Saturday, 6 November 2010

Yew Bow.

A bonus of the day job ( forestry) is that I occasionally come across something useful, in this case some nice straight grown Yew. Most of the yew that grows within the UK is difficult to convert into a useable bow by virtue of having too much side growth leading to too many knots & imperfections . Our medieval ancestors had access to Yew grown in Lombardy which was managed from an early stage to produce very straight grained specimens ideal for producing bows.
By chance I was able to harvest some specimens from within an overgrown yew hedge which by virtue of their environment had grown with very little side growth, the result is shown below,
This is the outcome after a days work with spokeshave & scraper plus another afternoon to fit the buffalo horn nocks. It draws well to 50lbs at 30" which may seem a bit gay when compared to the medieaval counterpart at 100lbs+ but bear in mind that after twenty years of intensive forestry work and with the prospect of having to work into my eighties as a result of the paucity of a private pension I have no intention of converting myself into a hunchbacked arthritic just to indulge in toxophilic dick waving.

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