Author Topic: Efficient youth bows  (Read 679 times)

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Offline MattTheClueless

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Efficient youth bows
« on: June 12, 2018, 11:11:25 pm »
Hi all!

This is my first post, so I thought I'd introduce myself first :)

My name is Matt, and I'm a 28 year old from South Africa. Like the rest of you, I've always had a passion for traditional archery. I started off with a store bought kids bow that flung an arrow about as effectively as if I had just thrown the damn thing  ;D.

Despite that, I loved it. Ironically, when I showed some promise, my old man bought me a compound bow and my interest wained. Because cams and sights seem a bit daft, to be honest.

Years later and I've moved to a property with enough space to shoot a bow comfortably. I decided to see whether or not I can actually make a functional bow, so I bought a pine plank and decided to give it a whirl. No research, no power tools, no idea what I was doing. I used a pen knife only. It looks disgusting, the string follow is awful, but it has somehow settled at 37# @28.

The bug has bitten, suffice it to say.

I managed to get my hands on some Garapa wood, because here in SA not even lumber shops have heard of Osage.

I'm a teacher as a profession, and some of my students have been asking me to give them introductory lessons (we have a couple of archery butts at school). I've allowed the kids (13 years old) to use my pine plank, but I've noticed they don't tend to draw it far enough to reach any decent speed. The design is a basic pyramid flat bow shape, with crudely glued on 'horn nocks'.

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about a better design to use with my Garapa wood? I was thinking a slight reflex/deflex shape with static recurves, because my (very rudimentary) understanding suggests that'll be efficient at lower draw lengths. My main student is also keen on horse archery, so I was considering that shape (Han Dynasty-like) to help her adapt. 40# is my ideal weight.

Thanks a lot! Great to be here among you all!

Matt.

Offline Ryan Jacob

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 01:53:03 am »
Iíd go for a r/d pyramid. Itís a simple design that performs quite well. If you plan on doing a reflex-deflex, Iíd suggest makng a caul, though itís not entirely necessary, just keeps things neat.
You donít know desperation till youíve split a stave with screw drivers.

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 02:11:56 am »
Iíd go for a r/d pyramid. Itís a simple design that performs quite well. If you plan on doing a reflex-deflex, Iíd suggest makng a caul, though itís not entirely necessary, just keeps things neat.

Thanks man, that does seem like a loss less work. Would siyahs actually do anything beneficial in these designs, or would they just slow the bow down?

Apologies for my ignorance, but as far as I know a caul is effectively a preset cast with clamps? Am I missing anything about them?

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 02:24:38 am »
Welcome to PA Matt. Do you know the reason they under draw? Are they drawing to their proper draw length or short drawing? If they are short drawing then why? Is it because the string hurts their fingers? Is it because it pulls to hard for them. I find the same results and questions with first time kids or even many adults.

Gloves or tab may help the fingers hurting part. Also can use those finger things you put on string sorry can't think of the name right now. "No glove" maybe.

If they are drawing to their proper draw length but not effective draw length for bow, then simply making a shorter bow with a shorter draw length at your effective draw weight might help. One problem with kids is they are always growing so hard to keep them in optimum range for long. Also they start out all different sizes in the first place. That's why we make custom bows to our individual draw lengths.

Is it because it's to hard for them to pull? You have to remember that the muscles we use to draw a bow are muscles we really don't use for anything else. It's very common for big strong guys that have never shot a bow not to be able to draw to the proper ancher. These muscles will strengthen fast if they keep shooting.

It could be a combination of all the above.
Sorry I can't help you with your wood type. These are some questions to try to find the answer to though.
Great you got the bug. Great your trying to pass it on.
Good Luck
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 02:44:27 am »
Matt I just bumped a kids bow I made a few months ago. It's titled "Old-n-Young" it's made for younger kids than your teaching but with the right arrows this little bow is a blast to shoot, even at a 15" draw pulling 9.8 lbs. The best part is the little 4 to 6 year old kids can properly shoot it. Still gotta get some pictures of that.
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 02:52:51 am »
Welcome to PA Matt. Do you know the reason they under draw? Are they drawing to their proper draw length or short drawing? If they are short drawing then why? Is it because the string hurts their fingers? Is it because it pulls to hard for them. I find the same results and questions with first time kids or even many adults.

Gloves or tab may help the fingers hurting part. Also can use those finger things you put on string sorry can't think of the name right now. "No glove" maybe.

If they are drawing to their proper draw length but not effective draw length for bow, then simply making a shorter bow with a shorter draw length at your effective draw weight might help. One problem with kids is they are always growing so hard to keep them in optimum range for long. Also they start out all different sizes in the first place. That's why we make custom bows to our individual draw lengths.

Is it because it's to hard for them to pull? You have to remember that the muscles we use to draw a bow are muscles we really don't use for anything else. It's very common for big strong guys that have never shot a bow not to be able to draw to the proper ancher. These muscles will strengthen fast if they keep shooting.

