Thursday, 8 March 2012

Perfectionism vs Overthink

The patch I've done is ok but not perfect. The grain swells up over the knot in a nice curve, but the patch has flat grain.
Where I've now narrowed the tip a bit more there appears gradually less and less of the original sapwood, making the patch look a tad thin (viewed from the side of the bow).
Should I take it off and re do it with a thicker longer patch which has been curved to match the parent wood, or is this just overthink?
After all the tip shouldn't do much flexing and there's not a lot of leverage just 4" from the tip. Does it look right?
It's doubtless stronger than it was before, but does it meet the standard I expect of myself?
All I can do is listen to the little voice in my head, there's no shame in taking it off and doing it again, but there is is shame in watching it smash or thinking it wasn't quite right.
the only real answer is to press on and see how it develops.

I've been thinking about this as I write and it would actually be difficult to make a patch much thicker and longer. It does need to be long to provide a long glued surface, (no good just glueing on a little hump). To make it longer would mean it couldn't have a simple flat join but would need a curved scallop taken out (see dotted line in the somewhat exaggerated sketch), this would need quite a thick section of sapwood and would create a disscontinuity further down the limb where the stresses are greater (the downward arrow on the left of the pic). Hmmm, maybe I've done ok after all!
This also raises a counter intuitive point.
I have two bows to make, both need to be about the same length and draw length, one is to be 55# and the other 65-70#. I've started working on the sister stave (from the same half a log), now should the one with this knot 4" from the end be the higher or lower draw weight?
You'd think the lower draw weight bow would be safer with the knot in it, but conversely the higher draw weight bow can be made a tad wider at the tips giving more sound wood either side of the knot.
Ah the joys of bowmaking, frustrating, thought provoking, but fun. No paperwork, just thought and feel, not necessarily any right or wrong answer, just different ways of getting round the problem.
You can see why I work in short burst and actually writing the blog helps crystallise my thoughts. Anyhow, I hope this all makes some sort of sense to you.

1 comment:

  1. And ever so much more challenging than furniture for instance, since the bow has to flex.