At the Western States Traditional Rendezvous shoot a few weeks ago in Petaluma, CA I managed to pick up a couple freshly cut yew logs from Dan of Wapiti Archery who came down from Oregon.
Ken Villars did a splitting demo for interested parties using one of the logs so I came home with two freshly split staves and one log.
Ken graciously offered to cut the log on his bandsaw so I passed it to him at the following Pasadena gathering and should be getting the resulting staves back on the 15th at the next gathering.
Looking for something to do this past Saturday at an SCA event I decided to debark one of the split staves and reduce the width a bit to speed the drying.
I don't normally get to work green wood because the balance of the wood I get has already dried. Wow, was it ever a pleasure to work this yew!
I recently got a neat little drawknife at an old tool swapmeet and this is the first chance I've had to use it. This new drawknife turned out to be a wonderful tool for gently removing the stave's bark without going too deep and gouging into the sapwood.
For serious wood removal I'll stick with the full size drawknife but when it gets to the delicate stuff this new guy is Bob's uncle.
As is common when I do work like this at an SCA event, I fielded a lot of questions about what I was doing. Folks are used to seeing event participants sew, weave, spin yarn, and do other somewhat portable activities. But setting up the shavehorse and then making a big mess like I did always brings folks over to chat.
Today I gave the freshly exposed back of the stave a coat of polyurethane to keep the wood from losing moisture too quickly. I'll put the stave in my custom hotbox (the interior of my truck's shell) and keep an eye on it.
I'm looking forward to working with this wood and I hope my skills are up to the task.
Many thanks to Fayme for taking a break from face painting and teddy bear juggling to get these pictures of me. My hands were otherwise occupied.