Sunday, 21 February 2016

Yew Sapwood Bow Full Draw... and a bit more!

Blimey! I was going to make a decent string before taking it this far, but what the heck. This shows that I should be able to shoot it at my normal 27" draw with no problem (and probably no accuracy!)
To have pushed it this far has taken some decent wood a bit of skill, patience and an awful lot of luck.
As kids and beginners we mistakenly want to make short bows with fancy curves and long draws an infeasible draw weights. Experience and luck are wonderful things.
I'll make a decent string for it now and maybe try a thumb ring... there's always something new to try with bow making and I'd encourage anyone to have a go, the results can sometimes be quite surprising.

You can see it's working a lot more at the grip, I have since eased off the stiff area just a whisker to relive the stress on the rest of the bow. If you cold a CD (or mug etc) up to the pic it shows the stiff area and that the central section is not a bad arc of a circle.

You can see the bow has taken some set, but better some set than exploding! Improving the tiller and having overdrawn it a whisker will give me some room to increase the brace height a whisker to help it shoot sweeter, that's all part of tuning the bow.

Update:- First test shot hit dead centre! You can feel the bow stacking (draw weight increases sharply like hitting a brick wall) it gets to full draw. I was pulling it to about 26.5" but it shoots quite sweetly. Skinnier lighter arrow would be interesting, I might try some of my medium flight arrows through it (I don't want to risk smashing my lightest ones).

Just for completeness I'm adding a picture of the bow after some final tweaking, showing the tiller at my actual 27" draw length, mainly 'cos someone criticised the tiller on the unfinished bow (presumably without reading what was said...groan). It doesn't profess to be perfect, it's a bit of experimental fun.
Video of it being shot here:-


  1. Crazy bow! Is it all sapwood? Or a little bit of heartwood! How thick/wide is it? Thanks brendan.

  2. All sapwood, about 28mm wide at its widest about 8mm thick mid limb.