Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Handicap Archery

Like golf, the handicapping system for archery allows less skilled archers to compete meaningfully with more skilled archers. A handicap, once established for a certain types of bow, the handicap can be used in all types of competitions with that bow type. The handicap number is simply added to shooter's raw score. If you compete with more than one bow type, you'll need to establish a separate handicap for each type.

Acquiring a Handicap

For a bowman to obtain a handicap, he must shoot and score a minimum of three recognized standard archery rounds. Once he provides all three score sheets, signed by a witnessing archer to his archery club or society's recording officer or secretary, the recording officer will calculate a handicap rating for each score with special archery handicapping software or by hand using official handicapping tables. The average handicap value of all three is totaled and averaged and then rounded up to the nearest whole number. This number will be your first handicap.

Improving Your Handicap

Your handicap will change over time as you submit new scores for rounds you have shot. Submit the new signed score sheets to the recording officer of your club and he will calculate your new handicap by adding the new score, if it's better than the old one, to the old handicap and averaging the two. The average of the two is then rounded up to the nearest whole number and that's your new handicap. If the new handicap is worse, your official handicap remains the same. The only way for your handicap to get worse is if your club does an annual review in which the official handicap is recalculated based on the average of your entire year's scores.

Calculating the Score

To actually calculate your handicap, you will need either archery handicapping software or a set of appropriate handicapping tables from your region's or country's archery authority. On the tables, look up your total score. Find your score in the score column of the handicapping tables . If you can't find your exact score, just select the next lower score. The handicap value for that score will be found at the side of the table. Your working handicap will then be the average of the first three scores' handicaps. Your score is reviewed annually by your archery club's recording officer, but you must shoot at least 3 standard rounds that year for your handicap to be changed. The average of those three scores will be averaged with the old handicap to calculate the new handicap.

Keeping Score

There are a variety of on-line score sheet generators available through local and national archery associations like the National Field Archery Association, the National. Archery Association, FITA and the National Crossbowmen of the USA. Each of these has local and state chapters you can join. Every country has its own national association which may or may not be affiliated with the International Archery Federation (FITA), the governing body which regulates Olympic archery competition. It is important to use a compatible score sheet when shooting handicapping rounds and to belong to a club that supports handicapping by maintaining proper records.

References and Resources
Double G Archery: Archery Clubs and Associations Links
Archery Handicap Calculator
Gentlemen and Lady Archers of Darlington: Competitions
Supermarine Bowmen: Information
Fuzilogic: Archery Associations
Frome Valley Archers: Competitions
FITA: International Archery Federation
USA Archery: National Archery Association
The National Crossbowmen of the USA, Inc.: USA Crossbow

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Simple Homemade Country Shelves

  My son and I built this set of country-style shelves for my wife one Christmas. It took us an afternoon to build it and a couple of days to stain and varnish it leaving time for the varnish to dry between coats. You don't need more than simple tools and a few basic carpentry skills.  Here are the tools you need:
  1. Circular Saw
  2. Saber Saw with furniture quality blade
  3. Drill
  4. Philips driver bit
  5. #6 pilot bit
  6. 1/8 inch drill bit
  7. 1/2 inch drill bit
  8. Tape measure
  9. Nail set
  10. Compass
  11. Router
  12. 1/4 inch quarter round router bit
Here are the materials you'll need:
  1. One 12 foot long 1x12
  2. Three 8 foot 1x12s
  3. One 8 foot 1x6
  4. Box of 1-1/4 inch #6 Philips screws
  5. Ten six inch 1x2s
  6. Glue
  7. Box 2 inch finish nails
  8. Wood filler
  9. Putty knife
  10. Multiple grades of sandpaper
Build the sides first.  Cut the 12 foot long 1x12 in half. Use the compass to round the top of each side. I put a heart shaped cutout and a little dip in the top of the arc as shown in the picture to the right. To cut the cutout, draw the shape you want. I used a heart shape, but you can use any shape you like. Drill a half inch hole inside the area you marked for your cutout shape. Slip the blade of the saber saw through the hole and cut out the shape.  Go around the outside edges of the sides and the inside edges of the cutout with the router. Then sand the faces and edges of the sides and the inside edges of the cutout.

