Sunday, 28 October 2012

A Tale of Two Yew Longbows

I don't often work on two at once, but these two are both interesting in entirely different ways.
As well as the 50# at 31" I am making a 50# at 26" for a chap who has a shorter draw as he anchors target style (under the chin) because he wears glasses and a side of the face would send the glasses off with the arrow. He's much shorter than the guy with the 31" draw.

The stave I'm hoping will make the shorter bow has bags of character, but one knot which is a bit too big to leave wood around it on the belly.
The sapwood also dips alarmingly there, I'm not quite sure how to play it, as from the other side of the limb it looks perfectly normal. the 3 pics show the same area from belly and each side.
I'm toying with letting in a sliver of heart wood along that edge of the bow cut to match from one of the off-cuts from the same log. This would also add some extra heart wood thickness on that edge.

I've actually put it up on the tiller and it only just flexing, so I need to take off a fair amount of wood yet.

Still as I said to someone a while back who wasn't sure how to get started marking out his stave "You can't do too much harm with a pencil".
I may patch the belly whilst hoping that most of the patch will disappear as the bow is worked down. Or I may just work it down and see how the knot behaves, as I can always patch it later... hmm time for a cup of tea.

You can see both staves have had the sapwood reduced to a fairly even thickness and are beginning to look like bows.

I've made the decision to patch the belly and I think I've got it right, there was a crack round the core of the knot and another smaller knot which I'd thought insignificant opened out considerably, you can see my file stuck through it in the pic where I've cleaned it out.

The second pic shows my first try at cutting out a piece of wood to fit.

You can see some of the knot will still be there in the centre of the bow where there is little stress and in the top pic how the sapwood has been slightly reduced to be replaced with heartwood. The smaller knot may be pegged after the patch is done so it will visually and mechanically unite the patch and the parent wood, or I might peg it before doing the patch. I'll have a look tonight and maybe get it done so the glue can be going off overnight.

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