Month: October 2015

Quest for a World Archery Field Setup

24th Oct HazeIt’s been hazy days for more than 2 months now and really bad for outdoor workouts. On the left is a situation report photo from Ex-Machina, taken last Saturday, 24th October. It was so hazy, smoke thick in the air, that the POL-ITE (Polytechnics – Institute of Technology) archery competition (Queenstown Stadium) was cancelled until further notice. Poor kids must have been disappointed after training so hard for the event. We are all hoping that the peat fires in Indonesia will stop soon and clear skies, fresh air return once more.

Meanwhile, our Eagles have been investing time towards a vision for a World Archery Field format shoot. Given our scarcity of space, we have thought it possible to stage 6-7 lanes with 12-14 targets. This is a concept which was circulated around after our Princess Cup outing and now gaining momentum.

WA Field Setup

Target Board TypesThankfully, we have our Club President’s support and 3 bays of our range have been set aside for achieving this dream. We have room to lay out 6 lanes with 12 targets for a modified World Archery Field Shoot. So our Eagles have been hard at work to achieve this aim.


PVC StandDark Knight kicked off first and experimented with PVC pipes for a cost effective frame. It was good but the 1″ pipes, while capable of holding up a 1.2m x 1.2m board, felt a might too unsteady when it came to pulling out arrows. This frame stayed up for a couple of weeks before he worked again on the low target boards, using recycled 2″ x 1″ wood sections. It turned out pretty cool. Dark Knight even glued together some old foam to see how it stood up to real shooting.

After that, our Ex-Machina got fired up and worked on a collapsible design. It is so well finished that it can go into any of our living rooms. Using 2″x2″ sections, the frame is robust and the edges finely smoothened with a router. It can be 2 x 2 standfolded nicely for compact storage. However, cost control concerns soon took over. Together with Dark Knight, they worked to piece together a frame using only 2″ x 1 ” sections, which does the job, is lighter and much easier to move around.

2 x 1 standIn the meantime, our field archery target papers have arrived i.e. 20cm triple face, 40cm, 60cm and 80cm single faces…. the yellow centre with black rings stuff that are rarely (if ever) see in Singapore.  We test shot these targets through the haze last weekend. There are some optical differences between these and the standard 10 ring, 5-colour targets. Firstly, the gold is more outstanding by contrast. Secondly, the 20cm targets give the illusion of being smaller!

We’d like to extend a big WA Field Tgt Paper“Thank-you” to Ex-Machina and Dark Knight for their selfless contributions. They are hoping to have the rest of the target frames completed soon while the rest of us will be raiding the target foam stockpile to make sizes that we need…..  Other Eagles have been experimenting with different foam materials for target boards but have not had any success. Looks like the purpose made stuff is still the better deal!! Stay tuned for our next update on this Eagles’ project.

Update 11th November 2015

All the frames are done! We are only short of 3 target boards now. Really, EXM and Dark Knight Flint Round Boards_Smalldeserve kudos ad infinitum. Last weekend, some of our ever eager Eagles tried out the almost completed works to a Flint Round.  Conclusion? It’s tough! Here you see Dark Knight, EXM, Kat and Decrepit walking back from the target boards …… a bit dejectedly but ever determined to give it another go!

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Bow Weight Screw Leads to Master Tradesman

Gillo Screw (640x488)I lost a screw from my Gillo G1 riser bow weight, a rather small and uncommon mushroom head hex key screw that you will not find in your normal hardware shop. Our techie, Ex Machina was nice enough to try and find me some but they were too long. Hence, I anxiously searched the internet and found a local screw stockist called Pan Sun Hardware,  located at Block 803 King George’s Avenue.  This excursion to look for a tiny screw warrants a telling.

King George’s Avenue has an old world 1960s – 70s feel about it, a fast disappearing facet of post independence Singapore. I had brought my riser along to the shop and eyed one of the attendants behind the counter who just finished talking to another customer. After getting his attention, I unsleeved my riser and pointed to the screw that I needed….. with an economical “Do you have this?”. This guy nonchalantly asked me to remove the screw so that he could have a closer look. What happened after that is what I would call an amazing experience.

He held the screw head between his right hand thumb and index finger, then twirled the treaded end on his left thumb – eyes half closed with a distant and meditative look. I thought – “Oh my, he seems to be feel-measuring the screw without any tools… no calipers!” Quietly he asked, “Same length?” I nodded in the affirmative.

He put down the screw and walked into one of the rows of shelves at the back of the store, columns and columns of trays stacked neatly to the ceiling. There must be hundreds of small trays. He stopped near the front, reached out above his head and proceeded to pull out one of the trays, hesitating for a moment before removing it from the shelf. He brought the tray towards the counter and fingered the screws in there before picking one out to hand to me. “Try this”, he said. It looked right to me the moment he passed the object over and I popped it into the riser weight, giving it a few turns to lock with a tiny hex key. It fitted perfectly and looked indiscernible from the “original” screws.

I beamed at him and he was smiling too. “How many?” he asked. I only needed one but hell, “Eight”, I said and then “How much?” $3.20!” came the quick reply. I stood there silently for while, taking in what I had just seen this fellow do. “Why don’t I take 10 pieces then, easier for both of us.” A smile of acknowledgement then, “$4!”. He quietly packed 10 screws into a little plastic packet, stapled it securely before handing it to me. I paid, nodded and left….. reflecting. The transaction was over in less than 5 minutes.

I had just witnessed a Master of his Craft. No computer, no referencing of the catalogue, no checking of the stock level, no measuring instrument to check for or verify the size. Everything he did was carried out with economy, internalized and intuitive. He had everything mapped within his mind and perhaps his soul. What a marvelous tradesmen………..  now he reminds me of the mechanic who was described in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. A happy day, yet a sad day for me because such artists are rarely made and soon, perhaps never.

Bow Hand Stuff

Hi there!
Have you ever wondered why your shots sometimes go left, right, high, or low of your aiming point?
One method I propose is always to use a light weight bow, then try out the following :-

1.  Shoot some ends until warmed up, at about 10-18m.  You should be able to shoot at a distance that you can group your arrows within a 2-inch diameter.
2.  Next, shoot 3 arrows to confirm you are grouping, then shoot 2 arrows each:-

With your bowhand, at the point of release, apply pressure to the bow at

(i) the base of your index finger,

(ii) side of your thumb,

(iii) at the heel of your palm, and

(iv) at the web between your index and thumb.

Notice that at the point of release, the pressure exerted will influence/dictate the final point where the arrow lands.
One way to reduce this bias is to set up your riser grip with the objective of encouraging repeatability in your bow hand process/performance.
Of course, the best (I feel) method is to practise regularly so that eventually you can shoot any bow competently.

Bye for now!

Till the next time, may your arrows fly true!


Haze Advisory – 3/10/15 Shoot Postponed!

PSI 151001_2pm
PSI Chart from NEA website

The haze problem is not looking good! Our National Environment Agency expects the bad air to continue until November. Eagles may have noted that our PSI readings have oscillated between the Unhealthy to Hazardous levels.  Hence, we have decide to postpone this Month’s shoot until further notice.

However, we are sure some diehard archers will still be at the range this weekend! Please, please ……. clear skies come again!


It was a good thing we postponed the shoot off. The haze on 3rd October morning was horrid. Really don’t know when the bad air days will disappear. We have been warned that it will get worse before it gets better. The following photo by Ex Machina shows how bad it was last Saturday.

Haze Pic of 151003