My father’s bows – part II

The wait has been difficult but my new traditional flemish bowstrings finally came in!  They are made of dacron which is common among old school bows of this vintage. More modern bows that have been made to withstand today’s new string materials can use the many low to no stretch string options out there now.

Flemish bowstring

Because these strings stretch more you have to keep an eye on the brace height, which is the  distance from the bowstring to the deepest part of the bowgrip and adjust your bowstring accordingly, this is done by adding or removing more twists to the bowstring to make it longer or shorter. This practice in old Saxon days was referred to as fistmele which is the measurement of a clenched hand with the thumb extended or 6 to 7 inches.There is an interesting description of this in Saxton Pope’s book, Hunting with the Bow and Arrow, in Chapter 8 ” How to Shoot”.

Fistmele

Having the brace height right will keep your bow quiet and shooting at it’s peak.

My cousin John who originally had stored and sent me the bows also sent me an archery cabinet that had been my father’s. Aside from having great fatherly history, the cabinet has been great, providing a place to keep a lot of my archery tackle (which I am accumulating at a steady pace). It’s also been nice to look at, something to come home to.

I recently borrowed a hanging scale from work to find out what the poundage of these bows are. The Hoyt came in at it’s marked weight of 35 pounds, I tested this at 28 inches of draw length. The other bow is a Drake and was unmarked, came in at 45 pounds.

Steve Dunsmore at Lakeside Archery suggested stringing these bows and pulling them a little each day, then a little more, and a bit more until I was pulling the full draw weight over the period of a couple of weeks. He suggested this because these bows haven’t been used in a long time. This seemed like a good breaking in routine to me and I’ve anxiously and un-patiently followed this regime. I say that because it’s a bit of a tease, you get to handle the bow, pull the string back but no beautiful arcing arrow flight, “sigh”. That though my friends changes today! Hah!

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