Center the 1x2 shelf rests as shown.

Shelf Rests
Screw a series of 1x2x6 inch long boards to ask as shelf rests. This makes for a much sturdier shelf than simply screwing the ends into the sides.  Set the first pair on the inside of the side boards so they are centered with the bottoms resting on the floor. Drill a #6 pilot hole, but don't go through the sides - just enough into the side boards so the screws will grab.  Glue the shelf rests and screw them to the sides. Put the top of the next pair 18 inches above the first pair. Then, set the third, fourth and fifth pair 12 inches apart. Test fit shelves to make sure they are all level as shown in the picture of the shelf  face below.

Cut the shelves the length you want them. I made these 3-1/2 feet long. You can adjust the length, but if they are over 3-1/2 feet long you'll want to add more stiffeners behind the other shelves if you do (see below).
Set the shelves on top of the shelf rests. Apply glue to the top of the shelf rests and ends of the shelves. You can use bungee cords to hold the sides against the shelf while you fasten them in place. Tap finish nails into the shelf rests to hold them in place. Drill 1/8 inch pilot holes through the sides into the ends of the shelves. It will look like the picture to the right underneath each shelf.  Spread wood filler into the nail holes, level with the putty knife and let it dry.  Then sand the nail hole filler the shelves and all the flat surfaces and edges.  After the glue sets, lay the shelf on its back and route the top and bottom of the front sides of each shelf. Sand everything smooth.


Attach the stiffener to the back of the bottom shelf
Cut the 1x6 into two pieces matching the length of the shelves. Round the top edges with the router and nail one to the back of the bottom shelf as shown in the photo on the right and one to the back of the top row as shown below. Add a screw to each in the center into the edge of the back of the sideboard.


Note the position of the top stiffener board.
Use a wiping oil stain and good quality polyurethane varnish.  Do three to 5 coats of varnish. Allow each coat to cure for at least 4 hours and sand with fine sandpaper or steel wool between coats. 

You can use this anything anywhere. It's cute and even if it comes out a little rough, the oil stain gives it a rustic look that adds to the charm of the piece. My wife loves that little shelf, as much because my son and I built it.

© 2018 by Tom King

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dealing With Bullies and Their Parents

In the midst of economic collapse, Middle-Eastern uprisings and a budget struggle threatening to shut down the country, President Obama today gave us a speech about bullying.

It is ironic that the very atmosphere of political correctness fostered by the folk who put the President in office is responsible for the rampant rise of bullying in American schools.

Where I grew up, if you did something wrong, the neighbors hit the phones and your mama knew about it before you could get home.  If you got in trouble at school, you got in twice as much when you got home. If you committed a heinous act in front of an adult, that adult was very likely fully empowered by your Dad to bust your butt. Then, when Dad found out about it, he'd bust your butt and call his friend to thank him for popping you on his behalf.

We have passed through an era in which people have gradually become so afraid of being sued by parents or reported to child abuse authorities that grown adults are reduced to mere bystanders.  Hillary Clinton is fond of telling people it takes a village to raise a child. Unfortunately, the litigous nanny state we live in has handcuffed all the people in the village and turned loose the children unsupervised.

And children are notorious barbarians. Without supervision they adopt a "Lord of the Flies" tribal social structure in which bullies rule the roost. So how do you, as a concerned adult, do anything about the problem of child-thugs in your neighborhood, public parks, grocery stores or churches?

You follow the advice of the angels!

Whenever an angel appears, the first word it always says is, "Fear not!"

Providing guidance to children is a rough sport and not for the faint-hearted. You must show unflinching courage when facing a young hoodlum. They smell fear. Show none! When you observe a child bullying another, here's what to do:

  1. Approach the scene of the crime quickly, with a firm stride and confidence in your demeanor.
  2. Don't ask for permission. If the parent is nearby, don't make eye contact with them. Keep focused on the young miscreant.
  3. Firmly tell the child, "That's enough." Expect him to stop and give him (or her) your best steely-eye and usually, the shock will stop the behavior long enough for you to move between the bully and the intended victim. Do not raise your voice. Speak calmly and evenly. A calm person has great power, grasshopper. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth if you need to calm down.
  4. Describe the specific behavior you want stopped, even if it sounds vague as in, "Stop tormenting Tommy."  The more specific you are about what you saw, the better.
  5. Don't argue with the bully.  He will deny the behavior. Don't be surprised when he does. Whatever you do, don't let him draw you into an argument. If you allow him to challenge your version of the facts, you give him power over you.
  6. End the incident quickly. The best way is to explain to the bully that you WILL follow up by talking to his mother and father. They usually beat a hasty retreat at this point.
What you should do if the child's angry parent steps in?

