Monday, 10 March 2014

Just Can't Stop Myself!

I'd had enough of making bows for a bit, so I spent some time running errands and sourcing some fence posts on the interweb to repair a fence with rotted posts which had become loose in the recent high winds.

Next thing I know, I seem to have picked up the Ash bow stave and winched it back on the tiller.
It has been sitting on a raditor for a week and had taken a slight sideways bend of about half an inch, it may seem foolhard to have put it on the rad' but I'd read that Ash (like Hickory) needs to be good and dry, it's been well seasoned (at least 2 years). I'll also be heat treating the belly later so some extra warmth won't hurt.
Pulling it back on a string just long enough to get over the ends and taking it to 90# has got it moving almost enough for a shorter string and a low brace. I'm working it hard, but have taken care not to over stress it, as evident from the little bit of natural reflex still being there. I'd left the bark on for protection but I've now taken that and most of the cambium off with my spokeshave. A thin layer of cambium has been left providing some protection for the back and a clean surface for me to mark out if I need to re-draw the centre line at some point (prob' won't need to as it's mostly done by eye now).
I'm hoping to avoid coming in under weight this time, I'm looking for about 85# and hoping for that elusive blisteringly fast flight/warbow. It's the Bowyer's natural optimism that makes 'em think each new bow is going to give a personal best. Maybe it will improve my opinion of Ash too, working it with good sharp tools help and a big bow lends itself to using a plane more.
This article by Jaro Petrina has inspired me to have a go with the Ash.

Here's a couple of pics of the Hickory backed Yew and the Ash. You can see the Hick' backed Yew still has a tad of back-set/reflex and the Ash still has it's natural reflex. You might just be able to make out the cambium layer on the Ash, and I left a bit of the bark at the centre to act as a reference.
It also shows how I've built up the back of the Hick/Yew with leather to round the grip and make it more comfortable, I'll fit a leather grip over that area sometime.

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