Friday, 30 December 2011

Back to the Longbow

I couldn't resist getting back to work on the longbow.
The feel of seasoned Yew under the drawknife is lovely, the crisp heartwood and the waxy firm sapwood.
I couldn't help musing what one of the bowyers of the Mary Rose bows would have made of my efforts. I imagined I could feel the hand of history resting on my shoulder.
I'd like to think he'd have smiled at my efforts, motioned me to one side and sat at the shave horse with a nice clean stave of Spanish Yew and shown me how it should be done.
I expect they had to churn 'em out pretty quick to earn a living, mind I think the electric lighting and the bandsaw would have made him a tad suspicious!
Enough reverie, here's some pics of how its progressing.

The bow is roughly square in section at the moment, and in the first two pics you can see dark knots which show on the corner of the stave, these will probably disappear as the stave is worked down a little more. The last pic shows a raised mound left round a pin knot, this will doubtless get worked down a bit.
The sapwood is about down to thickness and some of the knots have disappeared, you can see some of the problem areas and features, maybe my imaginary medieval bowyer would have scoffed at the quality of the stave and handed me something better to work on.

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