Sunday, 5 February 2012

A Spot of Steam Bending + Bow in the Snow

I've worked the stave down during the day, and the skinny top limb looks more in proportion now that more wood has been removed from everywhere else.
It has some nice undulations, however a bit of deflex bend near the tip of the skinny top limb isn't in balance with the lower limb and will rob the bow of some speed and draw weight.
It also makes it more difficult to tiller as it will always look like the slight bend is a weak point.
A Yew longbow will generally take an inch or two of set as its being tillered, so starting with an inch of deflex doesn't help.

I was a tad reluctant to bend the tip as there is little room for error as it's so narrow.
But what the heck, I want it to look right and perform well and the worst that can happen is it needs a second dose of bending (which isn't a prob).
I've done a very localised bend by confining the steam using an old 5L plastic container.
The plastic container has a hole cut in either end so the bow actually passes through it, some old plastic foam loosley plugs up the gaps around the bow to stop the steam getting out too quickly.
The far end of the bow has a brick tied to it, so that as the steam softens the wood it gently pulls down under the weight of the brick. You could actually see it slowly creeping down.
It only took about 5minutes steaming as the tip is quite a small cross section (about 20mm x 20mm).
In the pic you can see the wallpaper steamer I use to generate the steam, the flexible pipe is covered with a bit of old duvet to help keep the heat in and a bit of plastic is there to run the drips off onto the floor. The whole set up is at an angle so the drips run off and the Yew isn't sitting in a puddle of hot water.
As we had some snow, I used it as a nice white backdrop to photograph my 90# Longbow. It needs a light background else the bow tends to bleach out, unless I mess around with the manual settings on the camera. It's also quite tricky to get a good pic of something so long with it all in focus, without resorting to tripods and all that malarkey. Maybe it needs a Robin sitting on the arrow?

No comments:

Post a Comment