It could be a combination of all the above.
Sorry I can't help you with your wood type. These are some questions to try to find the answer to though.
Great you got the bug. Great your trying to pass it on.
Good Luck
Bjrogg

Hey Bjrogg, thanks for the response!

Of the 3 kids I currently teach, one has their own bow, which is fine. The second is quite a strong lad, who's using an old PSE recurve #25 bow the school had. The last one is the one I am concerned about. She's 13, and pretty short. She isn't struggling with the draw weight of my pine bow (#37). I suspect her draw length is just rather short, and she tells me she's simply comfortable drawing to where she is, which is about 21 inches. It's definitely not a matter of finger pain.

It's obviously not very common for someone to be able to draw 40#, but only have a length of 21 inches. I know it's blasphemy on here, but I even resorted to backing my pine bow with f/g tape just to try and get some extra early draw purchase.

Hence my thinking of a reflex deflex shape and sticking some siyahs on to try and raise that initial tension? Is it even possible to make such a bow without a backing, though?

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 02:59:07 am »
Also, what a great looking little bow, Bjrogg!

I really wish we had Osage down here in SA. The only hardwood for sale in our equivalent of Home Depot is called Meranti, and I know nothing about it.

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 03:15:04 am »
Thanks Matt. I couldn't help myself and had to bump another of my kids bows. This one is probably a better design for the young lady your describing although both would work. Making kids bows is just as complicated and maybe even more so than adults. The trick for me is to get the draw length and weight that fits the individual. Then matching arrows to it. Grandpa's Toy is probably pretty good design but with a little more weight for the lady you mentioned. I'm short to so totally understand the short draw delima. For me static recurves help a lot with early string tension. Long bows with deflex designed for longer draws seem very soft and slow for me. It's all about making it fit. FG isn't a dirty word for kids to me. Just keep em shooting.
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 03:23:32 am »
I've got the opposite problem, ha ha. I've got orangutan arms and no muscle strength to speak of. So my draw length is between 29 and 30, but I don't have the strength to pull more than 50 pounds. That said, I've only been back in the game for about a month after a 15 year hiatus.

The reason why I mentioned the siyahs is because she's very keen on traditional horse archery (she's already a national rider).

Do you reckon it's possible to build a 40# reflex deflex with siyahs and either no backing or glass tape as a back? She's growing like a bean pole, so I want it useable at her current draw, but capable of 28 inches.

Damn tough ask, I know!

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 03:35:00 am »
I have never built one with siyahs but they are basically a static recurve. I'm sure it's possible to build a bow like you described to fit her now. To make one that fits her now but also at a 28" or29" draw not so much. I don't have any experience with the FG tape but from what I e heard wouldn't put a lot of faith in it. Rawhide or sinew would be much better options.
Sorry I really gotta go now. Hope I was of some help.
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 03:37:27 am »
Plenty of help!

Cheers mate, I appreciate all the help!

Matt

Offline GlisGlis

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 04:25:02 am »
I'm pretty sure you will not get much help moving from a basic pyramid design
I'd check first her draw length even with a toy bow (branch and rope) just to have a starting point
then i'd make a low weight bow with very easy design. 25 # max at her drawlength. you may compensate with light arrows
She has to find easy to shoot not struggle to draw

Just to give you a reference one of my daughters shoot this bow (with regular string and arrows). Apart aesthetic recurved tips it's a basic pyramid
http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php/topic,50771.msg695560.html#msg695560

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 04:52:11 am »
I agree with Glis. It's not so much the design as the fit. Just like a pair of shoes. Kids just gotta have shoes that fit and their going to outgrow them. Probably a more simple design till you gain some experience will go further in the long run..
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018, 04:54:19 am »
I'm pretty sure you will not get much help moving from a basic pyramid design
I'd check first her draw length even with a toy bow (branch and rope) just to have a starting point
then i'd make a low weight bow with very easy design. 25 # max at her drawlength. you may compensate with light arrows
She has to find easy to shoot not struggle to draw

Just to give you a reference one of my daughters shoot this bow (with regular string and arrows). Apart aesthetic recurved tips it's a basic pyramid
http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php/topic,50771.msg695560.html#msg695560

That's a fantastic looking bow, man. I admire the smoothness of its understated appearance.

Okay I just measured her draw length and it's just under 22". As I say, she's totally capable of drawing 35-40# without any strain. So at least I have that going for me in terms of freedom.

I was given two Garapa boards of 2m each for free, because the guy at the lumber shop was so curious (nobody in SA makes their own bows, it seems). So I'll probably use one to fiddle around with reflex deflex, and then the second one I'll just focus on creating as efficient as possible 30# pyramid. At least that could be used by more than just her.

Offline MattTheClueless

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Re: Efficient youth bows
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 04:57:37 am »
Yea I admit my experience is severely lacking. One successful pine bow does not a bowyer make, haha.

One day when I've won the lotto I'll have the time to make a proper Mongolian flight bow or a Yumi. Those shapes give me shivers they're so beautiful.