Monthly Archives: December 2014

Bow Making Catastrophes and Woodworking Digressions

See that bend? That's zebra wood belly with crysaling. The last six bows I built had limbs with hinges so bad they make this thing look almost straight.

See that bend? That’s a zebra wood belly with crysaling. The last six bows I built had limbs with hinges so bad they make this thing look almost straight.

Here’s what happened:

(Short version)

Started making bows May 2013. By October: Made 20; Sold 3; Broke 10 or 11; Gave some away; Kept some.
Stopped during hideously cold winter (my opinion) because the 4B* is about as heat-able as an open field.
Restarted bow making June 2014. Made 6 new-style (for me) bows.
Each. One. Failed.
And failed in precisely the same way.
Each time one failed, I thought I’d figured out why. After the sixth failure, I decided I needed to step away for a couple weeks. Do something different.

This was different: I saw a video about making headboards with pallet wood. I thought, “I can do that.” And I did it.
The headboard got unexpected rave reviews. That was the point, I think, at which I became a woodworker. Maybe scare quotes should hedge “woodworker”.
I continued working with pallet wood. Some of the stuff looks really nice when you clean it up.
I’ve been doing that ever since. Ever since … let’s say late August.
Will I make bows again?
Yes. I certainly plan to. And I really do think I know what caused the problem.
By the way: the problem? One limb bent perfectly, the other — no matter the weight of the bow — hinged like a boiled elbow. Ugly.
Why did I quit blogging about making bows?
I wasn’t making them. And I’m lazy.
Will I keep blogging about bow making?
I don’t know. There are lots of very good bow making sites out there. You can find a few of them if you rummage around this site. Any one of them will help you far more than I can. I don’t call the blog “BrokeStick” for nothing.
But I do love making bows. And I like woodworking. And I like wordworking.
*4B = Bow Building Barn