I'm making good progress now and the Yew primitive character bow is really looking and feeling like a bow.
It's at a decent brace height (not quite full brace) and I've been going over it feeling for thick spots and easing off round the knots, tidying up the back and when the bend is even I've been rasping evenly along the belly to bring down the weight a bit at a time. I've been narrowing it slightly and rounding the edges too, allowing the odd small knot to get rasped off the edge.
You may see in the pics that the right limb is bending more, (that's the one I've just been working on) and the left is stiff in the outer 1/3 so I need to ease off the left a bit now. It's important to maintain the tiller as it's teased back the last few inches, and you have to remember that the the last 6" of draw only amounts to 2" of extra tip deflection, so it has to be right now, if it's to be right at full draw.
It really shows the value of taking video and and then looking at the still, I hadn't noticed the stiff outer on the left limb until I saw the picture. You can't beat being able to sit back and have a good look, as you don't want to be holding a bow at full weight for any longer than necessary especially if it isn't fully tillered.
I sometimes think maybe I maybe get too fussy too early, but experience tells me if you try to rough it out too close to final dimensions and try to rush the early work, it can all run away with you and you end up under weight.
It's not a race, little and often, slow and steady.
I've just been easing off the belly of that left limb tip, there's a pair of knots showing on the belly which looked fairly solid, but as I rasped down I could see a slight black line round one of them, as I picked at it with my sharpened needle file it just crumbled away opening up to form a hole which goes right through to a pin prick hole in the back. I've cleaned it out and filled it with Yew dust/epoxy mix. It just goes to show that you can't trust a knot to be solid, just because it looks solid on the surface.
I've done a bit of Youtube video showing how I work down the sapwood, tidying it up as I progress, it's a bit of technique I've not seen explained or shown before. I don't claim it's "right" clever or funny, it's just what I do and may be useful to anyone scared of working down Yew sapwood!