Friday, 13 November 2015

A Stave a Log and a Bow

I had a visit from James today, I'd made him a bow a while back and helped him trim down a Yew log which he'd harvested. He brought the bow he'd been making from that log.
I was pleasantly surprised by the workmanship, the back had been very nicely worked and he'd done rather nice antler nocks. It hadn't been fully tillered and needed a little bit of work before being taken to a full draw. The main issue was a slightly thin spot at the grip, but if the mid limbs are thinned a little it should come out to full draw nicely.
We put it on the tiller and flexed it to what felt like a safe deflection which was 50# from a full brace height.
I videoed it so he can study it when he gets home.
You can see it in the video the middle is working a bit hard and the mid limbs seem a little stiff. The tips looked about right. We ran verniers along it watching the gap between the jaws and the bow to see the thick spots and made some marks on the belly to show where a little needed removing.
The still is taken from the video and if you hold a CD up to it, it is very much an arc of a circle. The right limb is maybe a whisker straight/stiff and that's where the couple of slightly thicker areas are.
You can see the thin area at the grip.

We had a good old chat about various aspects of bow making and the cross section, measuring the depth/width ratio and comparing it to the 5/8 which is generally accepted as a minimum for an English Longbow. I ran another of his logs through the bandsaw. It was a rather nice log and I advised where I thought the best bow lay in it. We just roughed off the unwanted side of the log to help it season better. The off cut slice may make a nice backing strip.
He also brought over a stave of Pacific Coast American Yew which he wanted me to turn into a bow.
I like it when people bring staves as I get to try wood from different parts of the world and I don't have the problem of sourcing the wood.
All told an enjoyable morning.

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