Author Topic: Yew Recurve Build-Along  (Read 1708 times)

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Offline High-Desert

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Yew Recurve Build-Along
« on: July 12, 2018, 07:36:07 am »
I have always wanted to do a build along, but every time I start, I forget to take pictures at so many steps, that it never comes together. So I am going to give this a try again, and maybe by starting the build along I will feel more obligation to take pictures along the way.
The goal is a 60" yew recurve, with some sort of snakeskin backing. I said goal, so how it actually turns out seems never to be the same as I plan.
The stave is from the straightest yew tree I have ever seen. There was 144" of clean perfectly straight trunk, with one section with a few knots. This tree gave me 9 beautiful 72" staves and 4 that weren't quite as good. The 144" section was cut in two, then each split into 1/6, and one of those staves split again, giving me 13 staves. The staves have been in my shop since March 2017.

The end of the stave has a bit of twist from drying, nothing too bad. I will cut the stave to 62". The far end of the stave will be cut off, the more twisted section, as can be seen in the photo. Then I will use my draw knife to remove the bark. I am not careful at this stage, as I will be thinning
The sapwood to 1/4" after the bow is roughed out. I will also be chasing a ring in the sapwood once it's roughed out and thinned.
Any criticism or suggestions along the way would be great.



Eric

Offline Aaron H

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 08:03:40 am »
Beautiful stave.   Good luck on your build along, I'll be following.  :OK

Offline osage outlaw

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 10:48:59 am »
Sounds like a good plan.  Thanks for doing the build a long.
I started out with nothin' and I still got most of it left

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 08:45:34 pm »
I'll be watching very closely!  Got a yew stave to work on!  Thinking about something close to the Meare Heath, or Sudbury design, but still have to get the hickory to draw length and weight!  Fast, I ain't!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2018, 06:22:27 am »
Are those pictures sideways? I posted them on my phone, and they are right side up when I pull the site on there.......

Hawkdancer, this is one of the sister staves to the yew stave I sent you in the supply trade. I look forward to seeing what you do with that yew, as well as that hickory your working on.
Eric

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 04:47:39 pm »
I have removed the bark with a drawknife, leaving just a bit of the pinkish colored cambium layer, shown in the above picture.
Since this stave has been split, using a fabric tape, I measure across the stave and find the centerline. I do this every 6" or so down the stave, then connect the marks, this established my centerline. There are several ways to do this, some just follow the grain down the middle, or follow the high section of the crown down. I like measuring everything, so I have found this method works well for me.
Eric

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 05:00:30 pm »
With fabric tape, it is difficult to hold it at 0 on the edge, so I start at 10", just for ease of dividing by 2, to find the center.
I then begin to mark out the rough dimensions of the desired bow. I mark off 1" from each end to mark where my nocks will be. Nock to nock will be 60" on this bow. I then find the center of the bow and mark 2" either side for the grip, then 2" out further for the fades. The handle lines are marked out at 1-1/4" at center, and 1-1/8" and the handle fade contact, then run the lines out to 1-3/4" wide, these run to mid limb, then taper to 1/2" at the tips. When I rough out the bow, I will follow just shy of the lines until I am about 8" from the tips, where I will stay about an inch wide to make recurving a bit easier and prevent twisting.
Eric

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 05:08:08 pm »
I did make little mistake.....I was planning on reducing the sapwood to about 1/4", but I forgot to do that before roughing out. So the stave is rouhged out, which I used the bandsaw for, but sometimes I will use a hatchet to rough out the stave. It really depends on the temperature outside. Right now, its way too hot, so it had been roughed out on the bandsaw, but it really doenst take much longer to rough out a stave with a hatchet. Once the stave was roughed out, I began reducing the sapwood with a draw knife. I use a small device I made for measuring thickness that references off of one side of the stave. I forgot to get pictures of it, but I will gets some. The device helps me keep thicknesses consistent when getting the belly down to thickness and reducing the sapwood.
Eric

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2018, 05:13:49 pm »
Heres the stave with the sapwood reduced. Next, I will be chasing a ring in the sapwood. This step is not necessary, but I like doing it and it looks better when a ring is chased.....even tho I will be putting snake skings on this one. Chasing a ring in sapwood is not that difficult, the key is proper lighting. When the light hits it just right, coming just over one of your shoulders. I typically start with the drawknife, to get close to a ring, Then using a cabinet scraper, do the final touches.
Eric

Offline NZnuka

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  • breakin' so I can make'em
Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2018, 04:32:08 pm »
I'm keeping tabs! haha hope you take it to the end!

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2018, 03:50:15 pm »
After I have taken the sapwood down to rough thickness with a drawknife. I chase a final ring with the cabinet scraper. Here I didn't choose a deep enough ring to chase, so I have a few violations, about three rings. I am not concerned about this, so I will leave it. 
Eric

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2018, 03:55:53 pm »
Next, I will recurve the tips, I have always done this before the tillering process, usually just getting the limbs bending a bit, and thinning the limb tips to the right thickness to allow bending. Chasing a ring on the belly side where the recurve will be, helps prevent split out. I start by soaking the limb tip in water overnight, then boiling the tips for about an hour before bending. I set up my form before bending so I can get it bent as fast as possible. Then leave it in the form for a day while I soak the other side.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 04:46:24 am by High-Desert »
Eric

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2018, 07:14:21 pm »
After both sides have been recurved and dried a few days, and I have the limbs bending a bit, it typically do an initial heat treating, along with a bit of straighting. When doing relatively drastic recurves, string alignment can be an issue, so I get everything lined up in this initial heat treating. I may have to do this several times to get it all lined up. Its important to get things lined up before getting to brace so the string will stay on the recurves. There will definitely be some sine tuning along the way with a series of heating treating and tweaking to get everything lined up.
Eric

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2018, 07:16:45 pm »
This first heat treating is pretty aggressive, going pretty hot and not worrying too about much how hot I get the wood.
Eric

Offline High-Desert

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Re: Yew Recurve Build-Along
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2018, 07:25:27 pm »
Well, I did run into a problem, I ended up with a lateral crack near the sapwood, right in the fades. So I will take some wood out to see if I can get to the bottom of the crack.
Eric