Friday, 13 September 2013

Twister 2 and More Apple Juicing

Twister 2 is really starting to bend now, I've been keeping an eye on any tendency to bend sideways at the tips and I've been taking a bit off the side of the tips to keep the alignment right.
I've got the two limbs balanced now, the left (lower) may look a hint stiff, but you have to remember it has a hint of reflex to start with, so it should look like that. I'll continue working it back and might have some test shots with it on Sunday. I was aiming for 45# at 27", but the guy I'm making it for has decided 50# at 27" will be better. You can see in the pic it's now up to about 20" at 50#. Still a fair way to go, but looking good.
I need to get the outer limbs moving a bit more now.

I did another batch of apple juice yesterday, taking my total up to about 22 L which is pretty good.
The apple scratter (shredder) was letting some fairly big chunks of apple get through, so after I'd finished I dismantled it, cleaned and inspected it.
The problem was the Oak drum had warped and was more oval in cross section rather than circular. I mounted in my lathe so that I could check it. It's too big to actually turn but I managed to clamp an off cut of steel in the tool post to act as a reference and I rotated the drum by hand. I was able to adjust the countersink head screws which protrude from the drum (these are what cuts up the apples) by screwing them in or out so that they all just cleared my reference point. When reassembled and tested I could see it ran without big gaps which would let chunks of apple through.
The second batch of juice, (about 12L) is in a big 25L fermenting bucket. I didn't want too much air space above it in the bucket (I've read that it's a bad thing) so I opened one of my 5L containers from the first batch and poured that in too. It was a good thing to do as the first batch was a bit sweet whereas the second had plenty of crab apples in it. It also gave me the chance to see if the first batch was starting to ferment. They say it only takes a couple of days to start fermenting and it should bubble away like a good 'un... yeah but that's if you have added yeast. I'm doing this with absolutely nothing added, so after a week I still couldn't see bubbles. When I opened it I could smell a nice yeasty smell (bit like warm bread), I tasted and it was sweet with a definite fizz where it had started to ferment. I shook it up to mix up the sediment and poured it in with the second batch, it should help to start it fermenting.


  1. What is your thinking on leaving the lower limb on Twister 2 looking stiffer? I am new to bow making and I try to get both limbs even when I have reflex in one side and not the other. Maybe just a tad stiffer. Or one limb leaving the handle area at a different angle(effectively reflexed). I have pondered this many times, but I think you know the answer. Thanks, Darryn

  2. I used to think the 'lower limb should be stiffer' thing was bull!
    But I've learned that it is generally a good thing to leave it stiff at least until a bow is thoroughly shot in. If one limb is going to shift and go weak on you, you can bet it will be the lower one.
    I think confusion arises when you have a stave which has one limb with some natural reflex or deflex.
    I have a longbow with one limb naturally deflexed, I chose it to be the lower limb. Beacause of this it looks weak. I even had none less than Robert Hardy tell me I'd built my bow upside down! I slipped the string off and showed him the natural deflex.
    I'm still unsure which way round it's best to build a bow that is naturally assymeteric. I used to always put the deflexed limb as the lower, but on Twister2 I'm having the natural reflex as the lower, but taking care to let this natural assymetry remain visible in the finished bow.
    If a bow is uneven or wobbly unstrung, the same characteristics should still show at full draw, that's what makes tillering character bows so tricky, as there is a tendency to want to make them look perfect at full draw rather than respecting their initial curves.
    It's also important to check the tiller when it's actually being shot, it can look very different to how it seems on the tiller.
    So the short answer is Twister2 will look slightly stiffer in the lower limb when it's finished.

    1. Thank you!! Exactly what I needed. I have to admit I never even thought of looking at the tiller after I shot it. Just move to the next stave. It may be an interesting weekend looking at some of my recent work again. Darryn

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