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Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:39 pm
by SirUlf
I'm still getting quite a lot of "kisses" from longbow, even through a leather bracer. Just wondering now if there's any scope for a horn reinforced leather bracer? Either on the outside or the inside. I'm thinking of trying to get a narrow piece which I could maybe glue to the inside. Has anyone tried that?

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:44 pm
by Phoenix Rising
Just a thought, but before you look at horn etc, have you looked at the bracing height of your bow? If you haven't then the 'kissing' you describe could well be being caused by this. Can check it by putting your closed fist onto the belly of your bow just below the mid-point of your string then do the 'thumbs up' sign. The string should be just touching the tip of your thumb. Alternatively you could use a brace height guage (Quicks archery sell 'em, also other archery shops), and you could check it with this. Usually works out as approx 5 1/2 - 6 1/2 inches - mine is about 6)

The other common causes can be not rotating your arm a little when holding the bow and instead holding it out straight, (a thing which most archers, including myself, are guilty of from time to time) or your stance, which might be foreshortening the space between your string and your forearm.

Not sure what your level of experience is and apologies if you've already tried these, but thought it might help.

All best,

P.R

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:27 pm
by SirUlf
Hi P.R., thanks for the suggestions. My brace height is just short of 6", and I do check it when I string the bow as my string tends to lose a twist or two at times. Arm rotation is something I've had issues with, but it tends to get me higher up the arm when I get lazy with it, recently it's been just above the wrist it gets me. Stance is something I've been playing with, would a more open stance help? I also tend to lean the bow slightly to help rest the arrow.

Might try to get a small piece of horn if I can and put on the inside and see how it goes and work from there. I don't want it to become an issue whereby I start to overcompensate.

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:58 pm
by Phoenix Rising
Yes, a more open stance may help to widen the distance a bit. As I recall Ascham recommended it in his 'Toxophilus' as being the best way to stand with a bow - I'd also perhaps think about my anchor point as well in relation to that, ie, do you draw to ear or to chin or to somewhere else on you face? Altering the anchor point a little might well be worth experimenting with as well.

At least the horn will be a bit more solid than your flesh for absorbing the 'kiss' of the string!

Let me know how you get on.

All best

P.R

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:02 pm
by Colin Middleton
I belive that there are surviving examples of bracers made of horn, baked leather and even compressed leather from an old shoe sole. They aren't re-inforcing a piece of soft leather, in all cases, they're just strapped to the arm.

Best wishes

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:54 pm
by Phoenix Rising
I suppose though that if you wanted to you could take a piece of horn and stitch it in between two thinish pieces of leather? That might give you the best of both worlds whilst retaining an 'authentic' look about it.

All best,

P.R

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:38 pm
by Langley
Colin is right - there are some exquisitely carved horn bracers to be found in collections around the world. Piece of shaped horn held on with simple Y shaped straps. quick and easy to put on and take off too! Should not be difficult to make one and I am sure I have seen peoplke selling examples at fairs.

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:03 pm
by SirUlf
Yes, I've seen the full horn bracers, but the problem is my arms are quite thin (see here: forums/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=30977) so I haven't been able to find one that fits as well as a wraparound leather one. I've sorted a piece of horn I can just slide in under for when I need it. Just odd that no one ever did a wraparound with horn plate...

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:15 pm
by Colin Middleton
They just didn't make wrap around bracers. They're a very modern thing. I guess that it's because the leather was expensive and to shoot a heavy bow, you need descent technique. If you need to make your arms wider (though you shouldn't if you're making yourself one to fit), just wrap some wool around it.

Colin

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:37 am
by Langley
and no reason why you can not make a horn bracer to fit you exactly. Tip - you can only work FRESH horn!

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:44 pm
by SirUlf
Because there's no buckle small enough for my wrist... Seriously, I can't even wear a watch these days as they're all HUGE. My forearms are ok, I just taper down. Genetics is a bitch.

Played around with string twists today and it worked a bit better. Gripped it a bit differently as well, think it's partly how I hold the string as well, I basically shoot it off towards my wrist rather than straight.

