Thursday, October 11, 2012


Fayme has saved my bacon.
She found a page that details how to add another author to the blog and then tells how to delete the original author.

But holy crap was that a pain in the ass!

I'm still not very happy with Google but at least now I'm not ready to scourge them from the face of the earth.

This May Be My Last Post... unless you can help me

As some of my readers know, I am in the midst of moving my home and shop.
The area we are moving to does not support the email address I have been using to access the Blogger forums: I get this address through having ATT as my phone and internet service connection and they don't cover the new place.
I am trying to add a new email address ( to the system and Google, the owner of the Blogger system, is just fighting me every step of the way. The system has even gone so far as to tell me that I can not use a gmail address with a Google service. Pretty freakin' odd since gmail is Google.

Please... if anyone has an answer for what I can do I would so very much appreciate it.
I've tried emailing Google but their system is so big and self-important that everything gets refered to help pages... and we all know how useful those can be. There appears to be no way to actually contact Google. Pretty outstanding customer service there.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Working Harder - Not Smarter... wait... what?

I'm putting together some Flemish string boards to have available for sale at upcoming events I'll be at. At the SCA event, Great Western War in October I'll be giving ongoing Flemish bowstring demonstrations in my booth. Having the string board available for folks to purchase only makes sense.
The back of these boards has a bit of helpful information printed on paper and laminated to the board. When I did the lamination a bit of ink smeared on the paper, but it wasn't too bad so I went ahead and did all of them. When I brushed on the first coat of protective finish a little more ink smeared, it didn't look good but I went ahead and did all of them.
Well, afterwards I looked at these things and decided I'd need to start all over again, they looked horrible. I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to sand the finish and paper off with some 60 grit sandpaper and a vibratory sander.

It turned out to be much more difficult than I expected.
The lamination glue and the finish I used over the paper combined to gum up the sandpaper into unusability very quickly.

Trying to figure out how I was going to get this stuff taken off I decided to try the trusty Shinto Rasp. Bob's your uncle, we got going in the right direction.

The Shinto Rasp took things down pretty fast and without the blade getting gummed up. The long length of the rasp let me use it almost like a surface plane and I had no difficulties keeping the board flat with no spots where the tool dug into the wood.
From this point it was quick work to use a cabinet scraper for a final touch-up before hitting the surface with the vibrating sander.

Yeah, the idea is to work smarter, not harder. But occasionally when things don't work out as you want them to you've got to do a little bit more work to get things headed back in the right direction.

Lessons learned here are:
When the ink smears... STOP!
The Shinto Rasp rocks!

Happy archery, and Flemish bowstring making!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Arrow Sale at

Ok, folks. I've got some stock arrows that I'm tired of looking at! Let's get these puppies to some new homes.

I'm offering 10% off the listed price on arrows that I have already made. These are good arrows I just want to get them out so I can make room for some new designs.
You can see these arrows by going to the Greenman Archery web page and clicking on the Available Items button on the left side.
Or, just go straight to the Available Items page in one click.

Here is a sample of just some of the available arrows, please see the page for individual specs...

Hapy Archery and thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Well... That Didn't Work!

We had our monthly Pasadena Gathering today.
This is a once a month gathering of friends and interested individuals who gather at the Pasadena Roving Archers range in Pasadena, CA to work on bowmaking and other primitive-type skills.
Today we had some new attendees wanting to make a bow so we got them set up and going. All three women made great strides before their schedules called them away. I suspect that they'll be able to finish their bows the next time they visit.

Last night I was loading things to take into my truck and found an almost completed bow that I didn't recognize at all. I don't know who gave it to me or even what kind of wood it was made from. It looked to be really close to finished so I tossed it into the truck to see what I could do with it.
Once I got started on the bow at the range I rounded all the corners before bending the limbs and then put it on Ken's tillering tree to see how things looked. One limb was stronger than the other so I went at it with a cabinet scraper to bring it into line.
A couple more trips to the tiller tree, some more scraping with the scraper and it wasn't looking too bad. Weight was going to be low, maybe 20-25# so I thought I'd either give it away or hang on to it for a loaner.
While I was exercising the bow by pulling it to draw and letting it back down it suddenly went BANG and I got whacked across the forehead, nose, and mouth with flying wood pieces.
The first thing I asked when a couple guys turned around was, "am I bleeding?"
When you get whacked so suddenly like that you can't always tell just how hard you got hit so I wanted to know if I should start worrying or not.
Turns out that I was fine so we looked at the bow. It broke right on the back of the bow and the only thing we can figure is that it just wasn't bow wood. We never did figure out what kind of wood it really was.

