Thursday, 2 July 2015

Getting to Know the Yew Stave

Funny stuff Yew.
I did a little work on de-barking and reducing the sapwood at the fair the other weekend. One kid asked why is it red? He was taking about the sapwood which shows the grow rings as alternating creamy and reddish pink. I gave him a full honest and expansive answer...
"I dunno. 'Cos it is!"
At one end of the stave the darker rings predominate and the distinction between heart and sap is a bit vague, the sap wood is still definitely softer and creamier than the crisp heart wood, but at the other end of the stave it's much more the typical pale cream and even softer still.
The belly  side of the stave is lovely crisp heartwood with the central pith of the log showing in places. It's always good to that in the centre of a stave , it's a good indicator that its laid out sensibly.
I've roughed it down to a fairly even layer of sapwood that's vaguely following a ring. I can get a better feel of the stave now and maybe mark it out further and reducing it with the draw knife.
One great improvement from working at the show is I've sharpened the drawknife.
Its easy to forget a tool will loose it's edge especially on something tough like Elm or when used edge on as a giant scraper. I've been trying to improve the edge ever since I got it as there was a nick in centre of the blade. I have a really coarse blade on the belt sander at the moment, so I used that to make the bevel angle on the draw knife a bit more acute and to take more off the outer ends of the blade to help get it more even. It had been ground away a bit in the centre where the nick was. I didn't let the belt sander actually tough the cutting edge, that was sharpened using a variety of oil stones.

The stave is a couple of inches longer than I need, but I'm leaving it until I can see exactly where the bow lies. Even then I may leave it, as it's difficult to put it back on once its sawn off.
I'm well motivated with this bow as it will a good weight for me and I noticed the other day that the grass in the meadow on the flood plain has been cut so I'll be able to test it for distance with some flight arrows.
The final pic shows the end with the nicer sapwood nearest the camera. The deflex at the far end is clearly visible. I may take this out with heat once the bow starts to flex. It's much easier to tiller a bow that is symmetrical, mind a bit of deflex doesn't hurt.

Here are some pics. I should make some good progress over the next few days.

No comments:

Post a Comment