I made a mistake. In a previous post (Measuring Up) I made the following statement regarding measuring your bow’s draw weight without having a draw weight scale:

“If you want an actual measurement of your draw weight rather than an estimate, you need a stiff stick, at least 3 feet/1 meter long, with a notch in one end. From the bottom of the notch measure down the stick and place a mark at X˝, X being your draw length measurement but without the 1.75˝ extra. The stick is then stood on its end on a bathroom scale and the bow placed upon it with the string (where the arrows attach) in the groove and the riser hanging down. You then press down on the riser until the arrow rest hole/pressure button is even with mark on the stick and read the scale. Then subtract the weight of the bow on the scale all by itself. Of course, this is no more accurate than your bathroom scale, but it is something.”

The wrong part was “Then subtract the weight of the bow on the scale all by itself.”

This is not correct. The bow doesn’t know the source(s) of the forces drawing it. In this procedure, there are two forces: gravity and you pushing down on the riser. Both of these forces cause the bow to be drawn. If you just think of the bow just hanging on the end of the stick, the force of gravity is causing the bowstring to be bent a little, no? Yes. And so there is no reason to subtract the force (weight is a force) of the bow from this measurement, because gravity is causing part of the draw.

Interestingly I found two versions of this post: one with this statement and one without. Apparently I had corrected my error before but because I save everything obsessively, I had the two versions filed away under the same title. I remember a somewhat extensive debate about whether to subtract the weight of the bow or not when doing this procedure, but I don’t remember the details of those discussions. I do remember the confusion the generated.

I feel like the actress who was forced to say “My daughter and I are often confused” in a commercial for a dish soap (because their hands looked so much alike). The intent was to say “my daughter and I are often confused, one for the other, because our hands look so much alike” but came out as “my daughter and I are often befuddled.” Of course, the advertisers love such confusion as it gets their product mentioned in numerous discussions.

Like the woman in the commercial, I am often confused.

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