Monday, 11 February 2013

Catleg, Six spot? Wha'eva

The bow is virtually finished but it's cold and snowing with isn't conducive to a final going out to the garage and working over of the back to remove the odd file mark, and apply more Danish oil.

The light is a bit poor for photography too.
Here are a few pics to show how it looks. The veg tan leather will darken and look better once it gets a wipe with beeswax polish, which will be the final finish.
You can see the lateral waggle and the recurved lower tip have calmed down a bit. The 'six spot' domino pattern caught my eye last night while I was stitching the grip , a task I could thankfully do indoors.
Inlaying the arrow plate was slightly trickier than usual due to the knot.
The knot also accounts for the grip and upper limb being left a little thicker at that point.

It'll have a bit more sheen to it by the time it's finally done, and a better light would have been more flattering, mind it's a pleasant surprise when things look better in the flesh. I s'pose there's a whole advertising industry striving for the opposite effect.

Out of interest, this will give you some idea of the answer to the thorny old question 'How long does it take to make a bow'. I've just been out to the garage 'for a few minutes'. I put a new clean burr on my curved scraper and carefully went over the back of the upper limb taking out the few remaining tool marks, I then went over it with 240 wet & dry. Of course I spotted a few tool marks on the belly too, so I took them out using the scraper, 180 then 240 wet & dry. I finally gave it a wipe with Danish Oil.

A few minutes? Actually it was 45 mins going over one limb which many would have considered adequately finished anyway! So why do it? Ah! When you know there are no tool marks, if you see something untoward you know it needs investigating, even a small dent or scratch is worth knowing about and some fairly big problems can be sorted if they are caught in time.
There is the fact that I enjoy it too, in a slightly masochistic way, it can get a bit tiresome, but the difference it makes is worthwhile and there is the pride in ones craftsmanship. tasks which were once a right pain become  easier and more satisfying. There's the joy in the learning process too, it's the first time I've put a new edge on my curved scraper (check out youtube for how to put an edge on a scraper, but don't get worried if you see fancy expensive burnshing tools, I use the shaft of a big old screwdriver).

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