Author Topic: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?  (Read 1510 times)

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Offline FilipT

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Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« on: May 08, 2018, 11:10:47 am »
Like the title said, I want to make a bow of this type, similar as to the one Weylin recently made.

Weylin's bow
http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php/topic,63399.0.html

His bow is 67" ntn and 55# at 30" of draw. That is the pretty much same as I want except his bow is made from yew and I want to either use hazel or black locust so it didn't make sense to ask him for dimensions.

The problem lies in the fact that I cannot find references of width, depth, taper, dimensions of these weird tips, etc. Anybody have advice or guidance? Is that bow described in detail somewhere, such as in TBB maybe?

Offline Strichev

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 11:25:29 am »
As far as I know the bows are pretty much slightly flatter longbows of the English type with deflexed tips extending some 50 mm from the nocks. Tiller and dimensions could probably be taken from an ELB.

Offline Strichev

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2018, 07:19:06 am »
Now that I read your post again I see that you're asking about the taper and the size of the tips specifically. I couldn't find much, archaeologists seem to have a regrettable tendency to not include scale in their drawings. Apart from some pictures I'm sure you found yourself I could only find this drawing that may be of some (limited) use:

https://i.imgur.com/TE9i2Jz.png?1

Offline FilipT

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 09:35:11 am »
You are right, a bit of limited use. I am more interested in things such as for how long is parallel section of bow, how wide to make it, how initial depth needs to be so it allows me plenty of wood to work with but not too much so I don't make huge work with reducing draw weight and such.

Offline GlisGlis

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2018, 07:09:59 am »
if you want to be historically correct I think you cannot use black locust as it was introduced in europe in 1600 circa.
Elm, Yew, hazel should be all ok

Offline FilipT

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2018, 08:06:52 am »
Accuracy doesn't matter really, after all bow will have fast flight string haha. I am more interested in the design of the bow and replicating it with available wood. Although I could use hazel instead black locust, no problem there really. Elm and yew are not growing here.

Offline TorstenT

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2018, 06:57:49 am »
Does this help you? There are no dimensions, though. But you can see, that it has an almost round cross section all over the bow. I doubt that Hazel would work, since it has a tendency to chrysal and will probably take a lot of set. My first ELB is made from Hazel, but only as with 40# @ 30”. I was very lucky and it didn’t chrysal, but took almost 4” of set. It’s really lame actually...  :D
My father lives a few miles away from Hadeby, which is Haithabu today. I saw this bow several times in the museum. Weylin’s version is awesome, but a tad too short for this type of bow at a 30” draw. The original finds were at least 71” long.

Offline Strichev

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2018, 10:31:04 am »
I think that Jürgen Junkmanns has some info on the bow in his book "Pfeil und Bogen: Von der Altsteinzeit bis zum Mittelalter". Not sure though. You could also try to dig up 'Pfeil und Bogen in Haithabu'. In Geibig, A. and Paulsen, H. (1999) paper. I tried but couldn't find it anywhere online.

Offline Weylin

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2018, 07:34:10 pm »
Weylin’s version is awesome, but a tad too short for this type of bow at a 30” draw. The original finds were at least 71” long.

I made my first version at around 71" long and it shot slower than I would have liked and had a bit of hand shock. The original bow was pretty heavy in draw weight. The length made sense for that draw weight and length. The reason my first one didn't preform that well was because it was only 55#, it was over built. The 68" bow that I made shot so much better. It felt more proportional. So it wasn't an exact replica, but it felt like the right dimensions for what I was asking of the stave.
Swiftwood Bows

Offline TorstenT

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2018, 02:29:48 am »
Yeah - sounds reasonable... ...I wasn’t considering the lower draw weight. A couple of years ago I met Harm Paulsen, the author of ‘Pfeil und Bogen in Haithabu’ in Hedeby. He carried an almost exact reconstruction of this bow with a draw weight of around 80#. He said, that the original is estimated to have just under 100# at 75” ttt.
His bow was beautifully crafted and had a linen string. Armed with this bow, I’d say “Stay out of Harm’s way!”  :D

Offline meanewood

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2018, 03:06:12 pm »
What I find most interesting about this bow is how the 'Viking' maker has created the upper limb extension to aid 'probably' a step through method of stringing the bow.

I have problems stringing any bow beyond 80lbs if using that method.

Having that extension may allow me to manage, maybe up to 100lbs before having to resort to a stringer instead.

Anyway, good excuse for me to make one myself.

Hope it comes out as good as Weylin's!

Offline TorstenT

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Re: Making hedeby "Viking" bow?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 10:03:58 pm »
Harm Paulsen told me, that those bow can be strung by standing the lower end on the ground (he uses a patch of fur under the tip to protect it), pull down the deflexed tip with your whole body weight and string it. The backward bend keeps the levering force behind the belly, so you don’t need a knee or thigh as a hypomochlion. That only works for straight bows, of course. If the limbs have a natural reflex, then you would still need to string it the usual way, I guess...