Monday, 21 February 2011

Nock Fitting

I've posted pics of doing horn nocks before, but rather than repeat the same old pics, I'll try and add some detail to show more of how it's done. The blog is in danger of becoming the same for each bow, "Not another Yew longbow, groan". I must admit, I'm feeling the need for a break and might take on a more interesting bow just for myself next, there's plenty I want to try. Maybe even a really simple Hazel stick bow as I have a skinny piece with shiny bark which I couldn't resist cutting wau back last August, it would be fun to see what I can do with it without recourse to my tillering rig or any sophisticated tools, just an axe and a file.
Anyhow enough daydreamings, here are some pics.

First pic shows drilling the horn with a wood boring bit which has been ground to shape with a little grinding wheel. The pillar drill (or 'drill press') is a great tool, they are pretty cheap and an asset to any workshop, I call it my poor man's lathe.

The next shot shows where I've put a bit of masking tape on the back of the bow and marked 1" down from the nock, this will give me a reference point to measure from when the horn nock is on so I can get the nock in the right place. I've put the offcut from the roughed out stave on top so you can see how much it's been worked down.

You can also see me shaping the tip with a bit of sandpaper in a block of oak, the oak is first drilled using the same shaped drill. The tip of the limb is rasped roughly to shape first.

The final shot shows the horn nock next to the tip before fitting, you can see how far into the horn the tip will go, the thick pencil line was made with the nock in place. I haven't left too much fancy end protruding as I want to keep the overall bow length down, and this particular nock probably has the wood going up further into it than some. Shaping the nock requires a bit of patience as its very fiddly to hold, even when it's put onto a bit of old broom handle filed to a point. I contrived to rasp the fingers of my left hand a couple of times... ouch. I've glued it on (with a rapid epoxy) I'll continue shaping it once that's had a couple of hours to cure. The open end of the nock is cut at a slight angle, this is just my personal preference, I think it looks better, also it allows the circular hole in the nock to fit better against the relatively flat back of the bow, if you look in the pic you will see the left edge of the bow doesn't blend so smoothly into the curved section. Dunno if that makes sense, maybe you need to have it in your hand to see what I mean. If you really want to know, add a comment and I'll annotate a pic...

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