Saturday, 9 May 2015

A bit of Work on the Italian Yew

It's been a while since the stave was roughed out and it's had the sapwood reduced a bit. So it's had time to move a bit if it wants to.
I filed in temporary nocks, I didn't bother with overlays as at 50# the string isn't going to be digging in or splitting the wood. I put a tillering string on it, adjusted so it would just slip on and pulled it to 50# on the tiller.
It didn't move much, but enough that I could see both limbs flexing and I could tell that I could rough it down further.

Original roughing was to about 40mm wide at the grip, I'm now taking it down to 30 which is a reasonable start for a mid weight bow, it stays at 30mm wide for a foot either side of the middle then tapers to 20mm wide at the tips. this still gives me room for adjustment, as the final tip width is 1/2" (12.7mm),
Using a taut string I laid out a centreline and marked it out, I can manage to just about loose one of the big knots, but there will doubtless be some features like that on the sides of the bow. For marking I use a taut string and than a stiff aluminium bar about  1"x 3/16" this gives a straight edge. It's easy to try and mark a straight line on a curved stave with a flexible rule and end up with a curve. When I received the stave it had lines laid out on it, but they were nowhere near straight. You take anyone else's measurements or laying out at your own peril. I'm quite capable of making my own mistakes without any help!

While I was reducing the sapwood I noticed some blue and brown discolouration, not my fave', but I've been told and read that it is harmless, mind I also have experience that says it isn't... I expect the microbiology of wood is beyond all but the specialists. It's also irrelevant... no good trying to discuss or argue with a bit of wood. It will behave how it behaves. It feels fine and it looks ok, just not pristine white sapwood.
Enough chat, here are the pics.

I've cleaned out one of the loose knots to see how deep it goes and I'm working at reducing the sapwood further, getting it close to a single ring. It's a slow steady process, not a mad rush to get it down to one ring, more following the general contours and trying to leave a little extra wood round the knots.
One pic also shows the leather cover I made for the small curved draw knife.

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