Monday, February 22, 2010

A Great Weekend

After an absence of some years I finally set up shop at an SCA event.

Caid's Queen's Champion Archery was just right for my return to the SCA. The event had been rained out from its previous date but the autocrat was gracious enough to accept me for their new date. The only question was the weather.
While southern California is typically pretty dry we've been experiencing some good rains lately. Of course, some of this rain was forecast for the weekend of the event. Saturday had a bit of rain and Sunday wasn't looking too good. But the day dawned fairly clear so the event was on with many a crossed finger. The clouds looked dark and ominous a couple times during the day but not a drop fell on the field and it turned out to be a fantastic day.

I got to meet and deliver arrows and a quiver to a lovely woman who had been corresponding with me via email. Sydney shoots a Martin Stick glass lam longbow, the same bow Fayme uses. I'm pleased to report that she is quite satisfied with both the arrows and her quiver. The quiver was one I made a number of years ago for my own use when I began archery in the SCA. I haven't used it for a long time and I'm happy it's gone on to a new home where it will see the sun and be appreciated.

I got a couple arrow orders from a gentleman who I have made arrows for in the past and holy cow, now he's the King of Caid (just goes to show what can happen when you aren't paying attention). Patrick makes harps and beautiful wood longbows. He's still using the osage bow and yew longbow I made arrows for way back when. It's an honor to make more arrows to set aside his lovely handwork.

I was gratified that so many people remembered me and my work. I just confirmed tonight that I will be at the Robin Hood Tourney on March 14.
I guess the SCA hasn't seen the last of me after all.

The humble Greenman Archery booth. My table cloth isn't much to look at but it's what I do my arrow dyeing on so it seemed appropriate.

We took a few gourds, too.

Some of the bows we had available. The wood bows are not really fancy bows but good servicable bows that fit well with the SCA archery experience.

Some of my mundane friends came along and really enjoyed the day. Due to his experience at the event there is a very good chance that at least one will soon be participating in SCA events.

These two had a great time together. One taught the other about bows and had wood finish information given in return.

Thanks to Fayme for taking all the pictures, I was way too busy.
Does she look happy, or what?

Happy Archery!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Finished and Shipped

I got these arrows finished last night and shipped out this afternoon. They turned out really nice: horn reinforced self-nocks with the leading edge of the fletching wrapped with thread to ease the feather's passage over tender skin when shooting off the knuckle.
When wrapping the leading edge of the feathers I usually like to use the raptor cut because I can trim the vane to accomodate the thread and not change the profile of the fletch. However, if care is taken to not cut too far into the feather then this traditional shape looks pretty good.
These arrows are a birthday present for the recepient. He told me what he wanted but Mom and Dad did the funding. How cool is that to have parents who know there are better gifts for an archer than a new sweater?

Happy Archery!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nocks... again, but worth it

A couple days ago I wrote about how self-nocks should be beautiful. I went over the procedure I use for horn reinforced self-nocks and showed a couple pictures of nocks done by others.

Today I’m dedicating the whole post to Arne Palmgren of Scandinavia. Arne and I both frequent the internet forum PaleoPlanet, a site dedicated to the old ways of doing things. Arne has put up pictures of his arrows and I had to share them with you. Fortunately, Arne has graciously given me permission to do so.

Arne does a horn reinforced self-nock similar to the way I do mine, although with different tools. I’ll let his pictures speak for themselves, because my words just won’t do his beautiful work justice.

This saw does the initial cut for the horn reinforcement.

The horn is cut on a table saw.

A clamp holds things together while the glue sets (no glue shown in this picture)

After the glue cures the excess horn is taken down.

Here's the rig Arne uses for the string slot cut. This is a much cooler system than I use.

From here on it's hand work.

Arne obviously knows his way around a self-nock. But the cool thing is he's equally good at the rest of the arrow. Following are some shots of different arrows that Arne has made. The metal heads are from Hector Cole and the knapped heads are made by a friend of Arne's.

As I mentioned to Arne after he posted some of these pictures on the forum, "You just don't make ugly arrows, do you?"
Thanks for reading!