Building any longbow with exotic hardwood gives the finished product a higher standard of quality and craftsmanship. It is the standard in the industry. I use only high-grade materials that are busy in color and figure. Raw stock is selected for me by my vendor and carefully graded.
The riser sight-window is cut so the arrow rides 1/8 th inch off center. This seems to produce the best arrow performance. The shelf or rest is cut to form a radius from back to belly. The strike plate is cut to form a radius from back to belly. Both surfaces are covered with leather. Where the two radii meet the arrow makes contact with the bow. This geometry seems to produce the best arrow performance. By making sure to keep the leading edge of the fletching smooth on all arrows shot out of these bows the life of the arrow rest is unlimited. Proper waxing and oiling keeps the leather arrow rest and strike plate in good condition for the life of the bow.
For years I have built my longbows with "equal limb length". In other words, the top and the bottom limbs were made with both limbs identical in length measured from the center of the riser. Today, I build the HHC, Lobo and Black Wolf with limb lengths that differ between the top and bottom limbs. The top limb is one-inch longer. The bottom limb is one-inch shorter. This effectively moves the riser one-inch lower in the finished bow, and puts the sight-window within one-inch of the center of the bowstring. The result of doing this produces a bow that casts a greater variety of spined arrows. For the average person just being introduced to a longbow, it makes it easier to select arrows that work well out of the bow. Also, with the shorter bottom limb, 66-inch bows become somewhat more convenient to handle in blind situations where the space is somewhat cramped, or shooting from kneeling positions.
The limbs also have a change with respect to the three laminations that I am using in the HHC. Now all three lams are built on the back of the riser. Earlier models were built with the belly lam on the belly of the riser. This belly lam is now with the other two on the back of the riser. The FRP, carbon and glass are laminated to the belly of the riser only. In effect, the new design is stronger, more reliable, and esthetically more appealing with the limb length changes.
Bamboo has higher elasticity with adequate compression strength, and less physical weight than any wood that can be used to build a longbow. Bamboo is a grass that grows with very straight, strong grain.
It was no accident that fly-rod builders began using bamboo in the construction of high-dollar, split-bamboo rods. Because of its cast and elasticity, it set the standard for sport fishermen around the turn of the last century. FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) replaced the rods eventually, but, today craftsmen still use bamboo in custom rods. Once I realized that the combination of bamboo and modern FRP produced the best cast for my bows, I began using this combination almost exclusively. Today, all my bows are built with bamboo laminations in the limbs, backed with carbon. A combination of carbon and fiberglass is laminated to the belly on the outside surface. These composite "skins" are ground very thin in order to optimize the highest stress possible. When the bows are tillered, I avoid sanding down the surfaces of the FRP to achieve balance between the top and the bottom limb. The top limb laminations are ground 0.004 of an inch thinner than the bottom limb laminations. This produces a bow with a tiller between top and bottom limbs that varies by four pounds. In other words, the top limb pulls four pounds less than the bottom limb. This produces a "heavy chested" longbow. With this design, any of my longbows will shoot a variety of differently spined arrows well, including graphite, carbon, wood and aluminum.
My bamboo comes from Japan and it is tempered. The Japanese refer to this as a "carbonizing" process. The effect produces a more resilient and trouble free bow limb with a "sweet cast". It also reduces handshock and the bows do not stack.
is the latest fiber reinforced plastic that is similar to fiberglass.
Carbon has higher elasticity than fiberglass in tension. It has
very high tensile strength and low physical weight. Backing a bow
limb with it enables the bowyer to increase tensile stress and
reduce the overall physical weight of the limb. The effect increases
the recovery rate of the bow, reduces stack and practically eliminates
Carbon is much weaker in compression on the belly than fiberglass. But, by "backing" it with fiberglass it gives strength and increases the amount of elasticity on the belly of the bow limb. After years of experimenting with this combination, I have not found anything that compares. Limb stack and handshock are reduced, while smoothness, cast and speed are increased.
Many people argue that carbon FRP does not contribute much to any bow. This may be the case if the design and other factors are not taken into consideration. However, any Black Wolf or Lobo typically casts arrows with the same speed and stability as a recurve of equal weight. As often as not, the recurve can even pull heavier and any of my bows will keep up in performance.
The sleeve is made in two parts. The female, four inch section is made from seamless brass. The male two inch section is made from stainless steel tubing that is also seamless. The stainless steel is a 302 series and is very strong and durable. The brass is partially hardened stock. I form both pieces of tubing with dies. They are fit with precision, and there is no play in them. The reason I use the steel and brass combination is because these metals work well together. The brass has naturally occurring characteristics that reduce friction and common brilling effects when used with steel. The stainless steel does not wear and it jewels beautifully. The jeweling is attractive, and it also retains lubricant. The beauty and function enhances the fit and performance. Takedown bows are easy and convenient to use and transport. The sleeve is flawless and practical. When the bow is assembled it does not appear to be a takedown style because of the fit. Also, the weight of the sleeve increases the overall mass of the riser which helps reduce handshock. Combining the takedown feature of the sleeve fastener, bamboo and the modern FRP makes the Black Wolf and EL Lobo longbows convenient to travel with, and also as efficient as any of the popular takedown recurves on the market today.
After building several hundred longbows and hunting with them in Alaska, Texas and Africa, I realized that the 66" Black Wolf is ideal for most hunting situations. It is the best bow length for stalking. It can be used in elevated stands after a minimum amount of practice to get used to the length of the limbs. The 70" Black Wolf is ideal for 3-D shooting and field courses. It is not as practical to hunt with. The 62" Lobo is the ideal stand and blind bow. It is not too long for tight quarters. It is long enough for smooth, quiet performance.
The Black Wolf and EL Lobo limb taper is 2:1 in overall length from the riser to the tip. The limbs taper in length, width, thickness and from the belly to the back. The back is 30% narrower than the belly. The reason for all the tapering is to reduce physical mass. Recurving the last third of the bow limb makes it possible to reduce the limb mass even more, but, it also pre-stresses the limb so when the bow is strung it has higher tension. Higher limb tension created from reduced limb mass and the reflex limb design produces a faster shooting bow. The Deflex helps reduce handshock because Deflex forces the bow limbs to recover in an outward vector more than forward. The limbs of common longbows designed without Deflex recover more in a forward vector with the results of higher handshock. If the top limb recovers in the opposite direction from the bottom limb, residual vibration (handshock) from shooting an arrow is canceled in the riser where the bow is held. Deflex directs handshock away from the riser because the movement of the top limb is opposite the movement of the bottom limb.
When Fastflight was introduced to archery I started using it. I abandoned Dacron Flemish twist strings as soon as I realized how much energy I lost to twisted strings that stretch. I simply built the limb nocks to handle the additional stress. Today, there are many different string choices. I have found that FF is good enough. I do not use FF Flemish twist strings on my bows. Twisting a string defeats the purpose of using Fastflight. Any excessively twisted string stretches as the bow is shot. Twisted strings absorb mechanical energy more than those that are not twisted. Also, strings that stretch less create less vibration. Strings that vibrate less reduce handshock and the painful slap to the forearm.
The HHC-TD is built on the same order of a BW or Lobo. The newer, redesigned 66-inch model has a top limb that is one-inch longer than the older models. Also, the bottom limb is one-inch shorter. The sight-window is only one-inch higher than the center of the bowstring. As a result the bow shoots very well with a greater variety of spined arrows, similar to the one-piece HHC. Despite the differences in limb length, the TD feature is still convenient, easy to pack and handy.
10759 Springhill Rd.
Erie, IL 61250