Author Topic: How to straighten a wooden shaft  (Read 1480 times)

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Offline Bootthrower

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How to straighten a wooden shaft
« on: August 08, 2019, 02:58:00 pm »
I just finished my first hand split arrow shaft. It is made from european oak and was my first attempt at making a shaft on my own. I am quite pleased with it, except for the fact that it bends a bit, especially on the front half. Is there a good way to make it straight that doesn't affect the stiffness too much? I thought of heating it over a fire and bending it straight, but I'd imagine that would make it quite stiff. Would steaming it or dipping it in boiling water work instead? That shouldn't make it stiffer once dried, but I don't know if the straightness will be permanent.

Offline Pat B

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Re: How to straighten a wooden shaft
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 03:37:24 pm »
If I need to straighten a shaft and hand straightening isn't enough I'll use our gas cook stove top burner to heat the bent area and hand straighten. If it stiffens it too much just sand it until you get the spine you want.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Bootthrower

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Re: How to straighten a wooden shaft
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 05:37:31 pm »
I would do something like that, but I want the shaft to remain at the specific dimensions it is at right now. I am hesitant to remove more material unless necessary.

Offline Pat B

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Re: How to straighten a wooden shaft
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 06:33:20 pm »
How dry is the wood? If you can't straighten by hand try rubbing something hard and smooth over the apex of the bend vigorously. You can straighten shafts like this by compressing the crown side.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: How to straighten a wooden shaft
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 10:55:22 pm »
Thanks, Pat!  I was pondering the same dilemma with shoots and dowels!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Bootthrower

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Re: How to straighten a wooden shaft
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 05:39:57 am »
It is reasonably green still. I'll try that! Thanks!

Offline Pat B

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Re: How to straighten a wooden shaft
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2019, 06:45:17 am »
Let it dry first. Reasonable dry isn't enough.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Bootthrower

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Re: How to straighten a wooden shaft
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2019, 06:53:04 pm »
Actually the whole shaft looks much straighter today! Maybe I just needed to step away for a moment to realize it wasn't that much of a bend, or perhaps it tensed up a bit as I worked it and then relaxed again during the night. Either way I don't think I'll have to do much at all now to get it straight!

Offline bigozzie

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Re: How to straighten a wooden shaft
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2019, 03:07:48 pm »
listen to Pat B

let it dry, each time moisture content changes it will have a tendency to warp.  The shaft needs to be stabilized with the environment around it, most likely around 10% moisture.  That takes a surprising long time to achieve.  Once it is dry (stabilized) straighten it and leave it on a flat surface over night, and straighten again.  If it is straight the 3rd day seal it with your stain and poly or whatever you use.  The poly will slow any moisture change and hopefully limit the amount of warping.  If it is crooked again on the 3rd day build another one or you will fight straight forever with that one. 

if they lose moisture too fast they will warp out of control, the best is to dry it in stages, each time you remove material for size or shape let it dry before you remove more, if you trim it to size in one attempt it will likely warp out of control.

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