An upward tug with the chain hoist quickly finds the limit of all the easy stretch in our “low stretch”, Dacron tension band.

Some equally inauthentic Nylon serves to form a pair of  spreaders that will redirect the force vectors acting on the limb.

These spreaders could probably be made from hard white oak, the grain crosswise to the axis of the limb to help counter splitting. However, our purpose here is only to test the principle of  a vectored tension band, and at this stage I don’t want even the remotest chance the spreaders will self destruct.  Progress is aided by the careful excision of potential hassles.

Also, just visible in that last photo are shallow scallops cut into the tops of the spreaders.  These depressions will receive sturdy bindings that will anchor the  spreaders and tension bands down onto the ash limbs.  It is imagined that this arrangement will sufficiently stiffen the limb that the 1/4 lb. weight invested in each spreader assembly will be paid back several times over by allowing the limb to explore higher poundage draw weights in greater security.

It is more important to test the principles that are at stake here than to get lost in making sure all the materials used are strictly authentic.  Once we get her ticking,  it is likely we can reverse engineer the better designs back into period correct materials.   This is all part of the process.

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