Monday, 26 September 2011

Final Stages

I've been taking out the rasp marks, cleaning up the bow and adjusting the tiller a tad.
It' back to 45 pounds at 27" now, so that's about it. I've been narrowing the tips some more and checking the string alignment. The bow looks good at full draw from front and sides, the twist is still pretty obvious in the limbs, but they seem to track back nicely.
Here's a couple of pics of the back, showing how I've worked the growth rings, one shot is still while the back is rough as it shows better. The shots are dark to avoid bleaching out the detail. In the first pic you can see how I've allowed the rings to ripple around the row of knots along the right edge, leaving a few extra rings for strength.
The second pic shows the long continuous line of one growth ring down the centre.
There's a lot of patient work in taking the back down one ring at a time, but once it's down to this state, it's pretty easy to follow a ring and take it along the bow or out wider to the edges. An big old bluntish 12" half round file worked lightly across the surface sort of crumbles off the pale wood without digging into the more yellow wood of the next ring, or a scraper run along the length of the limb smoothes out the rings and blends them smoothly.
Once it's had a bit more mork, some fine rubbing down and a few coats of Danish oil it will start to look really good, a year's ageing will help too!
The belly pic shows the wood is looking quite handsome and there are no real tool marks left, any more tiller adjustments will probably be on the with of the bow or gentle rounding of the edges of back or belly.


  1. This is very nice! What kind of wood is it? Yew?


  2. Yes that's Yew. It's the 3rd bow from that log.
    The first is blogged in January 2011. Pics of the finished bow on Jan 17th.

  3. I'm kinda iching to try my hand at yew. I'd rather get some more experience before I risk such a slow growing, delicate wood.

    By the way, I never asked... Which wood do you like better? Osage or Yew?


  4. Tricky Q, dunno is the short answer.
    They are so different, much easier to follow a ring in Osage, but generally Yew is softer to work, both can tear one minute and work smooth as silk the next.
    Do you prefer Strawberries or Steak? ;)
    I s'pose the bowyers answer would be I prefer the stave I actually have! I've only done the one Osage bow soI haven't much experience.