Author Topic: Should I heat treat this juniper (communis) bow?  (Read 185 times)

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Offline dratera

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Should I heat treat this juniper (communis) bow?
« on: January 09, 2019, 11:24:04 am »
Reason for asking is that i read juniper is good in compression and weak in tension, so I figure toasting it will make the belly overpower the back?

The back in question is pretty horrible, lots of knots, dips, holes etc as you can see in the pictures. Could`nt find any good ones when stave hunting so i just snatched this sapling that was so thin that the handle is more or less the diameter of the tree. First time working with juniper, and going for elb style with rounded belly, though its not more than about 62,5 " long . When i started working on it my attitude was this is just a fun test to see how far it goes before breaking but now im at 20 " draw and 40 #, and it looks like it might hold up, but have started taking quite a bit of set. Hoping for around 50 # at 28", too much to ask?. But before going crazy with the heat gun i figured it was a good idea to ask you guys.
Because of the diameter of the tree the sapwood goes around the sides on some parts of the bow, and its about 50/50 sap/heartwood in one end and 70 sap/ 30 in the other.  And to beat you to it; no i don`t have any sinew to put on it  ;)




side view, belly is on top, that hole is in the side but just a few mm from the belly


« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 11:35:20 am by dratera »

Offline Pat B

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Re: Should I heat treat this juniper (communis) bow?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2019, 01:10:55 pm »
I'd think a backing like rawhide or sinew would be a better option. If it is good in compression why bother toasting. Careful tillering would be more appropriate.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline TimBo

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Re: Should I heat treat this juniper (communis) bow?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2019, 04:45:13 pm »
When did you harvest the stave?  Maybe the moisture content is still a bit high.  You might consider just shooting this one at a short draw length.  Getting 8 more inches if it is already taking a lot of set doesn't seem realistic to me. 

Offline dratera

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Re: Should I heat treat this juniper (communis) bow?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 06:00:50 pm »
Pat yeah you are right, I`ll try to get the tiller spot on. Timbo i have to agree, doesnt look good, its not even braced more than 4 inches. Cut it down now more than a couple of weeks ago, but i fast dried it in my fan/heat box until it stopped losing weight, than let it rehydrate a couple of grams. Not seasoned at all. Think i will lower the weight to 40 # and try to get it all the way to 28 anyways, though i was starting to grow fond of the damn thing, it is just an experiment after all to see if i can pull it off :)