Sharons bow and arrow set up

Quick tip on brace height check

Showing the brace height and cresting

Showing the brace height and cresting

We all know how important it is to have your bow setup right and ensure it is at the correct brace height. I wanted to offer a quick tip to all archers out there for checking your brace height on your bow, which doesn’t involve having a rule.

When I made up the last batch of arrows for Sharon, I crested them in colours to match her fletchings, are pink and orange.

Close up of a couple of finished arrows

Close up of a couple of finished arrows

Before I started I measured the brace height for her bow and made sure that where the two colours met on the arrow, it would be in line with the light coloured strip on her bow, when at the correct brace height.

I then edged the divide between the two colours with a black band.

One of Sharons' finished arrows with black edging

One of Sharons’ finished arrows with black edging

Since this band coincides with the white band on her the bow riser, when the bow is at the correct brace height. It means she has simply to nock an arrows and check the banding on the arrows matches up with the light stripe on her bow and she will know her brace height is correct.

Sharons bow and arrow set up

Sharons bow and arrow set up

It is a simple and quick method that does not need a bracing rule, just a little bit of preparation when making your arrows. You could easily adapt the idea with any arrows, by putting a mark on the arrow to coincide with the correct brace height.

I hope this helps and thanks for reading.

Hardest lessons to learn in archery – Watch the weight Or why we need to watch our weight

No not a comment on obesity in archery but a quick look at how weight in many different forms can effect archery, whether we are talking about the draw weight of your bow or the weight of the arrows used.

So when can too light be a bad thing, and again I’m not talking about the archers weight here or anorexic, but in fact arrow weights.

Before I launch into this article though I’d like to thank my guest co-author another Rob, Rob Cook.

Rob Cook

Rob Cook

As many of you know I’m a big traditional archer shooting wooden bows and wooden arrows, so when it came to checking my facts with carbon arrows and so on, so I enlisted Robs help. Rob was also one of the originators of the new Traditional Bow hunter class in the NFAS and has extensive knowledge on the bare bow scene.

Bow International ran an article a few issues back on the effect of arrows weights on arrow flight and I know other sites including The Push have talked about the importance of matching your arrows to the bow.

Too light an arrow and archers can encounter several issues. Light arrows can fly faster and some say further, but they can be affected by wind to a greater degree. also there may not be the mass weight to absorb the energy from the bow limbs on release as effectively. in essence its like a mini dry fire.

Most bow manufacturers will specify an optimum mass weight for your arrow and if you look on just about ever carbon arrow in production will give you an arrow weight in grains per inch

To give you an example of what I mean, a bow maker might say the arrow should be 9 grains per pound of draw weight, so for my draw weight of 45lbs that would be 405 grain arrow weight. Through a lot of trial and error I have found an arrow round 450 to 460 works best from the bow, anything below 420 and the bow becomes noisy  and the arrows don’t perform as well.

Rob has created this table of data on different arrow specs and weights for some of the more common arrows on the market. We’ve used a 100 grain pile in all the arrows below calculations and show two lengths 28 inches and 30 inches, so we can give a total weight. To keep it simple Rob has used a 45lb bow weight for spine as I used that weight in the above calculation. It should all make sense but if you have any questions let us know.

Manufacturer Shaft Type                    spine @28 Arrow Weight gpp spine @ 30 Arrow Weight gpp
Avalon TecOne 600 330 7.3 600 344 7.6
Beman Classic 600 367 8.2 500 434 9.6
Carbon Express Predator II 2040 354 7.9 2040 370 8.2
Carbon Express Heritage 75 388 8.6 90 424 9.4
Easton Carbon One 660 325 7.2 550 347 7.7
Easton Axis 600 340 7.6 600 355 7.9
Easton 5MM Axis Traditional 600 357 7.9 600 373 8.3
Easton ST Axis N-Fused Camo/Axis Trad 600 360 8.0 600 376 8.4
Easton Apollo 610 367 8.2 560 392 8.7
Gold Tip Traditional 600 373 8.3 600 388 8.6

 

So why is this so important and why am I bringing it up here on this blog?