O, well. It was still a great day spent with great people doing a great activity.
And since I've still got both eyes and all my teeth after getting whacked by the broken bow... it's all good!

Happy Archery!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Future Bow

At the Western States Traditional Rendezvous shoot a few weeks ago in Petaluma, CA I managed to pick up a couple freshly cut yew logs from Dan of Wapiti Archery who came down from Oregon.
Ken Villars did a splitting demo for interested parties using one of the logs so I came home with two freshly split staves and one log.

Ken graciously offered to cut the log on his bandsaw so I passed it to him at the following Pasadena gathering and should be getting the resulting staves back on the 15th at the next gathering.

Looking for something to do this past Saturday at an SCA event I decided to debark one of the split staves and reduce the width a bit to speed the drying.
I don't normally get to work green wood because the balance of the wood I get has already dried. Wow, was it ever a pleasure to work this yew!

I recently got a neat little drawknife at an old tool swapmeet and this is the first chance I've had to use it. This new drawknife turned out to be a wonderful tool for gently removing the stave's bark without going too deep and gouging into the sapwood.
For serious wood removal I'll stick with the full size drawknife but when it gets to the delicate stuff this new guy is Bob's uncle.

As is common when I do work like this at an SCA event, I fielded a lot of questions about what I was doing. Folks are used to seeing event participants sew, weave, spin yarn, and do other somewhat portable activities. But setting up the shavehorse and then making a big mess like I did always brings folks over to chat.

Today I gave the freshly exposed back of the stave a coat of polyurethane to keep the wood from losing moisture too quickly. I'll put the stave in my custom hotbox (the interior of my truck's shell) and keep an eye on it.
I'm looking forward to working with this wood and I hope my skills are up to the task.

Many thanks to Fayme for taking a break from face painting and teddy bear juggling to get these pictures of me. My hands were otherwise occupied.

Happy Archery!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stir Fry

This may seem as if it would be a better post for Greenman Cooking. But despite the title, it's not really about cooking, as you'll see...

We all go through changes in our lives for what we do for recreation.

Activities that we are passionate about today may get put back into the closet as our lives progress and change.

For example, I used to do a lot of fishing. When I was in high school I worked in a fishing tackle and bait store on the Huntington Beach, CA pier. I spent a lot of hours out on that pier fishing with friends and also fished at other local spots as opportunities presented themselves. I even began wrapping my own fishing rods, an activity that I kept up on for many years.

Pictured are a stand-up rod for ocean fishing and a fly rod for lakes and streams. I made both of these.

Back when I was married my wife and I used to head down to a quiet spot in Newport Harbor to fish on some evenings. Along the Balboa Peninsula there are some little beaches that are quiet and offer an opportunity for a relaxing evening along with the chance to catch some really nice fish.
I’ve caught some beautiful spotfin croaker in the particular spot we went to and have just generally enjoyed the time spent there.

We decided one day that we’d go down to the spot for an evening’s worth of fishing so I called a local tackle shop to see if they had a particular live bait that I liked to use. They did so we drove down to pick up a container of live ghost shrimp.

Arriving at the tackle shop we walked in just after two women and a man. They were probably in their early twenties and were gathering firewood and snacks for an evening at the beach. I told the fellow behind the counter that I’d called about the ghost shrimp and he got a carton of them out of the refrigerator for me.
I opened up the container to see the size of the shrimp and make sure that they were all alive and in good condition. One of the young women happened to be standing nearby and she curiously peered into the carton to see what was in it. Upon seeing them she asked, “What are those?”
“These are ghost shrimp,” I said.
“What do you use them for?”
Now that was a dangerous question to ask me but I still don’t know what made me give her the reply I did:
“Stir fry.”

