Bow maintaince.

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Marcus Woodhouse
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Bow maintaince.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:16 am

Now that the season is over I would like advice regarding how best to store and maintain my daighters longbow now that the season is over. I suspect she will use it a few more times "for fun" but will not be practising after Mass every Sunday.


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Phil the Grips
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Postby Phil the Grips » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:40 am

Wipe it down and remove mud and crud.

Check for cracks or splinters

If it is painted then maybe return it to be sanded down and repainted as well as "serviced" too (my bowyer does actually rings me up to bring the bow to him for this service as he likes to see how his kit is getting on)

Store it in a consistently temperatured space, preferably horizontally and away from radiators or direct heat (for this reason they only space I could find like this in my last place was down the side of my bed!)


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:20 pm

Will it need to be oiled or anything like that?


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Phil the Grips
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Postby Phil the Grips » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:23 pm

If it's painted then that would stop the need, since that is the point of varnishing, and if it is not maybe a light wipe of linseed oil after it has been checked, wiped and cleaned and definitely free of undue moisture.


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Colin MacDonald
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Postby Colin MacDonald » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:24 pm

Phil the Grips wrote:Store [...] preferably horizontally


I've heard this, but have yet to hear any compelling reason why, rather than "coz". Any ideas?

As an aside, I don't varnish/paint my bows because I prefer to oil them regularly than to trust in the varnish/paint stopping them from drying out. Then again, I don't trust builders either, and those darn kids are playing their hippety-hop music too loud again. GET OFF MY LAWN!


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Phil the Grips
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Postby Phil the Grips » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:31 pm

Horizontally doesn't put stress on the lower limb/nock - fine for short term storage but over time then it can cause problems with warping.


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Postby Fox » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:36 pm

Warping like this....
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Sorry, just for a moment I was on a different forum....



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Postby Phil the Grips » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:54 pm

yes- it protects the bow from being trodden on by Christopher Biggins while he dances :roll:


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Postby Colin MacDonald » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:26 am

Phil the Grips wrote:Horizontally doesn't put stress on the lower limb/nock - fine for short term storage but over time then it can cause problems with warping.


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Postby Phil the Grips » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:41 am

No idea. But I ain't going to ruin a perfectly good bow by testing it- especially as Fred Bates'd kill me for even thinking of harming one of his bows!


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Postby John Waller » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:24 am

From Archery Exchange

- Temperature - As people have already said you want somewhere that avoids the extremes

- Storage - The general principle is that if you stand it up then the weight of the bow will cause it to take a greater bend, so your storage should aim to eliminate this. The ideal storage is to support a longbow in two places a little either side of the handle, perhaps 18" to 2 feet apart with the bow resting on its back. The next best method is to support them so that they hang from the top nock - I have a row of hooks for this. I believe you should not be hanging them by the bag, as this is pretty much the same as standing them in a corner, i.e. the weight of the bow is resting on the bottom nock


Which is pretty much what I was told when I started and is what I do. I have a couple of pairs of old curtain pole brackets fixed to the wall of the spare room and store my bows horizontally. The corners of the room are for the gun cabinet and a stack of swords obviously!


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Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:57 pm

IIRC, in the middle ages, they hung them horizontally.


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Postby John Waller » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:10 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:IIRC, in the middle ages, they hung them horizontally.


Any references?


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Postby Colin MacDonald » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:41 pm

Phil the Grips wrote:No idea. But I ain't going to ruin a perfectly good bow by testing it- especially as Fred Bates'd kill me for even thinking of harming one of his bows!


Fair enough. It certainly sounds plausible, I just wonder if it's been tested in any empirical way.

I may be a little blasé about it because my bows started as £3 'generic hardwood' staves from B&Q. ;)


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Postby John Waller » Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:21 pm

Colin MacDonald wrote:[
I may be a little blasé about it because my bows started as £3 'generic hardwood' staves from B&Q. ;)


In which case I wouldn't worry about it. What sort of results did you get from your £3.00 generic hardwood? I have been thinking of going down that route for re-enactment battle bows.


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Postby Colin MacDonald » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:44 pm

John Waller wrote:
Colin MacDonald wrote:[
I may be a little blasé about it because my bows started as £3 'generic hardwood' staves from B&Q. ;)


In which case I wouldn't worry about it. What sort of results did you get from your £3.00 generic hardwood? I have been thinking of going down that route for re-enactment battle bows.


Annoyingly good. I made up 4 about 9 years back as practice before I started on some decent ash ones. 2 exploded (literally, laminated shards everywhere) when fully drawn, but 2 have survived as sweet shooting bows to this day. Unfortunately, I have no idea what they are made of beyond "dark hardwood", which is a bit embarrassing. When put on the spot, I mumble something about cherry being a decent bow wood, then fake a seizure.

I hope they break soon so that I can finally make some more. I may actually do one in cherry. ;)


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Postby John Waller » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:55 pm

A chap at my club made a bow out of a garden decking plank - it works. Again no idea of what wood it is.


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Postby she2dd5 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:11 pm

I store mine along the top of the window, using the curtain rail supports. It keeps it horizontal and is nicely out of the way to avoid tripping over it. It stays cool but not cold up there as well.


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Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:21 pm

John Waller wrote:
Colin Middleton wrote:IIRC, in the middle ages, they hung them horizontally.


Any references?


Nothing that I can put my finger on. I'm sure that I've seen pictuers of bows hung horisontally, but I can't remember where. Sorry. I'll try to have a quick dig tonight.


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:13 pm

Well, it didn't need oiling as it was all nice and varnished, so it's stored flat in the roof now. many thanks.


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Postby Soggybiker » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:46 am

I have an unvarnished yew bow. when I remember it, and am not planning to use it for a couple of weeks it gets oiled with a half and half mix of turpentine (not substitute) and linseed. Which hasn't done it any harm although I have nothing to compare it with to say its doing any good. Over the years it has straightened itself and lost a goodly amount of draw weight. It is noticable that a night in a tent, shed or car tends to stiffen it up a bit if the weather is cold. I doubt this is good for it but unavoidable at shows. I have been using it on and off for 20 years.




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