Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Arrow Refurb'

the arrow splicing was a big success, I've now got 6 nice refurbished arrows just waiting for their piles.
I stopped bothering with the alignment jig as it meant I could only do one at a time. Instead I just bound the two parts together with the whipping twine I use for serving my bowstrings (I get it from a local boat chandler, and it's cheaper than 'proper' serving thread).
You have to watch out for the two halfs slipping slightly appart if they are being bound too tightly, but once one wide spaced layer of binding is on it holds it all firmly in alignment and a bit of extra binding can be done at the extremities of the splice where the wood is V thin.
I'm making up some 'primitive' arrows for a forthcoming shoot, they will be the same as my usual arrows but with self nocks cut in with my bandsaw. It took ages to get the bandsaw set up, I was messing about changing blades but it was worth it in the end as it gave a nice consistent cut, they will need finishing by hand with a file of course.
I had a bit of confusion putting on the new bandsaw blade, I suddenly noticed I'd put it on with the teeth pointing up! What??? So I took it off and put it back with the teeth pointing down as they should, but then the teeth were at the back of the bandsaw??!!! Double what?? How on earth??? Then it dawned on me the blade must have uncoiled inside out, so I grasped it firmly with both hand and twisted it inside out on itself with a satisfying 'ping...boing'.
After that it was all straight forward and the blade ran nice and true.
It was one of those strange double take moments and a quirk of topology.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Splicing Arrows.

'Crack' that horrible sound when you tread on an arrow you were searching for. I have a vast supply of broken arrows, "I'll make a jig for splicing them" I thought.

Ho hum, After messing about for ages drilling and sawing a chunk of Oak I'd made a jig which would do one half of a 'V' splice but not the other. Grrrr, one of those silly irritating topological mistakes which is glaringly obvious with hindsight.. .
I gave up on that and made a quick jig which would make just one long oblique cut, it includes a screw which will grip down onto the shaft while it's being cut (one of the problems with the mk1), holding it with the grain lined up in the same direction on each half of the new arrow.
I also made a jig to hold the two parts together as the glue dries.

You can see the failed jig on the left, a bit of shaft in the later jig secured ready for sawing, and a sawn shaft which had a broken tip. (You will notice of course that it was a nice new clean arrow, they seem to be the ones which break easiest!)

The arrow being glued is bound with a rubberband to hold it while the 'Araldite' (precision) cures. I might pull the bench lamp down close to it to warm it up and hasten the curing process, or just leave it overnight.

I have spliced arrows with a new footing before in the classic V style, but it's a pain in the backside and rather longwinded, a jig to hold 'em straight is pretty essential too.
I wanted something I could use quickly to give arrows a new lease of life for field shooting as it can consume a fair few of 'em. I'll keep the spliced ones as 'second best' .

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Ash Bow

The video hasn't downloaded properly, so here are some stills for now.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Shooting it in

It's virtually finished now, but it needs a few little tweaks to get the grip feeling right before I cover it with leather.
I'm not quite 100% happy with the tiller, so I'll take a few scrapes off the end of the lower limb to make that flex a whisker more, it's really just a bit of fiddling and fettling.
In the pic you can see I'm not actually at dull draw (about an inch and a half short) as my back is still a bit sore and I'm not really pushing that left arm right out or getting that right elbow fully back.

That was yesterday, I've fettled the bow a bit now and it's shooting much sweeter, but to be honest I can't tell whether that's due to my me warming up (I havn't shot for about a month) or the tiny bit of work of work I've done on the bow.
It's easy to shoot one good group and think with fond imagination that you've done something marvelous to the bow, whereas really you've just relaxed.
It's been frustrating and I've had to work in short bursts. Doing the inlaid Waterbuffalo horn arrow plat was spread over 3 days where normally it's about 45minutes work spread over a morning.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I've ricked my back! I was hoping to get the bow finished to shoot last Sunday, but I have been busy, then I went and ricked my back so I've got to take it very easy for a few days. The irony is I first twinged it simply bending to pickup a saw whilst kneeling on the floor, so I took it easy, the thing that really seized it up was sitting still at a desk when I went into work!

Anyhow here are some pics showing how far I've got, the 'flame' grain on the belly near the handle is rather attractive, this can be compared to the back where the grain runs much more along the bow and less across it.

I've done the nocks in my usual style, only one limb has had a wipe of Danish oil so far.
It needs the arrow pass, a decent string and a leather grip doing yet.

These are all hunched over back stressing jobs so they'll have to wait.

I've shot a few arrows, I think it's probably a little slower than the Hazel flat bow being longer and having more 'safety factor' built in. I havn't drawn it past 28" but I'm confident it would go back to 30" . It's only been shot with my heavy tillering string with the wooden toggle on, so it may get a bit quicker, I feel it would be a solid reliable companion to a Neolithic man although my finishing would possibly be considered fussy.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Nearly There

The last part of the tillering is just as slow, unless you neglect to use finer tools in which case there is a danger of overdoing it. The final finish is also a consideration so a finer rasp and files give a more appropriate finish.
The pic shows my tillering marks, I just slash across where wood needs to come off and put W on any weak points. The weak points aren't real faults by this stage, and the mark just shows that the bow is bending enough there. I use a fine/medium rasp to remove the pencil marks and then put it back on the tiller.
You can see my original W is now a point where I need to remove a little wood, this shows I've done a good job in evening out the limb.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Part 5

I've solved the problem of the video being compressed!
It was caused by editing the video with Microsoft Movie Maker (Aren't MS products wonderful? [cough splutter])
Anyhow, to redo the other videos would be too much hard work.
They are all posted on my website now with their own page "Tillering Videos" including pt5.
I'm not going to duplicate them here. The website address is shown under 'About me' at the left. Or just google 'Delsbows'.
When it's completed I'll post some stills on this blog.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Part 4

I've just noticed that the video clips look slightly compressed from side to side which is making the bow look shorter on the tiller and the bend more extreme.
I'll maybe chalk a square on the wall so I can check. If there is distortion, I'll see if I can adjust it.
Anyhow, it's begining to flex quite a lot now and I'll be proceeding with care, using just rasps now and trying to fine tune the curve.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Part 3

Oooh I'm getting excited, can't wait for the next part... I hope it has a happy ending.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Next installment

A little progress:-