Saturday, 6 August 2016

Hazel Osage and Decking

I've been pretty busy with all sorts. I did the arrow pass on the 60# Yew, it needs a few coats of Danish Oil and a few more arrows through it, I may take it to a Medieval Society roving marks shoot next weekend, that would get the shooting in nicely finished.

I've done more to the Hazel and got it to a low brace. I rather jumped onto doing the hazel and ignored some of my own advice ... I cut the grip in slightly and I'm now struggling a tad with the string line... mind it was always going to be problematic with that dogleg in the lower limb. I can feel the wood is seasoning nicely, it's feeling drier under the edged tools and where it's tearing a bit round some of the knots I can feel it crisp under the rasp. With this sort of stave it's very touchy feely with plenty of looking to see where the stiff spots and weak spots are, it's certainly not a make it by numbers job. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help the string line, but I know from experience, trying to steam or heat bend at the grip is very tricky as the wood is thick and a it's only a tiny bend that's needed.
What I can do is to take 1" off each tip, this takes is down to where the limb is a bit wider and thus gives me a little extra width to shift the nock across. There are even extreme options like splicing in short levers.

I know some people are keeping an eye on this bow so I'll try to post some good detail. I've pulled it to 40# from a low brace, I thought I'd put it back on the long string and take a pic at 40# so you can see the difference it makes going to low brace (ignore the tilt in the bow in the second pic and the slight change in scale... it's hard to zoom in the same each time, I was doing it quickly).
One pic shows a knot which has a lot of tiny pins within it, on the belly the wood was tearing a bit and I used a rasp rather than the spoke shave. It looked a bit like there was a pinch or a crack, but cleaning it up revealed a row of tiny pins, I've left a hint of extra width there, but it's really down to seeing how the limb bends (Other pic shows L for "leave" marked on a slightly weak area)... a bulky knot may be a stiff spot or a potential failure point, it's down to gradually working down the thickness and the width to get an even bend... if you rush it you can easily get a hinge and a chrysal. That happened on the last Hazel primitive I did, but I patched it and it ended up being a lovely bow.
Here's a brief video, showing the progress:-

I've made a start on the Osage stave I was given back in 2014 at the Tennessee Classic by Clint "Osage Outlaw" on Primitive Archer, this stave was from a monster Osage tree. I wasn't sure what to do with the stave and I'm still not certain but I've at least chased a growth ring along the stave to give me a clean back. My options are all a sort of take on an English longbow, but they vary from a flight bow (70# at 24") to a Warbow (90# at 28") or even adding some deflex reflex whist meeting the ILAA specification for a longbow.
I'll be mulling it over while I help the wife and cat do some work in the garden, re-furbishing and extending a patio area just outside the double patio doors, to improve wheelchair access to the garden... the cat's help has been mostly to roll around in the soil.

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