Saturday, 21 April 2012

A Visitor bearing Yew

My visitor Martin turned up with his Yew. I was a bit worried at first as there wasn't much heartwood, but it was deceptive, there was a fair bit when viewed from one edge. A bit of careful laying out of the bow with a taut string tying to minimise the wiggle in the grain whilst maximising the heartwood eventually allowed me mark out where to saw. (30mm wide at the grip and 20mm at the tips )
Once run through the bandsaw there was a good amount of heartwood to play with. The back was nice and clear of knots. The perfect stave?... Ah, well, real wood isn't quite that well behaved, there is a lot more sapwood visible on one side than the other and the situation reverses to some extent at the other end.
I've taken off a lot of the excess sapwood with the draw knife and it's begining to be clearer how to get the bow out of the wood.
We spent some time shooting too, having tired of hacking off sapwood.
I put up a scrap of paper 2x3" on my target foam at about 10 yards. Martin tried most of my bows hitting the scrap of paper a few times especially with the two flat section primitives (Ash and Hazel) which is a testament to both bow and archer. We shot a few different arrows from  the bows so he could feel how a better matched arrow felt. The Chinese Repeater and primitive crossbow had an outing too... blimey he even hit the scrap of paper with 3 out of his 5 bolts from the repeater!
It was great to meet someone interested in everything from the tree to the actual shooting and having started on the bow I may have trouble putting it down.
The Yew is fairly typical, coarse grained in part, yet fine grained in others, the colour is quite nice and it felt good under the draw knife. Hopefully I can produce a fine bow. I might just test the off cut from the end with my moisture meter just to see what it's like.
There is plenty of wood to play with, as we cut it to about 76"

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