Monday, 25 November 2013

Yew Stick Longbow

The longbow from the Churchyard Yew is progressing fast. I roughed it out on the bandsaw and it flexes when I lean on it. There is much less wood to remove than with a great stave from a quartered log and nature has started the tillering of the narrowest end already.
For a brief moment I didn't know what to do next as I was seduced by the trappings of the modern workshop. Ah! drawknife and shave horse... Bliss!

It evoked memories of childhood making stick bows from Hazel, but now I'm armed with better tools, knowledge and more muscle power than that 12 year old.
No less enthusiasm though!
The Yew is a joy to work, the centre pith is clearly visible in the outer limbs. Some of the knots in belly and edges are disappearing under the drawknife already, those on the back are old and dead but fairly central. I'll leave the back completely untouched and hope that nature has swelled the sapwood sufficiently around those knots. Plugging knots on the back probably has little value as they will be in tension, but I may well dig them out to explore how deep they go towards the belly, I don't want any pockets of rot or cavities which may collapse.
Once the bow starts to move I'll scrape off the bark or maybe just let it pop off.I'm really enjoying the freedom of working this bow, it's beautifully straight but has lots of interesting features to work around. I do have a target of it being a 90# warbow about 80" long with a good full 32" draw. It may not become that bow, but it is always good to have a target.

I'vedone a bit more this afternoon and exposed some ccraks and a black line of rot at the tnin end where the bark had been rubbed away. I'm hopeful most of these will get removed as the stave is worked down.
As I lean on it hard to flex it the bark is cracking and popping off.


  1. Blimey Del, you're certainly on a roll with the Yew aren't you! Positively churning 'em out!

  2. Ah, but this one is very different, it's an EEP bow.
    (Oh that's Enhanced Explosion Potential ;-) )