Primitive Archer

Main Discussion Area => Bows => Topic started by: tomm on April 08, 2007, 12:25:53 am

Title: yew
Post by: tomm on April 08, 2007, 12:25:53 am
I have been given a log of yew wood it has a lot of knots in it I was wondering how you can tell if there is a bow in it? I  think that I might be able to get a short bow say 45 to 50 inches. Having never worked yew I don't have the first idea of how Meany knots you can get away with. the log is over 6 feet long and don't want to wast it if I don't have to.
Title: Re: yew
Post by: Pat B on April 08, 2007, 12:32:36 am
How big around is it? Can you post some pics? The first thing I would do is split it at least in half and seal the ends. Study it and see where to make the split to get the best from it. You may have to make billets if it has too many knots.       Pat
Title: Re: yew
Post by: tomm on April 08, 2007, 03:44:16 am
Thanks pat b for the replay I would have put pic up but don't have a camera This log has been drying for 14 months so should be dry its about 8 or 9 inches at the bottom and mabe 6 at the top but most of the knots are at the top with Meany running down more on one side then the other. Is it better to start the split at the big end or the small? thanks tomm
Title: Re: yew
Post by: episaacs on April 08, 2007, 04:32:36 am
I can't remember where just now, but I recall seeing a picture of a yew selfbow with so many pin knots it looked like a porcupine.  A very pretty and striking bow, but undoubtedly a whole lot of work.  Ed
Title: Re: yew
Post by: Pat B on April 08, 2007, 11:45:52 am
I'm not that familiar with yew so the advice I give you is generic and without seeing the log it also a guess.  Someone not long ago posted about splitting from botton or top but I don't remember which was best...if there is a best.   Pat
Title: Re: yew
Post by: Matti on April 08, 2007, 11:48:52 am
If the wood is a bit bad quality you could remove the sapwood completely and glue on a nice piece of hickory for backing. This would allow to make a warbow or a smaller target bow.
Title: Re: yew
Post by: OldBow on April 08, 2007, 01:23:35 pm
I love yew.  I bicycle up a nearby canyon (closed to motor vehicles) to get it  The wood is beautiful and easy to scrape.  It usually has lots of small knots which do not seem to weaken the limbs.  Like King Henry's Italian yew bows, longbows are the best design for It makes a very light weight but snappy bow.  Looking forward to seeing your progress.
Title: Re: yew
Post by: tomm on April 08, 2007, 03:45:18 pm
Thanks oldbow and guys. the knots aren't pin knots they are large some as large as 1" or more thats why I don't know if it has a bow of any size in it.  Well guess I'll just have to try and split it and see what I have left. thanks all tomm
Title: Re: yew
Post by: Coo-wah-chobee on April 08, 2007, 04:04:32 pm
........Tomm ...........I split from the small end. I also kerf with a circular saw and try to get as much good wood as I can. If knots are on one side like Pat said study the log. After I kerf I carefully split along the kerf. I do this with all wood so as to maximize staves and not waste wood. When I split I use small wooden wedges (hickory) as for me they work better than the big steel ones. I kerf about 1/4 to 1/2". Good luck....................bob
Title: Re: yew
Post by: D. Tiller on April 08, 2007, 04:35:25 pm
Tomm why dont you make some Hupa or Modoc designed bows from it. They would remove the sapwood and design the bow and then sinew back them so small knots are no problem because of the sinew and you end up with a very nice hunting weight bow great for brush or densly wooded country. Very light in the hand too with a great cast within hunting ranges. Start with the modoc design since it is easier to make, from everything I have heard, then advance to the Hupa style. You should be able to get quite a few bows out of the tree this way. The bow will likly draw only 20"-24" but you will have some great bows this way!

David T
Title: Re: yew
Post by: tomm on April 08, 2007, 09:35:31 pm
Well I got it to split the top was only about 3 to 4 inches so it was smaller then I though. It split out to one side when it got to the top thats where all the knots were very close together so I ended up with one half thats about 68 or so and one thats about 50 inches the fifty inch is the better wood but it was free so I will see what I can do with it. thanks again for the help tomm
Title: Re: yew
Post by: tomm on April 08, 2007, 09:37:21 pm
forgot to say the rings are 40 or so to the inch tomm