is used up bracing the bow.

Since little before-the-draw work is being done by the limbs, more during-the-draw work can be done. Being under little strain when braced, a deflex design would normally have very low early-draw weight. This is overcome by using thicker, harder to bend limbs. Such thick limbs would normally result in intolerably heavy draw weight later in the draw, but after string lift-off this design's levers keep full-draw weight down.

Such a thick limb would normally be overstrained when fully drawn, but these limbs do little work being braced, making this unused capacity available during the draw. Let's say two bows are made with identical side-view, un-strung profiles. Both have equal draw weight and length.

Which will shoot a given arrow farther?

But why? If both have equal side-view profiles both require equal work of the arm, therefore store equal energy. More energy is used to throw its heavier limbs forward. Short, plains-style, set-back-in-the-handle bows seem to shoot no faster than If set-back limbs bend throughout their entire length, as do straight-stave bows, string angle will be very high.

Such limbs will stack, and store less energy. As with these set-back Plains-style bows, string angle can be kept fairly low if limbs are tillered to bend very little, it at all, near the tips. Such limbs, having started from farther forward to be braced or drawn, must approach the string at a greater angle, a formula for increased stack and lower energy storage. This becomes progressively less true with increased bow length, because string angle is progressively lower. For set-back bows of 66" or so, the advantages of counter-acting string follow overcome the disadvantages of increased string angle.

Set, or string follow, degrades efficiency on a straight-stave bow, but not on a recurved bow. By adjusting the percentage of limb devoted to recurve or syiah, the cast-robbing effects of set can be easily canceled. There is an advantage to overstraining such limbs: This is true to a lesser degree with straight bows: Limbs could be widened and thinned to take no set whatever, but mass would rise too high.

Some set is tollerated so that limbs can be narrower and lighter. A bow's profile at rest, braced, and drawn - all three matter to energy storage. If recurves straightened completely when braced, for example, a bow would have some slight advantage of pre-stressed energy storage, but none from string angle during the draw. If recurves uncoil and straighten as the bow is drawn, string angles rise, lowering energy storage due to stack. This is why a static recurve, or one with tips stiff enough not to bend during the draw, is more efficient than a working recurve, or one which uncoils as the bow is drawn.

We've all read that draw length cannot exceed half of bow length. This rule of thumb is accepted widely. Yet limbs of very light bows, or very wide-limbed bows, are so thin they can be bent nearly in circles. Especially if made from highly elastic materials. On the other hand, a very narrow, heavy bow made of brittle wood might break if drawn only one-third its length.

Where did this rule come from, and how did it manage to survive? A possible explanation is that straight-stave bows pulled beyond half their length stack severely. Hard-stacking bows are inefficient, and uncomfortable to draw. String angles on 48" bows, for example, reach 90 degrees at about 24" of draw if drawn b e y o n d 90 d e g r e e s strings slip off of their n o c k s u n l e s s restrained.

Pictured is a 48" bow, 2" wide at mid limb. It draws 57 lb at 28". Limbs are This 48" hickory bow pulls 57 lb at 28". It is far overdrawn by conventional standards, so far that its tips are reflexed to keep the string from slipping off of the nocks. Yet it shows little set. An important lesson can be learned from this bow: If limbs are perfectly rectangular in cross section, the edges do just as much work as the center.

Since more wood is working, the limb can be thinner, allowing the limb to bend into a smaller circle at the same draw weight. This translates to longer draws, or more severe recurves, both of which store more energy. It is made from a kiln-dried hickory board and the tips are slightly curved to retain the string.

A perfectly rectangular section insures equal work load across section width. A 2" limb in more than name. Rings are orientated as illustrated. This bow is set back slightly in the handle, and slightly recurved, both of which causes more strain than if made from a straight stave. In addition, a stiff handle section renders 8. All intuition says this little bow is being horribly overstrained.

Its limbs, however, take only a moderate set. Again our intuition must be wrong. Energy can only be stored by straining wood. Set must develop if limbs are over-strained. If limbs have less set than expected they must somehow be strained less than we assume.

At equal draw weight and length, a long bow stores more energy than a short bow. This very short bow stores much less energy, straining its wood less than draw weight alone implies.