Upon her exclamation of surprise I proceeded to explain that you can’t find these shrimp in the regular grocery store, you needed to get them from a reputable tackle shop like this one. That was the only way you’d be assured that they were fresh and tasty.

At this point I glanced up at the fellow behind the counter and saw that he was trying to eat his fist to keep from laughing uncontrollably.

The young woman had now taken the carton of shrimp from my hand and was poking them with her finger while the other woman looked on. I told her to be careful as the shrimp do have pincers that are large enough to give a little surprise.

The guy eating his fist had finally recovered enough to ask her to give me back the shrimp so I could buy them and get back to making dinner. She did so and he rang up my sale.

Walking across the parking lot to my truck my wife said, “You know, you can go to hell for things like that."

Possibly, but it’ll sure be a fun ride along the way.

Happy stories!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Brave - Youth Archery Tournament

If you follow archery news you probably know by now that the movies Hunger Games and Brave have increased interest in archery a hundredfold. Many clubs have seen a huge increase in attendance at their introductory classes. Some clubs have even had to turn people away due to their classes being filled to capacity.

The Pasadena Roving Archers has teamed up with Disney/Pixar to hold a Brave themed archery tournament for youths. This event will be held on June 10 at Central Park in Pasadena, CA. The flyer below gives more details.

The PaleoPlanet gang has been invited by the club to attend and give demonstrations on making things archery. We'll be working on bows, arrows, bowstrings, and anything else we can think of that will be appropriate and fun to watch.

If you're in the area by all means stop by to see the fun and say, "Hi."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Chamberlin Ranch Review

The long awaited Chamberlin Ranch shoot has come and gone.
With a couple of weeks passed I can finally take a few minutes to sit back and talk about it.

This shoot is held on a large private ranch just a couple miles outside Los Olivos, CA.
There are no facilities on the ranch other than a couple water spigots and the road into the area used for the shoot is graded dirt.
Everything works fine... until something unplanned for happens.

We pulled up to the gate into the ranch on Wednesday afternoon. I'd hoped to get there Tuesday but getting everything together took a day longer than I expected.
The little section of dirt between the paved road and the iron gate was extremely muddy. That's when I first began thinking that this could be interesting.
As I opened up the gate a fellow wandered over from a tractor parked inside the gate and asked me if I had 4wd on my truck or 2wd. When I allowed that I had two wheel drive he said, "well, you're not going to make it. Go as far as you can and when you get stuck I'll hook up the tractor and pull you the rest of the way."

I got all of ten feet inside the gate before I was spinning the wheels.
He backed up and we hooked up for the ride.

Once at the top of the hill he unhooked us and went back to the gate to await the next arrival, leaving us to slip and slide down the road into the little valley where the shoot is held. We scooted right past the small practice course alongside the road and two groups of archers stopped to watch and wave encourgement. I hollered out the window to one group and asked if anyone remembers an "E" ticket?

The rest of the day went about as normal, we found the spot we wanted to set up in and got the truck unloaded. Gary and Diane came over to greet us. They'd gotten in on Tuesday before the rain and hadn't had any issue with their motorhome on the road in.
Thursday and Friday had some rather poor weather with plenty of rain, some wind, and more than a little thunder and lightening. I saw a couple canopies get loose and at least one motorhome awning was flipped over the top of the rig. I was pretty glad that we'd lined out our canopies well and staked the tent tightly.
As had been predicted, Saturday and Sunday had great weather. The road quickly began to dry out and was completely useable by the time we left Sunday afternoon.

The road condition was very unfortunate. The tractor wasn't available the whole time and a number of people ended up camping at the front gate so they could walk into the shoot area. A few lucky folks were able to have their gear ferried in by 4wd pickup and just parked their cars at the gate.
Most unfortunate were the people who decided the conditions weren't right for them and turned around to go home. I could hardly blame them, camping at the road and then walking in wasn't what most folks were prepared to do... and the rain Friday really was pretty heavy at times, not everyone is prepared to spend time in weather like that.
The folks who run the shoot have said that they will not be caught unprepared like that again and the road will be well graveled to ward off any mud issues next year.

