Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

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Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Wade Phillips » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:22 pm

An oldie...

A 60-year old+ Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip from the Northwest...

Ever seen a metal T/D sleeve like this one?
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Baleen TD.jpg
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby seboomook » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:43 pm

Another treasure from the arsenal. Look at that grip!
More pics please!
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby kurtbel5 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:45 pm

No, but the female side was made by the lost wax casting method by the looks of it, male side looks machined
Who in the Northwest, Wade?
Is it a St Charles?
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Seneca Archer » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:19 pm

Not to preempt Wade, but this looks like the bow on eBay recently with a story of being made either by or for Howard Hill...I'm sure Wade has done some more sleuthing by now to determine the bow's history.

As an aside here's an article on what makes baleen such a great bow backing...
Baleen0001.jpg


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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby bowhunterfrompast » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:31 pm

Seneca...thanks for that article, I have been wondering "what the Heck is Baleen". :o
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby JavelinaHink » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:44 pm

Wade...neat looking grip.......Hink
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Tony Wallace » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:57 pm

The Bowhead has a bow shaped jaw - never knew it made great bows too!
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Wade Phillips » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:14 pm

Kurt - Yes, supposedly the female side was made by the lost wax casting method.

The fellow's name who owned the bow was Hal Nash, from Portland, Oregon. He passed away in 1969. I got the bow from his grandson in an eBay auction. It just arrived today, the last of the 2009 goodies, but will probably have to catalog it as 2010 as the books were closed yesterday for 2009.

I spoke with his grandson for well over an hour today. Hal was a finish carpenter and bowyer/garage archery shop owner who made perhaps 200 bows total. The story behind the bow is unclear, so I personally don't put much store in any connection between the bow and Howard Hill.

Hal was a member of the Robin Hood archers from Oregon. The Chet Stevenson group who dressed up like Robin Hood... "We're men... We're men in tights"... Hal was a pretty cool dude, strictly old school, my kind of guy. The grandson is really a great guy too. I'm really glad I had a chance to talk with him. Unfortunately, all the rest of his Grandfather's archery stuff was probably taken to the dump 40 years ago. A true loss.

The bow looks remarkably like a St Charles Baleen bow, but most of the Northwest bowyers made bows of a very similar style. To the untrained eye, 1940s yew bows by Damon Howatt, Glenn St. Charles, Kore Duryee, Hal Nash, or many others would all look pretty much the same.
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Wade Phillips » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:24 pm

Yule - Nice article about Baleen. The author sounds like a real character, most Alaskans are.

Tony - Cool stamp. Do you collect stamps too. Somewhere I have a batch of archery related stamps from around the world. Haven't picked any up for well over 25 years as I pretty much let all those little side collections just fall by the wayside.

I've only ever seen one other bow with a grip similar to this one. Sometime in the next few months I hope to be able to compare this bow to the other one. Will be interesting to see if they really are that similar.
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Seneca Archer » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:38 pm

Wade,

Besides the Alaskan dude, Mr Nash sounds like quite the character himself......interesting mini-biography, thanks.
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Wade Phillips » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:48 am

Yule,

Yes, I suspect that Nash along with the rest of those old Robin Hood Archers from Oregon were all characters.

Hal's grandson told me that he helped in his grandfather's shop as a kid in the 1960s. He made strings and did odd jobs around the shop. During the 1960s Hal made a recurve that is reportedly something like a Damon Howatt from that period. I have not seen one of Hal's recurves yet, or if I did, just never realized that Hal made it.
Last edited by Wade Phillips on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby bowdoc » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:14 am

I believe the grandson sold off several of the forms last year of which yes they were a Damon Howatt.I know Homer Proudy of Oregon built many bows that had baleen as backing also.As Wade mentioned lots of them look alike.
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Wade Phillips » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:39 am

Doc - The grandson is from Minnesota and didn't seem to know what happened to all of his Grandfathers tools, forms etc. He assumed they wound up in the dump.

Maybe someone from the Portland area picked them at the estate sale and they just got sold off last year. May have even been another family member too as the grandson mentioned that all of the family has not been speaking to each other for several years.

Had a chance to look closer at Hal's bow and take a few more photographs.

The baleen lamination is the most evenly layered that i have ever seen on a bow. Most are more irregular than this one.

The limbs are pretty thick and very wide. For sure a stout bow.
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Nash.jpg
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Nash (2).jpg
Nash (1).jpg
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby bowdoc » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:50 am

yap Wade I believe you are correct as it was someone from Portland that sold the stuff off.The seller seem to know a little about the builder and mentioned in the auction about the DH style bows.Thats a really good looking baleen bow right there very nice lamination job.
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Wade Phillips » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:20 pm

Doc -

I undoubtedly missed seeing the auctions that you are referring to.

Like so many other things, a guy just can not see everything on eBay.

And even if a guy did see everything, you wouldn't necessarily understand what you are really looking at in every auction.

Too much stuff and too little time to learn it all.
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Rick P » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:24 am

Mr Phillips

You and I have a mutual friend in Anchorage, next time your up to see him make sure you give me a shout.

I have been considering building a baleen backed bow for some years now but I can't get a strait answer as to the legality of a white boy working with baleen. One agency says go for it another says natives only period.
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Rick P » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:06 pm

OK this is just bizarre I just got off the phone with my friend in Nuiqsut. He is sending me two 3 foot tip sections of baleen and one 6 foot section. He wants a longbow backed with it and we are gifting the baleen and bow to each other, that way we avoid any potential legal issues, he gets a new bow and I get to work with a material I would otherwise not have an opportunity to experience. He is thinking a 62 inch slightly re flexed one piece bow in the 50-60 pound range......I'm thinking its time to use some of my whale bone as tip overlays! :D I'd be happy to post pics if you guys would like.


BTW Bowheads are the only baleen whales still hunted in north America but far from our only baleen whales. Humpbacks, Wright and blue whales also have baleen. Baleen's most wide spread use was in corsets, the whale bone staves are actually baleen. I have some Mutuk in the fridge if anyone's planning on visiting Alaska soon. Stop by and we'll have an Eskimo lunch, muktuk, caribou and arctic sysco all raw and half frozen.............don't worry I have friends who are hardcore sushi fans who wont eat any of that either! :rolf:
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby bowhunterfrompast » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:35 pm

Rick P...I think that would be an interesting build-a-long to watch. Glad you have the chance to work with baleen, and thanks for the info. I'm not much on sushi, but thanks for the offer :rolf:
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Re: Old Baleen Backed T/D, Self Yew, Static Tip

Postby Wild Monk » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:10 am

OK guys, don't know if anyone's going to read this but I stumbled onto this article trying to research baleen, and was surprised to find a number of similarities with a bow I have and the one this one. In fact has anyone ever heard of metal nocks on a longbow, and if they have, ones that screw on (and off I might add) because that's what I've got. Here's proof:
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Metal nock
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