Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Bow Stave

Last week I mentioned that I spent a bit of time on my bow stave project. So, I thought I might include an update on how it's taking shape.

The draw knife that Mary bought me is a wonderful tool. It makes removal of the extra wood fairly quick. Unfortunately for me the more the ash cures the harder it gets. That means it becomes harder to cut.

So my next experiment will be with a young tree that I cut at the same time but have kept in the bark and kept in the garage at low temperatures. It will have aged some, but most of the moisture will remain and hopefully keep it easier to cut.

Both ends are now squared on the belly and sides. I'm beginning to taper them. On the right end of this photo you can see that the stave bends toward the belly a bit. There's a knot in the wood at that point. From reading in the Bowyer's Bible I believe I'll have to leave the area around the knot a bit thicker to prevent it from breaking.

Elsie was willing to pose with the stave so that I could show the scale. Elsie is 4 foot and a few inches. The stave is 6 feet. I'm leaving the back of the bow rounded with the curve of the outside wood. The belly is being tapered out toward that outside edge.

Given the amount of time each week I spend on it (about 45 minutes), It should be done in late February.