Monday, 3 January 2011

First Bow of the Year

I spotted this nice sapling on a walk in Epping Forrest, saw some deer too>
It would make a nice character 'stick bow'.
The twist where a vine of some sort (old Man's beard?) would make a natural grip. I didn't have a saw with me, but I couldn't help looking out for bow staves.

I've started on an Ash ladies longbow (35pound draw weight), the Ash is well seasoned and it the other half of the log I made the Meare Heath flat bow from.
I thought there was plentty of wood but I found there was a small split in it from when the log was split with axe and wedges (another good reason for using a bandsaw).
I narrowed the stave and managed to work around the cracks, there were a few tricky knots too.
The draw weight is lower than I like making, but I wasn't going to use the stave for anything else (I didn't fancy making another Ash flatbow, as I think Ash is a tad sluggish).
The longbow is turning out really narrow and was trying to bend sideways as I was getting the string on to brace it, a lttle work near the tips persuaded it to behave.
Initially the stave had a little reflex, its common when a straight log is split for each half to reflex slightl, this has pulled out during tillering and the draw weight is a bit lower than I wanted.
I can recover the draw weight by shortening the bow an inch or two, but first I'm heat treating it to remove the little bit of set and bring back the draw weight. what I might also try is heat treating the sides of the tips to help reduce the tendency for them to try and flex sideways.
The bow has a narrow deep profile and the thin stiffish tips might make it fast for it's draw weight.
Here's a pic of it roughed out on the bandsaw. More pics later in the week.

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