Thursday, 28 April 2016

Patch, Perfectionism and the Spliced Yew

Doing that patch was a pig... I'd got a lovely colour and grain matched sliver of Yew but as I was thinning it down the belt sander shot it across the garage, never to be seen again!

I made another piece and got it glued in. The patch was fine but looked ugly, it was too pale and the straight edges stuck out like a sore thumb, so I chiselled out a very shallow wider channel leaving the bulk of the patch in place and this time extended it out towards the edge of the bow so the outer edge wouldn't be straight or parallel with the other. I still had hell's own job trying to get a colour match, just couldn't find the right piece of wood, if the colour was right the rings were way too fine and close.
I always keep the offcuts from the wood I'm working so that I can match colour and grain, but this bow is effectively the whole stave and the only decent offcut I had was already used for the first big patch over the knot that went right though the limb (upper right edge of pic). Anyhow it's done now and the grain match is good and it looks better without the two parallel lines. It's still rather pale, but may mellow down with age. Now I could have heated it to darken it, but that would have made it a bit harder and maybe less strong in tension so I didn't want to do that, or I could have messed about with stain, but I hate the stuff with a passion, partly due to having dodgy colour vision and partly due to the fact that the stain manufacturers have even less idea about colour! (E.G. What they call "mahogany" looks like tart's lipstick.)
Confession time, I mixed a spot of Mahogany, Indian rosewood stain and Danish Oil and gently touched over the patch, being careful not to overdo it. I think I've toned it down a tad, the stain still isn't fully dry so there's a bit of shine... I must let it dry and then apply some Danish Oil over it.
What really matters is, will it hold up? I'll give it another day to ensure the glue has fully cured before testing it. Patience comes easier to me these days.
Here's a pic, hopefully you all think it looks ok and I'm making a fuss about nothing!

Meanwhile I've been evening out the limbs on the 80# spliced Yew bow. It's coming back nicely from a low brace, the left (lower) limb is a tad stiff.
The right limb is coming round nicely, maybe a tad stiff inner third? The middle of the bow has been left slightly bulky to give plenty of meat round the slice and the grip and give it a chunky warbow look. It has some even natural deflex in it anyway which may be making the right limb look more bent.
I can start narrowing the tips and really cleaning up the back now.

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