Friday, 25 March 2011

Perfectionism vs Pragmatism

The bow shoots nicely but when braced, but if you look along the back there is a slight S shaped curve. I couldn't decide if it was acceptable, so I showed my wife. She's not a bowyer but she has good eye for these things and will give an honest opinion. "Well, there's character and then there's too much character" she opined. It's not really what I wanted to hear, but it was what I felt myself really. Plan B. I mounted it up in my heat treating jig to correct the worst curve and also remove the deflex bend in the upper (right) limb, just left of it's centre (you can see it in the previous post). The area to be heated was coated with linseed oil to stop it drying out too much and to help conduct the heat. I then stood slowly moving the heat gun (at 250C) back and forth over the belly for an hour (The back isn't heated). Rather boring but at least my wife bought me out a cuppa. Now comes the hard bit, that's waiting for 3 days to give it plenty of time to cool/settle/rehydrate! Will it have improved matters? Only time will tell, I didn't actively try to remove the twist, just the bend which the twist had initiated. I applied the heat to one area where there is a sharp ripple in the grain, hoping to de-stress that area and hoping that it might alleviate some of the twist of it's own accord, I won't really know what it's done until I take it off the jig and cautiously flex it. There's a fair bit of guess work involved as it very difficult to judge the bend, mainly because there is no good solid frame of reference. The string is a straight line reference, but it's not a plane, the back of the bow isn't a consistent flat plane, or even a consistent curved surface in this case, indeed, that's what caused the problem in the first place. I suppose the back of the bow at the grip could be considered a plane of reference, but it's hard to visualise short of glueing a sheet of perspex to the bow at that point!

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