Author Topic: Preparing a Yew Stave  (Read 1330 times)

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Offline KamloopsPrairieBoy

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Preparing a Yew Stave
« on: October 31, 2017, 08:59:20 pm »
This morning I had the good fortune to harvest a Yew tree - it is about 10' in diameter. I have 2 - 7' lengths and 1 branch that is about 4" in diameter.  2 quick questions: Do I split it into staves now - or wait for it to partially dry?  Second question is a bit more complex.  The outside bark was bruised in transport. Just my luck that this was on the part of the tree that is knot free and appears the straightest.  The bark was damaged and I can see the sapwood but the sapwood doesn't appear to be damaged. I am thinking I will need to chase a few rings of sapwood in any case - but - do I need to worry that the integrity of the wood has been damaged?  I will be grateful for any help you give me. Thanks

Offline Pat B

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Re: Preparing a Yew Stave
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 05:46:39 am »
I haven't worked much yew but if you don't split it at least in half so the moisture has somewhere to escape from you could get some checking along it's length. You will have to remove the damaged area for a clean back but yew(from what I've heard and done) can handle some grain violations on the back unlike most other bow woods.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Online Del the cat

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Re: Preparing a Yew Stave
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 05:57:57 am »
Half it at least, paint the ends. (Split or bandsaw)
DON'T touch the sapwood! Wait until it's seasoned.
Only remove the bark if borers are a problem in your area.
The sapwood is probably fine, often the bark gets damaged, but the sapwood is fine underneath it.
The common mistakes are leaving timber "in the round", leaving it on the ground or putting a tarpaulin over it.
It needs to be dry and have good air movement to season it.
Health warning, these posts may contain traces of nut.

Offline DC

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Re: Preparing a Yew Stave
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 08:15:29 am »
+1 with what's been said but also with you being from Kamloops try and find a cool dampish place to put the wood for the first few months. On the Island I don't worry about checking at all but Kamloops is "tad" drier.
Vancouver Island
If you don't have any questions you must not be paying attention.

Offline penderbender

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Re: Preparing a Yew Stave
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 07:56:44 pm »
+2 At 10" I might even quarter it. Sounds like you'll get a few good stave from that. Cheers- Brendan

Offline KamloopsPrairieBoy

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Re: Preparing a Yew Stave
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 08:16:00 pm »
Thanks for the help.  I talked to a sawyer on the coast this am and he said the same things I am hearing from you so I split the logs today.  Most had about a 90 degree twist along the 7' but I have a couple of staves that I am really hoping will work. I have a dark - cool spot in mind. We'll see how they turn out a year from now. Lots to learn.