Monday, 17 December 2012

BBY and a Yew Stave

This may well be my last post of the year, if so I'd like to wish one and all a happy festive season and a splendid 2013. Doubtless I'll be picking up my tools again before then to avoid the holiday induced cabin fever. Meanwhile I've been singing "All I want for Christmas is Yew".

I've finished the BBY, or pretty much finished it for now. It may get some tweaking later.
I'm very pleased with it.

We had our end of year shoot at the club. This year we've had access to a barn set up for indoor 3D shooting*, it also gave us somewhere out of the weather to have our AGM and some festive food.

I'd sewn the grip onto the bow the night before and put it in my bow bag without the string... whoops.
Fortunately Roy had a (continuous loop) spare string of just the right length which he let me borrow, whew, thanks Roy!

The pics are pretty self explanatory, the filled knot is perhaps the only one of note (see right).
I rather like the nocks too, top one is V slim and elegant.

I shot Ok considering it was virtually my first try with the bow, it seems pretty fast. I felt it was jarring my left elbow slighty so went up to my 11/32" arrows (same 100gn points), the extra weight seemed to smooth it out, I may re-tiller the bow slightly to drop it down to 50#, but I certainly won't act in haste.
Chrono test shows 170 fps with the lighter arrows and 165 with the heavier, interestinly I broke 2 of the thinner lighter arrows during testing as they were still flexing as they hit the bckstop. The front 1/3 of the arrow penetrated while the back end flexed enough to snap 'em clean off. Never mind, they'd had a good life nand had already been splice repaired once. (Note they didn't snap at the splice).
The bow is almost 55# and has a good initial draw weight (I can tell it's harder to string than my regular self Yew 50# longbow) It will be interesting to shoot it through the chronometer or take it out an try it for distance.

Meanwhile I've picked up the other half of the Yew log which I'd been working a few weeks back and hadn't turned out (or had 'smashed' as we sometimes call it). This stave has tons of character but fewer knots, there's a big reflex bend at one end and some slight lateral S curve. Roughing it down a bit with a draw knife lets me get a feel for how the grain is running. Sawing out Yew on a bandsaw helps to ensure maximum yield of stavesand the draw knife then allows me to re-establish the real run of the grain. That's not to say you need to slavishly follow the grain, but you do need to know where it goes, so that if you do have it angling across the limb slightly care can be taken to avoid tools digging in and tearing deep into the limb.

* Do a search for 'Celtic Harmony Archery Barn' to find it, although I think the website is being updated over the holiday period.


  1. "All I want for Christmas is Yew".

    Merry Christmas Derek :-)

    1. (There was supposed to be a "(groan)" after the 'yew' quote there - turns out this comment system doesn't like angle brackets; probably an H T M L thing...)

  2. Yeah... it doesn't like those angle brackets!
    I pencilled in the groan :)