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Chapter IV
Making the Bow
Part 8 of 10

Last we come to the real fine work. It consists of getting the surfaces completely flat along the lines of the taper, and the tool to be used is a toothing plane. This, the most important instrument known to the trade of bow making, is provided with an upright cutting iron which prevents making anything but a perfectly even surface. Thus it takes off all invisible "hills" and erases all hollows. And it makes a very clean job out of even the coarsest of bow wood; for it does not cut, but rather scrapes.

fig. 8
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How toothing plane takes down "humps" (which throw excess strain on weak spots), and leaves a true line, so that all parts of bow pull with evenly distributed power.

Good results can be had with a scraper plane, but the toothing plane has no equal for this kind of work.

As will have been borne in mind right along, the work of making a bow is really nothing more than a cutting-down process. And always the maker must keep some slack, so to speak, as he approaches the finishing. One can always take more wood off; but putting it back on is impossible. Do not forget this, for there is almost sure to be some work to do in adjusting the two limbs to pull just right.

The edges of the back may now be rounded off, and the temporary notches cut—as near the ends as possible—for the bowstring. The addition of the grasp may wait, as it usually will, until the maker has satisfied himself how the bow is going to behave.