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:39 pm
by Colin Middleton
SirUlf wrote:Because there's no buckle small enough for my wrist... Seriously, I can't even wear a watch these days as they're all HUGE. My forearms are ok, I just taper down. Genetics is a bitch.

Played around with string twists today and it worked a bit better. Gripped it a bit differently as well, think it's partly how I hold the string as well, I basically shoot it off towards my wrist rather than straight.
How about latchets (tying it on)?

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:13 pm
by Grymm
Gutter shaped ivory bracer found on Mary Rose was lashed on as are the heavily scrimshawed ivory ones in Pitt Rivers museun, I would post pics but stupid board keeps telling me I need to be signed in to post even when I am, but only when I try and post the ivory bracer pics here :?
Do a google image search for ivory bracer pitt rivers or mary rose.
T'other thing would be get a thicker bracer, again on MR the tooled leather bracer is quite thick, not a flimsy thin thing

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:22 pm
by Colin Middleton
I really like the bracer in the Medieval and Anglo Saxon Leather finds book from the York Archeological Trust (you can download it from their website). It's made from part of the sole of a shoe, held on with the buckle that used to keep the shoe on the foot!

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:23 pm
by Fox
Colin Middleton wrote:I really like the bracer in the Medieval and Anglo Saxon Leather finds book from the York Archeological Trust (you can download it from their website). It's made from part of the sole of a shoe, held on with the buckle that used to keep the shoe on the foot!
Alison and Hugh's Handmade Things sell a replica of this.

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:26 pm
by gregory23b
i have a shoe sole rady for thsi very thing, ooo rah.


Horn btw can be softened by soaking in an alkali, it was done then, I have softened horn in a caustic soda solution.

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:32 pm
by SirUlf
Some sort of horn thing might be the way to go eventually. Actually did better today, didn't quite lock my shooting arm in so much, just gave it a slight bend, literally about as little as you could do if you stretched your arm out and then slightly bent it. And voila, the arrows flew better and didn't get so much of a whack on the arm. Having more arrows has helped sorting things out rather than just having four, although my shooting fingers are almost blue now, I prefer a two-finger grip but I've had to go to a three-finger again because they're so sore, just getting them used to more shooting. If it's not one thing it's the other. :)

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:11 pm
by Phoenix Rising
Ah, glad things going better :D . Locking the arm out straight is, as I said earlier, one of the most common causes and we all do it from time to time. Remember being taught about the slight bending of my arm to allow for the string passage when I first started out in archery, but recurves are more forgiving whilst longbows have a way of reminding you... :crazy:

Keep at it, especially now you have more arrows and things will come good. You mentioned you normally use a two finger draw - are you using a tab or a glove, as even that can make a difference to a smooth release?

P.R

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:58 pm
by SirUlf
Recurves are too easy. Longbows are for MEN. :)

I use a glove. Tried using a tab put I can't get on with one. I know it can give a cleaner release but half the time it's just flapping around trying to get it on the string properly. I felt the two-finger release was a good compromise. Tend to go three-finger when I get tired though, but that's a practice thing.

Re: Horn reinforced bracer

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:29 pm
by Phoenix Rising
Damn right, who needs sights and stabilisers!!! They're for GIRLS!! :D Started out with them, but wasn't long before I was bewitched into the 'dark side' with the longbow and have stayed there ever since!

I too use a glove. Used to use a tab but, like you, found difficulties with it, despite the claims over them giving a smoother release. Have to admit that I actually prefer the glove for that reason, as I find it easier to release the sting without having to 'think' about it so much as I did when I used a tab. But, horses for courses, what's good for one isn't for another and it's whatver works for the individual, likewise with the positioning of fingers. Tried using the string walkers way once of all the fingers beneath the arrow but couldn't get away with it, just felt awkward to me, and I use the mediterranean release.

What was it that i was told - that archery is the 'art of repitition'? He failed to mention the 'infuriating when you can't get the same result twice' bit though!!! :roll:

P.R