Thursday, 28 April 2011

Hazel Bow in the Sun

What a glorious bank holiday weekend. I fancied a change from the longbows and the one I'm currently working on was still clamped up following some heat straightening (it was taking on a slight sideways bend).
So I pulled out the Hazel stave which I cut last August and set about turning it into a bow. I knew exactly what I wanted as it's based heavily on the one I did last year, and my fave' Hazel flatbow (on the table alongside the stave).
I did the roughing out with the bandsaw to save time (and my elbows). I even used it for some fairly twitchy cutting down of the thickness near the grip. The pic shows how I clamped the flat belly of the bow to a block of Oak to keep it sitting square on the bandsaw table while I took a series of small cuts, these were then chopped out with an axe. The area I was reducing is the fade from handle to limb and it's tricky to work on as it's concave.
The rest of the limb had been reduced with drawknife and spokeshave.
You may notice I've rotated the seat of my shave horse slightly, this allows me to have a long stave protruding past my left side while I work on it without my falling off the seat. It was great to be working outside in the warm sunshine. Cup of tea, my tools all to hand, a stave to work on...bliss. You can see the stave has a fair bit of reflex, I'm going to heat treat it to try and maintain that. It will have my minimalist style short asymmetric grip. I'm aiming at about 50 pounds draw weight at 28". The bow shape is what's generally called a pyramid shape, that is roughly even thickness with a straight taper in width to along the limb, going to a narrow tip. The extreme tips may be given a hint of recurve. I'm hoping it will be slim, elegant and fast as lightning.
Hmmmm, we'll see.

On Monday (2nd) I shall take my staves and tools upto the club (Celtic Harmony Camp) as they are running a Beltane festival up there. The Longbow club will be running a 'have a go' and there will be tons of other stuff. I'll set up and do some work on various staves, maybe help with the have a go too if they get too busy.
Another bank holiday, you wait all winter and then 3 or 4 come along at once, hope it's a fine day.

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