Monday, 7 September 2015

You Snooze You Loose

The Near-lithic bow is V nearly there... I'm going for about 38# at 28".
I'd shot about 25 arrows through it and then videoed it on the tiller. the left limb looks stiff just left of mid limb, I looked back at the previous pics and you can see it there as well.

I'd written a whole post about the subtleties of tillering, then as I was wiping the bow with Danish oil, my heart sank...

I noticed a chrysal on the lower limb. I hate chrysals with a passion even though they are not fatal.

Hindsight is 20:20. I'd taken my eye off the ball, counted my chickens etc. and pride comes before a fall. Choose your platitude.

Anyhow I knew not to panic or to take drastic action. It was still a fine bow, but not the quality I set myself. What to do?
Now it was just one small chrysal going half way across the belly, but I knew that even when I eased off the stiff area and improved the tiller it would still be there lurking to a surprising depth in the wood. inviting other chrysals to form.

I've taken the bull by the horns and done a patch. You can see I've done a reasonable job of matching the grain and hopefully the wood will age so that it is barely visible.
This time I've drawn it slowly and kept an eye on the tiller, I shall maybe ease off the upper (right) limb a tad and I'll shoot another 50 arrows through it. All this work has maybe dropped a pound or two in draw weight, but hopefully I'll get it shooting how I want. There's a field shoot on Sunday, so maybe I'll give it an outing then.
The chrysal formed at a weak point just right of the stiff section and just left of the burn mark on the wall where the wiring went down to the burnt out switch (note:- don't run wiring beneath a bath!... done before my time in the house.) Hopefully the weak point is less obvious in the lower pic with the stiff area eased off and the patch left slightly thicker.

The actual performance of the bow is clean and fast. If I draw it slowly I can see the arrow comes back pretty much on a straight line due to the narrowness of the handle at the arrow pass. I was getting a hint of wrist slap as the string settled, so I twisted the brace height back up to  5- 5 1/2". Brace height is generally fairly low on primitives, this gives a longer power stroke to maximise speed.

The other pics show some of the character, the waggle in the top tip, a little knot near the lower nock and the nice grain on the flat belly.

Odd thing is the bow hadn't taken any set, I'd expect it to take a bit of set before it chrysalled.
I feel a bit guilty, I'm always banging on about how good Hazel is, maybe it needs to be longer and wide, maybe I was trying to be too clever and got careless. A friend got in touch saying his Hazel bows tend to chrysal but still shoot ok. I s'pose, much as I hate chrysals I'd rather have that than a smashed bow.
All part of the learning process... can't argue with the wood.

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