Monday, 15 June 2015

Spliced Yew

This is a bit of an odd bow, the billets were spliced up about a year ago, but there is a fair bit of reflex and the sap wood is slightly odd, with streaks of heartwood running amongst it.
I have a chap who has been after a bow for ages but he's out in Australia a good deal of the time which doesn't lend itself to good communication so it's rather been on the back burner.
I'm happiest making bows for people I can meet and where I can follow the behaviour of the bow and fix or fine tune the bow. Anyhow I thought I'd try to make this one suit the requirement 50-70# at 29"
I'm not sure if it will make it as it's easy to come out under weight with reflexed bows, but we'll see.
I'm expecting most of the reflex to pull out by the time it's tillered, but the waggles make it difficult to see the tiller too.
I'm slightly ambivalent about splices too, they are much strong on a grip that has greater thickness like an American style longbow. I'm slightly tempted to do a thin sapwood back patch over the splice for extra strength. I'd just rasp off a shallow curved scallop about 1/8"-3/16" deep and overlay a sapwood patch. This gives a vastly increased glue area over the part which is in tension.
Dunno... it somehow smacks of cheating... no idea why I feel like that, as it makes good engineering sense!
Here are some pics.
You can see I'm pulling it to 60# and it's about far enough back to be put on a low brace, there's already a good deal of tip deflection... somewhere near 10"

The weekend was a bit drear, I went up the club but the field was so wet we ended up chatting in the car park. A new club member Nick came back to mine to show me a bow that he wanted repairing. It was Sycamore and as I don't have any Sycamore I couldn't really patch the splinter which ran along one edge of the back near the grip.
I tried a quick fix, gluing the splinter down (having cleaned off the epoxy and varnish first). I bound it with rubber strapping while the low viscosity superglue cured.
The strapping was glued down too and whilst trying to cut it free the Stanley knife jerked as it cut through and slashed the edge of my little finger... bugger. At least it wasn't down to the bone and it serves as a timely warning to take care... better careless with a knife than the bandsaw.
The bow was then bound with fine linen thread over the area with the split and low viscosity superglue soaked into the thread. I don't know if it will hold, but the effort in taking 3/16" off the back and re-backing it wasn't really cost effective.
I stuck some plasters over the cut to stem the flow of blood and later got some Steri-strips which closed the wound nicely whilst allow the air to get to it. It had been looking wet and open under the sticking plaster... I think Steri-strips are a good thing to have in the bathroom cabinet.


  1. Bow making hints and tips and open-pinky surgery advice too! What's not to like about your blog Del?

    John T. :o)

  2. yes it's a cut above the usual stuff (groan)