Friday, 7 March 2014

Hickory Backed Yew - Damn!

The guy came over to collect the Spliced Billet Yew longbow yesterday. The draw weight and length was just right and he was very happy with it. He felt it was fast compare to his previous bow. We had a play with my Chinese repeater and some other bows which was most enjoyable.
I made a bit of a mess up, I'd hurriedly tried to take some video of him shooting but managed to somehow screw it up, having not used the camera for a few weeks. Dunno if I took no pics or just 1 second of video, or it got lost when I tried to download it. I even searched the PC for *.mov files... Nope, no sign of 'em. Not only that, but I had a golden opportunity to get rid of some of my sacks of firewood as he had a wood burner... of course with the fun of trying the bows we both forgot.
Anyhow, no harm done, and he was really pleased with the bow, saying it looked better close up than it did in the pictures.
I'm pressing on fast with the Hickory backed Yew, as it is dead flat on the back it is much easier to measure, mark up and work than a natural stave. I've even been using my plane on it, which is a tool I rarely use. I've made a good deal of use of the belt sander too.
It had a fair bit of natural reflex, but I glued in some extra too. I expect most will pull out during tillering.
I s'pose I should say what I'm aiming for... hmmm... how about 85-90# at 30" ? I feel that's enough weight without hurting my shoulders and 30" is about my maximum comfortable medieval style draw. I hope to get it shootable for Sunday.
I've had it pulled back on a long string at 80#, (see pics)

the tips are back far enough to get it braced. Time to adjust the tiller a bit and get a shorter string on it.

Update:- Damn, got the shorter string on it at a low brace and was rapidly working my way up to 80#, I heard a couple of ominous 'tic' noises, was it the string moving in the nock? There was no explosion, but the draw weight seemed to have come down a bit. On investigation I found the Yew had buckled on the belly about  3/4 of the way down the lower limb. The temptation is to flood it with superglue and bind it, but I'm not sure, it may be better to glue in a patch. Mind it will be tricky to patch it with the Hickory backing there. It just goes to show there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip. They always fail as you get near full draw, hmm just nature's way of stopping me getty too cocky and complacent. D'oh!
Mind it's an interesting failure, I've not seen Yew do that before, maybe the Hickory back was too strong for it? I'm not giving up on it, but maybe I'll be shooting for a slightly lower draw weight now.

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