Friday, 25 February 2011

Nearly There

I've done the nocks, they have been buffed up, but no final finish applied yet. Some imperfections still show up whiteish but will disappear when the final finish is applied. Some blemishes and imperfections are to be expected in natural materials.
In trying to keep the nock size and weight down to a minimum I've cut through and revealed the wood at a couple of points, this isn't a problem more of a feature (hmmm I make it sound like a Microsoft product!). There is plenty of precedent for the nock going down into the wood as the Mary Rose bows show a shallow nock groove on one side where the horn side nock was fitted (the horn was eaten away underwater). It can also be seen on modern bows.
I think it looks good, what you don't want is to cut down to the wood at the back where the nock is protecting the wood from the string pressure, the horn should also still form a complete circle around the tip for maximum strength.
Hmmm having said that, this style of nock is a pain and a simple horn tip overlay would work just as well even on heavy bows. Sometime I'll have to try the simpler side nocks as used on the Mary Rose bows, there are only one or two actual horn nocks surviving. Alan Blackham has a good website with some excellent stuff on side nocks which he has investigated and tried out to great effect, google his name or 'backstreet bowyer' if you want to know more.

I've actually shot the bow at 31" draw a couple of times now, I prefer this to winching it back to 31" as I can actually feel it and it isn't held long at that draw. It certainly banged out the arrow and it hasn't taken any more set. If the weather is ok at the weekend I'll get a proper string on it and start shooting it in.
There are file marks visible in the wood in the second pic (the bottom nock), and there's still plenty of work to do, but effectively it's a working bow now.

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