Thursday, 5 December 2013

Yew Stick Longbow Progress

I've got it to a low brace and it looks skinny and under weight.. but it still feels rather stiff, like it may be about 70-90# at 28". Of course I haven't gone mad and just heaved it back... despite the temptation.

The grip is almost the full size of the stick and is still pretty stiff.
As it's flexed the bark has been cracking off showing me where the bend is concentrated. There are a couple of areas where there are some cracks (shakes) on the belly and sides. Some of these are associated with the pith centre line (visible in one of the pics), these and the knots have been liberally doused with low viscosity superglue as a precaution to help stabilise them and prevent further cracking. Hopefully some of the cracks will disappear as the stave is worked down.
The top pic shows a couple of the dead knots, the sapwood flows nicely round them and I'll try no to disturb it. Note the bark is still on there, so it's not flexing much, about half way between the knots and the right edge of the pic there is a crack in the bark going up from the lower edge where it's about to pop off.
The pic of the whole stave shows it has a hint of reflex, which will be nice if it can be maintained.

I still don't know what the draw weight will be, as there are a lot of features to be worked around. So it may end up as a long bow with a 28" draw rather than 32". Not sure how the back will take the 32".
I'm keeping the cross section fairly wide and thin, but well withing the accepted definition of a longbow (depth/width >= 5/8), but a long way from the narrow deep D laminated bow of Victorian target archery. I mean... does it look like it wants to be a target bow?
Hope fully I'll get some pics of it on the tiller over the next few days.
Here it is, about 60# at 25".
A frame grabbed of some video as I tentatively flexed it.
It doesn't look too bad, a little stiff in the outer limbs.
It's now a trade off, how far dare I pull it? Dare I shorten it an inch or two? Can I get the middle and the tips flexing a bit more?
I don't think it will make the 90# at 32 I was hoping for, but maybe the bigger Churchyard stick will do for that one. Probably done enough for today, it needs some looking at and thinking about...  nice cup of tea will help.

I also bought some nichrome wire off E-bay, it's special wire that is used for heating elements. I'm going to use it to make a hot wire feather cutter for trimming fletchings. As electronics design is my day job, it's a relatively simple task, not sure when I'll get round to it but now I have the wire, it's something I can do when I need it. I have fancy plans for making it so it will fit on the tool post of the lathe, so the arrow can be mounted in the chuck which can then be turned by hand. I have a couple of 12v batteries from an old golf trolley which should provide a nice power source, or an adjustble power supply which might be good for it, just needs Ohms law and a bit of arithmetic. Something else for the 'to do' list.

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