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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
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PostPosted: Mon 28 Jun, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject: Warbows of Elm or Ash?         Reply with quote

Do you think it would be possible to make a selfbow in the heavyrange poundscale out of Ash or Elm. Is there any records of medieval bows made out of these woodtypes?

Thanx!

//Martin

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Glennan Carnie




Location: UK
Joined: 23 Aug 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 28 Jun, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With heat-treating you can get a self-ash bow up to about 140lb @ 32" However, they tend to take a lot of set very quickly and lose a lot of draw-weight; and don't tend to last very long (a couple of dozen arrows seems to be typical)

It's very difficult to find good elm these days. Occasionally, you find a stave of witch-elm, which can make a decent, lower-weight bow.

Performance of these bows is considerably less than a comparable draw-weight yew self-bow.

There was a reason why 'meane wood' bows were never very popular in medieval England!
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Mon 28 Jun, 2010 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are quite a few finds laminated bow fragments in scandinavia, that could easily reach full warbow strength.
Some of these where posibly static recurves; here are some tentative reconstructions by acheologist and bowyer Ivar Malde, made from ash and pine (!!)


Malde sugests that use of the simple stick bow declined in the middle ages, in favour of the laminate bows and crossbows; For those of you able to read norwegian, he has a website, with an article on bow development;
http://www.kviljo.no/bue/

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 28 Jun, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys!

Elling, I will get into that homepage right away. A few churchpaintings in Sweden shows recurved bows so it might be an idea to make one like that!

I will post pictures of my project during the summer!

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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Jun, 2010 12:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling - this is very, very interesting, do you perhaps know how those bows (or fragments you mentioned) are dated?

I can't really read norwegian unfortunately.
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Jun, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The bows are high medevial, dated to the 13th c, as far as I remember.
It is based on the find of a front laminate in the city of Bergen, though the static recurve part is a educated guess.
One theory is that the bows where of sami/lappish origin, but they are in any case found in significant numbers in Norwegian cities. There are also static recurves in Maciowski.

I'm no real expert, but I can ask Ivar if there are more information available in english

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Jun, 2010 1:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

COOOL!

I have to build one of those!

Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Jun, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you read Roger Ascham's book Toxophilius? He was a 16th century Englishman who wrote down most of what we know today about English archery. He talks about things like which woods make good and bad bows and good and bad arrows.

I think all the Mary Rose bows were yew, but I wouldn't be surprised if some strong bows were made of other materials in some times and places.
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Jun, 2010 10:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
Malde sugests that use of the simple stick bow declined in the middle ages, in favour of the laminate bows and crossbows; For those of you able to read norwegian, he has a website, with an article on bow development;
http://www.kviljo.no/bue/

Same page through Google Translate:

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&am...&tl=en
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David Pim




Location: Trieste, Italy
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Jun, 2010 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Both Wych Elm and Dogwood will make heavy bows, perhaps not as reliable or fast as Yew.

Dave
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Jun, 2010 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Few other kinds of wood have both stretch and compression strength the same way yew does.
Laminated bows have the advantage of combining wood with good stretch, such as ash, with wood that has good compression strength. My laminate bow is made from ash and hazel. At least one of the static recurves is backed with hand picked, naturaly curved pine...

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Wed 30 Jun, 2010 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i have heard about bow of semi-composite construction in medioeval russia, that i believe it means constructed with two

different kind of wood, another good example of historical laminated bow is the chinese bamboo backed recurve that

looks very similare to the reconstruction posted by Elling. i have read also some teories about recurve bow of laminated

construction used in medieval italy, i have seen also a very nice reconstruction of it,
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Jun, 2010 1:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A corection from Ivar; the laminated static recurves are birch and pine, not ash and pine.

Swedish researcher Ragnar Insulander has also written about two-wood bows. The article can be purchased online, or a well stocked scandinavian library might have it...

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Michael R. Black





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PostPosted: Wed 30 Jun, 2010 9:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It has been several years (maybe 20) since I have read the books, but I would suggest you take a look at "The Traditional Bowyers Bible, Volume I-III. There is a lot of information on how to make a wide variety of bows. I made several flat bows with the instructions, using oak, maple, and walnut. The walnut broke, but the others are still going, though I have not fired them since moving to Chicago several years ago (no place to shoot).

