Friday, 10 June 2016

Pleasantly Tired this Morning

I got some decent exercise yesterday, I went out and cut a couple of Hazel logs. I'd been threatening to do it for ages, but I thought, I'd better get out there and do it else I'll have no Hazel for next year, and I've sort of promised a primitive Hazel bow for a friend.
It was harder work than I expected as the limbs are threaded up through the tree so you can't be certain how their weight will bear down and try to jam the saw.
Did that bit of flight shooting too, only 9 arrows from an 80# bow but I really stretched out to try and get 32" (my left shoulder feels it this morning) also fair bit of walking too and fro. I was good and tired but feel better for it this morning.

I'd noticed my lathe was producing a finish akin to a burnt sausage, also that it was tight at one end of the travel. I did some searching online and found a good pdf about overhauling a lathe, coupled with what I've learned by using it, I set to and tuned it up. The main ways were slightly worn where the carriage is normally operated and tight at the ends. I didn't use a lot of fancy measurement techniques, just some common sense and a good deal of patience and care. Just like tillering a bow, do a little and check it. A little gentle work with an oil stone just eased off the unworn areas and now it's much more even along the length, I could probably have done more, but didn't want to risk spoiling what I'd achieved. I tightened/adjusted up everything and it's giving a much better cut now.

I'll put a new coarse blade on the bandsaw today and process some of my logs.
Bugger, the shortest log would easily make two lovely primitives and maybe some offcuts for arrow shafts... if it wasn't rotten. Looks like it had been lying on the woodland floor or somewhere wet before it was collected, or maybe stood up end on on a damp/wet floor. If you click on the pics you can clearly see the rot, and I could easily push that screwdriver into it.
The second log is much better, there's an interesting feature at the top end where the log forked with a lot of manky stuff quite deep into the wood, some dark patches further down too, but I don't think it's rot. The other end is a bit suspect and I've sawn about 3" off to try to get to clean looking wood, my gut feeling on it isn't very good, but hopefully being in favourable conditions it will start to dry properly and the rot will stop.

Just for the record, to season wood it needs to be off the ground and under cover with plenty of free air movement around it NOT with a tarpaulin draped over it which will trap the moisture. If logs are stacked, they want thin offcuts between the layers to allow air circulation. Air circulation is more important than warmth. Painting the ends is good. I've heard people say it's not necessary, but the Hazel I cut yesterday had already started a radial split from the centre at the ends just 24 hours later... draw your own conclusions.

I've got the Yew and the Hazel, sawn and painted. I'll get it up on my shelves tomorow when the PVA is dry.
I won't bore you rigid by posting pics of every log!


  1. In in the photo with the long log cut in half the uncut log on the right looks like it has some nice 'ripples' and undulations. did you cut that one up as well? what sort of bows are you planning for these logs? please post some for photos I would be interested to see what the staves look like.


  2. Hi Dan, pics and some chat added to the next post, (Random Stuff)