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Rambo Last Blood - Uncertain Feelings

September 12th 2019.

Back in May 2019 the trailer for Rambo Last Blood came out and at the time I was excited. Now, 4 months later, and 8 days until the film is released in theatres on September 20th, I am less excited.

I am not even sure if I will even bother to see it in the theatre. Might just wait until it comes out on Netflix/etc.



Now I admit I love the whole Rambo and Rocky franchises.

But I dunno. Something about this newest offering... feels off. I am sure I will watch it regardless, but spending $$ on a film that feels off and gives me feelings of uncertainty... I just don't know.

Maybe I need to read the reviews. (Except in my experience film reviewers suck and I often disagree with them, and therefore they cannot be trusted.)

As films go one of the draws for me is that the movie has archery in it...

Except there has been other recent films which contained archery that I refused to go see too.

eg. The 2018 film "Robin Hood" which had the main character doing backflips, parkour and shooting a horsebow.

It looks nice in the trailer, but the lack of realism in archery always annoys me.

What Do I Look For In An Archery Film?

#1. Gritty Realism.

Think Die Hard. The hero should get injured often. Glass in his feet, beat up and bruised. The whole shebang.

#2. Realistic Archery.

Any real archer watching movies these days will often have a long list of complaints about the lack of realism in the film.

#3. A Good Plot.

An easy to follow plot with only a few twists to make it interesting. Too many twists and weirdness and the plot becomes derailed with too many plot holes.

#4. The Film Should Stand On Its Own

Do you know what makes the first Matrix film so good? It stands on its own. It doesn't require sequels. Same with Die Hard. Stands on its own. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark... stands on its own. You could potentially never watch another Matrix, Die Hard or Indiana Jones film after watching the first one, and you would still think the first films in their franchises were great films because they simply are. The film makers didn't set out to make a franchise. That happened by accident.

Take a film like Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. Awesome film. My personal favourite of all the Robin Hood films. Worthy of a sequel, but they never made one. It stands on its own as a great film.

#5. A Good Lead Actor.

Fat Russell Crowe? Bad actor. I wish he could be banned from acting entirely.

Taron Egerton? I find him annoying. He should be relegated to B movies.

Kevin Costner? Great actor. I enjoy every film he is in.

Errol Flynn? The original Robin Hood from 1938. I admit I haven't seen him in many films, but those I have seen have been very good.


And I am not alone, clearly as the last two flops show.

The last two big budget Robin Hood films, Russell Crowe in 2010 and Taron Egerton (2018) were both HUGE flops. The 2010 film managed to double its production budget in profits, which means it basically lost money by overspending on advertising. The 2018 film only earned back 84% of its production budget, which meant its advertising budget and 16% of its production costs was all flushed down the drain.



To find a Robin Hood film that actually does well at the box office you have to go back to 1991 - 28 years ago:

Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.

It did so well at the box office it made back its production budget times 8.

And it led to a toy line which sold successfully.

You can go on eBay today and search for 'robin hood prince of thieves toys' and find a robust bidding market of 279 action figures for sale.

Why? Because it was a popular film back in 1991. Still popular today.

Also trust me when I say nobody wants an action figure of Fat Russell Crowe.


So what about Rambo Last Blood ?

Well, the film should qualify for 3 or 4 of the 5 bits of criteria I consider for a good archery film. Gritty, realistic archery and a good lead actor. Whether it has a good plot or can stand on its own is a matter of debate.

I don't know. I don't want to completely pass judgement on a film I haven't even seen yet.

Even if it only has a half decent plot and manages to half decently stand on its own that would make it a 4 star film in my book.

Or maybe it does both well, in which case it deserves 5 stars. I won't know until I watch it.

So maybe I will go see it in the theatre after all. We shall see.

How to use an Airlock for Fermentation

As a follow up to my post about fermenting ginger beer and making a ginger bug I thought I should include a post about how to use an airlock.

Or rather post a video about it since someone on youtube (Matt Williams) conveniently has a video on this topic. So kudos to him.