The draw weight of full-draw, very short, straight bows is largely stack weight or artificial weight, which fools the fingers and the scale, but not the arrow. At a given limb width, same draw-length bows must be longer as drawweight increases. At 64" it may not break, but will take a very large set. At 72", surface wood is much less strained.

Set will be small, and the chances of breakage even smaller. Various cross sections have an indirect effect on mass placement. But different cross sections are important chiefly to the extent they permit a given side-view profile to exist. At a given limb length, limbs must be wider as design draw-weight increases. At 2", surface wood is much less strained. Set will be small, and its chances of breaking even smaller.

Some woods are weak in tension relative to compression strength. If backed, however, a narrower, lighter limb can be safely made. A flat belly brings more wood into play, to resist compression. High stacked " D " bellies are more likely to fail by taking an excessive set than by breaking. A " D " belly first chrysals, or fractures from excessive compression, on its very narrow surface. Narrow chrysals on " D " bellies, affecting only a small percentage of the limb's width, are not as fatal as chrysals on a flat belly, which usually lay across the entire belly.

If observed early enough in their formation on a " D " belly, a strong safe bow can still be delivered. These early chrysals become an emergency tillering guide, indicating wood should be removed everywhere else. Most woods are two or three times stronger in tension than compression.

Limb set is due to compression failure only. A simple experiment can demonstrate this. Rough out a flat-backed, flat-bellied bow blank. Mark a small ink dot near each end, on both back and belly. Measure the distance between dots with precision. Tiller this test bow to an even bend. Then over-strain it to induce a large set. Cut the bow in half along its neutral plane, separating the back from the belly. The back half will spring straight again. The belly half will keep its large set.

Carefully measure dot distance again. Back dot distance will not have changed. But as a result of belly compaction belly dots will be measurably closer. Staves from smaller trees will have a more rounded back, and the effect of a crowned, or rounded, back is too often overlooked in bow design.

Wood's bending resistance is proportional to the cube of thickness, in other words, a piece of wood twice as thick will be eight times as strong. Accordingly, thicker central portions of a high-crowned cross section do much more work than the thinner edges. Such a limb may measure two inches in width, but functionally, because of the crown, it is a much narrower bow asked to do the work of a 2" bow. For visible evidence of this, note that chrysals on such bows are restricted to a narrow central strip of belly lying opposite the crown.

Chrysals on flat-backed and bellied bows run almost edge to edge. Highly crowned limbs are actually narrower limbs with dead weight at their sides. Since narrow limbs must be made longer to prevent set or breaking, highly crowned limbs must be longer and narrower.

When making light bows from crowned staves, limbs should be narrowed, as in " B ". Thin, hardly-working edges are only dead weight. Since light bows are understrained, limbs can be thicker relative to width.

Illustration "A" depicts a typical cross section when a wide-limbed bow is made from a small diameter tree. Even the edges of "A" are thick enough to do real work. This means the center section will be relatively thinner, therefore less strained. This cross section is less likely to break or take excessive set than if more highly crowned. The piggy-back stave from lower in the log, "B," does not share these benefits.

With a wide belly to resist compression, a high-crowned bow will have minimal set. But its narrow back will be dangerously overworked. Small diameter trees, and inner splits of trees, should make only low-weight bows, or longer bows.

Of course there are shades of exception. Some woods are stronger in tension than others. If MC is high, and if the surface wood dries quickly, therefore shrinking faster than inner wood, the resulting difference in stress makes checking almost inevitable. Nearly dry wood can handle quick-drying well. Stave width.

Inner wood can also dry more quickly on a narrow stave, so it shrinks in width at nearer the same rate as surface wood. Stave thickness. Nearly-bow-thin staves, in a sense, have no inner wood to dry slower than outer wood, so differential stresses are much reduced. Again, higher temperature largely shortens drying time, relative humidity largely determines final moisture content. Drying boxes are convenient if a dry stave is needed during high-humidity season.

Controlling humidity: A humidity meter will aid in maintaining optimum RH when drying staves and storing dried staves and finished bows. Do this by opening vents in the early stages of drying, letting damp air out. And later, by closing vents, and adding wet rags or green wood if needed.

