Saturday, 11 December 2010

Yew Staves

I've been working on last years Yew. The pic shows the various stages of work, de-barking has revealed the sap wood has still got a bit of seasoning to do, so it's good to work the staves down slowly. There are two other staves I haven't started on yet, one is wide and flat which will make a nice flatbow (Meare Heath style) and the other has a rather challenging knot in the centre about 1/4 of the way along, so worst case it may have to be a shorter primitiver rather than a longbow.
Numbering the staves from the left 1 & 3 are sister staves of nice tight grained dark wood, the limb was growing up in the middle of a big old Yew tree in the dark depths of the woods.
#1 has been straightened with steam, whereas #3 still show it's natural deflex, and slight sideways curve. Number one has been rather testing, and if it decides it doesn't want to be a bow I shall put it in the corner of shame and make #3 up in it's place as it is more even but not quite so interesting but still nice and dark tight wood.
The other staves were from the same woodland, but a more open site and faster growing, somewhat coarser grained and paler, they are much straighter. It will be interesting to see how the two timbers perform.

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