I have not been very happy with the performance of the heavier of the two yew short bows – or maybe I should be really pleased with the performance of the lighter one? Anyway, since the bow had too much ‘set’ at 2.25 inches of set, and was underperfoming I decided a heat-treatment was in order. Heat treating does something to the timber – don’t really know what – but the long and the short of it is that the wood stiffens slightly and becomes much, much, more springy.
OK, so I thoroughly coated the bow with oil, then slowly applied a hot-air gun to the side faceing the archer (belly), keeping the gun constantly moving and watching for the timber to slowly change colour without burning it – the oil darkens more than the timber and is a good guide, it also spreads the heat over a bigger area and ‘softens’ the process. It is really difficult to not string the bow and run out and test it immediately but the timber must rest and re-hydrate for at least 24 hours.
After heat treating, the bow now has only 1″ of set (I clamped it flat while it cooled), has gained 3lbs in draw weight (a 10% increase), and has gained a whopping 30% increase in range – I am a very happy camper!