Everything an amateur bowyer does to turn a log into a bow throughout the year.
Making bows, longbows and primitive bows with all the tips, tricks and problems.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Ridgeback at Full Draw
I went over the belly with a file, scraper and 180 grit wet & dry paper getting it cleaned up. I sawed off 1/2" from each tip where the stringer grooves were (they will be reinstated on the horn nocks) and narrowed the tips. It's back to 60# at 28".
It turns out that 55# was the target, but that's fine as a somewhere between 55 and 60 is fine and will allow me a bit more tweaking.
Talking of abrasives and finishing, I find wet & dry is much longer lasting and less clogging than sand paper. I generally use 180 and finish with 400 grade. (I just went mad and bought some 120 and 240 as well, I had to have a lie down to get over the shock of opening my wallet).
The Bahco rasp I use is a medium rasp on one face and a file on the other (I think it's described as a cabinet rasp). The file side is great for taking out the rasp marks and with a draw filing technique it will give a good fine finish too. Draw filing is where you have a hand on each end of the file and push it along the wood like a drawknife or spoke shave. It gives a much finer finish as the teeth are all cutting at a very oblique angle and the gaps between then are no longer seen as file marks (google it if you want to see some vids of it). First time I came across it was when I was a nipper and I saw my Brother doing it, I thought he was mad until he explained.
It seems to have picked up a tad overnight and is more like 60# @ 27" but such are the vagaries of bows.
the left limb looks to have a slight kink about half way along, but that's more of a ripple in the heart sap boundary than a real bend. It's looking nicely rounded, I'm easing off the left limb a wee bit, but I'll get on to doing the horn nocks next, that will involve easing off the last 1/4 of each limb and rounding the profile.
I couldn't resist plinking an arrow out of it too.
The other shot shows my new tillering string, the last one was getting rather frayed as it was two old Dacron strings joined together by threading through the loops. I've made a nice new shiny Aluminium allow string shortener too. The string is 10 strands of Angel Majesty with nice big well served loops and a very long centre serving, hopefully it will do for tillering most bows, I can use an old longbow string which I made the wrong length for any short primitives.