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Horn Bows (Read 6565 times)
bigkahuna
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Horn Bows
Feb 12th, 2006 at 9:19am
 
Any one out there have any info on horn bows or has any one made one? What kind of horn did you use ?
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Douglas_The_Black
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #1 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 10:08am
 
I think boiled cow horns are used, but i dont know.
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slingbadger
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #2 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 11:52am
 
  Just so happens I work with horn. OK... here goes
   The Middle Eastern and Mongolian archers would frequently make laminatedbows. The main part would be any kind of springy wood. The inside curve ( the curve that faces the archer) would have thin plates of horn laminated onto it. This was all wrapped up in tightly stretched and wetted leather.
  As the leather dries,it shrinks, getting even tighter and holding everything in place. The horn was also held in with hide glue.
  Here's the trick, and I am revealing a horner's secret here. Horn grows in layers and has a grain, much like wood does.If you look at it you can see that it goes pretty much straight up and down.
     You cut those areas into thin strips, and place them on the bow, so that the grain is vertical, or straight up and down.
  What this does,is when the bow bends, the horn acts like a spring, and gives more power to the bow when the string is released.
   If you look at traditional Mongolain bows, they are short, because they are used on horseback, however, everyone feared the bows because of their strength.
   The main disadvantage of a horn bow is that it is very weather sensitive. The leather and horn will expand and shrink according to the moisture content of the air.
i have no idea how the Mongols resolved that problem, or if they just lived with it.
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #3 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 12:35pm
 

The mongolians would make laminated horn/sinew/wood recurve bows that were fairly efficient, short, narrow, and apt to shed thier string. They took generally about two years to make, but Tim Baker has made these within a week- you seriously have to know what you are doing.

The bows were made with gemsbok or water buffalo horn, had to be straightened with steam, and were cut into strips about 1 1/4" wide. The maple core had to be very precisely measured every few inches- because once the bow was made you could not tiller it. The bow was generally waterproofed by being coated in birch, willow, or cherry bark. 


However, horn and sinew are very dense and heavy. When made into a bow longer than perhaps 50", they are very sluggish unless massively reflexed and siyahed with some very stiff per mass wood.

have to go now.
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chaosmage
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #4 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 1:35pm
 
Here's something you might find interesting.

http://www.primitiveways.com/pt-composite_bow.html

http://www.hornbow.com/

There's also a way to make a bow by putting a strong peice of wood between two gemsbok horns and simply stringing it. Takes 10 minutes to make and pulls over 100lbs on average.
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Hellfire
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #5 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 2:51pm
 
www.atarn.org

Theres a good website on composite bows.
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bigkahuna
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #6 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 3:50pm
 
WOW! Thanks guys. Shocked
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Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
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Hellfire
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #7 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 4:38pm
 
What do you need to know this for? Do you have some horn being shipped from peter cua or overseas? Just curious. If you actually are getting some decent horn- take it slow and get some books on hornbows.
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simia
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #8 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 5:09pm
 
from the iliad  book four around line 130, "Pandarus took up his bow of polished horn,
made from a nimble wild goat he himself once shot
under the chest, as it leapt down from a rock.
He'd waited in an ambush and hit it in the front.                                           
The goat fell down onto the rocks, landing on its back.                     
Horns on its head were sixteen palm widths long.
A man skilled in shaping horn had worked on them,                       130        [110]
so as to fit the horns together to create a bow.
He'd polished it all over, adding gold caps
snugly fitted on the tips."  he ends up shooting menalaus and ending the truce.  this bow (according to homer) was about 4 feet long so it fits the description.  i wish i had that bow Shocked
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simia
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #9 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 5:30pm
 
it must fhave been pretty powerfull too because the results( im reading book four for school) were
"Athena led the arrow
to the spot where the gold buckles on the belt                                             
rest on the joint in the double body armour.
The keen arrow dug into the leather strap,
passed right through the finely decorated belt,                                160
through the richly embossed armour, the body mail,
his most powerful guard, worn to protect his flesh,
by blocking spears and arrows. The arrow pierced it,
going through that mail, and grazed the skin of Menelaus.
Dark blood at once came flowing from the wound. 
That sounds pretty powerfull.
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vita gladio, mortis gladio Live by the sword die by the sword
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Douglas_The_Black
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #10 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 5:30pm
 
ah yes but no man was strong enough to even string it but odyssius Smiley
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i live in a maze of typo's&&&& popularity is for dolls a hero cannot be popular-Ralph Waldo Emerson&&&&DTB-master of the corny vest, and crappy carpet!
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simia
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #11 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 7:05pm
 
realy,( ive only read through book four)  how (or better queston why) did he do that when pandorus was a trogen
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vita gladio, mortis gladio Live by the sword die by the sword
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Douglas_The_Black
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #12 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 7:49pm
 
they where trying to take over his kingdom and his wife. I would of shot him Smiley
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i live in a maze of typo's&&&& popularity is for dolls a hero cannot be popular-Ralph Waldo Emerson&&&&DTB-master of the corny vest, and crappy carpet!
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simia
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #13 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 8:24pm
 
bet he regrets stringing that bow
Grin
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vita gladio, mortis gladio Live by the sword die by the sword
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Douglas_The_Black
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Re: Horn Bows
Reply #14 - Feb 12th, 2006 at 8:47pm
 
haha yes indeed Smiley
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i live in a maze of typo's&&&& popularity is for dolls a hero cannot be popular-Ralph Waldo Emerson&&&&DTB-master of the corny vest, and crappy carpet!
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