Monday, 20 February 2012

Staves, Billets, Borers & Stuff!

Bit down after the exploding bow and I've been reviewing my remaining Yew staves. Not the best I've seen, one good one, one with a mass of small knots and a concave back which will be hell's own job reducing down to a sensible thickness of sapwood.
The remaining two are a bit short with assorted blind knots... hmm maybe I'll take two good pieces from them and splice 'em together.
So, I think I'll have a break from those staves and play with an offcut of the High altitude Yew from the US and make a miniature longbow (about half size) as a present for the guy who sent it.
Now miniatures are funny things, people see 'em in museums and gasp at the work involved, yet oddly there is much less work! It's finer work, but there is less of it!
As an example imagine forging a 4 foot long steel crossbow prod that is about 4"x 1/2" at the centre... impossible without a huge forge and plenty of muscle power time and skill, whereas the 1/5th scale version can be cold forged on your workbench vice with a ball pein hammer!
Anyhow, back to the plot, I start roughing out the miniature and my heart sinks when I find borers (wasps beetles or some such that they get in the USA) have got into the sap wood at one point.
Damn, but forewarned is forearmed, I shall have to examine the other staves with great care.
Fortunately the borer hadn't gone right through the sapwood and I can leave a thin layer which is enough for the miniature.
I've cheered up a bit now, by working on the miniature (about 1/2 size) and shooting a few arrows into my target in the garage and a few from under the wooden pergola in the garden. It's a bit of a trick shot, threading it though the ivy and the garage door.
Can you spot the target, a small white spot?


  1. If I were trying that shot, the door frame would be peppered with holes made by the notorious 11/32" woodworm ;-)

  2. LOL... I normally have the target a tad further left, but I still had a go at it. It's only about 7 paces to the garage door, so it's not quite as tight as it look, the garage is another 10 paces long