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Lenmcharristar

Anybody Make Yew Tree Bow?

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If I could get my hands on yew wood I'd make one and test it on already dead meat, lol same as an atlatl, but I'd love to make one of them bows

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Anybody ever make or hunt with home made stoneage bow? If so how did it perform?

 

wifes uncle bought one a few years back when he was home, hunts away with it down under it was sore on the arms from what i remember
think they're around 75 lb draw pressure?

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Guest Navek

Yew bows make by far the best long/self bows but Pacific yew is better than normal yew but normal yew is still good enough.. Native Indians used to bring down buffalo with 30 to 40 lb bows so something around 50 lb would be enough to hunt with and not be that powerful that you'd struggle aim it .. Couple vids on YouTube of bows out of young ash limbs which preform very well

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Mate of mine made a longbow and a crossbow out of Yew, he cut it and seasoned it for a year. The crossbow was lethal, putting a bolt through his shed door in his garden, don't think he'll be getting any burglars or anti's !

He made the bolts and the arrows for the bows too, his surname is Fletcher after all!

For the trigger mechanism on the crossbow, he superglued 5 or 6 copper 2 pence pieces together to make a cylinder, then drilled a hole through it for the shaft so it could turn freely and filed a groove in it to hold the bow string. The actual trigger itself was a revolving round punch pliers we use in the leatherwork industry to make holes with, he removed the punches and used that like the medieval crossbows triggers used to be, a long lever type of thing.

The bow prod was lashed on to the stock and butt with hessian rope, pretty much like they used to do it I guess. On the flights of the arrows and bolts he used goose feathers, carefully splitting them down the middle before whipping them on to the shaft of the bolts/arrows, he was very committed to making these and his wife didn't see him for months whilst he was in the shed making them.

Oz

Edited by unicornleather

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is any hardwood good for making them?

It has to have a greenwood as well as a hardwood I believe, so it's a natural spring, with the whippy flexibility of the greenwood and the strength of the hardwood, this is why Yew is suited to the task, it has both. What other hardwoods grown here in the UK have this I don't know, maybe GruffaolGriff can answer that one?

Edited by unicornleather

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You have to cut Yew right to make a proper bow, heartwood performs well under tension, and green wood works well under compression, so heart wood at the front of the bow, but its an art to do it right. Ash is supposed to be good, same principle i think?

 

Bit of historic trivia for you..............by the end of the 1300's all the mature English Yew was gone, demand for longbows being the reason, so the French sold us their Yew, in 1415 at the battle of Agincourt the British archers would have been using bows made from French Yew, maybe that's why they sold the Argies the exocets :laugh:

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You can make a pretty good bow out of most woods, its just getting it to bend right ive made a few out of hazel and a couple of yew one,s and used them for a good few years before they finally went. I helped with the making of my beast, 90lb longbow made of lemonwood(on the belly and hickory back), 6'3" between the knocks and shoot that on a regular basis, the other half has a 40lb ash bow a nice little bow to shoot we are both reenactors and belong to a longbow group who do have a go archery as well for the public and do demos of the different arrows and what they can penetrate. Make all me own arrows its a damm site cheaper. And i believe the record for the heaviest bow is 200lb draw weight, by mark stretton. Never hunted with my bow being illegal in this country, closet ive come is field archery which is animal targets sent normally in a woodland scenario its good fun,

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Made a few Ash bows over the years, last one was for my boy. He is 14 in a couple of weeks, I've got him a take down bow and a load of arrows.

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Got an Ash bow here that's about 25 ish years old. Wasn't super powerful when it were made, I doubt if it would do much more than a rabbit, but make 'em thick and I'm sure it would be capable of stopping some gear ( if you could hit it).

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My other halfs ash bow is about 6 years old and still going, but with any bow you never know for sure how long they will last, some will last years eventually retired due to small cracks or following the string as you dont really want a bow to break mid/full draw as they tend to break into several pieces or explode in a shower of splinters(ive seen it happen)

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