Author Topic: Advice for a couple of Osage staves  (Read 791 times)

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Offline Ruddy Darter

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Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« on: August 12, 2022, 04:17:59 pm »
Hello all, I'm looking for a little advice...

 I've had these two staves (74" & 68" length) a year in October, they were live cut and when I received them I took out most of the belly checks and run in thin superglue on the small amount remaining, leaving the staves approximately 2" wide and 2" deep ( including sapwood). The ends and back were sealed with a thick coat of polyurethane and I've had them stored under a lean-to at the side of the house where it is plenty drafty with only an hour or two early morning of direct sunlight ( we are also experiencing a very warm summer hear in south U.K.). I'm looking to make Elbs from them with 28"-30" draw lengths with 80lbs+ draw weights (I may have a go at a couple of primitive styles with the shorter stave). From what I've read on this forum I'm looking at another year for seasoning.

My questions are would I be able to keep a ring or two of the sapwood?, and could I work them down now and reseal with a coat or two of Danish oil?
And if I started working them both down to dimensions now would they possibly be prone to more drying checks occuring on the belly?, would it be better to wait a while?
Many thanks for any advice,

 R.D.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2022, 04:52:23 pm by Ruddy Darter »
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Offline Pat B

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2022, 05:00:23 pm »
Depending on the condition you could leave a sapwood ring or two(1 would be better) and you can reduce these to floor tiller stage but do reseal the back. I keep spray shellac on my work bench so any time I expose a back ring I reseal it. Even well seasoned staves can check on the back if it is not sealed.
Those staves should be stable to your climate by now.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Ruddy Darter

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2022, 05:10:47 pm »
Thanks very much Pat,
I'll aim for one ring of sapwood and reseal, and work the staves down resealing the ends.
 If I may have to tweek a couple of places with heat gun and oil when the time comes, I'm guessing a ring of sapwood would hold up and still be ok( I would cover and protect the sapwood from any direct heat). Or I'll steam it ( I do prefer using a heatgun though :D)

 R.D.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2022, 05:32:48 pm by Ruddy Darter »
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Offline Pat B

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2022, 06:39:53 pm »
RD, you don't want any dry heat directly on the back. I see no problem making heat corrections with the sapwood intact. I've used a heat gun and oil with good results on osage, with and without sapwood left on the back. Those staves look pretty straight except maybe some snakes and and humps so probably no drastic corrections. 
 On the one thinner ring stave you may consider a rawhide backing if you have any concerns with the thinner rings.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Ruddy Darter

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2022, 06:49:18 pm »
Thanks again Pat,
Yes, I would be heating the belly if any slight corrections are needed, avoiding any heat accumulating /hitting the back. If the
stave with the thinner rings doesn't seem safe I'll just take it to a heartwood ring, if it's not worth it for the aesthetic contrast of sapwood /heartwood (although the sapwood does look impeccable on both staves).
 Great, that's all good to know, I am looking forward to working with this Osage. Much appreciated. 8)
 R.D.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2022, 07:04:18 pm by Ruddy Darter »
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Offline Pat B

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2022, 10:43:50 pm »
Keep us posted on your progress.  :OK
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Ruddy Darter

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2022, 11:20:20 pm »
 No worries, will do.   :D
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bownarra

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2022, 02:03:12 am »
Never let drying staves sit in sunlight...they should be in the dark ideally. Also your lean to will experience wildly fluctuating temperatures with that clear roof - not a good idea for wood storage.
You could leave a sapwood ring no problem. Danish oil is no good for sealing the stave. Pat suggestion of shellac is a good one.
It will check further if it is asked to dry too fast and there is still a high m.c.  . Checking occurs because the outside wood is drying too fast for the inside to keep up and/or the stave is too thick. your is too thick!
I'd chase the back ring. Seal heavily. Then rough in the belly taper  and again seal. Then simply weigh the stave, mark the date and weight on it. Then every few days weight it again. Watch what happens with the weight as the water leaves.

Offline Ruddy Darter

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2022, 03:32:30 am »
Ok, thanks bownarra,
when I get a chance to work them down some I'll find a place for them in the garage. Thanks for the weighing tip, and I'll look out for some shellac sealer.

 R.D.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2022, 04:21:10 am by Ruddy Darter »
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bownarra

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2022, 04:27:34 am »
Some people may say yes but I would say no! Those products are pretty thin and meant for filling pores before doing something like a lacquer finish that requires a flat surface (filled pores).
Get some shellac 'buttons' and a bottle of meths to dissolve it. Cheaper than buying made up products and even a small pack will last a long time. You can then make it up nice and thick which is way better for slowing moisture transfer from staves.
Shellac makes a great finish by itself too once you get the knack of applying it correctly. You also have the option when using button lac to try French polish finishes. Basically a small amount of shellac on a pad then add a drop of oil to the pad. Rub into the wood with a circular motion. Makes a really beautiful finish and isn't that hard to learn.

Offline Ruddy Darter

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2022, 04:37:41 am »
Thanks again bownarra,  8)
 I'll definitely look into that, sounds like the way forward,  I'm on the last of my Danish oil too, 

 R.D.
.... I just ordered some blonde shellac flakes and some button shellac flakes. :)

« Last Edit: August 13, 2022, 06:37:13 am by Ruddy Darter »
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Offline George Tsoukalas

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2022, 10:11:08 am »
Why? The stave on the left has good looking hardwood rings. Can't see the rings on the right one. Jawge
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Offline RyanY

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2022, 10:14:25 am »
Make sure you follow those sapwood rings to see if they are solid all the way through. Sometimes there is a transition that might ruin plans for a solid white sapwood back. Gotta keep those aesthetics.  ;)

Offline Ruddy Darter

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Re: Advice for a couple of Osage staves
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2022, 01:20:29 pm »
Thanks all,
I'll be aiming for those transitional rings, and I won't be trying for anything too ambitious, I'll get to a back I'm happy with (sapwood or no sapwood) and then lay on some dimensions. I'm working on another bow project at present so I won't be doing anything for a little while until I've made some progress with it.
R.D.
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