Fermented Ginger Beer Recipe

To make fermented ginger beer you first need to learn how to make a ginger bug, aka, a ginger beer fermentation bug. It isn't complicated, and it is so simple you could do it in the kitchen, in the garage, or while living in a cabin up north.

Makes for a fun DIY project.


Ginger Beer Fermentation Bug

500 ml filtered water
2 heaping tablespoons sugar (roughly 4 tablespoons)
2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped ginger (roughly 4 tablespoons)

Stir in a glass or plastic container - DO NOT USE A METAL CONTAINER!

Cover the container with a cloth (eg. cheese cloth) for 24 hours and let it sit.

Add 1 heaping tablespoon ginger and 1 heaping tablespoon sugar every day for 2-3 days until bubbly.

Label and Date your Ginger Bug container so you know when you started it. The ginger bug doesn't stay good forever so once it is ready to use you should try to use it up by fermenting Ginger Beer (or other fermented drinks) as soon as possible. You can sometimes keep it for awhile, but keep in mind it will eventually go bad so it is best to try and use it sooner rather than later.

Or alternatively, if you really want to keep your Ginger Bug alive just continue to feed it daily the same amount of sugar and ginger. it may still go bad (like eventually...), but if you keep feeding it then it will prolong the lifespan of the ginger bug. Getting too full? Transfer half of it to a 2nd container. Now you have 2 ginger bugs. You could keep them both or give one to a friend who is also into fermenting drinks.

Note - Now that you have a Ginger Bug you can ferment other things too. Apple juice, grape juice, peach juice, almost any kind of juice. Certain things like Coca-Cola cannot be fermented because it is too acidic.


Ginger Beer Recipe

2 quarts of water
1.33 cups sugar
0.25 cup grated ginger

Pour water, sugar and grated ginger into large pot. Boil contents and let simmer for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool naturally.

When the contents reach room temperature (takes about an hour or more) strain the contents into a bowl to remove the large chunks of ginger.

Add 0.5 cup of Ginger Bug (also strained).

Add 3 lemons worth of lemon juice. Squeeze them good.

Pour contents of bowl into bottles. Leave 2-4 inches of headroom in the bottle to prevent it from bursting.

Stopper the bottles. Leave the bottles out in room temperature to ferment for 3-6 days, until they are good and fizzy.

If using a pressure stopper you can let them sit for the full 3-6 days, but if you are using other kinds of stoppers (eg. flip top bottles) you will need to "burp" them once per day so that the pressure doesn't build up until they explode. Remember to burp them above a bowl or sink.

Do not store flip top bottles near windows or glass. If they fly open they can also fly off and break things.

Open above a sink or bowl, because it will likely be really fizzy the first time it is opened and may overflow.

After the 3-6 days has elapsed store your fermented ginger beer in a cold fridge to kill the yeast. After a day you can now drink at your leisure.

Crossbow Restringing

Last year someone contacted me looking for repairs for both a compound bow and a crossbow. After a few emails back and forth I determined there wasn't anything actually broken about the compound bow and crossbow, they were just looking for new strings and to have them restrung.

So here was my reply:

Hey B!

So you just need to have both of them restrung? Nothing else wrong with them?

I am going to save you some money then. You don't need to be talking to me at all. Instead I recommend you making a visit to Ballistic Bowstrings in Angus.

Their place is about 50 minutes north of Vaughan. They used to be in Bradford which was closer, but they moved back in March 2018. I recommend making an appointment.

  • Address: 8954 MCKINNON RD, ANGUS ON   L0M 1B4
  • Phone: (905) 775-4416

They can set you up with new custom strings for both your compound and your crossbow.

I get all of my strings from them, so even if it was me installing the strings for you, it is really them who is making the strings. So you might as well cut out the middle man (me, in this case).

You can check out their website at: http://www.ballisticbowstrings.com/

It is possible to just order online and have delivered, but the last person I recommended to them went there in person and they strung his crossbow for him, and being there in person means they can double-check to make sure it fits properly. So going there in person has its advantages. You can read about his experience at: http://www.projectgridless.ca/2018/04/crossbow-bowstrings-and-how-to-replace.html

I do know two people local here in Toronto who also makes strings, but they only make bowstrings for longbows and recurves. They don't make any for compounds or crossbows.

