Thursday, 5 January 2012

Some Progress

I've been working down the 90# bow to approximate dimensions from 'Weapons of Warre' which has dimensions of the Mary Rose Longbows.
It's just beginning to flex and I've had it on the tiller on a long string pulled back to 60#, the tips pulled back about 4" .
I worked the width to size first and the reduced the depth leaving it almost square in cross section.
Some knots I was worried about have disappeared, others have started to look worse and may need filling. Overall it is looking much more like a bow and now I'm down to using the spokeshave.
When I first tried to use my spokeshave the handle snapped in two! It's made of cast iron which is quite brittle and had probably fractured when dropped on the floor at some point.
I bought a new one, (only about £3.95 from Toolstation), they have a lifetime guarantee, which is pretty pointless as it doesn't cover post and packing which would be more than the cost of a new one!
Should have some pics tomorrow
Friday Morning:- Quick update.
I've taken another 3mm or so off the belly, that sounds a lot, but bear in mind it's about an inch thick at mid limb (25mm). And this takes me very close to the Mary Rose bow size (I'd roughed it out slightly over erring on the side of caution).
The big filled knot is making me a bit twitchy, as I work the belly down the unfilled original knot is looking smaller and more solid, it does however have a crack which runs off to the side of the bow where the filled portion is. I'm not too worried, as it will be in compression and thus the crack will close up, whereas, were it on the tension side it would just open up and snap the bow.
I've run superglue onto the crack as a temporary measure just to hopefully seal and stabilize it, as I don't want the rasp to snag it and rip it apart
A new post with pics later in the day.
The whole bow making process makes the expression 'successive approximation' spring to mind, (a mathematical term for something or other like working out square roots. I expect curiosity will make me Google it now).
I think successive approximation rather captures the essence of the job.

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