Author Topic: A Crooked Bow  (Read 9970 times)

Offline vtsteam

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2015, 03:53:55 PM »
Sounds interesting!

Oddly enough, the stave i had in mind for the Meare Heath style bow I want to build is a really big piece of witch hazel that i cut last year -- it was in the way of a giant ash I had to cut down near the workshed which had died. Had to saw off the witch hazel to position the saw in the ash.

I found that stave a month ago lying on the ground and apparently seasoned. Thought, hmmm maybe it would be good for a bow. Then researching the wood heard that witch hazel isn't a favored bow material-- at least by one person.

Thought about how I'd do it anyway, just to see for myself (as usual), and imagined using it for a wide and long bow to suit -- and then came across the Meare Heath bow, and thought, perfect -- seems suited for it. Maybe that's why they did them that way, etc, etc.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2015, 04:06:16 PM »
Thanks Simon! :beer:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline RussellT

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2015, 04:07:19 AM »
Nice work Steve - as you say it's interesting to learn about something a bit different - and I think that provides opportunities for cross fertilisation of ideas and innovation.  Thanks.

Russell

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2015, 05:00:25 AM »
Steve, I suspect that the English ash was a common material-as was your hickory.

My late father was apprenticed as a blacksmith\farrier in coach works and talked about 'lancewood' for shafts.

Frankly, I have no idea. As for ash, it was the chosen wood for folding canoes( actually kayaks)

One, a Klepper, crossed the Atlantic before WW2. All my folders were with ash frames.

Meanwhile, cheers

Norman

Offline awemawson

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2015, 07:27:23 AM »
Presumably 'lancewood' as the grain was straight and thus suitable. Ash was very commonly used for car frames when that was the style as it can be bent to form, but in practice it rots all too rapidly
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2015, 12:08:13 PM »
I think that a lot of bad press came from the Morris Minor 'woodie' which had little varnish on it.

Resinous Chemicals made 2 part epoxies for Rolls Royce 'bright work'. I never had any bother with racing paddles either.

Cheers

Norman

Offline awemawson

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2015, 12:53:24 PM »
Yes my Moggie Minor Traveller rotted where the roof gutters discharged down the rear ash uprights now you come to mention it, but it was the body frame of an MG TC that I had in mind when I mentioned it above. My late brother and I rebuilt a 1946 MC-TC from the bits of two, and both body frames were rotten as pears  :bugeye: Only just enough left for use as templates to band saw out the required 3 D shapes.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline vtsteam

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2015, 03:19:57 PM »
My stepfather had a Morgan +4, and I think that had a wood frame, too. But it might have been oak.

Norman ash is a favored bow wood here, too. Doesn't quite have the kudos hickory gets as a board bow, but close. Red oak is in the same league. Top woods for self bows here are Osage orange, Pacific Yew, black locust, and elm.

I'm sure the folding kayaks had the best wood for the purpose in ash -- it's very tough, relatively light for its strength and flexible. It's also used as sail battens for sails -- inserted into pockets in the roach. Baseball bats are also traditionally made of ash because of its flexibility and light weight.

It isn't subject to rot in those other uses, since it's usually not sitting in the damp or fresh water -- nobody keeps a folding kayak (decked canoe actually) on a mooring or at a dock. They are folded and stored indoors -- or should be!

But i can also confirm what Andrew says about its susceptibility to rot. I cut a lot of wood around here for heat, and will often use fallen or standing deadwood trees if they are sound, for preference. But nothing rots as fast as ash, I've found. If it falls, you have to get it that same year, or it's mush. The birches are a little better. Red maple can go a few years with only the outer sapwood breaking down. Red oak can go three years and be mostly sound. Cherry seems the longest lasting of all on the ground. I've cut seemingly rotten cherry logs five years old -- just to move them, and found a hard center an inch under the softer wood.

Russell, thanks so much! Glad it's turned out to be interesting -- I was kinda wondering if it would be on a machinist site. :beer:

I think maybe I like bows because they're active. Woodworking isn't so interesting to me because I really like engines and airplanes, and stuff like that-- things that move and have performance. That's always got my interest. While something like a bowl or furniture is static. Yet I have all this wood, and always wish I could do something interesting with it.

So finally hitting on bows is really capturing my imagination. Because they are kind of like engines themselves. They store energy, they move, and they have performance, which is easy to see. And they have a long and varied history. So there's a lot to think about.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline DMIOM

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2015, 03:40:32 PM »
Steve,

I've really enjoyed this build log - and a lot of the reason is that you've included the 'why' rather than just 'I did this and this then this'.

Dave  :beer:

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2015, 03:43:49 PM »
Steve, I was reading you comments-especially the last para. Before I left home-staying where there is thatching school and was the family home of the Arkwrights-arc or ark wrights-the Spinning Jenny folk, there is a new craze. No idea about the name but it is fighting with bows and arrows.

What next?

Enjoying the topic

Norman


Offline awemawson

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Re: A Crooked Bow
« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2015, 04:12:03 PM »
The body frame of the Morgan is still made from Ash
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex