Good Morning December 8th, 2016


Good morning on this the eight day in December, in the year of our Lord 2016.

It is also the feast of the Immaculate Conception, on the Roman Catholic calendar. The doctrine of the immaculate conception is a very interesting one; in brief it is that the salvation of Christ was applied to Mary at the moment of her conception so that she would have the ability to become the mother of God, and relatedly so that she could make with perfect freedom the biggest choice anyone in the whole history of the human race has ever made. For various practical reasons we tend to focus on the freedom to say “no” to options, but sin weakens people and is perhaps clearest in addicts that freedom also requires the freedom to say “yes” to things. I won’t dwell on the doctrine since I know so little about it, but it does certainly raise some interesting questions.

In other news I posted a second hangout on my youtube channel:

This time I had the pleasure of talking with The Distributist. As conversations are wont to do, it wandered over a variety of subjects, but it started and to some degree ended by discussing classical liberalism (the liberalism of the post-reformation and enlightenment era). It was a little more structured than my hangout with Deflating Atheism, but not tremendously so. I’m still very undecided about whether a conversation or an interview is a better format. And of course, “neither, do both” is always a possible conclusion.

I also noticed that Hoyt and Bowtech have announced their new bows this year. (In general new bows tend to be announced at the end of archery season, it seems.) In general there doesn’t seem to be much difference; I think Bowtech characterized this as, “this year is about refinement”. And once again the only fast 80# or greater bow seems to be the Matthews Monster Safari, which costs $2,100. I did get the opportunity to shoot once once (rare, since they are all custom made and no one stocks them) and it was an amazing bow. It had a very, very smooth draw cycle and just felt amazing to draw and shoot. It costs so much money because they really went all out with hard-to-make parts that were optimal for the workload, and it shows. If you can afford it—and so far I can’t—you’re paying for performance, not for looks or a nameplate (though I do think it looks nice enough).

So I’ve basically concluded that if I want something to shoot my 0.175″ deflection arrows (which are as stiff as you can get in factory made arrows) with more than 102 ft-lbs of kinetic energy, my best bet is to keep working on my carbon fiber longbows. Right now I’m using wooden limbs with carbon fiber backing, which seems to be easy to do up to round 40#, just guestimating. When one pushes above that, limb design becomes more critical, and so far I think I’ve been too aggressive in tapering the limbs, which puts too much bend in them towards the tips. An all-composite material could probably handle that much bending, but wood doesn’t like to be bent that much. Accordingly it works better to concentrate the bending loser to the handle, where less bending is required for the same draw distance. The bow I’m working on now (well, to be fair, it’s laid aside for the moment in the middle of being made) is promising, but I had an initial glue failure in the limb where it delaminated because I didn’t have a good bond between the ipe belly layer and the walnut core. Basically, I forgot to rough it up before gluing. So I’ve done a good job of that and just need to re-glue them up, but gluing with epoxy is always something of a production and I just haven’t had the time and energy to set it up. Also since there are minimum batches of epoxy (to make mix ratios easy to attain accurately), I always feel bad about small projects which therefore involve a fair amount of waste. At the same time I really should look for a different epoxy for doing wood laminations, since the concerns for gluing wood together are not the same as for setting up composites like carbon fiber. It’s possible there’s a more ideal epoxy for the wood layers. (If it isn’t clear why the limb delaminated, the inside of a curve is shorter than the outside of a curve, and so when the limb bends the belly really wants to push out further than the core (and the core further than the back), which introduces sheer strain on the laminations. Thus the most important characteristic in the glue for the laminations is its sheer strength.)

May God bless you.