The NFAS has seen a new bow style recently, that of Traditional Bow Hunter. This style allows archers to shoot carbon or aluminium arrows off the bow shelf (no arrow rests). It is seeing a number of traditional archers that shoot flatbow or hunting tackle which uses wooden arrows giving it a go. They are buying carbon arrows of the right spine but I wonder if they are considering the effect of shooting lighter arrows on their bows? I was discussing this with a couple of people including Rob, so we thought we would put this together.

It is worth remembering that a lot of traditional wooden bows have not been constructed to take ultra-light carbon arrows often used in target archery or are sold as cheap alternatives to wooden or aluminium arrrows. Please don’t get me wrong some bows have been constructed to take such arrows but not all.

N.B. Adding a heavier pile to the arrow will increase the overall weight but it will also change the dynamic spine of the arrow, making it more flexible or weaker.

So what can you do?

  • Check the weight of your wooden arrows and carbons so you know the difference.
  • Check what your limb / bow manufactures recommended weights are. Most if not all will have this information on their websites or would be happy to share it with you. After all they don’t want to see you trash your bow as it reflects badly on them.
  • Going for slightly longer arrows as this will increase the mass weight too, this is why we have included two sizes in the above table.

I hope this has proved interesting and helpful. I would like to say thank you to Rob for all his help and number crunching with this. He produced a load of data on different arrows in a long excel document, as well as speaking to several bow manufactures to check minimal weights.

Thanks for reading.

 

Finished arrows in the sun

Equipment Review – Goblin Snot Paint

Goblin Snot paints

Goblin Snot paints

Okay, so this is not one of the most pleasant sounding products I have encountered, but if you can look past the name you can have pretty decent paint.
Lee Ankers of Heritage Longbows was kind enough to provide me with same sample colours (pink, white, orange and purple) to try out. There are obviously other colours but these would prove to provide a good selection as it offered both light colours and darker shades. If you check out their website for full colour list of what is available. (https://www.heritagelongbows.com/).
Before I applied them to the shafts that would become arrows I tried the paints out on some off cuts to get used to applicator and how many coats might be needed.
Samples after one coat

Samples after one coat

I did have a play at applying the paint to a pre varnished shaft, which worked petty well giving an even coat but it didn’t seem to adhere as well. I did find if I then applied a couple of coats of clear varnish over the top it did protect the paint.
I applied the paints to the bare wooden Port Orford Cedar shafts, after giving them a quick sand to remove any dust of rough patches.
First stage - orange being applied

First stage – orange being applied

Since Sharon wanted two contrasting colours on her arrows, I used masking tape to avoid me covering areas I wanted to cover in a different colour and to form an edge.
Second stage with the pink being applied

Second stage with the pink being applied

Firstly I have to admit I really like the purple. I’ve never been a huge fan of the colour in the past, but it works well for contrast. I’ve made up a few arrows with purple cresting and bright yellow fletchings and they work really well, as the contrast means you can see the arrows in flight and stand out in a number of target faces really well.
Bit dark, but purple shaft with bat wing fletching

Bit dark, but purple shaft with bat wing fletching

The orange and purple go on very easily and after a couple of coats, you can a good deep colour and covering. The white and pink need a little more work, taking three to four coats to get a consistent covering, which is expected really as being a lighter colour.
I’ve included a few photos of the arrows I made up for Sharon with the pink and orange as these happen to be matching to her fletching colours. The orange had two coats and the pink three or four.
I left the paint to dry for a couple of hours between coats, giving a very light sanding to ensure a clean smooth surface for each of the coats.
The paint goes on easily enough, once you get the hang of using the applicator, which has a sponge on the top of the bottle.
One tip is not to squeeze the bottle to much as you’ll end up with loads coming out. (Yes, this happened to me and fortunately I had put some old newspaper down just in case as I have been know to make a slight mess).
I’ve varnished with a clear acrylic varnish from a local model / hobby craft store.
Close up of a couple of finished arrows

Close up of a couple of finished arrows

Another tip would be to take your time when applying to make sure you have an even application.
Finished arrows in the sun

Finished arrows in the sun

Overall I think they work pretty well, being easy to apply and drying evenly.
Thanks for reading.