It was a good shoot for me. I sold some arrows, sold out (again!) on beef jerky, and got some great compliments on my work. We got wet, we dried out, we slept poorly, and then slept some more.
I didn't get to shoot any of the courses but I got to meet and speak with a number of great folks so that made up for the personal lack of archery.
I can hardly wait for next year!

This is a very fun shoot and is much closer to home for most of us. I'll be getting there Friday afternoon to set up the booth and establish camp at the adjacent county park.
I'll be a great weekend!

Happy Archery!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chamberlin Ranch Traditional Rendezvous, April 14-15, 2012

Lots of archery clubs hold 3D shoots throughout the year. Most of the shoots are mixed, with traditional archers participating amongst compound archers. In itself, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. I'm not one of those guys who says cables and pulleys make it an arrow launching device rather than an actual bow. But still, sometimes it's fun to do a shoot with just our own folks wandering around.

The shot set ups on a traditional-only shoot are sometimes a little different with most of them being hunting scenarios appropriate for traditional equipment. You don't see a whole lot of 60yd shots. There also seems to be more shots with something in the way like a tree that you have to shoot around or a bush that you need to kneel to shoot under. Sometimes there is even a shot where you have to lie down on a scrap of carpet to shoot under a low slung rope. Conmpound archers don't seem to get into shots like these. They generally like their shots straight, clear, and long.

Many archery clubs hold a yearly traditional only shoot sometime during the year. In my mind, the best one of the year for the southern and central California area is the Chamberlin Ranch Traditional Rendezvous. And guess what? It's coming up soon!

This year the Chamberlin shoot will be held April 14, 15. Although, many of us get up there a few days earlier to squeeze as much fun as possible out of the event. I'll probably be getting there about Tuesday or Wednesday.

The shoot is held on a private ranch just north of the small town of Los Olivos, which is somewhat north of the beautiful little town of Solvang. The area is full of wineries, antique shops, and lots of wonderful little shops carrying who-knows-what. Some of the shoot participants have wives who look forward to the shoot just as much as their husbands so they can shop and wine taste while their hubby shoots arrows. Of course, some of those wives shoot arrows too and they look forward to the shoot for the same reasons as their husbands do.

Click the flyer for the larger version...

For more information about the shoot go to the Traditional Bowhunters of California website.

Happy archery!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Arrow Raffle Results

First of all, my most profound thanks to everyone who participated in this arrow raffle.
We had local SCA folks who knew Njall from back when he and Allesaundra lived here, there were SCA folk from out of state, and non-SCA participants both local and not so local.
In all, thirty three people entered into this raffle. Some people got one entry and some got more. A couple people made very generous contributions and then told me that they just wanted to help, they did not want to be part of the actual drawing.
Seeing as how a large portion of the event was for the Queen, I asked Her Majesty Cassandra if she would draw the ticket.
The winner of the arrow raffle was Lady Cecelia Medici, who was present to hear her name called out.

Again, thank you to everyone who participated in the raffle. My expectations were far outstripped.

Happy archery!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Time is Running Out!

Last chance to enter the arrow raffle!

The arrow raffle I am running will be ending soon. I will make the drawing on February 26th at the SCA event, Queen’sChampion Archery & Thrown Weapons & Barony of The Angels’ Robin HoodTourney (Phew! That’s a mouthful!).

Take a look at this blog entry from a short while ago for full details:
Arrow Raffle for a Worthy Cause

At this date, if you want to enter the raffle but haven’t yet, the best way to enter is to see me at the aforementioned event. If that is not possible, I think PayPal would be the way to go so there are no unfortunate surprises with slow mail keeping checks or money orders from arriving in time.
Contact me at for details.

Wouldn't you like a chance to have some arrows like these for yourself?

