Sunday, 18 November 2012

Bits & Pieces

I shot Brian's bow last weekend, it was very smooth, drawing it the full 31" was tricky and resulted in my anchor point being much lower and almost on my shoulder. I'd made 4 nice new arrows using the full length of the shafts and due to the low anchor point I shot the first one straight over the target and lost it in the long grass... damn.
Shooting for distance, it cleared the 180yard mark by about 10 yards which is about right and not bad for a 50# self bow.
I've been finishing off the bow, the horn nocks are done and one knot near the tip has all but disappeared leaving a nice little feature. The tips are much slimmer and it's looking rather smart now.
Finding some decent Mother of Pearl on line was a struggle, most of it is rather thin (about 1.5mm). I contacted one supplier who didn't show the thickness, they said get back to me...
Sure enough, the next day I got an E-mail saying it was 90mm thick... hmmm the perils of the modern world where people don't take the time to actually understand what they are talking about. I don't s'pose the biggest giant clam in the depths of the ocean would yield mother of pearl that thick, I said that was nonsense and haven't heard back (quelle surprise!), maybe they meant 0.9 mm, what's in a few decimal places eh?
I managed to find one last piece amongst my odds & ends which has made a handsome arrow plate, which I've let into the Yew, but I really need to find some more, maybe I'll have to trawl the antique shops and charity shops.
The leather grip is done, but not stitched, I've been trying to source some nice thick waxed thread, I've ordered a couple of different types in black, one of which will hopefully set off the red leather nicely, these details can make all the difference.

While I'm waiting for the thread to arrive I've picked up Bob's bow, it's still barely flexing and now I've got the other bow for comparison I can see I need to take a fair bit off. This is good as it's allowing me to further reduce the sapwood.
I can't be bothered to take any pics today, I'll wait til it's all done (what a tease!).
The sun has been out and I've been climbing up the Cherry tree in the garden and lopping some off the top, it's funny, but I feel much more secure up a tree than I do up a ladder.


  1. The pick guards/plates of electric guitars used to be mother of pearl, though no doubt they're mostly abs now it might be an avenue of enquiry. (a bit narrow?)

    Or perhaps a traditional button manufacturer to find their supplier -

    Would abalone be up to the job?

  2. Cheers Matt,
    I'd seen that Rothkoandfrost site, but must have missed those 6mm thick blanks, they are a tad narrow, but worth bookmarking ta!
    The Abalone cabochon looks rather flash, but they don't say how think it is (prob 90mm ;) )
    I found one site and phoned up, the woman wanted nearly £8 postage for something wafer thin that could have gone in an envelope with a bit of cardboard round it. She said there was 'nothing she could do about it'. Where I work, we'd have stuffed it in an envelope and sent it Royal Mail, hardly needs a courier for a sliver of MOP.
    Now look what you've done... sent me into rant mode.
    Better have a cuppa.

  3. Just found some 3mm thick stuff on Ebay, one of the suppliers who I contacted put it up on there for me :)

  4. Maybe they were getting their 90mm mother of pearl from the 450lb Tridacna gigas giant clams of the South Pacific :)

    And rants are good, stops you taking it out on some poor innocent stave.