Monday, 15 May 2017

A Warbow Repair

I went out roving with mate JT on Sunday and he warmed up to shooting the 150# Yew Warbow I made for him a while back.
 As he was warming up he showed me one of his other bows (not made by me) which had two nasty pinches/chrysals running from pin knots on the lower limb. He asked if I could repair it and I said I'd give it a try but no guarantees. He then strung it and took a shot, the tiller looked awful, and as he drew up again I called out "Don't shoot it!"
In the full length pic of the bow the area with the pinches is in the far limb wher the bow rests on the bench support (by the mug).
Now this isn't a criticism of the bowyer (Poletti) as all warbows are highly stressed and I've had to patch mine. It's also very easy to see with hindsight why a bow has chrysalled or pinched. However if these things are spotted a bow can often be repaired or re-tillered to great effect. Faults that are visible after a year or so would not have been evident to the bowyer when it was first made.
Conversely I don't think all the bows I see are properly tillered, but I try to withold my criticism unless I'm asked.
It will be an interesting repair that I'll tackle slightly differently to my usual method.
The pinches are relatively deep and go right across the bow any patch would be deep and not very flexible, thus it would be hard to get it to fit perfectly. I will do two individual small deep circular section patches to fill the pinches, these will then be taken down a little and a continuous long patch added to strengthen the weak area in the bow. rather than just patch it in it's current state.
 I've taken the risk of gently pulling it back straight and applying a little heat, so hopeful some of the set will disappear. Note:- I've rasped out shallow scoops between the two big ones to relieve some of the stress as it is pulled straight.
I put it on the tiller before I started and pulled it to about 28" (nearly 100#) so you could see the "Before" shot... hopefully there will eventually be an "After" shot too. Hopefully from the pic you'll see why I called out "don't shoot it!" Looking at the tiller, I can't help wondering if there is a similar weak area in the other limb... hmmm, what do you think dear readers?
It may require a little re-tillering when finished.
Why was there a weak area in the first place? It's that dilemma of leaving extra wood round knots and features, you can easily create a weak point between... you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
I have a slight advantage over commercial bowyers that I can keep an eye on the warbows I make as they stay close to home. I can see what they are like 2 years down the line.

Meanwhile I made contact with the guy for whom I was making a Yew primitive that exploded last year, he still wants one, so the one I'm working on at the moment is ear marked for him... once I've got this repair out of the way.

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