Happy archery!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Festival of the Rose Surprise

I got a surprise at last Saturday’s SCA event.
The event was called Festival of the Rose and Olde-Tymer’s Tourney.
The Festival of the Rose part is where artists in various mediums put forth their best works to celebrate the glory of the Queen and vie for the honor of representing Her as Queen’s Champion for Arts and Science.
I have never entered for Queen’s Champion for Arts and Science. You know from seeing my past work that I love to make beautiful things but I’ve rarely sought specific recognition for my work… other than to have people pay me for it!

I got to the event last Saturday with no intention of doing anything other than work on a bow and make a couple bowstrings for folks. I also had some arrows to deliver for Cristof and was pretty sure he’d be there.
Sitting there in the morning trying to figure out if I should start work on the bow or eat some peanuts I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t yet gotten pictures of Cristof’s new arrows.
I rolled out a straw mat we’d brought along and captured a few pictures before Cristof showed up to take his new arrows. He loved the way they looked and I thought that was the end of it.

Later, towards the end of the day, Fayme came to drag me into the room where all the entries for the Queen’s Champion Arts and Science were being displayed. I was just getting ready to break down our gear in an effort to stay ahead of some dark clouds threatening rain and didn’t want to go. She told me I had to go.
Imagine my surprise when I saw Cristof’s arrows on one of the tables! That rascal had entered them under my name into the Queen’s Champion contest. Next to the arrows was a small pile of various tokens placed there by people who liked what they saw. There was even a big chocolate rose from the Queen Herself.

I didn’t win but it was very gratifying to see the appreciation for my work, especially considering all the other beautiful work being shown.

Happy archery, and Long Live the Queen!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Couple New Designs

For some time I've been thinking of a particular pattern for some cresting. I found the specifics for size and such on Wikipedia. At the same time I found pictures on the internet to use for a basis on the crown of one of the sets. After practicing the crown on a few dowel scraps I figured I was finally ready.

Here are detail shots of the cresting...

For those folks who don't recognize the crest pattern, it's the Vietnam Service Medal ribbon. The medal was given to armed service members who served in the Vietnam theater during the Vietnam War.  
I never went but quite a few of the folks I call friend did go. I wanted to do something to recognize those who served there and this is what I came up with.

The camouflage crown on the second set is meant to portray the iconic tiger stripe camouflage that some units used in Vietnam. It was never an officially issued uniform but it has come to be associated with the time and place. I didn't capture it exactly, but for hand painting it I don't think it came out too badly.

The red and yellow fletching echoes the colors of the crest. I thought about doing a barred cock feather but decided to keep it plain so the visual focus would be on the cresting, where it should be for these arrows.

I'll have these arrows for sale on the Greenman Archery website soon. If you're interested in them before I get them over to the site just leave me a message here. I'll also have these or similar arrows available at the Chamberlin Ranch traditional 3D shoot in April.

Happy Archery... and, thanks for your service.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Arrow Raffle for a Worthy Cause

Many readers of this blog know that I participate in a group that does historical recreation called the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).
On January 6 a gentleman whom I knew through the SCA passed away unexpectedly. Scott Jaqua, known in the SCA as Njall Olaf Hagerson was one of the first people I met at an SCA event so many years ago. In addition to his many other accomplishments in the Society he had a long and honorable presence on the archery field and shared freely of his knowledge and time.

Like many of us independent craftspeople trying to make a living by our own wit and skills, Scott and his wife didn’t have a lot of extra money. Nor do I think they had anything in the way of health insurance to help cover his final medical expenses.
In an effort to assist Scott’s dear wife, Sandra, I am offering a raffle for one dozen custom arrows. Chances are $5 each and 100% of the money gathered will be sent to her.

If the winner of the raffle is in the lower 48 states I shall pay for shipping of the arrows. If the winner is in Hawaii, Alaska, or a country other than the USA I ask that they help with half of the shipping charges and be responsible for any customs duties.

The dozen arrows will be made to the winner’s specifications and they will be ready to shoot when received. Open season on the arrow artwork, if I can do it I will. If you are a regular reader of this blog you have an idea for the kind of arrow artwork I do. If you are not familiar with my work I encourage you to scroll through previous posts here to see samples. You can also visit the Greenman Archery website to see the galleries there.

