Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Repair Work in Progress

The pictures speak for themselves, the rubber binding will come off tomorrow night and I'll then carefully blend in that overlay. All I need now is patience...
Pic 1, before any work was done, cracks indicated in red. Pic 2 the knot excavated into a clean hole and the area flattened. Pic 3 the knot after filling with a Yew plug and the area flattened down to accept the slip of sapwood which has been prepared to be glued on. Final pic with the rubber binding in place. Note the offcut of carpet on the vice jaws to protect the bow.

By the way, it's the first time I've done a repair like this so I'm doing a lot of thinking before taking action. My main plan was to avoid removing wood if possible, to maintain the flow of grain around the knot for maximum strength, (which is why I didn't drill it out to accept a round peg) and to create a smooth continuous sapwood layer over a decent length to take the tension. The glued in plug doesn't really add much other than to provide a flat surface on which to glue the sapwood overlay.


  1. Hi there,
    Thanks a lot for posting the diary online... Just started making my first bow last week. It's going to be a birch flatbow because i live in an area of pine and found some very tall birch trees growing among the pines. It was deadwood but not rotten and only a few tiny worm holes... It's going well anyway thinning it and working on the back at the moment. May have to stop to let a cut on my finger heal as i keep opening it up daily. Anyway have been slowly reading through the diary and it's been most enjoyable. Keep up the good work and good luck fixing up that hazel bow. Safe travels,

  2. UPDATE... Bang, it snapped. Think it was a worm hole that did it. Back to the drawing board and the hunt for better wood.

  3. Hard luck Will, it's all good practice though.
    Maybe go for a bit of extra length and try to keep the handle as short as possible. For a first bow, don't aim too high, maybe 24" or 26" draw at say 36 pounds will still be a respectable bow, with a much greater chance of success than say 40lb @ 28".
    Good luck with the wood hunting.

  4. Yep,
    Was only doing a preliminary investigatory bend on the limb that i was working down... Perhaps bending it too early before it was thinned enough? Anyway, I've heard a rumour about some Yew that blew down in the gales a couple of weeks ago so i'll go and inspect that next time i'm in the area. Keep up the good work,