[Ansteorra-archery] Something to think about - bow makers

David Ruff davidsbox01 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 14 22:26:57 PST 2005

Im sure its been said before but im gonna say it as i had it happen this morning. 
Got done tillering a beautiful ash bow yesterday. It was 68" tip to tip, slight reflex/deflex design and a VERY fast and flat shooting bow. Pulled 43lbs at 25". I was awaiting till i was ready to finish it to take it to a final tiller of 37lbs at 28". 
I got done last night by adding a large walnut handle to it. The plan was to notch the handle like a modern recurve. So i glued it in last night and let it sit over night. This morning i took the clamps off cut the notch into the riser and beveled the riser/handle a tad to make the bow somewhat comfortable to hold at full draw. Strung it up did some 1/2" draws on the bow and then a series of 3/4" draws. All seemed fine, no audable cracks or complaints. So i notched an arrow and stepped onto my porch where i could get a clear shot at the bails some 50 yards away. 
Slowly i draw the bow back and without (and i mean NONE) warning a sound like a gunshot, im talking like .357 with a 4" barrel was heard. My head suddenly hurt as did my right foot and i caught sight of a piece of limb fly out infront of me. Instantly i was holding a VERY short bow in my left hand and a string in my right fingers. The arrow had hit the ground. 
What happen. The bow blew up. I did not take into account the handle stiffening up the limbs and it shattered mid limb on the upper and lower limb. Total seperation. One of the limbs clocked my in the forehead 2" above my right eye and left a small cut and a nice welt. the other limb flew downward hitting my barefoot toe cutting me and then bouncing forwards 20 feet from where i stood. 
So the warning.
Make SURE to wear eye protection at a minimum when testing out a newly made bow. Even at low poundages when they let go (and they do let go if you build bows) they can inflict damage that you can not get away from. I now wear a thick cap and eye protection along with blue jeans and shoes when breaking a bow in... Also i now know when adding a ridged handle to work on the limbs heheheh
Was to bad.... yesterday this bow was shooting FAST and flat for a self bow. Im talking comparable to the 30lb horsebows i make. 
ah well..... back to the wood supplier heheeh


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