Sunday, 30 June 2013

Straightening the Stick Bow

The bow is well out of line and finding the solution is a good example of problem solving.
It has to be bent sideways by about 4-5". (You can see in the pic of it jigged up ready for steaming.
I can't bend the limbs sideways as they are wide and flat.

Therefore I must bend the grip. One part of the grip has a big knot so I can't bend it there.
So I must bend the lower end of the grip...
The lower part of the grip is too thick to bend.
So what's the answer?
Well if it's too thick, make it thinner!
I cut out a big section about half the thickness of the grip to allow me to steam bend it straight.
I then glued in a block to restore the lateral rigidity.

You can see where I've cut out the section I've tried to leave the wood an even thickness, and I've been careful not to leave very sharp corners or saw cuts which could open up as splits.
One of the guys on primitive archer had a similar problem a while back and it took him ages to get it hot enough to bend, he was beginning to despair, but from our armchairs we all assured him it was just a matter of getting it hot enough for long enough to let the heat penetrate. He was using a hot air gun and applying oil to help the penetration of heat.

Give me steam any day! I got it set up, came back 45 minutes later, pushed the limb across, clamped it, gave it another 30 minutes of steam and then switched it off. A few hours later I took it off the jig and completed the repair.
If it had been a more precision job, I'd have given it a day to dry out, but this is just experimental.All this is part of going from just 'a bow' to a good bow (hopefully).

The steam had softened the bark, so I took the oportunity to scrape it off.

That knot on the back provides a nice location for the hand to sit under, I'll round it off nice and smooth to make a feature of it.

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