LumberJocks

Day 4

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Blog entry by DaveC posted 03-05-2007 10:30 PM 1485 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Now I do some final shaping. I use the rasp (Nicholson #50 patternmakers rasp) to get the bow shaped.

This is the basic shape the bow has through the whole length. Getting wider towards the handle. This particular profile is similar to the English style longbow. There are other profiles that also work well with this wood.

Now I break out the “secret weapon” of bow making. (Shhhh…..) The scraper shave! This particular one is call the bowyer’s edge sold by Dean Torges. The scraper shave allows me to effortlessly remove the tiniest of wood shavings from the bow.

Now I need to see how the bow is bending. Since I have not cut any string nocks into the tips of the bow I use a long string with pouches on the ends to slip over the tips. I put the bow on my tillering stick, pull the sting down, and hook it into one of the notches.

Not to bad!

I do a little more shaving of wood until I can bend it enough to put a string on it. I shape the nocks with a small rasp.

I used to mark these first. Now days I just eyeball it.

Now I put a string on it.
Now that’s nice!

And the string runs down the middle (more or less)

Now I continue removing wood and checking, each time pulling the bow a little farther.

The left side is looking darn near perfect. The right side has a stiff section towards the handle. And out towards the tips.

The tricky point here is that you can only REMOVE wood to get the bow bending properly and equally on both sides. Once you take it off you cant put it back on!

I don’t have a picture of it, but I place a bathroom scale under the tillering stick and as I pull the string down I watch the scale. This tells me how strong the bow is. I am shooting for about a 50# bow on this one. I will continue this process of removing wood, checking on the tillering stick, removing wood, checking ….. until I get the bow to pull its full length at the weight of about 60#. (You lose some weight from final sanding and “shooting it in” The key to this process is to proceed SLOWLY!!. If you take off too much from one side you have to take some off the other side to balance it out. My first bow ended up to be about 15#!

During this process I leave the handle section flat. It sits better on the tillering stick. After I get it close to final tiller I shape the handle.

After I shape the handle I shoot the bow to get a feel for how its performing. This also “breaks the bow in” As the wood fibers compress and settle in to their final shape.

Now its time to put on some overlays on the tips. This is optional for the most part, but I think it adds a nice touch to the bow.

I prepare some small strips of ebony, then use a scraper blade to prepare the surface.

Now to mix up some glue. For wood to wood I really like Urac 185. It has not failed me yet.

Apply the glue and we are done for today.


-- Dave.



6 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34874 posts in 3051 days


#1 posted 03-05-2007 10:58 PM

Very interesting. How many bows have you made.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2811 days


#2 posted 03-06-2007 01:16 AM

Rick and I have been following your progress. He says: we used to use a stick and a piece of string. Much easier
hahahaa

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View DaveC's profile

DaveC

39 posts in 2800 days


#3 posted 03-06-2007 01:28 AM

This will bow will be number 8. (I think, I am starting to lose track)

-- Dave.

View Karson's profile

Karson

34874 posts in 3051 days


#4 posted 03-06-2007 02:19 AM

Are you trying different variations other than trying to get the pounds pull up to where it belongs.

Or you mainly trying different woods.

Have your made one from Bois D’Arc

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 2978 days


#5 posted 03-06-2007 02:57 AM

Very interesting process. I don’t know if i’d be able to keep myself from rushing the process. So nervewracking to get it so precisely balanced – without ending up with a bow that couldn’t shoot past your feet.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Karson's profile

Karson

34874 posts in 3051 days


#6 posted 03-06-2007 04:20 AM

Scott:

if it doesn’t work out I don’t know if you’d have many pieces to reuse for Lamps like Dusty does.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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