Please let me know how it goes. It is handy to get feedback from people.

Have a nice day!

For Sale - Traditional Hickory Longbow

FOR SALE

35-40 lb Traditional Hickory Longbow - $180

Design wise it is a Eastern Woodlands Flatbow, a style of bow popular amongst Native Americans on the East Coast.

Bow and bowstring in mint condition.

Inquiries from Toronto, Canada welcome. I am selling it locally. I have no interest in shipping it.

Note

I am selling this bow and possibly several other bows, including a vintage longbow from 1952, because my wife won't let me buy any new bows until I sell some of the bows I don't use that often. And since I don't use this bow that often, or the vintage bow from 1952, I have decided to sell them both to make room for new bows on my wall rack.

The 1952 bow is a black "Roy Rogers" collectible longbow for children. It really is meant for a kid who is between 5 to 10 years old. I am selling it for $100. No photos yet. That is on my To Do List for later.








Homemade Crossbow with Decorative Leather


 Above and below are photos of a homemade crossbow which were posted on Facebook (I don't know who the original creator was). What is interesting however is how they used decorative leather on the crossbow limbs and also on the foot stirrup.

I also really liked trigger, as it looks like it was handforged out of iron. Altogether this is awesome looking crossbow. Just look at the stitching on the leather!



The Homemade Stemmler Crossbow, Part I

Stemmler Logo
A few years ago I found a broken Stemmler recurve bow in the garbage at the Toronto Archery Range.

At the time I decided it was worth salvaging. Possibly to repair it or turn it into something else.

Years later, I am currently working on a new project to turn the old broken Stemmler recurve bow into a homemade crossbow. Hence the title: The Homemade Stemmler Crossbow.

Part I. It is going to take multiple posts to cover this story. Subscribe to Project Gridless if you want updates for when more posts on this subject appear. I will likely do a video of the finished crossbow too, so you can also subscribe to Project Gridless on YouTube.

My goal is to make it into a folding crossbow, so the limbs can unlocked from their position and be folded towards the stock for easy transport. It won't be very powerful (the original limbs were 45 lbs) and I am using part of the working limbs to attach it to the stock, so I am losing about one fifth of the working limbs. When it is eventually a crossbow it will also be losing a good chunk of its draw distance, so I am expecting the final crossbow to only have a draw weight of 25 lbs - which means it will effectively be a toy crossbow.

But whatever. I am having fun enjoying my winter working on this project. When I am done I will have a "Stemmler Crossbow" and have turned a piece of garbage into a working crossbow.

Below you can see the two broken pieces of the Stemmler, and see where the upper limb snapped off from the previous owner. Was it old? Did the previous owner overdraw it? Who knows. We shall see what happens.



Using a saw, I trimmed the broken limb for a smoother edge. I then measured it compared to the other limb and cut it in the same location, so both limbs are now the same length.


I still need to epoxy part of the broken limb as part of it has delaminated.

I will also need to reinforce part of the working limbs, as putting pressure on that section without reinforcement could cause it to snap again. So the section of the working limb where it will be attached to the crossbow stock needs to be reinforced - I am thinking of using oak, and I am thinking I should reinforce both the front and back.

Once that is done I need to drill holes for bolting it to a mechanism for attaching to the crossbow. The mechanism needs to be able to be locked into position, and to be able to be easily unlocked. So I need to research possible designs. I am currently thinking of using a steel deadbolt approach.

I have a stock I was making for a different crossbow I could use. But I am also thinking maybe I should make a new stock just for this project, and use a different style of trigger mechanism this time around. Previously I have used a drop-pin mechanism, but now I am thinking I should try using a Roman-style rolling trigger.

If I do make a new stock, I think I will make this stock wider than last time by laminating two pieces of oak together. It will be more comfortable to shape the handle and stock.

