Author Topic: Nearly to tiller on the hackberry  (Read 1094 times)

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Offline Tradslinger

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Nearly to tiller on the hackberry
« on: November 08, 2021, 01:10:29 pm »
Yeah I am slow but slow it is. This hackberry is a tough foe but I am slowly getting there. Because of my vision trouble, I have struggled to get the crow of the belly flatter to where it is closer to being the thickness that I hope to be. So, I use crayons to mark up the entire belly from side to side and tips to the fades and then begin scraping. This allows me to see without any doubt that I am taking the crown down and not favoring one side or the other. I simply work the center section of the limb and as it flattens, the sides come in better. Yes, I can wade thru the crayons but we have a lot of them just doing nothing. The crayon cleans up nicely and there is no bleeding. This allows me to work out the rough stuff from the hard rasping to get it down to floor tiller without major problem. I am now down to about 1/2" thickness on the limbs and about ready to begin tillering. The crayons take out a lot of the guess work for me. I had worked the sides down to my lines but there was still some crown here and there that needed to be taken down. 

Offline Kidder

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Re: Nearly to tiller on the hackberry
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2021, 11:12:52 pm »
Nice job. Not sure why I didnít think of the crayon idea but itís great - so I robbed my kids crayon boxes of a couple red and green crayons. Pretty easy to tell hinges (red) from stiff spots (green) when you do it this way.

Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: Nearly to tiller on the hackberry
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2021, 11:27:34 am »
A lump of charcoal works well too! Especially toward the end when you are looking to find any and all tool marks.

I haven't started a stave bow in a looooong time and yesterday I grabbed a scrap bit of hackberry that I put up close to 10 years ago. Yikes! I forgot how bloody hard this bark clings to the wood! Yeah, the lumpy bark came up easy, but that danged cambium is absolutely bonded to the first growth ring!!!

Hang in there Tradsie. I'm in this one with you.
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline Tradslinger

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Re: Nearly to tiller on the hackberry
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2021, 06:05:48 pm »
I narrowed the width from 2" to 1 1/2"  and am now down to about 7/16" thickness in the upper limbs and ready for the long string. As much as I want to get this really going, I am backing off for a little bit so that I don't get into too big of a hurry. My close in vision is pretty lousy and I just need to be slower and more careful. I am shooting for around 42 -45 # at 26". This piece of wood is still very stiff and I like it a lot other than the hard to work part. I am very curious about when I finally get to try my hand at fire hardening the bow. I just know that it should be a slow bake over coals and so we have made trough sided with big rock for the fire. I am also trying to get better at identifying Hackberry trees so that I can harvest some of my own since it is supposed to be a pretty common tree. Nothing quite like a nearly blind cripple man trying to find a tree close to the road LOL.

Offline Kidder

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Re: Nearly to tiller on the hackberry
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2021, 11:58:26 pm »
This sounds like a great scenario to rely on finger tillering. I find that my fingers will allow me to narrow in on areas that my eyes are telling arenít quite right but where I canít quite place it.

Offline Tradslinger

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Re: Nearly to tiller on the hackberry
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2021, 11:40:02 am »
I read an old post where Parnell had made a Hackberry bow. I enjoyed the various comments but really wished that the pics were still there to see, especially where he had "toasted" the belly. guess I was pretty ignorant of a lot of trees when I spent a lot of time in the woods. I know now that I had cut down several hackberry trees over the years, just didn't know what they were.

Offline Tradslinger

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Re: Nearly to tiller on the hackberry
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2021, 11:43:37 am »
This sounds like a great scenario to rely on finger tillering. I find that my fingers will allow me to narrow in on areas that my eyes are telling arenít quite right but where I canít quite place it.
My only problem with the finger tillering is that I don't have quite the feel in my fingers anymore. Heck, I struggle to feel the zipper on my jeans. That and my vision has been keeping me from knapping my own heads. can't see the platforms nor feel how good of a grip I have on the piece.