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.
Saturday, 1 September 2012
Steam Bending Maple
The Maple bow is begining to flex on the tiller on a taut string, but one limb has a lot of reflex which makes it rather asymetric and difficult to judge the bend. It's a fairly short stave (62.5") and I'm after a reasonable draw weight (50#) so I've decided to take a bit of reflex out of the limb rather than adding reflex to the other.
Dry heat or steam?
I've used both and find steam gentler, more easy to control and quicker, however if I'm heat treating then the dry heat can also be used to add reflex at the same time.
The bend I'm doing on this bow would be difficult with dry heat as I've jigged it with the back upper most and you don't want to to be drying out the back with dry heat (heat treating is done to the belly of a bow to make it stronger in compression).
I use an old 5L plastic container to hold the steam (from a wallpaper stripper) where I want it.
I may heat treat the belly of the bow later on. Fo now I'm just trying to get it a bit more symetrical and flexing back about 6".
You can see the result, it's still got a hint of reflex at each end.
I've taken it off the jig to dry it off, I'll leave it another day off the jig before flexing it again.