I will be happy to take entries to this raffle by PayPal, money order, or check. For more details or to arrange to send me an entry, please contact me at Individuals are encouraged to enter as many times as they wish.
I will also be able to take entries to the raffle in person at SCA events I will be attending in the next month:

Gyldenholt Unbelted, January 21 in Garden Grove, CA

Festival of the Rose and Olde-Tymer’s Tourney, February 11 in Lake Balboa, CA

Arts and Archery, February 18 in Los Angeles, CA

Queen’s Champion Archery and Thrown Weapons and Barony of the Angels Robin Hood Tourney, February 26 in Van Nuys, CA

I will not be selling at the first three events but I will be there with my bow bench to work on something. I’ll probably be the only one with a shave horse doing this kind of activity but you can also look for the Greenman banner. At the last event I will have my full booth so I’ll be quite easy to find.

Many thanks to Fayme for taking these pictures. I usually take my own camera but I almost always forget to use it. And how about that great banner she just made for me?

The raffle will be open until a few minutes before closing court at the SCA event, Queen’s Champion Archery and Thrown Weapons and Barony of the Angels Robin Hood Tourney on February 26 of this year at the Woodley Park archery range in Van Nuys, CA. With the permission of those running the event, the drawing will be held at closing court. Of course, the winner need not be present.

Legal disclaimer:
Please note that this is a privately organized raffle and is not sponsored or endorsed by any SCA group or authority. The raffle is open to anyone interested, you need not be an SCA member.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Arrow Work

Here are the latest arrows with a decal on them. I am really liking what I can do with these.

To start at the beginning…

Gary has gotten a few sets of arrow from me but they’ve all been for his own use (for the most part, his sons seem to abscond with his arrows pretty frequently).  This time it was Gary’s wife’s turn for new arrows.
The funny thing is, Gary hates pink. I mean he’s flat out allergic to the color. When I make his arrows I have to keep all the parts at least five feet away from anything pink. But Diane loves pink. Just for the fact that he ordered pink arrows for her you can see what they have between them.
Gary specified the horn reinforced self nock, pink fletching, and pink stain crown. I asked him if I could try something special and he gave me the go-ahead.

When Gary and Diane were married a few months ago they had these cute little bookmarks at each table setting. Someone had made up a bit of artwork for the bookmarks that had D and G on it with a stylized bow and arrow between the letters. I scanned a bookmark and then spent more time than I want to admit taking out everything but that little logo. We can safely say that I am not a professional graphic artist. The end result is what got printed on the decal.

Reports are that Diane loves the arrows and they shoot well from her bow. I couldn’t ask for more than that.  

Thanks, Gary and Diane!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ok, folks… hold on to your hats, it’s finally happened… is alive!

Through the hard work of a talented (and patient) web site builder, Steve Varma, we just took the site live today. Click on the link above and you’ll go directly to the home page.
Once on the site you’ll see a menu on the left side letting you choose from such wonderful pages as, Gallery of Past Work, Available Items, Ordering Information, About Greenman, and a plethora of other wonderful pages just chock full of great stuff.

Ok, I’m going overboard a little here but I must be excused as I’m really quite happy about the site going live. Steve has done a great job telling me what he needed and then getting it all together into something that will work.

Don’t worry, this blog will continue to exist and will continue to be a repository for my thoughts and my work. The new site will make ordering these products from me much easier and will give me a better forum for showing my work. One disadvantage I’ve had with the blog is the transitory nature of the posts. If I put up pictures of arrows I currently have available, that post will move off the page once I make another post or two. It’s a challenge to sell stuff when folks don’t know what’s available!

Let me know what you think of the new site!
Click the link above to get to the site, once there you should bookmark it immediately so you don’t lose it and you can easily return later. Wander through the site, check things out, read the information, look at the pictures… let me know what you think. I don’t want this site to be one of those that hasn’t been updated in a year and eight months. I’ll be changing the Gallery pictures occasionally to showcase other arrows, I’ll be adding some more information as I get it thought of and then written. Do you have ideas of what you’d like to see or what you’d like to read? Let me know!

Happy, happy, joy, joy.... archery!