Friday, 12 February 2016

Billets and Splices

I sorted out a load of my billets, there are about 6 pairs, some better than others and one pair is a character pair giving a nice S shaped bow.
I mark my splices out as 30mm wide even if the stave is much wider, that's why they look a bit skinny. If you mark out using the full width of the stave a lot of the splice will disappear as the bow is made and you loose a lot of the glue line/glue area.
The skinniest pair look V thin, but there is actually plenty of wood there for a bow. I've also got 'em plenty long enough (about 80" minimum)
The splices are just sawn out, they will needs cleaning up to get a good fit and maybe even steaming and clamping up, which gives a perfect fit. I did two splices no prob, but then got sloppy and completely messed up the third... I think I measured 10 mm instead of 15. I just sawed 1" off each splic re-marked and sawed 'em again, you see why I allow extra length.

I'll clean 'em up and glue the 3 in one batch. I'll do a test on the glue first as I've had it a while. Resintite is a fine white powder and does have a shelf life, once mixed it should stay workable for about two hours, if the glue is getting a bit old it can start to gel and cure in about 1/2 hour. At that point I'll buy some more. It's cheap enough but comes in rather large tubs. No point risking the bows for a few quids worth of glue.

One pair of billets isn't very thick, but they can always have a riser section glued on or even a sapwood patch on the back over the splice for extra strength and security. The darker heavy pair of billets (leaning up behind the vice) will become a warbow weight stave.
I've cleaned up the worst splice, to help get deep into the 'V' I stuck some abrasive paper onto a piece of sawblade using double side tape (from Poundland) see pic'.

Mean while the Yew AFB has had several coats of Danish Oil and has been signed, yesterday I noticed some chatter marks from the scraper on the back. They only show when the light is just right, so I sanded them down, which of course means redoing the Danish oil on that limb... the devil is in the detail and it would have spoiled the look of the bow if I hadn't taken out the marks.

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