Saturday, 23 August 2014

Good Days Work

I pressed on with the belly billets, clamping them side by side and using a spokeshave to take off any high spots and even them up. I then evened out the thickness taper.
There was less thickness than I'd ideally like and the taper was only about 1mm every 7.5". Normally I'd taper at about 1.5mm every 6" but I can gain some extra taper by tapering the Bamboo back.
Talking of which my Bamboo slats are only 73" long, but with care I can use the full length and maybe splice on a tiny bit at each end which will eventually disappear under the horn nock. I'll keep it as long as I sensibly can. The question of heat treat or nay, is still tormenting me, but no need to worry about that yet.

I've cut the splice, a Z splice, this can be cut by taping the two billets together and cutting then in one go. It's one of those topological things that is hard to visualise, in fact it's so tricky to see how it works I checked it on a thin off cut of Yew first. It gives a perfectly fitting splice with aligned limbs, easy to do on thin flat limbs or laminations, almost impossible to do on normal self wood billets for an ELB as they are so thick compared to their width it's tricky to line 'em up and clamp them.
One of the only things to watch out for is the ends of the Vs, the female V has a flat bottom due to the width of the saw blade whereas the male can be cut to a really sharp point. The sharp point has to be sawn off to match into the flat bottomed V, because of this I measured out 4 1/4 " to get a 4" long slice. If you look at the close up you'll see what I mean.

Meanwhile I've been making my cider, I've got three 5L Demijohns and a 2L one too. I freaked out when I looked at the picture... what's the pretty lady doing in the top left! Ghost picture Arrrrghhhh! I had to go into the garage to check. It's a fancy carrier bag from the shop "Monsoon" which had some plastic bottles in it. Not some ravishingly beautiful ghost lady waiting to seduce me in the garage. Hey, can't win 'em all.
The cider is still V cloudy, but the first lot I did last week is already bubbling away.
I could only find 2 airlocks so I used a vinyl glove over one of them and fingers cut off a vinyl glove on the 2L and plastic bottle. I'll buy another demijohn and some more airlocks tomorrow. I'll rack off the cider into a clean demijohn after a few weeks, that should help get rid of the sediment. The whole process has been much more efficient this year, with the reinforced press and improvements to the scratter I think I'm getting about twice the amount of juice.

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