Monday, October 17, 2011

She's Making a Bow!

It looks like I’m on a roll for posting lately!

Yesterday we had our monthly gathering of primitive enthusiasts at the Pasadena Roving Archers range in Pasadena, CA.
This is a loosely knit group with widely varied interests. For the most part we focus on doing things by hand. Some of the folks are skilled in things like flint knapping, primitive fire making, forging, bow making, making arrows from natural materials like shoots, branches, etc., and other “older” skills.

The monthly gatherings are a chance for us to show off our most recent successes, and failures, and get advice from others who may be more familiar with certain skills. Plus, we get to spend time with some truly great friends.

I met Amanda at Great Western War, the SCA event I recently attended. She was interested in making a bow but didn’t have the time available during the event. We arranged to meet at this month’s Pasadena gathering to get her going down the dark path of bowery.

Amanda was certainly working harder than those characters sitting in the background.

That's my new red wagon back there... thanks Mom! It's become invaluable to cart stuff from the truck to where we gather. Plus, Jack, who is hiding under Barbara's shirt in the background, loves riding around in it.

A number of tools are suitable for making these board bows. Personally, I prefer the block plane but Amanda got good use out of the spokeshave.

She didn’t quite get the bow finished before I had to leave, taking the bow horse and tools with me. But Amanda did get to the point where we put a tillering string on the bow and she began to get the limbs bending evenly. We should be able to get it finished at this next weekend’s SCA Agincourt event at the Woodley Park archery range in Van Nuys.

Single day SCA events don’t really have enough time for me to help someone build a bow of their own, I just get too busy working with my customers. But if any local folks would like to do what Amanda is doing then just let me know and we’ll get together at the Pasadena range to get you going.

Happy archery!


Stéfano said...

Nice job!! Waiting foward for your next post!!

Stéfano said...

Do you have videos on youtube? I am really interested on your job!

Unfortunally back here in Brazil this kind of stuff is really really rare. I can even say there no one doing the job you do. Few import olimpic bows e there is a small olimpic bows factory.

Guy Taylor said...

Thanks for your comments, Stefano.
I just posted the completion of Amanda's project. She really did a great job and I was happy to assist her.
I do have one video on YouTube but it's not bowmaking. It covers using epoxy for arrow tips.
Making custom wood arrows is my true skill and business. Bowmaking is something I am learning and I'd hardly say I was good at it.
If you don't have anything like this in Brazil then it's time for you to start it. Learn a bit yourself, encourage friends to learn along with you, hold gatherings where you can work together and give assistance and critique and pretty soon you guys will be making bows.
PaleoPlanet is a great resource for bowmaking and there are many international members of the forum. There may even be someone in Brazil now who wishes he had a partner in bowmaking!

Stéfano said...

Wow! Thats really impressive! I had the oportunity to look a little more on your blog and saw your arrows! They are expetacular! So great! Someday i will have the oportunity to go to that place in Pasadena (Is it in California or Maryland?) to see your Arrows and meet this place. I am a big entusiast on archery and stuff but i didnt ever had the actual oportunity to pratice it. When i was learning more about it i started med-school so each day i had been having less time to do my stuffs. But someday i will have more time do try it out. And for sure some planing on bow making! Future plans are always good, for now, ill just read your blog and that PaloPlanet (awesome forum), never imagined this "culture" was so big in the world!

Guy Taylor said...

Thank you for your compliments, Stefano!
We'd love to meet you in Pasadena, CA. Until then, when you have time the PaleoPlanet site will help you get started on bowmaking. It can be a challenge doing it all by yourself but the guys in the forum are very good about helping others and sharing their knowledge.
You can do it!