Glenn St Charles' "Billets to Bows" will give you some idaes for yew bows. Yew makes great bow whether it be a longbow, ELB or flat bow, straight limbs, reflex/deflex or recurve. Yew is easy to manipulate with dry heat also.
-------------------- Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes! TGMM Family of the Bow Posts: 10114 | From: Brevard, NC. | Registered: Apr 2003
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Art shot ELB style yew bows. The famous cover art of his book shows a full compass tiller English long bow. His book also has measurements for this style of bow. Chester Stevenson (Den of the Old Bow Hunter) made shorter flat bow style yew bows and has measurements. You can make any style of bow you want from yew. Two things to keep in mind: Yew dust is VERY poisonous - wear a mask if you sand. The other is that yew will not bend as far as some other woods - you need a long working limb and be ready for some explosions as you learn this wood.
Ooops, I'm wrong (again), Art did lean towards flat bows. It was Saxton that stayed with ELB's. Art switched to osage as soon as he tried it. His hunting bows in Alaska and Africa were osage - better stuff for short bows and rough field work.
Thanks Shaun...Does anyone have the Chester Stevenson, or Art Young, flat bow dimensions they would be willing to share? Art..... I've worked a bit with Yew and Vine Maple before down here. It may not be an ideal climate but I wouldn't let it stop me from making some shavings... ..... Terry
-------------------- "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.".. Ralph Waldo Emerson Posts: 2688 | From: Mesa, AZ | Registered: Mar 2003
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I have had good luck with dimensions similar to osage flat bows - the difference is in VERY slow and careful tillering. It was Saxton who said, "The full drawn bow is 7/8 broken." He was talking about yew. Osage is only half broken at full draw. Not much room for error in working yew. My first several exploded during tillering. Finally got the method better and have made several in a row without excitement. Long working limb designs and never even approaching much less exceeding draw past where you can see a flaw in tiller.
Great stuff when you get a bow made. The wood is so light that all the power goes into the arrow and not working to move heavy limbs.
Chester made some short - like 60" - bows from yew with high draw weights and pulling 28". He was the one who said, "We made our heavy bows heavy and our broadheads broad."
You can violate the back (sapwood) rings to thin to an even 1/4" and have a short fixed handle area or even semi bend-in-the-handle tiller.
Be careful not to overdry yew. It'll explode, even if the tiller is perfect.
There's only ONE bowmaking do-over I wish I could have, and it was a yew selfbow... the style you're talkin' about. It was a thing of beauty, tight growth rings, perfectly clear wood, backed by its own sapwood in a single growth ring that I chased forEVER, white horn tips, done, tillered to 28", shot in, still showing a little reflex... then I forgot it in the drying box, for a couple of months actually, and it blew up as I tried to brace it. I was sick... and it still bothers me now thinking about it.
I should make another just like it.
Posts: 863 | From: Pa | Registered: Apr 2003
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