If you saw the last post you read about how Amanda met me at Pasadena and got a good start on her bow.
At this past Sunday’s SCA event she and I got back together so she could get it finished.
The bow was bending pretty good but one limb was consistently stiffer than the other. Amanda kept working on it with the cabinet scraper without a whole lot of change.
When Amanda asked me for the Shinto rasp I asked her why she wanted that tool since it removes wood a lot faster than the cabinet scraper. She showed me how she had compared limb thickness from one limb to the other and saw that she had quite a bit of wood to remove before they matched thickness. That was just about the best reasoning I’ve ever seen and it just pleased me to see her take that jump in understanding. I gave her the Shinto.
It wasn’t too much longer before she was back with the cabinet scraper. A little bit after that and we decided tillering was done: the limbs were bending well and evenly and the bow’s weight was in the range she was looking for. After thinning the limb tips Amanda re-cut the nock grooves and we were ready for a string.
By this time the event had ended and we had to leave the field. Changing location to the benches at the nearby short range I made up the new string, served it, and she put the first arrows across the bow.
At this shoot I also met a gentleman who had what is probably the most beautiful bow I have ever seen. Heath had an #85 longbow of Italian yew made by English bowyer Steve Stratton. Mr. Stratton is a Master Bowyer in The Craft Guild of Traditional Bowyers and Fletchers and if Heath's bow is a representative sample of Mr. Stratton's work, he well deserves the title.
I had the pleasure of holding the bow for a few minutes while I put a new serving on the string and I did not want to give it back. A yew bow of that weight has something it in that awakens the soul of a traditional archer.
Also impressive was Heath's clothing and kit, all period appropriate for an English longbowman. To top it all off, he was a hell of a nice fellow to chat with. Heath mentioned that he wants to learn bowmaking so I told him he really needs to come to our Pasadena gatherings where he can meet others of a like mind and we can get him started on his bowmaking path.
Watching those big arrows fly in the clout was a real treat.
Happy archery, everyone!