About 5 years ago I got bit by the self bow bug (again) and I ordered a stave from "a bowyer with 11 years of experience". I wasn't too pleased with it when it arrived and numerous calls and emails failed to rectify the issues. Consequently I put it on the side and haven't touched it since.
This is not my first self bow build and although I don't claim to be a master at it I do have five other Osage bows that I had built that shoot great and are fun to hunt with.
The stave that I am currently working on is "unique" to say the least. It is the most lifeless piece of Osage that I have ever seen. It started out as at 68" but I had to cut 6" off of the end because of 2 knots that ran almost from edge to edge on it. It's coloration is a drab sickly tan/brown with no hints of yellow or orange in it. In fact if it wasn't for the end grain structure I wouldn't believe it was Osage at all. I left the piece that I cut off outside, where it has been for the past three years, and rather than turning a dark rich brown or black, it turned gray.
I just split it to show the coloration of the wood.
My dilemma is that I think that I can still salvage something out of it. It may be wishful thinking, but I am coming to you all for ideas on what to do next.
I cut most of the crapwood down to a decent ring and have started to chase it.
The first issue is that when the stave was split it was in the shape of a wedge with a sharpish point on the belly side. A rough layout shows that, where the handle will be will not be a flat are but angled and rather thin.
As you can see there is a knot right in the center of it but that should cause no concern.
The second issue is the location of the two humongous knots near where the handle would be.
This should give you an idea of its location.
There is also another knot running out of the side of the limb a little further up.
There is a slight twist to the stave, which should steam out pretty easily, and the grain has a snakey aspect to it also.
My first thought was to make a "D" bow out of it, but because of its narrow width I don't think I'll have enough to work with. Due primarily to the angle of the stave in the middle (it is only 1 7/8" wide measured across the back).
Therefore, I am thinking "C" bow or possible a Molly. I know I'll have to leave those knots a little proud, and am a little concerned about how the will bend because of their nearness to each other (not to mention their godawful size). I am hoping to get 55# or more out of it, but that may be wishful thinking.
I look forward to your comments and thoughts.