Friday, 12 September 2014

Can't Resist a Yew Log!

Yesterday afternoon I chalked out a wide straight stave down the clean face using my spiffing new straight edge. It's a length of thin galvanised steel channel that I rescued from my neighbours skip, It's the stuff they use for fixing stud work to walls or some such, anyhow it's very handy being 89" long and dead straight. It's in the pic, leaning from the top left down to the offcuts of Yew.
I sawed off the bad side of the log and the two edges to provide clean faces to measure from and to rest on the bed of the band saw. I ran it through several times more, gradually reducing to reasonable dimensions. There was a huge worrisome knot which was buried with side of the log, but this has just about disappeared as I've worked it down to a stave.
That's the advantage of reducing wood slowly, if there is a nasty knot, split etc it gives you the chance to shift the location of the bow a little to one side or another. In the same way it's good to have an extra foot of length to allow some movement.
Last night I looked at my "Weapons of Warre" the book of the Mary Rose and found some dimensions for one of the bows which is the same length as this stave (Bow number 81A1603). I thought the Mary Rose dimensions would give a good start point for the stave as it was doubtless over the 100#.
This morning I marked it out in width to those dimensions and found I was pretty close anyway having done it by feel/guesswork/experience.
There's stuff to do around the garden, but I'll keep tinkering away at the bow, a little and often, slow and steady is how I like to work with as much thinking as removing of wood.

The offcuts may provide a sapwood backing strip, or two bits that can be spliced together as backing for an experimental bow.

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