Sunday, 13 January 2019

Boo Yew Test

My friend and test pilot JT gave the BooYew primitive a good work out. It was V windy and shooting a flight arrow down wind made 345yards.
We did some roving too. I noticed the bow looked very slightly weak in the lower limb, but I think some of that is JT 's grip bearing the weight of the heel of the hand (probably typical for warbow weight bows). That shift in where the weight is taken makes a very subtle difference but a little grip re shaping and maybe a tiny scrape off the upper limb will re balance it.
I won't do anything without carefully studying it on the tiller as camera angle and  other factors can sometimes fool the eye.
Video here:-

Pics show Twister (45# @ 28") alongside the BooYew (120@31").
The boo Yew at full draw, and, top left shot was me misjudging the tail wind on the final rove shot... Whoops!

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Boo Yew Primitive Back to full Draw

The title says it all! It's not finished yet, but is shootable once I've made a string.
I may ease off the outer limbs a tad as they seem a bit stiff and take 1/2" off the tips when I fit horn nock overlays.
Clicking on the pic and holding a CD up to it, makes it look pretty much arc of a circle. I don't think the grip should be flexing much, but the hint of deflex prob' gives it that impression.

Note the scale doesn't line up with the chalk marks on the wall due to the bow having a V deep grip and the scale being moved up a tad to compensate.

Video Here:-

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Boo Yew PV on the Tiller

The bow has a nice little hint of deflex reflex. Pic shows it when it was first unwrapped.
I glued on some Elm nocks so that I could get it on the tiller for a first try out. The thickness taper needs some work as the boo isn't a consistent thickness due to the nodes and the thickness taper on the Yew was only roughed on the band saw.
Anyway, the first try out looked pretty good. Youtube video here:-

I've been working on getting the thickness taper somewhere near even at about 1/5mm every 6" along the limbs and then I'll have another look and maybe pull it a bit harder.
I only took it up to about 90# first time as I could see the outers weren't working.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Boo Yew Primitive Progress

I've glued on a riser block from a off cut of old Yew. The Boo is prepared and I've got the limbs to a reasonable thickness taper buy marking out and very very carefully trimming off the excess from the belly on the bandsaw with a fine cut blade (6 tpi) Using a squared block of timber as a guide to press the back against to ensure a cut parallel to the back.
I need to trim a slight taper to the stave and the boo to help it all line up for gluing, also I have to work out if and how I'm going to glue in any deflex or reflex. I don't have a long enough length of 2x2 to clamp it to for glue up, but I've remembered I have some very long bits of Aluminium extrusion left by the installers of our solar panels from a few years back ... I knew they would come in handy :-)

 I'll hopefully get it glued tonight so it will be cured by the morning, but I won't risk rushing it.
The thickness and taper is all just educated guesswork, hopefully it should be in the right ball park. I had a look at my hickory backed yew 80# @ 32" longbow as a rough guide, but it's a different style bow and the boo will be tougher than the hickory. It will be interesting to get it up on the tiller for the first time in a day or two.
you may notice in the pics, I've found a nice round plastic storage jar which is just right for my face mask. It's my new years resolution to use the mask more as I've had a niggly cough off and on for a while.

Got the glue up done, bound with rubber strapping and clamped to give a hint of deflex/reflex.
I also added a thin sliver of Yew (about 4mm) to the back before the glue up just to add a gentler fade and a little extra depth at the grip.
looking forward to unwrapping it tomorrow!

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Started on First Bow of 2019

I've been out in the garden burning the greenery from the Christmas wreath and decorations, along with some off cuts of yew. I'm informed it's a lucky thing to do, I put some dry eucalyptus leaves on to the blaze, they burn nicely and give a pleasant smell too. It just about wraps up the festive season, although we still have home made sausage rolls and mince pies in the freezer.

There's been a trend in some roving circles to shooting American Flatbows (what they call "longbows" in the USA), horse bows and other barebows, which are glass faced.
This allows some to use lower poundages and still enjoy the rove, shooting full distances. The bows are more durable (and cheaper) than the self Yew bows. Of course some of these bows out distance the self bows when it comes to the flight contest traditionally held at the end of the rove.

So... I thought maybe a heavy weight primitive of Bamboo backed Yew might give a nod to the trend whilst still being of natural materials, and might even give 'em a run for their money in the flight if matched to a decent flight arrow.

A scaled up version of Twister (45# @ 28") my "go-to" field bow is the basic premise, but at over 100# and about 31" draw.
I happen to have a couple of decent Yew heartwood billets from a log with dodgy sapwood. One is shorter than the other and They don't have any length to spare, consequently I've done a short Z  splice, only 2" long and about an inch wide. The short length should be fine as the Yew belly will be in compression and the bow will have a continuous Bamboo back and it will also have a small riser block glued on the belly. The overall effect will be a very solid join.
The short splice length does conserve maximum length of the two billets and gives me a stave of 76" which is fine. The width mid limb will be about 1 3/4" but the grip will only be about 1" (this has benefits in terms of a clean loose for flight shooting as the arrow will have to flex less to get round the grip
I may glue in a tiny bit of deflex at the grip and reflex at the outers, or leave it dead straight. I don't want to go bonkers and over stress it as it will be a long draw.

