Thursday, 12 February 2015

Starting on Bamboo Backed Yew 50#

A chap visited a while back and wanted me to make him a Bamboo Backed 50# longbow.
I'd sorted through my Yew and came up with a few heart wood billets. I sorted out the best two (the lower ones in the pic with 4 of 'em) One needed a little steaming to get it a bit straighter at the thick end where the splice will be. While I was steaming that one I also straightened one of the really waggly ones.

I taped the billets together as pairs and cut a Z splice using the bandsaw.
This post shows how both sides of the splice are cut together and it fits together as if by magic!

A bit of fiddling and fettling to get a good fit and I've got the good pair glued up.
The second pair will be glued up with a big deflex at the splice (I'm gluing on exta blocks of Yew to allow then to splice togethe rat an angle (pics later when I do more). I'm hoping to make a 35# reflex/deflex flight bow (sound familiar?) it will be interesting to see how Bamboo backed yew compares with the Hazel.
I'll be applying some of the lessons I've learned from the Hazel flight bow. This bow will be more of a primitive, no arrow shelf or cutaway for the arrow pass. Longer working limbs and tons of reflex. I really really want this sucker to break 200 fps .

While the glue is curing I'm reducing the Hazel warbow some more. It's twisted to hell, but I can either a) ignore it, or b) maybe take a bit of twist out when I bend in some deflex/reflex.

I've put it on the tiller with a long string (hemp rope) and pulled it to 100#. The middle if flexing a whisker now, so it's probably about ready to try and steam in some deflex at the grip. Ironically the stave has near perfect deflex/reflex, but back to front!
E.g it's reflexed in the middle and tips are deflexed.

Just to put my mark in the sand I'm aiming for 90-95# at 31" deflex/reflex heat treated belly to be used as a clout/roving/flight warbow.
I don't give a tinker's cuss if it doesn't meet various 'definitions' of Warbow. I feel I can safely state that nothing I do to a bow won't have been tried by medieval bowyers already... ok the tools may be different, but I'm sure their skills and knowledge will vastly outstrip mine.

As an asside, for anyone who thinks I'm 'anti' the various societies... that's not strictly the case.
The Welsh Warbow Society seems an admirable organisation, having open shoots with no membership fee and a healthy all inclusive set of rules. Some of their articles are very informative too. Were their shoots closer, I'd doubtless get along to one... maybe I will this year, who knows what's in store for us?

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