Monday, 5 December 2011

Bandsaw Woes

Hmmm, I havn't made a very good job of ripping down my Yew, the log isn't that big so there's not much margin for error. I worked out where I wanted the cut to give me a good half and a bad half. As I was sawing I wandered over a bit towards the good side at exactly the point where I'll need most wood e.g. the middle of the stave where a bow will be fattest.
I expect it will be ok, worst case would be if it's too skinny then I can cut it in half reverse the two bits, and splice it back together so the thin bit is now the tips of the bow. Or maybe it will be ok for 40# bows rather than heavier ones.
Anyhow, it'll be seasoning for a year and may not look quite so bad when I come to view it again and the bark and excess wood has been removed.
It's always tricky knowing how much wood you dare rough off or how how many staves you can try and squeeze out of a stave.
When you start one is often too cautious and it takes forever to get down to the right dimensions, however impatience and cockiness can lead to removing too much too quickly. I find the right amount is usually enough to make me wince and think 'have I over done it?' Usually I've got it about right... let's hope that's what I've done here.
To add insult to injury I could hear this cracking noise and smell this hot oily electrical smell as I was finishing the cutting.
The capacitor on the electric motor has dark grey goo bubbling out of it. Still that's much cheaper to replace than a burnt out motor. (You can see the capacitor on the pic in the previous post, it's the light grey cylinder, mounted just right of the black connection box on top of the motor)
Maybe I should have stayed in bed all weekend, as I also contrived to drain the transmission fluid of my car instead of the engine oil... mind it was pretty dirty, so probably needed changing. Automatic Transmission Fluid is rather expensive though.
Just to confess all my sins, I also managed to snag the bandsaw blade and jam/kink it. I wrestled it free and after a bit of fettling in the vice and some judicious tap tap taps with a small hammer it's running ok again.
Hey Ho, mustn't grumble, the sun is shining and I've seasoned staves to play with!

I've been reducing the stave for the 90# bow, it's still pretty huge and has a row of knots up the belly, oddly some are quite big (about the size of a pencil) but they don't appear on the back of the bow or the sides... dunno what happens to 'em inside the stave, I shall lay out the bow keeping them dead centre and if I'm unsure I can always carefull drill into them to investigate their extent. Knots on the belly aren't too much of a problem as they are generally harder than the surrounding wood and are in compression. The sapwood on the back of the bow looks good and clean. I can only just get my hand round the middle of the stave and if I lean it against the wall and put my whole body weight into it I can just about feel a hint of give.
Having taken about 10" off the length it's now about 74" long and has a hint of deflex in one limb. I'm still undecided about any straightening or heat treatment as I don't want to risk disturbing the knots. I shall keep working it down slow and steady before I make that decision, the policy is "when in doubt, don't". If only I'd applied that to sawing the Yew log...

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