Monday, 18 February 2013

Inlay tips & Tricks

Here are some pics and a video clip showing how I inlay my arrow plates.
I tried to get a close up video of cutting the cross hatching, but I couldn't get the lighting right and the camera auto focus kept moving about. The still pic shows the detail better. You can see the centre line of the bow marked, and in the big pic you can see how I've cut well inside the base line. This allows adjustment at the pointed end to be done first and then the back edge cut to fit. The inlay in this case is Waterbuffalo horn and is cut with the edges slightly tapered to give a good fit, like the way a cork fits into a bottle.

Once the first layer has been removed it's easy to cut inside the edge to make it deeper and repeat the cross hatching and chip removal.

Old needle files can be ground down to make very useful small chisels for removing the chips and cleaning the bottom of the hole and tidying the edge. A small grind wheel which fits in an electric drill only costs a few pounds and is very useful for making/modifying tools.
The great advantage of these tiny chisels is they are very easy to sharpen, a quick wipe on an oil stone or wet & dry paper with a spot of oil and you can have a razor sharp custom made tool just the right size for your job.

The knife I use is an old fashioned craft knife (Stanley knife) but the two halves have been opened up and filed flat so they close tight and grip the blade to stop it rattling about. A scalpel would work just a well, but the Stanley knife gives plenty to grab hold of and room for two hands. I'll hold it steady with one hand and then use the thumb of the other hand to apply a controlled leverage for a powerful cut which won't shoot off cutting across the surface of the bow.

The final pic shows the inlay having been filed to be a good fit into and nosed into the hole with it's back edge sticking up. The knife can then score an accurate line for the back of the hole ensuring a snug fit.
I like this shield shape for an arrow plate. Often they are made with simple straight lines, like a rectangle with a triangle on top like the end view of a house.
To me that looks cheap and is often sloppily done.
I used to do oval ones which are a bit of a pain. The shield shape gives the benfits of simplicity whilst retaining some style. I've seen round ones too, but I suspect these where commercial 'dots' of mother of pearl let into a drilled hole... that's just got to be cheating ;) !

1 comment:

  1. LOL! I've just seen the 'explain more' ticked!
    Dunno what more I can explain, without coming round and doing a demo ;)
    If an explicite Q is asked I'll do my best to explain.