I could also in theory use a spring-loaded trigger, but I worry the spring would not be strong enough. Plus springs get weaker over time, and I would prefer a mechanism that doesn't need a replacement spring years later.

I am thinking I will use a steel stirrup this time around, for faster reloading - and it will double as a bipod for more accurate shooting. I also want it to fold for easy transport too.

Brass sights. Yup. I wanna make a brass sight for this one. Should be fun. V-shaped sights.

Note

Yes, what you are reading above is basically a To Do List / Checklist for my own personal use. I find this is useful during the design process so I can plan out each stage of a project. Helps get it done faster by creating goals I can set and then do.

Crossbow Bowstrings

Question

"Crossbow Repair"
I need a new string replacement please call or text me at [phone number removed for privacy reasons].

Thanks
Lance 


Answer

Hello Lance!

I don't make crossbow strings, but I do know who does.

Go to Ballistic Bowstrings in Angus, Ontario.
http://www.ballisticbowstrings.com/

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
ProjectGridless.ca
Follow Up Email
Thank you!
Lance


Notes
So yes... I don't make crossbow strings for clients. But people keep contacting me asking me this same question or similar question.

Examples:
  • People looking for crossbow strings.
  • People looking for crossbow replacement parts.
  • People looking for crossbow repairs.
So yes, I do make my own crossbows - and I do repair compound bows. But I currently am not in the business of repairing crossbows. (And yes, there is a difference between crossbows and compound bows... and compound crossbows.)

And I do make my own crossbow strings, for my own private use. I do not sell them. Ever.
I also make / repair my own bowstrings, but I do not sell bow strings either.
So whenever people come asking for bowstrings (for regular bows or crossbows or compound bows) I always point them to Ballistic Bowstrings. For the following reasons.
  1. They make excellent bowstrings.
  2. They make all types of bowstrings. Regular, compound, crossbow. Custom jobs.
  3. Their prices are reasonable. Not cheap, but not expensive either.
  4. They are right here in Ontario. Not far from Toronto. And I prefer to support local craftsmen.

Regarding crossbow replacement parts...

I do buy old compound bows and take them apart for their parts. Typically I offer $15 to $25 for your old junker compound just so I can strip it for parts.

I am not *currently* in the business of buying / selling crossbows or their parts. Not yet at least. This might change in the future. But for now, just assume that I don't have any crossbow parts at all.

Regarding crossbow repairs...

I am not currently in the business of repairing crossbows either. I can restring a crossbow if need be, but I don't currently do any other kind of crossbow repair. I am focusing solely on compound bows. Not crossbows.

How do I know if my crossbow or compound bow is a junker?

Honestly, here is how you know:
Try to sell it.
If the only offers you receive are people interested in buying it for the parts, or if you receive zero offers period, that means it is not worth repairing and is essentially junk. At which point it really should just be sold for parts.

So if it is a compound bow, let me know and I can make you an offer.

If it is a crossbow, I am currently not interested. Maybe in 2020 I might change my mind and get into the business of repairing crossbows / buying junker crossbows for parts, but at present... nope. Not interested.
Also to anyone thinking their old junker is worth more than $25... nope. It isn't. Old junker compounds are basically a dime a dozen. And they are buyer beware too, as they are used and could have unforeseen problems. Getting $15 to $25 for your garbage is generous as I don't even use most of the parts. Most of them end up in a box, unused.


In other news...

I am currently working on a new project to turn an old broken Stemmler recurve bow into a homemade crossbow. My goal is to make it into a folding crossbow, so the limbs can be folded towards the stock for easy transport. It won't be very powerful (the original limbs were 45 lbs) and I am using part of the working limbs to attach it to the stock, so I am losing about one fifth of the working limbs. When it is a crossbow it will also be losing a good chunk of its draw distance, so I am expecting the final crossbow to only have a draw weight of 25 lbs - which means it will effectively be a toy crossbow.

But whatever. I am having fun enjoying my winter working on this project. When I am done I will have a "Stemmler Crossbow" and have turned a piece of garbage into a working crossbow.

Happy Shooting!

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