Author Topic: When the wood starts to live  (Read 922 times)

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Offline WhistlingBadger

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When the wood starts to live
« on: October 23, 2021, 11:47:06 pm »
Here is my favorite part of bow-making:  There is a moment in the process when the stave, quite suddenly, quits acting like it is content being a tree trunk, and starts acting like it wants to be a bow.  It is almost a form of two-way communication, as if the wood suddenly understands what you want for it, and decides it wants the same thing.  We call it "floor tillering," and some simply call it "when the wood starts to bend."  But it's far more beautiful than that. 

It happened tonight: I'm working on a hickory stave that will, barring misfortune, incompetence, or hidden flaws in the wood, become a pyramid bow.  One moment it was a dead hunk of wood.  The next moment, it felt alive.  It felt like a bow. 

I love it when the wood starts to live.

T
~Thomas
I will not act primitive in class.
I will not act primitive in class.
I will not act primitive in class.

Offline Lehtis

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2021, 01:51:10 am »
I do agree!

Offline sleek

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2021, 01:59:47 am »
Damn near poetry
Tread softly and carry a bent stick.

Dont seek your happiness through the approval of others

Offline bownarra

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2021, 03:56:24 am »
Those first few vibratory boings are the staves voice! Continue listening! Set is the next exclamation!

Offline Ricardovanleeuwen

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2021, 05:01:19 am »
I have the same feeling, was working a plum stave for a few weeks with really limited time and i didnt feel the joy of it until halfway this week when it started bending

Offline Don W

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2021, 09:01:02 am »
That's usually when I need to set it aside for a while. The excitement tries my patience and I start to hurry. Although for me that comes a little after floor tillering.

Don

Offline Selfbowman

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2021, 09:52:40 am »
Happens for me after rough out from the band saw. . Maybe not primitive  but thatís when it bends about a 1/2Ē to 1Ē  .  Arvin
Well I'll say!!  Osage is king!!

Offline Badger

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2021, 12:24:10 pm »
    I think what you are describing is what we get so addicted to. That feeling of seeing something come to life by your own hands. I was going broke on my addiction, I limited myself to about 8 staves a month and the rest I would build boo backed bows from boards as they were cheaper. Once I got the bow shooting I might put a few dozen arrows through it then get bored and start on another one without ever finishing the last one.

Offline mmattockx

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2021, 01:22:57 pm »
I'm working on lam bows so I don't get the floor tiller moment, but it is always a thrill to see it on the tree for the first time and watch the limbs bend. I know it is going to work and the wood is capable of the bending, but it is amazing to me to see the limbs flexing for the first time like that.

There is a magic in wood that modern composites just can't match.


Mark

Offline superdav95

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2021, 10:20:46 pm »
So true!

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2021, 02:01:07 am »
All of the above!  It may just sneak up on you!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline bownarra

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2021, 02:24:24 am »
I'm working on lam bows so I don't get the floor tiller moment, but it is always a thrill to see it on the tree for the first time and watch the limbs bend. I know it is going to work and the wood is capable of the bending, but it is amazing to me to see the limbs flexing for the first time like that.

There is a magic in wood that modern composites just can't match.


Mark

I totally get you and agree BUT what if you make the carbon/glass lams yourself????

Offline bjrogg

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2021, 11:07:27 am »
Damn near poetry


Iíve definitely shared that feeling. I even wrote a little poem about it. Sent it to PA magazine and they even printed it.

Goes something like this.   

           Fear Not Old Tree

     Fear not old tree for itís not your last day,
Iíll take good care of you and store you away.

     Iíll peal your bark, seal your end and your back.
Iíll check on you occasionally as you cure on my rack.

     Iíll study your shape and remove any flaws.
Some Iíll except if their character allows.

    Iíll remove from you everything that isnít a bow.
Then give you a string and in your wood once again life will flow

Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline mmattockx

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2021, 11:59:06 am »
I totally get you and agree BUT what if you make the carbon/glass lams yourself????

For me the thrill is seeing a natural material that seems like it should never survive the experience bending into a bow. Modern composites are so understressed in a bow that I would never worry about them failing, but if you made it all yourself you would still get the satisfaction of seeing a bow of your creation working as planned. That is also a great feeling.


Iíve definitely shared that feeling. I even wrote a little poem about it. Sent it to PA magazine and they even printed it.

BJ, that is a great tribute to the wood and captures the feeling many of us have with it.


Mark

Offline Don W

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Re: When the wood starts to live
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2021, 01:32:58 pm »
I've worked with fiberglass in previous occupations. I have no desire to start sand fiberglass again, so for me, it wood all the way.

Every once in a while I think about it, do some reading, get to the sanding part and close the book.
Don