Moisture escaping from drying wood raises RH in the box. On the other hand, heating the air lowers RH. High heat and very low RH can cause even thin wood to occasionally check and warp. The RH of the air must be known in order to know the moisture content a stave is heading for. Drying wood in a drying box without a humidity meter inside is like driving a car without a steering wheel.

Light bulbs work well for small to medium-sized boxes. A cheap no- thermostat heater, with low, medium, and high settings, will reach desired temperature in a larger box.

A few one-inch vent holes should be evenly spaced in or near the floor and ceiling. Only the top holes need be adjustable, and this can be done simply by placing moveable slats over them. A small fan inside the box speeds drying and promotes unform drying. Point the fan away from the wood. Free water leaves the stave so quickly during this phase there is really no point in putting it in the drying box. Largely because the target moisture content can be lowered.

If air is hot and damp outside the box then box temperature must be elevated many degrees higher to lower internal RH. Or dry staves during the least humid time of the year, seal them well, and store them in the lowest RH air available. If air is cold outside the box then heat inside the box will cause box RH to drop far below outside RH. Vents, wet rags or fresh green wood are easy remedies. Percentage-wise, more wood is wrecked in drying boxes than any other way. A low-budget box: One corner of a basement can be made into an effective wood drying chamber for just a couple of dollars.

The floor, ceiling and two walls of the basement can be the floor, ceiling and two walls of the chamber. Just tape or staple plastic from ceiling to floor for the other two walls. From eye- hooks in the ceiling, hang wires to trapeze-like cross pieces, one, two or three deep.

A 3 by 7-foot space with three levels of hangers will hold about 30 floortillered staves. Put a space heater or dehumidifier on the floor. A stay-wet box: Sometimes the drying process must be slowed, as some woods will check or crack unless dried very slowly. Even Osage can be debarked and dried without its sapwood checking. Again, surface wood must be prevented from drying appreciably faster than inner wood.

Safe drying techniques all have this as a goal. The thicker the wood the slower it must dry: The higher the temperature, or the lower the humidity, or the faster air moves over the wood, the faster a given thickness of wood will dry. Dense wood should be dried more slowly than lighter wood to avoid checking, warping and cell crushing. Heartwoods must dry more slowly.

Heartwood contains extractives, giving wood not just color but density. Heartwood cannot shrink as fast or as much as sapwood.

Drying time: A stave can season for twenty years and still be too wet, if local RH is too high.

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Bark is almost waterproof: Typical year-old, sealed, split staves will be about as damp under the bark as quick-dried staves after three days.

Floortiller green staves ten days or so before making a bow, as per Quick-Drying, above, and they will be ready when you are. Low RH or high heat or strong wind can wreck thick wood. Unless wood is reduced to near bow thickness, or coated heavily, the bark might as well be left on. Coat the ends and the sides too, if conditions are severe. De-barked sapwood on thin-sapwood species, such as black locust and Osage, dries far more quickly than heartwood, usually checking almost immediately and everywhere, the checks often diving deep into heartwood.

For this reason sapwood on such species is usually laboriously removed. But if allowed to dry at an unnaturally slow rate, as in artificially controlled humidity, such staves will dry unchecked, and considerably faster than with bark intact.

As with yew, such sapwood is lighter than heartwood, somewhat lowering limb mass and raising cast. Such drying is an art in itself. Then gradually lower the humidity via ventilation. Fill checks with glue.

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If severe use glue-saturated fine sawdust. And possibly back the bow. Back checks are safer than belly checks: The back is being stretched and narrowed; only if back checks run off the side of the limb will they want to peel free, endangering the back.

Under compression, belly checks tend to expand sideways, weakening the limb. Stopping checks that have started: Immediately douse the checking surfaces with water and keep it wet until surface wood is saturated. Then dry the wood slowly. The stave might then be wrapped loosely in plastic, with small vent holes.I'll sinew-back it and it will shoot faster. Both have equal draw weight and length. Since most bending takes place in a relatively short area less total wood is asked to do all the work.

I'm sure they feel, as I do, that traditional archery will enrich your life and extend the pleasures you derive from this ancient sport.

So the question becomes: How quickly do light and dense woods respond to high and low RH? To avoid the gamespooking noise of feathers scratching as a bow is drawn, brace height must exceed feather length. Few can hold one and not be affected by complicated subterranean emotions.