Author Topic: Got Me A Log  (Read 2365 times)

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Offline Bill_in_TR

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Got Me A Log
« on: July 23, 2021, 05:11:49 pm »
OK. I have not visited this board in a long time. I decided to finally try this bow building thing again after a few aborted attempts years ago. I hope to put in a better effort this time.

Over a year ago when this pandemic was cranking up my son called to tell me about an osage tree that was cut down near him. He asked if I was interested. I told him if he could get a fairly straight log at least six feet long I would like to have it.

Well he finally was able to get down to my house this week. He brought a log that is seven inches in diameter and about six and a half feet long. The log has been in his garage with the bark on for over a year. It was standing on one end leaning in the corner. There is no evidence of rot or insect activity. Just a couple of very very tiny cracks evident in the end. It has a very nice orange color with well defined growth rings. The center ring is maybe one half to three quarters of an inch off center.

So my questions are:

1. Did I stumble into something that I can try to make a couple of bows with?

2. Is a seven inch diameter adequate?

3. Has it been handled adequately so far?

4. How should I proceed from here?
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Offline RyanY

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2021, 06:32:51 pm »
Sounds like a good opportunity to me. Osage is very rot resistant so itís likely still viable even if the ends werenít sealed. I havenít split enough wood to know how much you could get out of it but if itís straight then maybe up to 4 staves? Post some pictures if you can as that will help with splitting recommendations. Itíll dry faster if split so youíll want to split into staves, chase a ring on the back and seal all the staves to prevent fast moisture loss. Even wood that has been drying for years can develop drying cracks. Once you have it split you could consider starting to work one down to dimensions as the more wood that is removed the faster itíll dry.

Offline SLIMBOB

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2021, 07:47:29 pm »
Here in Texas, the wood will often begin to split the moment it hits the ground. If so, that is where I split it in halves. Then split those 2 halves in half. I dry mine indoors with the bark on. Take one of the quarters, and do as Ryan mentioned.  Remove the bark and sap wood. Find the ring you want, establish a flawless back on it. Draw your design on the back, and reduce it to floor tiller stage, then let it dry. Paint or shellack the ends on all pieces and any exposed back. Congrats and it never happened, without pics🙂
Liberty, In God We Trust, E Pluribus Unum.  Distinctly American Values.

Offline bentstick54

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2021, 09:30:56 pm »
It sounds like a good log to me. Start splitting on the small end, and depending on where and how deep the natural checks are might determine on how many staves you can get. Iíve gotten up to 4 if it splits good on 6Ē to 8Ē logs. Donít try to risk getting more at the cost of quality. I would rather get 3 good staves than 4 mediocre ones. I have stored them for 10 years in my basement with bark on, and have also taken bark and sapwood off, sealed the backs with shellac and stored that way with good success. Always seal the ends either way you you do it. Anytime you open up the back, reseal it when youíre done. Even in the basement the humidity in my basement will vary from 27% to almost 60% depend on winter or summer.
And as stated before, get one down close to floor tiller stage, and it will dry faster.
Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

Offline Bill_in_TR

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2021, 10:10:38 pm »
Thanks for the responses. I will be trying to split the log this weekend. I will get some pictures posted.

The log has been sitting in my son's garage with the bark on for over a year. But the ends were not sealed. There are no significant checks. How much longer would the staves need to continue to dry? I will make sure I seal them.
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Offline bentstick54

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2021, 10:18:16 pm »
Moisture content can rise and fall with absorption as humidity rises and falls. I would chase a back ring, seal the back and then weigh them. Monitor the weight of them to see if they start losing weight as they dry. When they stabilize, you should be able to start working on them. When youíre done working on one, weigh it again, then before you work on it the next time check the weight and make sure itís not still losing weight. Slow and steady is your friend.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2021, 12:09:27 am »
Take the bark off the log so you can see what's under it first. Then you can tell where to split it to avoid knots, etc. You should remove the sapwood and seal the back and ends.You might only split it in half first and let it rest for a couple of weeks then split each half in half. This helps prevent twisting or warping that can happen if you split it down to staves right away.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Bill_in_TR

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2021, 12:10:14 pm »
Well here is what I have so far. The log is 73" long and 7" in diameter.

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Longing fro a simpler time.

Offline Bill_in_TR

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2021, 01:27:04 pm »
Well I cut off about 2 1/2 inches on the dry slightly checked end. It is now 70" long. No evident checks. I also earlier cut off a couple feet off one end that had branch stubs and a bend in it. So I now have two fresh ends with no checks. I sealed.those ends. The bark is still on. Now I have to figure out how to split it. I have an axe but no extra wedges to complete the split. Maybe I can make a small hatchet or two work.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 01:41:00 pm by Bill_in_TR »
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Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2021, 01:57:51 pm »
Make some wedges from the cut off section
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2021, 02:14:16 pm »
Not a great log but it does have bows in it, the bark also shows it will have twist in it when you split it.

Offline Bill_in_TR

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2021, 02:47:27 pm »
Not a great log but it does have bows in it, the bark also shows it will have twist in it when you split it.

If I can manage to get two useable staves out of it I will be happy. That way when I screw up the first one I can start over. If I luck out and get three or four I will be ecstatic.

There are suggestions for leaving the bark on and for stripping it off. Either way I will sooner or later need a draw knife. I'll have to order one. Anybody have any recommendations for one?
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Offline SLIMBOB

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2021, 04:44:22 pm »
Get an old one if you can find one. Bark on bark off is personal preference. Perfect worldÖchase a ring and seal it. Bark on works fine for me.
Liberty, In God We Trust, E Pluribus Unum.  Distinctly American Values.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2021, 06:23:00 pm »
You can't see what the wood looks like with the bark on and there might be borer damage in the wood.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline PeteC

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Re: Got Me A Log
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2021, 07:35:00 pm »
Everyone prefers more narrow early wood and wider rings right under the sapwood, but I've built plenty of good hunting weight bows from trees just like yours. If you don't have bad insect problems, by all means,Go for it!  God Bless
What you believe determines how you behave., Pete Clayton, Whitehouse ,Texas