Author Topic: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering  (Read 1576 times)

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Offline organic_archer

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2022, 11:10:47 am »
Iíll probably stick with the heat gun for my Osage staves for now and try the coals for white wood staves.

Yeah, whitewoods only. I donít recommend heating osage over coals. Takes no time at all to crack it to pieces, and in some cases the extreme heat can rip apart the belly fibers. Donít ask how I know, lol. The marginal benefit with osage, if any, isnít worth the risk. It already responds well to mild heat.  )-w(
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Offline superdav95

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2022, 03:03:28 pm »
Very true.
Sticks and stones and other poky stabby things.

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Offline Marc St Louis

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2022, 05:29:22 pm »
There's really no difference in the end results between heat-gun and coals
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Offline darinputman

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2022, 08:26:24 pm »
    "There's really no difference in the end results between heat-gun and coals"
    I imagine will vary depending on individual experience and technique. I can't get near the end results with a hickory stave using a heat gun that I can heating over coals.
    I can heat a hickory blank over coals to the point that I worry I won't get past the charred wood and into solid wood during tillering before hitting poundage. It simply amazed me. Osage blanks are toast if heated anywhere near this point. I stopped trying the process on osage as I saw no point, and wasted too many staves.
  I do realize that folks with your experience level Marc St Louis and even some with lesser experience may have the skills with a heat gun to get the same results. But not this bowyer, if I want the most out of a hickory stave it would be coals every time.

Offline bassman211

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2022, 03:02:10 pm »
I have a hickory target  bow that I made a few years ago that is 35lbs. at 25 inch draw 64 inches long that was made from a 19 year old rock hard hickory  stave that was gifted to me by Will B. It ended up with 2 inches of reflex by using a heat gun ,and a 4 inch reflex form. Hard to work with, and hard on tools ,but made a really nice shooting target bow.  So ,yes it can be done, but not in 3 days from green to finished with the same results with a heat gun. At least not by me. If you are in a hurry to make a good solid hickory hunting bow in a 2,3,or 4 day period with green hickory wood it can be done with the fire hardening method. I don't think any body has proven yet that it can be done with a heat gun in that short of period of time.... so their a challenge for any body interested in giving it a shot.

Offline Allyn T

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2022, 03:55:35 pm »
From what I've seen they don't toast it over the coals until after they have dried it out over a fire. I'm sure you could dry it over a fire and then use a heat gun to temper the belly in just as short a time period.
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Offline bassman211

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #36 on: November 25, 2022, 04:06:35 pm »
Try that out , and post the results. I am really curious about that.

Offline superdav95

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2022, 05:01:50 pm »
Iíd be curious about that too actually.  The closest Iíve done to that was a partial cook over coals when I got rained out one time and had to finish up in my shop with heat gun. I had gotten to the point about an hour and half into it and hadnít started browning much really.  It worked fine too and still have one of those bows and it shoots good. 
Sticks and stones and other poky stabby things.

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Offline bassman211

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2022, 07:55:48 pm »
Your still using the first faze of the fire hardening  process which means you don't have to  wait a year, or 2 to use the wood, and worry about bugs, or applying  shellac on the  the back of the stave, and storing it properly to protect against checks, and you can take the bark off with fingers. All of which can be problematic when preparing staves. You just cut the hickory tree, and make the bow.

Offline TimBo

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2022, 01:58:24 pm »
So bassman, are you saying you can easily debark a winter-harvested hickory stave after the first stage of fire hardening?  Sorry for my ignorance - I haven't looked into fire hardening at all - but that would definitely be reason enough for me to do it.  (Although now I make sure to harvest hickory in the summer!)

Offline bassman211

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2022, 06:12:36 pm »
No. Take the bark off after you cut the tree when it is green,and wet.

Offline TimBo

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Re: Fire hardening vs heat gun tempering
« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2022, 07:48:52 pm »
OK, thanks - I misunderstood what you were saying.  That would be a pretty cool trick though...I swore off debarking winter cut hickory after the one time I tried it.