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.
Monday, 21 May 2012
Ridgeback Finished Pics (well nearly)
I took Ridgeback and the little Hazel primitive to the club on Sunday, I had one of those days where I pretty much hit what I pointed at. I tried the Ridgeback for range and made 216 yards slightly down hill with a bit of tail wind and later coming back up the hill the wind had freshened and it still made about 190yards. This seemed pretty good so I shot both bows through the chrono' when I got home.
Ridgeback 164, 170, 172 fps with the 11/32" arrows and 100gn point. (177.8 with a light arrow).
170 fps = 116mph
The little Hazel managed 143, 143,144 fps which is respectable for it's weight.
The bow just needs a few more coats of Danish oil (DO) (2 each day for a few days) and then a wipe with beeswax polish.
People often ask how I get such a good finish as if there is some magic ingredient. It's just patience and repetition,. As an example, this morning the bow had already been thoroughly gone over with file, scraper and fine wet & dry paper and had a wipe of DO. I inlaid the arrow plate smoothed it all down and gave it another wipe over with DO, left it 10 minutes to wipe off any surplus and buff it up. I noticed some sanding marks near the grip where I'd done the arrow plate, so I took them out with wet & dry, wiped it with DO and left it another 10 mins. When I came to buff it up, I spotted some more marks on the other side near the grip, so I took them out, more DO another 10 mins, wiped it down. Then noticed some little patches of discolouration and faint sanding marks on the back, I took them out going right down to 400 grit wet & dry, more DO and a wipe down after 10 mins. That was about 3 hours ago. By the end of the week it will be a little bit shinier, but not a high gloss, I don't like a deep high gloss finish.
Then I took the pics. The pic lower right shows the ridge of heartwood peeking through the back of the upper limb.
So you can see there is nothing magical about the process, it's just about being stubborn enough to sand off the finish you've already applied and take out any marks. When you get to the point where you can't tell if it's a tool mark or the grain you know it's pretty good. It seems counter productive to sand off the finish, why not get it perfect before applying the DO in the first place? Ah, but often the marks aren't visible until you apply the finish, once you accept the mind numbing repetition it's a doddle ;)
I checked the final draw weight, 58# at 28", I was happy to have lost a few pounds as I didn't want it over 60, having originally been asked for 55# but having forgotten! I also briefly wound it back to 30", it felt like it would have come back further, but 30" is plenty. In the pic I'm drawing a 29" arrow and it looked to me like I had it right back to my knuckle, but you can see I'm a tad short of absolute full draw. Mind it's madness to risk overdrawing as you can drive the point of the arrow into the belly of the bow and cause the arrow to shatter when loosed (Not done it myself, but I've been at a shoot where someone did).