Friday, 17 May 2013

Radical Recurve

The pics explain a lot.
I had to do the bend outside as it involved pulling the bow round at a huge angle which would have hit the ceiling in the garage. I steamed it with my steam chest made out of insulation board and the steam provided from a wallpaper steamer.
The tip of the bow was rasped fairly thin to allow the tight bend, but even so there is a bit of a splinter lifting on one bend. The thin strip of steel taped to the outside of the curve is there to help prevent it kinking or splintering as it bent. The galvanised sheet steel was cut from the back of an old oven which was getting chucked away many years ago, it's very useful useful raw material.

The back of the bends will be reinforced with slivers of Hazel which will be preformed to shape on the same jig. I tried doing this with dry heat first but it didn't seem to like it and was fracturing, it was no problem with steam.
Top tip of the week, when gluing on any sort of lamination put the glue on the right side! What a mess!
I hope to get the other tip done tonight maybe so I can play with it tomorrow. It may need more thin layers built up on the recurve section and maybe string bridges or deep grooves to help the string track correctly.

While I was at it I steamed the twist out of each end. If you pore over the pic, you can work out what I was doing. I used my trusty 5L plastic bottle for applying localised steam.
A clamp is fixed on the end of the bow and once the steam has softened the wood it's pulled round, secured with rope and the steam turned off. There is a bit of spring back, so it's down to experience.
Hazel seems to react well to steam bending.

This sort of experimentation is a great way to get experience without getting stressed out if it doesn't work.

If I can get the feeling of let off as it approaches full draw, I may try increasing the draw weight by adding a narrow lamination of Yew up the belly.
We'll see.

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