Sunday, 5 August 2012


Splicing is easy in theory, mark out a paper template, cut it out, stick it on the wood, saw it out, glue it together.
The reality is trickier unless you are working with machined timber.
I cut out a template, but when stuck onto the undulating back of the billet it distorts.
It's also tricky to hold the billet dead flat against the bed of the bandsaw to ensure a vertical cut, but on one half I had stuck an off cut of 1/4" MDF board onto the belly of the billet, this was a great help in running it through and it also allowed me to adjust the angle of the save by slipping in scraps of wood while the 10 minute epoxy was hardening prior to sawing.
It's just a shame I didn't do the same on the other billet, as it came out with the taper slightly wedge shaped when viewed from the end (like looking at the prow of a ship). I had to do a fair bit of painstaking work with rasp and sanding block to get a good fit, which I checked by dry fitting it and looking for gaps with the bench light shining behind.
It was glued last evening and left overnight. I've cleaned it up this morning and it looks good, the alignment is a tad out which is slightly tricky as one of the billets was V narrow to start with. It should be ok, and where the centre line is biased to one side, I can make that side the arrow pass (back to that old question 'can a longbow be right handed?).
Here's a load of pics.
One shows the few bug holes in the sapwood which I shall keep an eye on as I rough out the bow, hopefully they don't go deep. Before flexing the bow, I shall run low viscosity superglue into them.
This is all a bit of an experiment really and if it blows up on me I'll back the any future bows from this batch of wood (prob' with bamboo).
There is some nice character in these billets and you can see a sort of dip/twist thing going on.
Other pics shows the centre line alignment and a mug of tea.

Talking of bamboo there are some silly urban myths about it.
One:- Because it's a grass it keep growing after it's cut... hmmm, yes maybe the bit in the ground does, I don't know. But that's not the bit we use! Do the grass cuttings on your compost heap keep growing? No they don't.
Two:- It's not a 'legitimate' bow wood because it's not a wood it's a grass.
Tell that to the Japanese who for centuries have made their bows from it, not to mention the countless other peoples who make bows from other non-wood materials, horn, sinew and bone.
The view that it's not a legitimate wood is promulgated by a bowyer who is keen to stir up controversy and get his name out there, after all, it's free publicity, and he has to make a living and pay his overheads.
However I shan't mention his name as I have no wish to give him even more!
Ah, I feel better for that rant, time for another cup of tea.

Drat, just set up my shave horse outside and started cleaning it up with my spokeshave and the thunder and rain came on. S'pose I'll watch the Olympics...

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