Author Topic: Strengthening bow with finish  (Read 1099 times)

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Offline apg

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Strengthening bow with finish
« on: December 07, 2019, 08:22:02 pm »
Hi all,
Iíve finished a new bow, and after having many bows break on me in the past, I want to ensure this one has the highest chance of that not happening again. Normally I finish with half a dozen coats of pure tung oil and then bees wax.

This time I was thinking I might do one or two layers of that glassy finish - like a few coats of tru-oil - does that add strength and lower chances of delamination?

Offline PatM

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2019, 08:32:26 pm »
No.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 10:05:48 pm »
x2
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline bradsmith2010

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2019, 11:25:47 pm »
X3

Offline scp

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2019, 01:01:21 am »
Does burnishing help?

Offline bownarra

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2019, 02:07:02 am »
No :)

The way you stop a bow from breaking on you is by following all the 'rules' when making it. :)

Offline Del the cat

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    • Derek Hutchison Native Wood Self Bows
Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2019, 03:17:50 am »
A thin layer of hide glue and then sprinkle glitter onto it.
Won't make it stronger, but it will be a talking point  ;) ;D :o ::) >:D
Del
(sorry ... couldn't stop myself  :-[ )
Health warning, these posts may contain traces of nut.

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2019, 07:51:38 am »
A thin layer of hide glue and then sprinkle glitter onto it.
Won't make it stronger, but it will be a talking point  ;) ;D :o ::) >:D
Del
(sorry ... couldn't stop myself  :-[ )

It would go really well with Knoll's cooler though.lol
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2019, 08:10:57 am »
I have thought about this as well. One guy a while back said he was having bamboo failures and started putting a coat of superglue on the backs of his bamboo bows and they stopped lifting splinters.

I have finished a bunch of bows with epoxy acetone finish, the mix is thinner than water when you put it on. I always wondered if the extra thin epoxy wicked into the bow wood fibers and strengthened them.

Super Glue will definitely wick into wood fibers and strengthen them, I use it in my flintlock building for that purpose on every gun I build, I soak the inside of the lock mortise to harden the wood and prevent future cracks.

Offline apg

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2019, 08:50:45 am »
Going with the glitter.

Offline SLIMBOB

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2019, 08:53:19 am »
Who knows, maybe there is some marginal benefit against lifting a splinter with certain finishes applied.  I don't personally believe it would amount to much protection, but it could add a bit I suppose.  I think the bigger point about this question, and the reason most folks quickly responded with a "NO", is pretty clear.  If built correctly, no finish is needed for that purpose.  If built incorrectly, the finish wont matter much at all.  The bow will break down or come apart at some point.  Yes, CA glue is a very good component to use as a spot solution, cracks, knots, checks.  But we are talking about strengthening a known weak spot on a bow (or gun stock).  If the known weak spot is the back, you will get much more mileage out of simply improving your selection, design and execution.  I think you will find it much more satisfying as well.  You had mentioned that a good number of bows have broken on you.  Welcome to the club.  Do a good post mortem on any that break, and identify what that cause likely was...Selection....design....execution.  Make the proper adjustment on the next one.  I seem to remember Jim Hamm talking about sinew backing all of his early bows just to keep them from breaking.  At some point he no longer needed to do that.  Welcome to PA.
Liberty, In God We Trust, E Pluribus Unum.  Distinctly American Values.

Offline PatM

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2019, 09:29:18 am »
I wouldn't be surprised if Eric's theory is true but I  wouldn't use it as a primary plan for insurance against breakage which it sounds like you want to do.

 Strive to be about 99% sure a bow will stand on its own

Offline bradsmith2010

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2019, 09:45:45 am »
+2 on the glitter,.. :
Would go well with sinew or rawhide as well
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 09:59:22 am by bradsmith2010 »

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2019, 07:58:56 am »
Pat is right, no after the fact  preventive measure is going to save a poorly made bow.

Offline scp

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Re: Strengthening bow with finish
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2019, 12:56:21 pm »
I guess not many people are burnishing their bows anymore. For me the issue is not whether a badly made bow can be saved by applying finish, but whether a bow made from inferior stave can be improved with finish. Has anyone done any experiment with same thin slats of wood before and after the finish? How about with penetrating epoxies?