Monday, 29 June 2015

Starting and Finishing

I've got a few bows on the go, often I'll work a stave down piece meal.
The Elm stave was de barked at the Fair the other day, that's to say the very outer bark was removed, the reddish brown dusty dry smelly layer underneath was left. I was just after a smooth surface I could use a pencil on.
This morning I've marked it out and run it through the bandsaw to rough dimensions, but that's not the next bow I'll be working on. I also have the Hazel bow which I started at the Fair (pictured on the grass), dunno if I'll finish that yet.
I have a chap wanting an 80# Yew longbow for which I have a nice stave, maybe I'll get that marked out and roughed out on the bandsaw.

The sapwood and heartwood of the Elm is very much the same in terms of its properties, it does give the bow a nice look tho'. One pic shows how the heart sap boundary doesn't follow the growth rings near the end of the stave.

Finishing is another kettle of fish, I'm beginning to accumulate finished and semi finished bows.
I'm reluctant to finish a bow unless it's to suit an individual.
I made a lovely Bamboo backed Yew 40# target bow, but the guy simply stopped communicating. I'm sure I'll find someone who wants it, but that one is all finished as a right handed bow.
There's a Hickory backed Yew which will draw to a full 32", it has leather built up on the back of the grip for comfort but I haven't finished it further... do I finish it with a leather grip and arrow plate for a right hander or do I keep it as my only 32" draw bow, or do I offer it "as is"?
Similarly the one I've just done from spliced billets, a lovely bow. I wanted to see how far it would shoot a heavy arrow at the fair yesterday, but the guy with a suitable draw length declined to try it for distance during the medieval archery demo... dunno why. I'll have to set up the chrono' set up and see how fast it is as a target/field bow.
Update :- Yew Billet bow 167 fps with a 29" 380gn arrow
I have been kindly invited to bring bows for sale along to the ILAA shoots. Maybe I'll get 'em finished off and take 'em along to one of the shoots that isn't too far away.

I'd rather see a bow being used than languishing in my garage, but sometimes people aren't very good at communicating and I get a good number of "no show"s.
One thing is for sure, I'll never put 'em on E-bay, some of the stuff there is awful and gives bowyers  a bad reputation.

I've roughed out the Yew stave, it's not as cleanly defined heart/sap as I'd have liked and I'll need to reduce the sapwood before I really mark out the bow. Still it's more like a stave than half a log now. Pics once it's moved on a tad.

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