So, no updates since the end of last August...
Well part of that is because, like my usual slack self, I've been working on this sort of one weekend a month. And not even that while galavanting around the world the last couple of months, nor the months previous where the backyard was too full of snow to do anything much - fortunately our new place will have a big enough indoor space to use as a workroom in winter. But a big part of that was just that there wasn't much to say; before the snows Jamie and I had a go at it on a semi-regular basis, but we were just doing more rough shaping, so there wasn't much to say. Catch-up time.
So, how to know when the rough shaping was getting close enough to think about tillering? Well one way is to bend the thing a bit, but I'm wary of doing that too soon because I don't want to break anything. And I was also concerned a bit about getting the shape right, as much as I could. So I took measurements from the Bow Construction FAQ and ended up with about 1.25" x 1.25" at the grip (in a distorted oval shape drawn around a cross 5/8" on either side arm, extending 1" below the cross and 1/4" above it), tapering down to about 5/8" wide x 1/2" deep. From these rough estimates, I made up some templates:
The templates are a couple mil bigger than the actual intended final measurements in every direction, so I could slide them over the too-big stick and see where it touched - those were the bits that needed trimming. So we did that back-and-forth for a few sessions until we pretty much fit the templates evenly. And at that point we could bend the stick a bit, so I figured it was time to think about tillering in earnest.