I long ago quit asking parents if I could correct their kids. Usually, if I have to bark at one, the parents are more embarrassed than the kid. Also I'm large and have that teacher persona, so I seldom have a parent get in my face about it - not that it would do any good if they were to try. In the couple of incidences where a parent did take umbrage, I patiently explained to the parent, the full extent of the child's sin, explained exactly why I felt it necessary to intervene and assured them that I only intervened because I was not aware they were nearby and was certain they would never have condoned such behavior had they been fully aware of the problem.

Getting the parent involved in this fashion is one really great way to send home the misery to a child who is bullying his peers. The conversation at home typically begins with, "How could you embarrass me like that...."

If all the adults out there actually did subscriibe to the "It takes a village" philosophy, unruly kids wouldn't have anywhere to go to perpetrate their petty crimes. They would be confronted with corrective forces at every turn. Nothing trains a child better than living in an environment where every adult in the child's life subscribes to the 15 commandments.  You know the first ten. I've added five more as a kind of appendix for children.

     1. Thou shalt not sass thy Mama
     2. Thou shalt not run with scissors or other sharp objects.
     3. Thou shalt not go swimming for one hour after eating.
     4. Thou shalt not scratch thy private parts in public.
     5. And thou shalt not bully!

It's time adults in this country buck up and provide these young-uns some guidance. There's nothing to be afraid of. You cannot be sued for telling a child to behave himself. Just don't hit them or raise your voice and you'll be okay.


Friday, March 04, 2011

Easy Homemade Canoe, Kayak, Ladder and Lumber Rack for Your Pickup Truck

And it's removable......
© 2011 by Tom King

This thing will carry canoes, kayaks, ladders and lumber as advertised. It will also haul pipe or posts and gives you something to tie bottles of welding gas or oxygen to so that it doesn't fall over.  Here's what you need to build it.

4 pressure-treated 12 foot 2 by 6 boards
4 pressure-treated 8 foot 2 by 6 boards
Box of-3-1/2 inch long galvanized screws
8 half-inch carriage bolts, 4 inches long with nuts and lock washers
Carpet strips, 6 inches wide the width of the pickup bed
8 half inch lag bolts, 4 inches long
3/8 inch eye screws

2 spring clamps
Staple gun and 1-1/2 inch staples
Tape measure
Carpenter Speed Square
Bungee cords
Drill and drill bits
Circular saw
Ratcheting tie-down straps, 12+ feet long

How to Make It

First measure the inside dimensions of the pickup bed.  Measure the narrowest distances of the length and width of the inside of the bed so that final assembly can be lifted in and out of the truck bed. If the bed has wheel wells in it, the lower side boards will be mounted above them.

Cut four 2 x 6s the length of the bed and four the width of the bed. measure the height from the bed of the pickup to the top of the cab. Add 12 inches and cut 4 boards that length to act as uprights. Assemble the ends first.

Lay out two legs and clamp a 2 x 6 cross member (width of the bed) so the top edges are 4 inches below the top of the legs. Drill half inch holes and bolt the cross members in place with the carriage bolts, nuts toward the inside of the frame. Note the cross members will be oriented toward the inside of the bed.

Clamp the second cross member in place at the bottom of the legs and bolt it in place. Repeat with the other legs to make two rectangles.

Set the legs up with the cross members toward the inside of the truck bed. Clamp the long side boards to the sides of the legs at the top, even with the cross members.  Drill a half inch hole through the side boards into the ends of the cross member. Be careful not to drill into the carriage bolts. Lag bolt the side boards to the sides of the legs. 

Lag bolt the second side board to the side of the legs so the bottom of the board is a half inch higher than the top of the wheel well. Repeat on the opposite side.

