We had a great weekend – got the jig set up on the platform, and successfully made the first bow.
The second bow wasn’t the same shape as the first, so we had to spend some time figuring that one out, and finally came to the conclusion that neither one of us are particularly strong at math, and that the simplest approach would be to just trace the outline of the first bow, and then squish things around until the shapes of all subsequent bows match Bow #1. This material is wood, it is inexpensive wood, and the pieces are long, so each piece bends differently. Additionally, is spite of the forecast for 3 straight sunny days, we have had sudden afternoon downpours, and a few cloudy afternoons. Wet wood behaves even more erratically than dry wood, and so pre-rain versus post-rain bows were a factor, as well. However, in the end, here we are on Sunday evening with almost half the bows built, and, I might add, having had a great Juice Plus weekend as well, full of productive 3 way calls with new team members, and some great new people looking at our business.
The setting of the jig was the longest part of the bow building process. It took us the better part of Friday to get the blocks where they needed to be, and then we had to leave Friday afternoon. Saturday we managed to build another bow, but Bow #2, as it was referred to, was a very different curve than bow number one, so while the glue was still tacky, we undid screws and let pressure off, so that Bow #2 matched Bow #1. We then had to determine what cause the difference in shape, and think it was because we put down two extra blocks (which the plans didn’t call for) in an effort to maintain the curve with a longer piece of wood. The original plans call for using 14’ long 2×3’s, and we are building ours with an 8’ 2×3 glued to a 16’ 2×3, total length 24’, and very wobbly indeed.
After we figured out to just trace the line of Bow #1, we were then able to make sure each bow matched the right curve before proceeding too far. So even though Bow #1 took about 3 hours to make, but the end of today, we could build a bow in 16 minutes. We actually got fast enough that we ran out of battery power in the drills faster than the batteries could recharge. Pretty heady stuff!
So the final tally this evening is 12 bows built. Three more and we’re half way done. We need more lumber tomorrow, but the goal is to get at least 10 built tomorrow, and then build the balance Tuesday. We are hoping the weather cooperates so that we can get these all built by Tuesday evening, and then on Wednesday, assuming it stays dry, we can paint the big boards going under the foundation of 2×6’s. I’ve added a bunch of photos from the weekend’s endeavors so you can see some of the progression of the construction of these bows.