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Longbows and Draw Length Question
I was going to ask this on the Leather Wall but I keep getting a "Password1" error message when I try to log in.
Anywho.....does anyone have any experience with or know if solid wood long bows that have long DL's (30"+) eventually have problems....ie...are prone to weakening over time? Thanks ahead of time.
Are you talking about Self bows, or glass laminated? I am guessing the former, but just checking for understanding…
It is my understanding that Self bows definitely have a working life span. You know the saying… A bow fully drawn is 90% busted. The wood under tension gets stretched; the wood under compression gets crushed. Little by little, bit by bit, but we all get a little older every day.
I think you can make them last longer by not bending them as much, which is why LONGbow generally means at least as long as the archer is tall. I guess theoretically, at least, the longer it is, the longer it’ll last. Heavy arrows probably help, too.
The specific piece of wood, design, care, amount of use, etc, all play a part. Some last decades, some give up before they are finished being built.
Glass laminated bows can stay strung for a long, long time without harm or limb set takes hold.
Self bows not fire hardened will take set extremely quickly. If not sealed, a brief day in wet weather can totally reset a bow if left strung.
If the bow is treated, the backset will gradually increase once unstrung. But, you’ll see set as soon as you Unstring it. Some never return to full prestrung backset after the first stringing. Some take a lot longer to lose backset. Either-way, non laminated and laminated bows are on their way out from the first stringing. Just no laminated wear out much, much, much quicker.
By definition, a longbow would include wood or laminate. I was taking about the wood ones. I was talking to someone today and he suggested I should use a laminate vs an all wood one due to the long DL. I was following up on that to see if anyone had any experience with that and could add on to that piece of advice.
Earlier today I was researching options for a long DL bow. Here in Michigan there are several bowyers who folks on LW speak highly of.
Good advice above. Self bows, I'm not familiar with as far as owning and shooting self bows. Most folks lose some draw length when going from a recurve to a longbow..not always but most people I've known do, including myself. I draw 28" on a recurve and with a more traditional style longbow I will draw 27 to 27 1/2 inches. As mentioned above, self bows take some extra care..I leave my laminated bows strung all the time as long as the bow won't be in a hot environment..like a closed vehicle in the summer..learned that lesson the hard way back in the 70s.
Let me add years ago I made a self bow (you could call it a long bow too) out of a hickory stave. I added purple heart and oak for the handle and purple heart tips. I still have it and someday would like to work it some more. In the meantime....I'm contemplating getting one made that I can trust to fit my DL and size. That's why I was asking questions to see what the more experienced folks have to say.
Selfbow is a single piece of wood. Laminate can be all wood or combined with other materials - of course usually fiberglass.
If the goal is a long lasting, smooth, efficient longbow, hard to beat a laminated bow with glass. I have a couple that stayed strung for several years with no noticeable change (not recommended).
Selfbows and all-wood laminated bows are cool but there is a trade-off.
I unstrung my selfbows about any time they aren’t being shot. Laminated bows can stay strung without losing draw weight or changing reflex-deflex.
For a longer draw length, you will want a longer bow. The longer bow will be smoother to draw for the longer draw. I don’t think the longer draw will be any more issue with a bow that is made for that draw than a shorter bow for a shorter draw.
JL, An all wood laminated bow, tillered to 30” draw would be more durable. a Self Bow can be made and tillered to 30” draw. The longevity depends on the quality of the wood, design and construction.
"I was going to ask this on the Leather Wall but I keep getting a "Password1" error message when I try to log in. "
Did you try accessing via the 'forums' button at the top of this page? Or direct from your browser home page?
Dana....I tried to access it thru the forums link above. I just tried it again and the same thing. Even though it has some of my info already showing, it has me updating my registration. When I fill in the info they ask for and hit go, it says the Password1 is not found on a list and shows error. I'll play with it later.
European archers used all natural materials longbows for years with long draw lengths. It's all about it being ling enough, wide enough, and properly made/tillered.
You can make it with the right stave. Just back it with something for insurance.
I get that message on LW too. Once you log in and see that page, click on the Leatherall tab on top and you should be in.
“meantime....I'm contemplating getting one made that I can trust to fit my DL and size. ”
If you want a daily driver that will hold you indefinitely, get glass or carbon and go shoot the snot out of it.
Proper length for your DL and/or height (once you’re into glass or carbon lams…. that’s a question best left to your preferences and your bowyer’s recommendation based on the design. Big difference in the “correct” bow length for a 30” draw depending on whether you’re looking at a Hill-style or a LaClair Shrew.
But if you have gotten deep enough into this stuff to have completed at least one bow of your own (or even 75% complete) you probably have a pretty good idea of what style you want.
Your draw length will put a lot of stress on a bow. You need to get a bow that is optimized for your long draw length. That will require a longer bow length like 66-68” depending on specific bow. Talk it over with bowyers of interest.
I was drawing 32" with my recurve when I switched to a longbow, my draw shortened to 30 1/2" with the longbow. I've had several longbows 69''-70" all by reputable bowyers, none of which were self bows and 3 have broken in the handle area. The last bowyer told me they probably broke because of my draw length.