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Red Cedar Longbow (Read 20610 times)
Johnny
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Red Cedar Longbow
Feb 28th, 2004 at 11:21pm
 
Hey folks
I'm also a bowyer. Hope you like my Red Cedar English style longbow. 80 lbs @ 28 inches.
Johnny
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« Last Edit: Feb 29th, 2004 at 7:34pm by Chris »  

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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #1 - Feb 29th, 2004 at 5:25am
 
Looks good.  There is a clear definition of the sapwood and hardwood there.  But why red cedar?  Are there no better bow-woods which are more readily available?
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Chris
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #2 - Feb 29th, 2004 at 7:35pm
 
A very hansom bow.  I've seen some pretty crappy long bows in my life, but curvature is nice and smooth on this one.  What kind of accuracy can you get with it?  Range?

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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #3 - Feb 29th, 2004 at 9:58pm
 
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Red Cedar is an excellent bow wood, just under rated! Some of the old bowyers of old used Red Cedar backed with hickory. They said this was a suitable substitute for Yew. I have made many Red Cedar bows and only one has broken. Cast is excellent! Some flight records have been set with RC bows if I remember correctly!
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This is my most accurate bow. Grouping arrows are no problem!
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #4 - Feb 29th, 2004 at 10:49pm
 
Johnny

    That is one beautiful bow! Makes me wish I could find the time and wood to build a bow myself. Very, very nice.


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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #5 - Mar 1st, 2004 at 1:39pm
 
ok, that told me.  It does look very nice, authentic, and very smooth.  Does it really draw 80 pounds?  It looks quite thin for such a bow.  I have a bow of elm that I bought, a longbow, and it is quite a bit thicker, and draws about 70 pounds.  Red cedar must be an efficient bow wood.  I often make bows, although I prefer weirder bows, like prehistoric bows, and native American style bows are mostly what I am making at the moment.  The main problems are that I cannot get horn, sinew, or anything else, required for the bow nocks on longbows or for the manufacture of composite bows.  *sigh*.  I guess I will have to wait until I am earning my own income.
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Johnny
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #6 - Mar 1st, 2004 at 3:56pm
 
If you get into composite bows, your going to need some cash. I checked into a horn supplier in the Philippines, and he sells prepared horn for composites $80.00 a pair.  You'll need to buy sinew and glue also. Culturally, I prefer the English style longbow. I'm an Anglo/Saxon, and a simple, hard hitting, durable, self-bow strikes a cord in my soul!
Thanks for the comments!
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #7 - Mar 1st, 2004 at 4:29pm
 
Crikey Johnny!  As old Mick Dundee would say....now THAT'S a bow!   It is obvious that the poundage you state is not embellished.....that is an armor piercer if I ever saw one.   I shot 80lbs for years and neglected to give a wit about biomechanics....I shot sometimes a 1,000 arrows a day and never gave a thought to what I was doing to my spine....over time my upper back obtained quite a curve as it was pulled over to the right by the muscle which attatches the shoulder blade to it!  This has caused me not a little discomfort at times and it has been a long road to achieve a semblance of my former spinal condition.  One positive note to come from my experience,  It has made me a much better lefty archer!  I shoot instinctive and have always been left eye dominant anyway.  I just got rid of my only set of XX2040's 1100 grain safari arrows recently....they were brutes made by easton under contract from Golden Key.  These were Nugent's safari arrows......they would have cast nicely from your bow methinks!  They were solely for close range use on big game.   I've always wanted to try making custom crafted footed shaft cedar arrows but never seem to find the time to get started.   My mouth is watering over some of the fine horse bows out there and would love to get my hands on one here soon.     bowWorks.com is a good resource for the do it yourselfer here in the states.   Also,  I have found Stickbow.com to be a great instructional haven.
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #8 - Mar 1st, 2004 at 9:45pm
 
Hey Tech!
I know what you mean about these heavy weight bows! After shooting this one, my shoulder and elbow feels like jello! I was wondering about long term effects shooting high weight bows. I may drop down the poundage to around 65 lbs. I don't want to spend my elder days in a body cast!
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #9 - Mar 2nd, 2004 at 1:07pm
 
