Thursday, 7 March 2013

Assorted Stuff...

I've been thinkering about with all sorts of stuff, making up a dozen arrows in dribs and drabs. The fletching jig is on the hearth and every now and again I'll stick on another fletching.
I've spliced up my last decent Oregon Yew billets (with the bug damaged sapwood sawn off). The English Yew sapwood for the backing has been cleaned up, but I have two bits, one is wafer thin and the other has a twist. The sapwood is continuous full length strips which should help ensure the splice holds solidly.
I'll go for the thicker twisted bit as I'm aiming for about 70# at 28" but tillered out to a full 32" which should be about 85#.
I'll need to steam the twist out before gluing it up. The Oregon Yew hasn't got a lot of spare timber to play with so I may have to steam a 1/2" of lateral correction into it. When I finally get round to the glue up I'll put an inch or two of reflex into it.

Meanwhile the 55# longbow which I've been shooting in is ready for it's arrow plate... the game plan is to cast some old scrap gold into an arrow plate and then inlay it into the bow and add then finally add the leather grip.
One of the guys at the club Mick Maxen is an ace blacksmith and does all sorts of pattern welded steel, if you google that name you'll see some of his stuff.
He's going to let us play with his forge tomorrow to smelt the gold.
I've bought a 30mm x 30mm graphite crucible to melt it in and I've made a mold from steel plate which can be tack welded onto a backing plate to pour the gold into.

I marked out the plate, drilled out the bulk of material and then filed it to shape, it didn't take too long as it's only mild steel plate. I've filed the hole in the plate with a slight draft angle so the gold will hopefully come out... a 4lb hammer will doubtless persuade it if it's being stubborn.

While I've been in and out of the workshop I noticed the big Elder log I cut the other day had started to split (probably drying out too quickly where I'd taken off some of the moss covered bark. I could see it was twisting so I thought I'd see how bad it was. I used the axe and wedges to split it, but it was like a corkscrew... such is life. Some you win, some you loose, and bearing in mind what I paid for the wood , it was worth every penny!
The other smaller piece looked ok, so I used the bandsaw to cut that down the middle, that should help release some of the internal stress and prevent splitting. I think there's a decent bow there once it's seasoned.

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