Lee Ankers of Heritage Longbows. Although an archer for some time ( and a longbow archer of some note at that) he is a relative newcomer to the black art of Longbow making, you will find a review of at least one of his bows amongst the reviews and we are looking forward to reviewing a couple more in the near future - we managed to get him to take 10 minutes from his busy schedule to find out a little more about him........
1. How long have you been involved in Archery and how did you get started?
I started archery just under 4 years ago after seeing a come and have a go day at the local school with "Chase Archers". I had a fibreglass bow when I was about 10 and got quite good with it but when the arrows broke I had nowhere to get anymore so the bow just stood in the shed for the next 25 years.
2. When did you make your first bow and what was the result?
I made my first bow in July 2009, a self ash bow. I had done a lot of research in Bowyery before I had a go and being a joiner for the last 25 years I thought I could do a good job. I didnt fit horn nocks at first, then shot a Portsmouth round at the club and beat the county record. I was then told it didnt count, so I went back to work, fitted some horn nocks, went back the following day and beat it again!
3. What's the one tool in your workshop which you couldn't do without?
I would say that the one tool I couldnt do without would be the cabinet scraper. You can still make a bow with this 1 tool and get a good finish with it, ok it would take you a lot longer but you could do it.
4. What materials do you enjoy using the most ?
The materials I enjoy using most are Bamboo (for the way you have to process it to use it), Purpleheart ( for the satisfaction of watching it change colour) and Ipe (Cos I love the smell when you work it)
5. What is it about your bows or the way you make bows that sets you apart from other bowyers ?
I like my bows to bend full compass, my arrow pass is in the centre of the bow so in theory you can shoot it upside down and it will still shoot the same. I dont have any training as such in making bows but I have been told now by many customers that my bows are very good. All through my career I have worked with my hands and only have to be shown once how to do something and I can do it, so I suppose that gives me an advantage.
6. Do you still have time to shoot ?
Of course! I shoot 4 to 5 times a week. They will have to bury me with my bow! I live and breathe archery.
7. What’s the best shot you ever made ?
I suppose that would be the shooting the first three arrows at an 18m 3 spot target, hitting 3 tens, after shooting 528 (a new PB) on a Portsmouth.
8. How many bows do you make a year ?
I make around 200 bows a year
9. What’s the spec on your personal bow of the moment ALSO…….What’s the spec on the arrows you shoot ?. Wood- (POC, Sitka, Pine, other ?)/Carbon/Ally, total weight, fletch size, point weight… etc the full spec.
The bow I shoot at the moment indoors is hickory/maple/bamboo/pao amerillo/purpleheart 40# @28"
Arrows are 11/32 POC full length painted black, 5" purple flecthes bound with red linnen and plastic nocks, 100gn brass screw on points.
I havent bothered weighed them individually as they all shoot and group nicely.
Archers Review is dedicated to carrying on the great tradition of sharing archery knowledge, in many ways we are still re-discovering the skills of our forefathers, unlike just about any other competitive sport, in archery the learning never stops, as we grow as archers the enjoyment increases, so we invite you to share with us all the skills, tips and hints that will help us all to be the best archer we can be.
If you have something to add feel free to mail in your articles, it can be on any aspect of archery from training to bow set up, a quick hunting tip or a specific archery question you would like to know the answer to, someone somewhere will have an answer for you.