Doing the grip, nocks and arrow plate now.
I glued a pad of leather over the grip area and then glued a block of Yew (from the same log) on top of that. Plenty of rasping is getting me down to a nice grip, not over sculptured as this is a primitive bow not a modern recurve...it still needs to be comfortable of course.
I may cover the grip with leather, but I like wood myself. 'Grip' is also a bit of a missnomer as you don't grip it, you hold it lightly (but without dropping it like some target archer who tried my Hazel bow did the other week did, without any hint of oppology...' you can see I'm a target archer' he said... hmmmm yes...).
I like the quote from a golf book I have, which is probably applicable and ammuses me...
"you should grip the club (or bow in our case) as firmly as you would hold a cat or a baby!" Anyhow, enough chat, here are a couple of pics.
The leather has been used to allow for any slight flexing in the handle which could otherwise crack a glueline. There was some discussion of this idea on the 'Primitive Archer' website, so I don't claim any originality here, although the principal of flexible mounting is well established.
The grip is shown looking at the belly and left edge of the bow, it shows how the natural wiggle of the stave works into the handle. The slightly raised step is where the arrow plate (a Waterbuffalo horn oval) will be inalid.
The pic right shows a roughed out piece of Waterbuffalo Horn being glued onto one of the tips clamped in my trusty old work bench. You can see how the tips are left a little thicker as I don't want that hint of recurve pulling out at full draw.
I've pulled it back to 29" inches now and once the nocks are done I'll be able to get the proper string on and do some final measurements and tweaks before finishing.
For this work I've used a rapid epoxy adhesive, I could have used natural hide glue but it has a much longer curing time and isn't so water resistant. As my Brother once pointed out when I asked him about using modern materials in a reproduction he was making, he simply said that 'primitive' man would have used Araldite if they'd had it!
Indeed it's about using the best and most appropriate materials, hide glue is still better than epoxies for some applications, especially if dissasembly may be required.
If I build another Cherry/Ash bow I shall use hide glue, but for detail work that you want to get finished there's n'owt wrong with a rapid epoxy. (Pencil in 'IMHO' and the usual disclaimers!)