It's much easier to do a good accurate splice on billets for a laminated bow as the billets can be cut nice and flat and the two splices cut with the billets taped together.
BTW. The pic shows it dry assembled. I've since glued and clamped it so that it can cure overnight.

If you are not sure how this works, cut a couple of strips of card say 1" by 6". (Mark one face of each piece "back") Tape 'em together with back uppermost on both pieces. Mark out and cut a Z spice with scissors (cutting through both together). Undo the tape, fit 'em together with "back" showing uppermost on both pieces and they should fit together nicely.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Another Year's Round Up

Christmas has just about wound down, we'll be making a robust Turkey soup this afternoon which I always enjoy and hopefully we'll ease off eating nibbles etc until New Years Eve.
I'm trying to get back to normal and doing some stuff in the garage. I got some nice useful presents.
A Taper reamer for cleaning up the taper in my lathe headstock mandrel (work in progress already).
Some nice waxed sash cord for my tiller rig, it's a waxed cotton braided outer with a polypropylene (I think) inner core. It's a tad irritating that they don't quote a breaking strain or safe working load, but I think it should be fine. It has a much nicer feel than the nylon rope I have on there at the mo'.
A book of "simple steam engines" that I can maybe make on the lathe and mill, some other books too.
I've also got a nice zip up cardigan that I'm "allowed" to wear in the garage ;-) rather than those that are for "best". I don't really differentiate, as long as I'm warm and my arse is covered I'm not fussed about clothing, but I take advice on what is appropriate attire!

I got some draught excluder too that I'm going to use on the bandsaw to improve the efficiency of the dust extraction. I've already made one mod, which was to add a block of pvc foam with a slit cut in it to stop sawdust being carried up into the top of the bandsaw from where it falls back down onto the work. It was just a quick try out held in with double sided tape, but it is quite effective.
I bought myself a present which I didn't open until Christmas day, some cheapo bright yellow carbon arrows from China to turn into nice visible crossbow bolts. They will give me something to tinker with (I've ordered extra screw in points and inserts, I'll prob make the nocks myself)

I've looked back over the blog to see what I've actually done over the year, as I though I'd not done much.
Four Yew ELBs, a Yew flight bow, I worked with my mate JT mentoring him as he made a Yew warbow (I had one explode on the tiller too)
Two Yew Primitives, a pair of Hazel Primitives, one of Plum and a little bamboo bow for visiting kids to use.

So that's about a bow per month, which is nice...
I made a shooting machine which was useful for observing flight arrows as they leave the bow and this helped me achieve my new PB for a self bow (Osage) of 341 yards. I'll push the bow a little harder and try to improve on this on a suitable day when the ground is soft and the weather is good.
My crossbow project went through about half a dozen iterations of Yew/Bamboo prods before I resorted to fibreglass.
The workshop had a bit of a reorganisation to accommodate a second hand micro milling machine (Clarke CMD10) which has been very useful for the crossbow parts once it was repaired and refurbished.

All in all a pretty constructive year, I even managed to do most of the things on the "jobs around the house list" ... in fact I've already done one thing off next years list, which was fixing some kitchen cupboard doors which were graunching and would have driven us mad whilst trying to cook Christmas dinner.

I have a few projects lined up for the new year including making a jig to do fancy 4 point footings on arrows.
Wishing you all a great 2019, may your arrows all fly true, and may those that don't remain clearly visible!

Sunday, 23 December 2018

40# Yew Distance Test

My mate JT picked me up and we went over to Now Strike Archers near Chelmsford to lob some arrows, have a natter and to enjoy a beer and bowl of chips on the way home at the Rainbow and Dove on the outskirts of Harlow.
At least one of us, Mick Black made a festive effort! (with a wonky warbow)
The Yew bow shot very nicely and I must have put about 40 or 50 more arrows through it.
My regular arrows were making 180 yards (very slightly down hill, no wind) and the flight arrow* managed 217yards.
The wind freshened into a slight head wind later which was limiting the regular arrows to nearer 170 yards, all of which is very respectable for a 40# bow.
Note:- Distances measured by laser rage finder.
*The flight arrow was just a quickly re-worked old warbow flight arrow, so it was only a little lighter than my regular arrows (348gn vs ~400 gn). it was also a whisker too stiff. The implication being that a reasonable clout arrow would make a similar distance and a well tuned slightly lighter flight arrow could maybe get another 10 yards.