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Woodwright’s School Day Two: Steam Bending

Day two is all about the bow. We started with a White Oak log then split and rived it into rough blanks. From there it was all about the drawknife to create a blank of perfectly straight grain that would bend without running out.

A while ago I wrote about repetition building hand skills, this is the perfect example. After shaving spindles for 8 hours yesterday then moving on to a wider piece like this bow, I felt I had a pretty good grasp of how to use a drawknife and how to read the wood. About 1 hour into working today, the light bulb went off and all the muscle memory kicked in from yesterday and I was suddenly shaving like a pro with confidence of which direction I was heading in the plane of the grain and where wood needed to be removed. It was pretty dang exciting and proof that the best way to learn is to just put blade to wood for a while.

The late afternoon was spent at Roy’s mill and home. What a treat! From steam bending to beer and hard cider on the creek shared with good company and stories. What a day!

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