Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Wraps Come Off

The experimental Ash/Cherry bow has been unwrapped and looks pretty good. I've tidied up the edges with a rasp and will leave it another week before starting to tiller it to make sure the glue has dried. The bow is shown on the pile of rubber wrappings.

The close up shows the glue line looks nice and tight, but I won't know if it will hold until it's finished. Tillering will be a nervy business on such a short bow.

I shall need to have a good look at the glued up stave and plan what I'm aiming for.
A bit of armchair bowmaking, using just a pencil, ruler and maybe a bit of sting.

The combination of the two timbers will look really pretty if it survives!
The Cherry darkens quite quickly, any work with a rasp reveals the paler wood again.

Of course I've been unable to leave it alone, I've cut out a lot of wood for the grip and gone along the limbs with a rasp evening out the thickness to a smoothish taper. A pair of vernier calipers is V useful for this, not so much for the measurement (although that is handy for comparing the limbs), but as a gauge, nip it up lightly on a limb at one point and then slide it towards the tip, as you hold the limb up to the light. You should see an ever increasing gap between the jaws of the calipers and the bow, any high spots will be obvious. Use your eyes and feel as well, just running the bow limb between finger and thumb will tell you a lot.
Did I say it will be nervy? Make that very, very nervy, it feels very taut and lively, but the Cherry seems to chip quite easilly under the rasp, it's quite brittle, I shall be sure to round of any corners well, but I'm a bit anxious about all the filled knots.
If you hear a loud bang a week from now it's probably the bow! I shall post pics of it either way.
Wish me luck.

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