Thursday, 31 July 2014

Work on the Spliced Yew

I've been working down the spliced yew stave that I'd started on at the Walkern Historical Society Summer Party. Some knots and problems have appeared , but hopefully some will have gone by the time it's tillered.
I wish it didn't have quite so much reflex, it's not so much that I glued it in, the billets had a fair bit of curve near the splice. Anyhow, got to work with what you have.
You can see some of the problems from the pics, the views of one temporary nock taken from each side show how the different it looks. The pink blush turned into a big diagonal knot that wasn't at all visible in the roughed out stave... it just goes to show, you don't know what's lurking under the surface. I might get some pics of it on the tiller over the weekend... if it doesn't explode!

The back view shows how I don't worry too much about that early on, the extra width is useful, and once it's back to brace height I can straighten the sides, taper tips and generally tidy it up.
The sapwood on the back is fairly even thickness and vaguely follows a ring along one edge, that will get cleaned up by degrees. The whole process of making a bow is (IMO )about bringing the whole thing slowly up to a finished state all in balance. Some people make the mistake of doing a fancy grip and tips before the bow is really ready for it.
Ha, that shows the value of writing the blog, it makes me stop and think and look. I've just spent a few minutes putting a straight edge along the sides of the bow and taking down the real high spots, after that I ran the edges over the belt sander just to clean them up a bit, I took a bit off the side at one tip too. I've worked the belly down a tad, but I'm always careful not to do too much before trying it on the tiller again. Hopefully it will be less inclined to flip on me now.

I've had it on the tiller with a slack string and it tries to flip over on me as I'm bending it against it's reflex. With one hand steadying the bow and the other pulling the rope I've had the tips moving back about 3 bricks (8") at about 80#. That would normally be enough to get a bow braced, but this is starting with about 4" of reflex, so it's only effectively back about 4" and not quite enough to brace.
Reflexed staves are notoriously difficult to tiller and get back to brace, it's easy to come in under weight as you have to take so much off just to get 'em braced. Anyhow I'm not too fussed about this bow, I only really glued it up to give me something to work on. I'll aim for 90# and see where it ends up.

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