Monday, 25 May 2015

More Italian Yew "Second Chance"

Strange things coincidences... they always happen together!
I've been given a damaged Warbow (nasty split/crack) near one end to re-work as a ladies bow. 50# at 28" again (it probably won't be drawn 28", but the extra draw is there for moments of exhuberance!).
I had been expecting to leave it a month or so, but as I had my eye in for that weight, I've jumped onto it... also the weather and other stuff has kept me off the gardening.
I sawed off  8 1/2" to get rid of the crack/split and set to re-working it.

What a contrast! This Yew is similar to look at to the previous stave and oddly, it also has two almost identical big knots which will be on the upper limb!
The big difference is I can't use edged tools on the heartwood! Now I'm not daft, but even using my spokeshave with the blade freshly sharpened, set to cut fine and held obliquely to give a slicing cut...
It just tears the wood, reversing the stave doesn't help!
So it's rasp, rasp and rasp some more. The sapwood is ok with the spokeshave, I've had to reduce that a bit where I'd otherwise be all sapwood and no heart wood.
There is no trace of the Warbow's surface left visible now and it's flexing at a low brace to about 50# @17" This one is the middle of the thee in the pics.
The picture shows the slight extra width on the upper limb around the knots, the rest of that limb needs the width reducing to match the lower... oh joy... more rasping!
This bow will henceforth be referred to as "second Chance".

I've also been working another 50-70# at 29" It's spliced billets from the Yew I got from Newmarket a couple of years ago. By contrast this cuts smooth as silk with the spokeshave, is finer grained and only tears at the knots. My conclusion? Judge the wood on the merits of the stave.
I'm not sure this bow will work out as the billets have a fair old reflex to them (vaguely matched). The problem is one of motivation, the guy I'm making it for is in Australia half the time and hasn't had a chance to visit. I find, once I've met someone, it's hard to procrastinate.

BTW. The lower bow in the pic is the totally finished Italian Yew 50# @28" which has now had 100 arrows through it and a new string made for it.


  1. "Seconda posibilita".... surely Del?!

    John T. :o)