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Author Topic: Russell Willcox Duoflex  (Read 166 times)

Offline SELFBOW19953

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Russell Willcox Duoflex
« on: August 05, 2009, 08:53:00 AM »
What is a "duoflex" bow?  How does it work?  Did Mr. Willcox have any other innovations?  Only found referecne to him on the web, it was in German.
SELFBOW19953
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"Somehow, I feel that arrows made of wood are more in keeping with the spirit of old-time archery and require more of the archer himself than a more modern arrow."  Howard Hill from "Hunting The Hard Way"

Offline Tom Phillips

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Re: Russell Willcox Duoflex
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2009, 09:09:00 AM »
Russ Willcox lived about 25 minutes from my town.He is mentioned with pictures in TARGET ARCHERY by Elmer.I happen to have a copy of his trasnscripts from never published book.
 I have had several of his bows and know where is is several more if you might be interested in one.They are a scarce item.

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Offline Tox Collector

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Re: Russell Willcox Duoflex
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2009, 10:50:00 AM »
I met Russ several times many years ago.  I also saw him put on a demonstration of shooting with a thumb ring at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA in the 1960's.  He was incredibly accurate.  

I was a member of the Central Berkshire Bowmen [now defunct] out of Pittsfield, MA at that time, and I remember that he was the guy out of South County [Berkshire] who usually posted the top score in local tournaments.

At one point, he offered to make a bow for me, but at that time I was into Bear bows and turned him down.  I often regret my decision.  I have a copy of the same typescript that Tom mentions above.  It is an interesting read.  

He had a small collection of archery titles, and I remember that he told me that he had loaned out a copy of "Arab Archery" by Faris and Elmer to a fellow archer and that the borrower had never returned it.  

His bows were very popular in Europe from what I understand.

I remember another of his inventions which was "Russ's Rump Seat" for hunting.  It was a like a small hammock which could be secured around a tree limb for sitting on while hunting.

He also made minature furniture [all the drawers, for example, worked].  He could make most anything working with wood.

Actually, as Tom Phillips mentions, Elmer mentioned Willcox many times in his book "Target Archery".  Photos are found on pps. 240, 241, and 272.  On pp. 244, Elmer, referring to the duoflex bow, notes that "Russ has made bows for more than twenty years and this is his masterpiece: a credit to himself and all American bowyery."  He noted that the duoflex is the invention and product of Russ Willcox.  

He also stated that his own duoflex bow weighed 37 pounds, and he could hold on the gold or slightly below the gold at 100 yards.  He states that "the limbs are curved somewhat like the diacritical mark [a "?" mark lying slightly backward] whence the name of duoflex".  Elmer goes into an explanation of how a duoflex bow works on pp. 240, etc.

I heard the story that Dr. Elmer was on his way to an archery tournament in Deerfield, MA [could have been an Eastern Archery Tournament or an NAA tournament] and happened to encounter Russ Willcox shooting his bow somewhere around So. Egremont, MA.  Russ lived in So. Egremont, and his family had owned the general store in town for a number of years.  

He was impressed with Russ and his archery tackle and asked Russ if he wanted to go with him to Deerfield.  Russ said "sure" -- grabbed a few things and off he went.  Tom may have heard this story also.

Tox Collector
"...the volumes of an archer's library are the doors to the most varied scenes and the most engaging company."  C. J. Longman, Archery, The Badminton Library, 1894

Offline Tox Collector

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Re: Russell Willcox Duoflex
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2009, 02:57:00 PM »
As an additional comment, my understanding is that Russ also functioned as a bowyer for Colt Archery in Hartford, CT when Colt manufactured archery equipment for a brief period.  However, Russ's idea of custom making each bow versus producing them by machine didn't mesh.  Consequently, Russ didn't remain with Colt very long.  I actually have a Colt bow stabilizer stamped with the Colt logo.

One of the photos in Elmer's "Target Archery" shows Russ using a "bendmeter" to shape the bow he was working on.  I have tried to obtain a bendmeter but have been unsuccessful.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Wade Phillips has one.

Russ Willcox also wrote several articles on archery for "The Archers' Magazine".  One of his articles was on "The Duoflex Bow" and provides a history of this design since 1941.

Tox Collector
"...the volumes of an archer's library are the doors to the most varied scenes and the most engaging company."  C. J. Longman, Archery, The Badminton Library, 1894

Online hardbern

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Re: Russell Willcox Duoflex
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 09:49:58 AM »
Very old thread, but easier to try asking a question in the context of it ....

Tom Phillips & Tox Collector refer to the "transcripts of his never published book" - where did these come from?
I have a copy too, which refers to figures/pictures - that I don't have.
Do you have the figures/pictures?

Offline Steelhead

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Re: Russell Willcox Duoflex
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 12:56:53 AM »
Dave Coffey of Javaman bows made a recurve called the duoflex and may still be making it?Not sure though?

I did buy an all wood and bamboo duoflex from Javaman many years ago.No glass.I assumed it was modeled after the duoflex bow discussed in this thread.He later produced it as a glass bow.

It was a great shooting bow and I thoroughly enjoyed it before I moved it on.

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