Author Topic: hickory modified molle bow  (Read 3226 times)

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Offline Ken

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2021, 01:04:47 pm »
Dave I'm new too. Wonderful bow

Offline PeteC

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2021, 06:24:02 pm »
That's a great bow. Good job. God Bless
What you believe determines how you behave., Pete Clayton, Whitehouse ,Texas

Offline superdav95

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2021, 08:04:53 pm »
Thanks guys. Very kind words🙂

Offline Selfbowman

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2021, 12:36:53 am »
I’m old here but that’s a nice bow! Keep it up.
Well I'll say!!  Osage is king!!

Offline Parnell

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2021, 09:49:44 am »
Congratulations on your BOM win.  This bow has a very nice shape and tiller.  Remarkable that you started just this year.  Well done, for sure.  Seeing that you are making a series of the design it got me wondering if you had cut and processed the staves yourself, hot box used, whereabouts and when did the wood get harvested?  Questions along this line.

I think it is particularly noteworthy to see what you have accomplished in such a short period of time.  Looking forward to seeing how it all progresses for you.

Welcome to PA and again, congratulations.
1’—>1’

Offline superdav95

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2021, 03:16:02 pm »
Congratulations on your BOM win.  This bow has a very nice shape and tiller.  Remarkable that you started just this year.  Well done, for sure.  Seeing that you are making a series of the design it got me wondering if you had cut and processed the staves yourself, hot box used, whereabouts and when did the wood get harvested?  Questions along this line.

I think it is particularly noteworthy to see what you have accomplished in such a short period of time.  Looking forward to seeing how it all progresses for you.

Welcome to PA and again, congratulations.

Thanks for the kind word Parnell!   Ya I’m grateful that I already had a shop and made custom knives and seemed to be a little less painful of a transition.  I completely immersed myself into it and just caught the bug hard.  I did break a number of bows too during my learning curve.  I’ve heard it said here “if you ain’t breakin you ain’t makin”.   I took this approach literally and broke bows to test limits of the wood.  I learned what I needed by breaking bows to get me better for the next one.  There is a wealth of info and experience on here and other sites on how to videos and tutorials to help.  Even volumes like the boyers bible.   My point is that research is good but you just have to be prepared you are gonna break bows and take more set then you like or uneven tiller until you don’t as much.  Removing excess mass is a delicate balance and I believe can only come by getting face level with the wood and gauging with your fingers to get intimate with the wood you are shaping.  I’ve still got so much to learn and by no means an expert in making bows.  The rabbit hole just keeps going and going as a Boyer.  I’m just enjoying it.  All of it.  It’s suits my personality pretty well as I can do a deep dive into it and get lost in it so to speak. 

As for the wood…. I harvested these staves myself from a hunting property that has an abundance of oaks, shagbark hickories, and iron wood/hornbeam.   The shagbark is particularly good I found with very linear grain and fairly predictable outcomes fir heat treatment.  Hornbeam I found was also very good wood but little more hit and miss on the wood predictability side and would sometimes have some issues with heat.  I did make a few successful hornbeam bows and the ones that worked out were very good and fast bows.   I harvested the hickory staves in the early spring this year and debarked them the day they were cut down to get a clean bark removal.  It left a pristine back and exposed any potential knots and other problems that may be harder to see with bark on.  I’ve heard a few opinions on this and the risk of checking and drying to fast and to season the stave slowly.  I did put a water based poly (Sansin) clear coating on the backs and end cuts of each stave to limit the moisture loss along the unshaped belly of the stave.  Some did check despite my efforts but for the most part this worked and was able to get most of the staves prepared this way to keep from checking on the backs.  I would wait about a month or more before even touching these staves.  I then worked with draw knives and rasps and small roofers hammer/hatchet that I repurposed to get into basic shape.  I used a belt sand a bit too work the transitions sometimes too.  Once I got the thickest part of the limbs down to about 1/2” thick and about 1.75-2.00” at widest part I would take this relatively green roughed out bow and clamp it to my form and let it dry in the sun for a week or two periodic checks for moisture content.  I did this part slowly to prevent checks and think it worked ok.  Once I got down to under 10% moisture I would get 3 or 4 done to this stage and get the fire pit going and build a big old fire.  I used hardwood and just build way bigger fire then I think I will need.  I then pull those hot glowing coals from the main fire to my long pit and spread them out for even fire hardening of belly side of the bows while still clamped into their forms.  I bake them for about 2-3 hours depending on how deep of a bake I wanted.  I learned this technique from Keith Shannon and made a few of my own tweaks but essentially very similar fire hardening that he uses.  He’s a great guy and wealth of knowledge.  I tried the brickette charcoal as he does but couldn’t get them to last long enough for me to get the deep bake I was lookin for.  It may have had more to do with the quality of bricketts I was using too.  Wood is cheaper anyway.   Once I get the stave baked I pull them from the forms and let them sit for a few days to recover some ambient moisture then start working them and shaping.  The nice thing about using the form while baking over the fire is I was able to make corrections of twist or unwanted bends or even induce recurves for the tips to get it baked in.  Worked like a charm.  Any minor corrections I needed to make while shaping the bow after baking would be done with oil and heat gun.  The tillering is where it’s at and would be the difference between an ok bow to a good bow.  Tillering is where I learned and still learning is where the most time is spent.  To reduce this time a bit a made an inverted tiller tree with pulleys and such to allow me to keep my bow clamped down belly side up during scrape sessions.  I found this saved me a lot of time from going back and forth to my upright tiller station.  I will post a pic of this contraption if any interest.  I don’t use a stave press or specific bow device and not to say I would love to try one I just found this set up works ok for me. 

