Odyssey's Bow: Getting Started
In the September issue of the magazine, readers were not surprised to find the long-awaited continuation of the history of the Turkish onion, which was specially made for us by the master Marian "Mario" Caldararu. We have a serious excuse. The most important material needed to make a combat composite bow is time. The patience at the most different stages of the production and drying of weapons depends on how strong, powerful, accurate and durable the bow will turn out. Medieval craftsmen could devote more than a year to making onions. In order not to torment readers with expectation, we managed to put the whole process, from selection of materials to the first shot, into four months. However, sending the number to the printing house, we realized that even this material could not put a big bullet in the history of our onions. Already after the tests, our brainchild continued to gain strength every day, gradually turning into the mythical bow of Odysseus, which could only be pulled by a real strongman.
What happened to our onions all this time? Recall that the weapon was assembled from seven parts: a handle, a pair of shoulders, a pair of “ears” and a pair of separate hooks for a bowstring. Such fragmentation of the structure is explained very simply: the craftsmen saved the tree. In addition, the gluing points are much tougher and stronger than solid sections of wood. “Hockey sticks were also once made from solid wood, and they scattered after a few hits, ” says Mario, “plywood sticks were much stronger.” Gluing allows you to program certain parts of the product for bending. For example, broad shoulders work in our bow, and relatively thin “ears” do not bend and do not risk breaking.
Gluing places are pulled together with ropes. After the glue has set, the ropes are removed and the joints are bandaged - wrapped with tendons soaked in glue. Further work with onions requires the glue to dry, which takes at least two weeks. First of all, the top layer of glue dries, from which moisture evaporates more easily. Drying of the previous layer requires more considerable time. At a certain stage, the top layer ceases to release internal moisture to the outside, maintaining an optimal level of elasticity of the fibers. This self-regulating ability has an important advantage of tendon glue.
The dried onion is pasted over with parchment - thin calfskin. Parchment protects tendons from moisture from the environment. Without his protection, the onion could be unstuck, falling in the rain, and would respond to moisture fluctuations by significant changes in the tension force. An equally important function of parchment is to retain the necessary moisture inside, preventing the weapon from drying out. A certain level of moisture is required for both veins and wood to maintain flexibility. Dried onions can easily break.
Parchment should protect all the tendons, so they paste over the entire onion, except the horn, with a lot of glue. Weapons are tightly wrapped with auxiliary material - in our case, with rubber tape. The tape not only keeps the coating in place, but also retains moisture, allowing the glue to slowly soak into the parchment. When the tape is removed, moist parchment still retains mobility relative to the tree. It can be straightened and left to dry completely.
The onion is coated with a large amount of glue and parchment is carefully applied on it, securing it with rubber tape. Rubber is an auxiliary material that is completely removed from the onion after soaking the parchment with glue. Therefore, we do not consider its use a crime against authenticity. Of course, in the Middle Ages, instead of rubber, fabric was used."> The wrapping work The onion is coated with a large amount of glue and parchment is carefully applied to it, securing it with rubber tape. Rubber is an auxiliary material that is completely removed from the onion after the parchment has been soaked with glue. Therefore, we do not consider its use a crime against authenticity. Of course in the Middle Ages, instead of rubber, cloth was used.
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