Quote:
Culturally, I prefer the English style longbow. I'm an Anglo/Saxon, and a simple, hard hitting, durable, self-bow strikes a cord in my soul!
  Yeah, well culturally, I should too.  Being English (not just my online name), I too like the idea of a French-whomping kick ass selfbow, and being an Anglo Saxon myself, I have an afinity with the weapon (it was introduced to England, where it was later modified, by Jutes from Jutland, Denmark, who became known as Anglo Saxons).  But they are truly far from efficient.  In fact, they are not even the most efficient kind of selfbows, and when American physicists set out to improve on the longbow in the 20th century, they came up with a flatbow, essentially, and called it the American longbow.  Flatbows are much more efficient, and tests have shown that a longbow of 40 pound drawweight, using stone tipped arrows, could not pierce a pig's skin at 40 metres, whereas a replica prehistoric flatbow, as discovered at Holmegaard in Denmark, age of nearly 9000 years, with the same draw weight, could easily do it.  So for a hunting bow, a flatbow is probably better, but not for war, due to the problem that flatbows are more prone to bumps and bruises on long campaigns, etc.   Bowyers in America believe that a longbow is a bow that is long and straight tipped, and flat, whereas the traditional longbow is a high stacked, D section bow, with horn nocks, (can also be self-nocked) and often recurved tips.  Contemporary (as in, 14th and 15th century) pictures show un-braced bows as being recurved or sometimes doubly convex, and nowadays, most bows can either be classified as either "longbows" or "recurves", when the longbow was actually recurved itself.  Kinda confusing.  Anyways, I take back the comment on the drawweight, because it does look quite thick, really.  I must have looked at it wrong, or something.  Anyways, it looks great.
  And as to the comment about long term wear and tear on your body, you must have heard that archaeologists can often tell when they have found the skeleton of a medieval archer because of the twist to the spine.  Obviously, the bows they shot were often much higher draw weight, topping at around 150 pounds, but eighty was a normal draw weight for a young archer's bow.  And how you draw it is very important.  Here is a description of how an archer drew his bow:
"He brought his arms down with a powerful pulling action, till his chest was framed between the string and the bow.  Then he loosed the string with a clipped twang of the taut string, followed by the slamming impact of the arrow.  The chest is foward, typically, and the archer drew to his ear."  From Longbow by Robert Hardy.
   Drawing the way suggested also has advantages to accuracy; the diagonal slant of the bow means that the archer's paradox is nearly neutralised.  And importantly, the entire body is in motion, and the archer will try to use every muscle he can to minimise stress on just one.
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #10 - Mar 3rd, 2004 at 9:18am
 
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How many flatbows and D belly bows have you made?
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #11 - Mar 3rd, 2004 at 12:15pm
 
In my entire life, I have made many, many bows, so many I couldn't tell you a number.  I'd say around about ten D section bows, and more flatbows, maybe 20.  By flatbows, I mean any bow which has flat limbs, so that includes bows which are entirely flat all the way along (like most east-coast Native American bows), and bows which have a clearly defined handle-section (like the Holmegaard finds, north west coast native American bows, and most bows which are nowadays classified as longbows or flatbows).  So I have made quite a few bows.  I have also made a number of other styles of bow, such as doubly convex bows (as used by the Ancient Egyptians, amongst others), Inuit cordage bows and various recurved bows (and most of my longbows or D section bows are recurved, as this adds a lot to the power).  I would say that shooting a very heavy bow like a longbow is a very satisfying experience, whereas shooting a flatbow is merely a surprising one, surprising that a bow of such small poundage can shoot so well.  I am more accurate with "cutaway" handle flatbows, like the Holmegaard ones, because of the handles, and because of the efficiency with which it shoots.  The low poundage also allows you to concentrate on accuracy, rather than just trying to get the bow fully drawn.  And another advantage is that with flatbows of that type, the bowyer or fletcher needn't spine the arrows, because the do not have to "round" the bow so much.  So thinner arrows may be used, as well as thicker ones, which allows for a wide range of tips and weights.
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Re: Red Cedar LongbowD beel
Reply #12 - Mar 3rd, 2004 at 2:13pm
 
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I think saying D belly bows are inefficient is not quite true. "But they are truly far from efficient."  I believe a better statement would be, "D belly bows are efficient, Flatbows are more efficient". I have made many bows both D belly and flat style that perform basically the same. There is no miracle of cast with a flatbow style. I have two ELBs made out of Red Cedar that outperform all other bows. If the D belly bows were inefficient, our ancestors would not have used it in war. I know that one reason D bellies were used was because of economic reasons, you can get more bows out of a tree. I sold two bows a few months back made out of Red Cedar. One was a flatbow, the other was a ELB. Both were around 55#@28inches. The performed identically the same. Archery is kind of like religion and politics, everyone has their opinion!!
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #13 - Mar 3rd, 2004 at 4:51pm
 
Yes, it is true that everyone has their own opinion.  But one of the main reasons that longbows were made rather than flatbows in times of war is because they are very quick to make; there are modern bowyers who can turn out a high quality bow in less than an hour and a half.  And evidence from the Mary Rose finds shows that speed was a primary thought in the bowyers mind, because many of the bows exhibit rough marks, from bowyers tools, where the bowyer did not smooth down as much as a modern bowyer.  Flatbows take longer to make.  Also, as I said in a previous reply, flatbows would not be able to take the strains of campaign; they would crack in transit, or something similar.  With a longbow, danger of such a thing is negligible.  A flatbow may also be more efficient, but it cannot draw to such high drawweights.  And yes a longbow is reasonably efficient, more efficient than most round section bows, but not flatbows.  The reason longbows could be so successful was because of the strength of yew and English elm as bow woods.  In yew, the sapwood acts very much like sinew in composite bows, to resist the stretch imposed on it (other woods of course do the same, although not to the same level of strength), and the heartwood acts like the horn, to resist compression.  They are so well matched, that some describe the yew longbow as a "self-composite" weapon, as it is very efficient, due to it's natural properties.  But unlike in composite weapons, the materials do wear out.  And the design itself is not efficient, merely the wood it is made from.  Of course, we could argue about this topic for hours.  It is all about personal opinion, as you say, although a lot is down to physics.  Which is a rather boring subject, so let's not go down that road.
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Re: Red Cedar Longbow
Reply #14 - Mar 3rd, 2004 at 5:51pm
 
Well said!!
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