Author Topic: Black locust bow break  (Read 1102 times)

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Offline Kenneth

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Black locust bow break
« on: January 18, 2022, 10:25:05 pm »
Just as a warning to anyone who might have been heading down the dumb path I did. I will never again try to make a bow from a standing dead tree.  I started a locust bow which I thought was going great, had it at 50 pounds at 20 inches today with nice tiller. But next thing I knew, I was stringing it and it broke violently. I looked at the wood inside and it was dry rotted looking, with powdery little dry surface. This was a stave which I cut as a dead tree so I assume it didnít dry out in the greatest conditions.The wood looked great on the outside though.  Since my property has an excess of black locust I will go tomorrow and cut a pile of staves and let them dry in safe conditions and then Iíll have some staves for maybe a year later. Meantime, Iím going to get onto a piece of hickory someone cut on a saw and gave me.

Offline bownarra

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2022, 01:43:28 am »
Standing dead wood= firewood :)

Offline Hamish

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2022, 04:06:42 am »
Black locust is one of the most rot resistant timbers  in the USA(at least the heartwood is). Did you have a sapwood back?

Offline GlisGlis

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2022, 04:31:09 am »
Since you have alot of prime wood it probably make little sense to take the risk of using something else
I have one of the very first bow I made that is a BL from a 2 or 3 year standing dead tree.
It shows the obvious newbee faults but it has been used alot and still shoots quite well after 7 or 8 years. BL is pretty tough stuff.
 

Offline Kenneth

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2022, 06:41:15 am »
Black locust is one of the most rot resistant timbers  in the USA(at least the heartwood is). Did you have a sapwood back?

I took the sapwood off this one because a bow I had for years was slowly developing cracks cause I left sapwood on itÖ

Offline Pat B

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2022, 09:18:30 am »
I don't use the black locust that grows here because for some sort of malady causing deterioration in the early wood rings. Even trees cut green and seasoned properly. I've bought locust fence posts locally that didn't have this problems. We also have a sort of die off here of locusts and I imagine it is all related.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline TimBo

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2022, 09:21:22 am »
BL is rot resistant, but there is probably a difference between a healthy tree which was cut or blown over and then left out in the elements, vs a diseased tree that died standing.  I have cut a couple of BL saplings that died and thought the wood was too sketchy to bother with.

Offline Kenneth

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2022, 04:55:51 pm »
I don't use the black locust that grows here because for some sort of malady causing deterioration in the early wood rings. Even trees cut green and seasoned properly. I've bought locust fence posts locally that didn't have this problems. We also have a sort of die off here of locusts and I imagine it is all related.

I think the locust here has the same issues. I painstakingly cut and split two trees today and they both had black lines of rot running through the rings which causes the wood to delaminate into layers when I split it. The third tree I cut was alright so I got four staves

Offline Pat B

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2022, 11:22:59 pm »
Where are you located, Kenneth? I'm in SW North Carolina in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Pappy

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2022, 08:31:40 am »
I don't use dead standing of any kind except for fire wood.  ;)up rooted Blow down is another story.
 Pappy
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Offline George Tsoukalas

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2022, 10:58:42 am »
I have a couple of thoughts. 

I have made lots of BL bows and really like the wood. I have seen that powdery wood.

I've never used standing dead wood of any kind. But BL heartwood is rot resistant for sure. I still would not use standing BL deadwood. Also, that does not mean the wood is dry.

There is an insect that gets at the wood here in NH and makes it powdery. I guess one should remove the bark and sapwood asap. LOL. But who does that?

The other point is the stave should be sufficiently reduced in weight before stringing it for the first time.  I prefer 10# over final draw eight but 20# is ok.

If you can do that by feel when floor or long string tillering then fine.

I can't so I developed a method where I long string tiller out to 10 in of string movement looking for 5# over final draw weight for a 26" draw and good limb movement. This puts the stave around 10# over final draw weight.

There are buildalongs on my  site.

http://traditionalarchery101.com

Jawge

Set Happens!
If you ain't breakin' you ain't makin!

Offline Kenneth

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2022, 12:03:43 pm »
I have a couple of thoughts. 

I have made lots of BL bows and really like the wood. I have seen that powdery wood.

I've never used standing dead wood of any kind. But BL heartwood is rot resistant for sure. I still would not use standing BL deadwood. Also, that does not mean the wood is dry.

There is an insect that gets at the wood here in NH and makes it powdery. I guess one should remove the bark and sapwood asap. LOL. But who does that?

The other point is the stave should be sufficiently reduced in weight before stringing it for the first time.  I prefer 10# over final draw eight but 20# is ok.

If you can do that by feel when floor or long string tillering then fine.

I can't so I developed a method where I long string tiller out to 10 in of string movement looking for 5# over final draw weight for a 26" draw and good limb movement. This puts the stave around 10# over final draw weight.

There are buildalongs on my  site.

http://traditionalarchery101.com

Jawge

Thanks for the tillering advice Iíll try this on the hickory Iím working on. This is something Iíve always wondered about, how heavy is this bow Iím bracing right now?

Offline Kenneth

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2022, 12:05:29 pm »
Where are you located, Kenneth? I'm in SW North Carolina in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Iím in Central Pa near Lewistown. Seems like black locust everywhere gets this disease

Offline bassman211

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Re: Black locust bow break
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2022, 04:03:27 pm »
Best locust wood I have ever had was an 8 ft log, laying along side the road. The center of the log was gone.I have no idea how long it was laying their, but I removed the bark ,and chased to a heart wood ring. It was clean knot free wood with good growth rings . I made 4 pyramid bows from that log that I still have.  Good shooters.I had a hard time finding good locust before that, and have never looked for anymore since. That was a great find.