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Alain D.





Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 81

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jul, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject: Bow Stringing         Reply with quote

I'd be curious to learn of any historical bow stringing methods, but I'm specifically wondering how heavy longbows were strung historically to avoid stressing one limb more than the other during the process. I've only ever seen one depiction of a supposedly historical stringing method, which I found to be very uncomfortable and impractical for a heavy bow.

I've heard that Greek bows were likely strung sitting down (apparently mentioned in the Odyssey?) and that some Asian and Middle Eastern bows required two people to properly string.

Thanks
-Alain
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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jul, 2010 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't know about longbows, but I string my 90lb recurve (which is actually too heavy for me) like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK3O06IbG24. I simply cannot string it other way except when I have another guy around to put on the string while I bend the bow while sitting on the ground.
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Glennan Carnie




Location: UK
Joined: 23 Aug 2006

Posts: 289

PostPosted: Thu 08 Jul, 2010 11:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can use the push-pull method on bows well over 100lb - depending on the length of the bow.

Most of the methods found in period art look downright abusive to the bow by today's standards: stepping through the bow and pulling it forward over the hip; or bending the bow by placing a knee in the middle-belly of the bow and pulling it towards you.

Personally, I use a stringer. Not only because it it easier but because it is kinder to the bow, bending each limb equally as the bow is braced.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, an ancient post from my blog might help a little:

http://l-clausewitz.livejournal.com/362004.html

The "pressure brace" method there--probably what Glennan meant by the "push-pull method" in his post--seems to have been the most common method among actual medieval longbowmen, and I'd agree with Glennan that it would easily work even with heavy bows as long as the bow is reasonably long and straight.

(The Greek method of stringing the bow in a sitting/kneeling position was probably very similar to and might have even been derived from the Scythian form, as in the Wikipedia image linked out from the post. The Asian method that requires the participation of two people is the one shown in the bottom. It's most practical for heavy, strongly reflexed bows with static-recurve ears, especially when the ears are long as in the Qing/Manchu model.)
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