I think you would have trouble making a good/efficient heavy bow with the cross section of an English longbow out of Ash or Elm. A flatbow, however, would be very doable. I guess it depends on whether you would be satisfied with a traditional self bow, rather than a more specific design, like a yew longbow.

Just my two cents. I'm sure more experienced/active members of the archery hobby will comment.

Michael
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D. Taralrud




Location: Hedmark, Norway
Joined: 06 Jan 2011

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello new forum I just found!

-I found this forum by searching something else on google, but had to register as this was the thread I more or less jumped into.

The reason I feel I had to comment, was simple. I think I may call myself an experienced bowyer. I also think I may call myself an experienced warbowyer, if such a title exist. Some of the answers you have got here are (no offense) wrong.

Wytch Elm (which is the common elm in scandinavia), is an excellent choice for heavy bows. They can be made within just the same dimensions as yew. Actually you need a GOOD piece of yew to compare it to good wytch elm, but I'm not saying elm bows outshoot yew. Yet.
However, elm benefits from heat treating the belly more than yew. Once wytch elm has a heat treated belly, I believe it equals yew of very good quality. I have successfully made numerous warbows from scandinavian wytch elm, all within "yew measurements". Wytch elm also takes the really heavy weights (those weights only a few people manage to pull). 220#@30" is so far the heaviest bow I've made from wytch elm.

Here is one 150#@32" wytch elm bow I have made, proving the quality of the wood: (This one is not heat treated for performance)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q8q6da68g0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwnibCKqYbk&feature=related

You live in Sweeden, and the scandinavian ash is also a good choice for heavy warbows. What you need to know about ash, is that the tension strength in ash overpowers the compression strength quite a bit. That, and the fact that ash reacts to humidity like a sponge, result in the well known string follow (which means it also looses strength). By heat treating the belly, you eliminate the tension/compression trouble ash has concerning the longbow/warbow design. If you make sure to use a finish as close to waterproof as possible, you eliminate the sponge-effect. I still never would have recommended to use an ash bow in the rain.

-I don't mean to come in lecturing people and be the "knowhow-@$$hole", I just had to tell you to go out cut some ash and elm.

BTW- laburnum, lilac and osage also makes fine heavy, long, narrow warbows. Other woods may also be used once you reveal the secret of "mælming". (hardening the wood with heat and a resin/turpentine mix) Still, yew is never a bad choice if you are able to find a good piece of it Happy
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D. Taralrud




Location: Hedmark, Norway
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 2:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

btw, Elling, you're right on the bows Ivar has made, they're made from pine and birch. -But the pine is compression pine, which has totally different technical abilities concerning compression than normal growth pine.
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Glennan Carnie




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:

Here is one 150#@32" wytch elm bow I have made, proving the quality of the wood: (This one is not heat treated for performance)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q8q6da68g0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwnibCKqYbk&feature=related


I was at that shoot and watched the bow being shot. The BLBS Standard arrow shot by Joe Gibbs hit 259 yards and the EWBS Livery arrow reached 229 yards. Both are EWBS records.

Arrow specifications (for those interested) can be found here:
http://www.englishwarbowsociety.com/EWBS_ARRO...TIONS.html

All the EWBS records can be found here:
http://www.englishwarbowsociety.com/records.html
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Nathan F




Location: ireland
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

they both can be used there are records here in ireland of elm and ash being used for war bows as well as elm bein exported to england to be used for making longbows well worth a try.
i will be making a few ash bows soon i would like to make one to warbow specs myself if anyone has any advice i would be grateful.
elm and yew over here are seeming near impossible to get so my woods tend to be oak and ash.

for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Glennan Carnie




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The EWBS will be publishing specifications for meane wood bows in the next few weeks. Contact them for more details.

Just a word on heavyweight bows: Joseph (in the videos) makes shooting a 150lb look very easy. There are very few people in the world who can draw a bow of that weight, and shoot that distance. If you make a 150lb bow, and you can't shoot it, in effect you've spent many days of effort making a very nice stick .

Probably better to aim for making a much lower weight bow you can enjoy shooting - and call it a medieval hunting bow. Happy
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Nathan F




Location: ireland
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

have a 60 gonna make a 90 shoot that then eventually aim for 120 thats my upper limit im all too aware how are it is to shoot heavy poundage bows and how much work it is to get good at it. so il make them and have them there to use when the time comes gives me something to do with my free time. Happy
for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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