This is a follow up to the thread about bows and windshield wipers.
There were actually 5 bows Russ Reynolds referred to as Betsy bows. This one was named Steady Girl. Russ built this in 1949 at Bill Folberth's shop. Draw weight is 43 pounds.
In 1985 Hugh Rich handed me this bow and told me to refinish it the "old way". That was using varnish applied with a piece of velvet. I didn't have velvet, but I did, for some reason, have a piece of velour. Close enough. I gave the bow a light sanding and applied a coat of varnish thinned with a little mineral spirits. That was followed with 2 coats of full strength varnish.
The handle area was smooth and I didn't sand it at that time and the finish on it was in good condition. I cut a piece of leather for the handle and dampened it so I could form it around the bow and I figured I would decide what to do with the handle area later. I was working with the leather, smoothing it over the handle, making sure the seam lined up straight and tight. I lightly wrapped some tubing cut from an old bicycle tube around the bow to hold the leather in place while it dried.
When the leather was dry I took off the tubing and attempted to remove the leather. Attempted was all I could do. It wouldn't come off. Stuck on tight! I called Hugh and told him what happened and he laughed and said the glue originally used was likely casein and the wet leather reactivated it. And there it is to this day. Fortunately the seams lined up just fine.
Here's Russ and the Betsy bow. He was tournament champion in NAA and NFAA events.
Note the limb shape, wide at the riser and very thin at the tip.
Here are the details on the bow construction.
There are 2 layers of yew core, hickory back lamination with Miller's woven fiberglass backing and Osage facing.
Russ built the bow at the Folbert facility and paid Bill a fee for use of his patent, plus material costs.
Do you have anyy omments on the glass?
I saw more than a few bows, shaped in such a way, in the Jessop Collection. They are antiquities of unknown exact age but that design is definitely not unique.
An interesting bow Ira, thanks for the post. Russ Reynolds is a name I'm not familiar with.
I love archery history!!
Sounds like a version of French polishing. What was the varnish you used?
Great story Ira.
Good story Ira! But as I read it, I hoped you were going to get around to why he called them Betsy bows.
A few shots of the Betsy bow.
This is Bill Folberth, circa 1946.