Friday, September 6, 2013

Primitive Projectiles

There seems to be a common theme to the subjects and activities that fascinate me. Here is a brief outline of the criteria necessary:

-It needs to be reasonably involved and/or complex
-A relatively high level of skill should be involved
-I should be able to learn it on my own, or at least without much guidance
-There should be little if any probability that anyone could ever make any money doing this
-If there is any practical application to developing the skills involved, it probably has gone obsolete about a century ago

I am also apparently susceptible to, as one of my ex-girlfriends put it: "The quintessential male near-obsessive  urge to throw things".

So, considering all this, it shouldn't be too surprising that I have a long standing fascination with making and using simple range weapons (for targets). In college I started making boomerangs. Pictured here is the first one I made and still my favorite:
 Last summer I made a sling and spent hours happily flinging rocks across an empty baseball field

This year I decided that the time was right to try something I've been wanting to do for a long time: Build a Longbow. I used Red oak with a muslin backing.I finished it with Tung oil. The handle is wrapped with leather. It measures 70' nock to nock when unstrung. I have no idea what my draw weight is. Here is my bow when strung...
... and unstrung
 Here's a close-up of my top nock
 I decided that the plain muslin backing was a little dull, so I painted it.

Here's some close up of the handle and arrow shelf

I'm shooting carbon fiber arrows that were made by a company that hasn't paid me to endorse them. My quiver is made out of the leg of an old pair of khakis. Not very interesting looking, but functional. I almost showed you my target, but it looks like what it is: A large cardboard box stuffed with more cardboard with a target drawn on it.

 I did, however, make myself a nifty armguard out of scrap leather

I wanted to have a cool picture of me firing an arrow, looking all keen-eyed and dangerous-but with no one else to hold the camera, this is as close as I could get

 When I went to retrieve a stray arrow, I found this little guy. His form isn't too bad, but I think he needs to get his elbow up.

I've been practicing for a few months now. I think my aim is getting better...

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