I hope this answers a few questions anyway.  Trying to avoid rambling on so I’ll stop it there. .  Lol. 

Looking forward to being part of this community and wealth of experience here. 

Cheers

Dave

« Last Edit: August 08, 2021, 03:20:17 pm by superdav95 »

Offline Parnell

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2021, 05:29:54 pm »
Fascinating, Dave.  Thank you for the detailed response.  It certainly seems the skill set you have gained in knife making has given you a proper leg up in your building and attention to the process.  I'm curious if you took any photos of how you set up the stave/form while fire heat treating.  It seems to me that this is an interesting piece of the craft that hasn't been addressed much.  I have heard of people using fire to heat treat bows but only in a straight forward fashion not on a form. 

Also, the thought of the inverted tillering tree sounds interesting.  I can picture it, but again, I don't think I have seen that used.

It seems like you have really been through a process with this success.  I imagine it could make for a worthy article...
Just a thought.  I've been meaning to go down that road myself, sometime.

Thumbs up,

Stephen
1’—>1’

Offline superdav95

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2021, 06:26:22 pm »
Parnell. 

Thanks for your remarks and encouragement.  Ya for sure I couldn’t find much on heat treatment online either.  Most seems to focus on heat gun techniques of varying durations.   There is definitely something to this fire hardening on white woods.  Kieth Shannon is great resource and who gave me the idea and basic technique.  So shout out to him.  I’ll post some pics of my tiller tree inverted and my forms and pit I used.  I gauge by feel in the heat used and vary this by positioning the bows further away from the coals to get slower bake.  If I can’t keep my hand over the coals for longer the a second or too then maybe little too close to fire/coals. So I move the forms up little higher away from coals.   This gives a slower cook and safer bake with less checking. 

Here’s a couple pics of the fire pit and forms

I’ll take a pic of the inverted tillering set up when I get home. 

Offline superdav95

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #38 on: August 08, 2021, 07:54:27 pm »
Here’s my initial tillering set up.  This get me to final stages of tiller without removing bow between scrapes.  I just add a digital scale to keep under my intended draw weight.  I then move to my main standard upright tree for the final tiller and scrapes as I can get more accurate reference as it’s attached to my wall with lines.  Sorry for messy shop!   The pulleys on the top 2x4 are just cheap hardware store basic pulleys same type at the bottom.  You could make this vertical board as long as you want.  Which if I was to do it again would make it longer for sure.  This would allow more pull room and to add a gauge too and still have lots of room to pull.   

Offline Parnell

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Re: hickory modified molle bow
« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2021, 10:07:45 am »
Hmm, yeah very interesting.  Especially on the fire hardening technique.  I don’t work much with white woods but I may give that idea a go down the road on some staves i do have.  Makes me wonder how many other long timers have tried this and what their thoughts are…especially someone like MSL?

Good stuff, fun post, cool bow. 

Next thing ya know you’ll be cracking rock!
1’—>1’