Add screws at every joint to stiffen the frame and strengthen the attachment. Wrap carpet strips across the top of the cross members to pad the frame when carrying things. Staple the carpet strips at the bottom to hold them in place.

Drill and attach eye screws to the front and back of the end frames at the top to act as tie-downs. When you need to use it, simply lift the frame into the back of the truck, attach bungee cords or ratcheting tie-downs between the eye bolts and the truck bed to hold the frame in place. 

Now, you're ready go. It allows you to carry long or bulky things without them sticking out the back or resting on the cab. When you're done with it, you can get a helper, drop the tailgate and lift it out.  

It takes only a couple of hours to cut out and assemble the pieces.

© 2011 by Tom King

Chris Wheaton sent me a photograph of the rack he built from these plans.  As you can see from the picture, the frame is sturdy and leaves plenty of room underneath for paddles, life jackets, camping and fishing gear.  Thanks for sending these along, Chris.

Very solid work by Chris Wheaton 

Note the hooks on the inside of the legs for fishing poles and paddles.

Chris wrote this comment about his version of this wooden canoe/ladder rack shown above.

This thing is rock solid, I could probably park my truck on top of this thing to be honest. And I added in some hooks and whatnot, we use this to hang our gear after a day of smallie fishing. I bring it deer hunting too as we hang deer from it, just slide it to the end of the tailgate.  Could not be happier with it and was 1/10 of the price of a ladder rack and serves so many purposes.  Thanks again! - Chris

Scott sent me the pictures below with this note, "Thanks for the great plans.  Built this over Memorial Day weekend.  Very happy with the results - though it is HEAVY!  That's okay, I'd rather err on the side of over-built anyhow." 
Here's what his project looks like:
Scott screwed some eyebolts into the frame for holding his bungees.
In a pinch you could nest a couple of kayaks up there too.

Very nice work there, Scott. Thanks for sharing.  It certainly is not a light frame, but if you're hauling boats, you want everything to be solid - especially if you'll be using this around kids, which is where this came from. You could haul a couple of boats, tents and a ton of gear for a youth campout with this rig and the boats help keep the water off your gear if it rains.

Love the pictures guys. Thanks for sending them.  - Tom


Got this idea from Michael P. Nobrega in Otter River, MA:

Hi Tom,

Thanks again for the truck rack design; I had lots of fun building it this weekend for my new F-150.
I made a few design modifications in order to make it portable for one man to handle.

My design is a knock-apart system and it requires no tools to install or remove the rack.
The rack system consists of six pieces which can be effortlessly assembled/disassembled.
The front and rear frames are one-piece rectangular assemblies while the four side rails detach easily.
I used 1/2" threaded bar through the uprights with a nylon locknut/washer on the outboard side and a wingnut/lock washer on the inboard side.
I added 2" PVC pipe to the top of the front and rear frames to make loading and unloading a breeze. Just bore the pipe and screw with 3-1/2" exterior decking screws.

This system carried several construction staging planks without making a squeak!

See photos attached.

Warmest regards,

 Notice the padding on the top rails. They are easy to make with a good sharp knife and some of those open cell foam "noodles" the kids play with in the pool - just cut a channel in one and slip it over the edge of the board.

You can see how the wingnuts let you to remove the long boards leaving just the two end frames to lift in and out. It's quick with the wingnuts. You can store the whole thing against a wall in the garage and assemble it in minutes when you need it.

Here's a closeup of the wingnuts.  A long drill, but doable with a long bit.

 Here's the lower long support member wingnutted (is that even a word) into place.
- Great idea, Mike!

Here's a version built by Kevin Leroy Froese that maintains stability by raising the lower lengthwise supports above the wheel wells. Looks great! Kevin is using the rack to carry his fishing boat.

This past week Keith Taylor sent me pictures and a really excellent video of his own version of this same canoe rack. Keith added some metal brackets to his truck to hold the up rights and built the whole thing with 2x4's and lag bolts. It allows him room to load up his ATV under the rack with canoes on top. He adds some width to the crossmembers so that the rack will carry two canoes side by side. The whole thing can be disassembled for storage and reassembled for carrying the boats. Here's the very watchable video Keith sent me of his very clever adaptation.  Enjoy...

Lovely work, Keith.