Author Topic: Impossible snakeskin application  (Read 703 times)

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Offline Eric Krewson

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Impossible snakeskin application
« on: July 31, 2022, 05:16:37 pm »
I found a fresh shed timber rattler skin under my former girlfriend's farm house porch a couple of years ago, it had been shed in the last few minutes and was still wet. I was surprised at how much color it still had in it so I took it home, I thought someday I will try to put this shed skin on a bow to see what happens, it is as thin as wet toilet paper.



I cut it down the middle so I would have a piece with a matching pattern to put on each limb. I dampened it with a wet paper towel, the slightest tug would tear it in two.

I stained the osage limb with leather dye so the skin would have more color, when I brushed TB3 on the limb it picked up quite a bit of color from the stained bows back.

Application was tedious, forcing the glue and air bubbles out from under the skin often cause a slight tear that was easily closed.



The edges of the skin wanted to lift off the bow so I put spring clamps over the places that wanted to lift to hold them down.



Tomorrow I will trim the skin to the edges of the limbs and glue any parts that didn't stick at the edges down with superglue. Because the skin is so thin, I will give both skinned limbs a coat of superglue over the skins to harden them.

More to follow as this project progresses, I haven't made a bow in a while, I used two mismatched billets and made a low poundage bow. One billet was very splintery and actually formed a chrysal in an almost non bending part of the fade. I have never seen a chrysal in an osage bow that I have made and that covers a lot of territory.

 
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 08:24:05 am by Eric Krewson »

Offline darinputman

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2022, 12:48:05 pm »
Sounds like the application will require a lot of attention to detail Eric. Can't think of anyone more suited for the job than you.
   Glad to see your building again.

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2022, 12:50:53 pm »
The next part of the process is to replace missing scales that tore off during the edge clean up, easy to do, a scale from the scrap and a dab of superglue.



After the skin is patched, I dry brush it with leather dye to even out the color.



To make the skin stable and not prone to tearing I brush on a coat of superglue.



The skin dyed, stabilized and read to apply the low luster bow finish. I do need to do more stain and glue cleanup on the edges of the limbs.






Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2022, 01:10:56 pm »
Wow! This is just one step easier than twisting a bowstring out of spiderwebs you collect in the woods!

Looks great, Mr. Krewson!
Guns have triggers. Bicycles have wheels. Trees and bows have wooden limbs.

Offline wooddamon1

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2022, 10:08:24 pm »
Very nice, Eric!

Offline Mo_coon-catcher

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2022, 11:38:28 pm »
Thatís coming out great! Iím really liking the look your getting.

 I may need to try staining like that at some point myself. How has the durability seemed so far when you use the sheds? From what Iíve been playing with, large scaled ones like that are much more durable than small scales skins. Hereís one the then Iíve been messing with, itís Atleast the most recent anyway. Though I didnít do any of the stain work, just a little ink dye to bolden the pattern a bit. These are from a small ball python and t he pattern isnít very bold on camera.

Kyle

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2022, 08:55:19 am »
I made a snake skin backed bow out of three different non matching copperhead skins, I use leather dye and a fine brush to match the patterns on the spliced together skins. This was a matter of building up layers of diluted dye and feathering the colors with a fan brush.

There were no patterns on this section of faded skin. I drew them in to match the parts of the same skin that had a pattern showing. This was another "I wonder if I can pull this off' kind of thing. I matched all the skin with the same diluted leather dye.



Here is my first skin splice, it shows. I refined my splicing technique and made the second skin splice invisible.





   
« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 09:02:01 am by Eric Krewson »

Offline superdav95

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2022, 02:34:35 pm »
Looks great to me.  I wouldnít have know it was a shed! 

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2022, 02:05:22 pm »
I went back over the skin with more leather dye to cover up the white spots, the color is not anything like a rattlesnake now so I guess I will call it one of those dreaded copperheaded rattle moccasins.

It is actually nice looking in person. I have 3 coats of tru-oil on it now and will apply 3 or 4 more coats then put on the leather handle, letter in the specs and call it finished.





Offline Will B

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2022, 03:46:10 pm »
That looks really nice Eric.

Offline Mo_coon-catcher

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2022, 06:19:02 pm »
Thatís looking awesome! I may have to steal your dye trick.
Do you find the sheds get a little soft and delicate feeling when the truoil is freshly applied? Atleast for me, the skins get a little soft feeling until t he truoil cures fully.

My look e

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2022, 08:32:38 am »
All in all I find sheds are like trying to glue bubble wrap to a bow, they don't stick like a real skin, I pulled the bow back a few times and a few scales popped loose that will have to be re-dyed. The bow looks really good but I wonder about the longevity of the skin application.

Offline Mo_coon-catcher

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Re: Impossible snakeskin application
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2022, 03:32:19 pm »
The last couple Iíve done have been holding up well to some pretty forceful rubbing and shooting. Iíve found that bigger scaled skins work better than smaller as itís easier to be sure glue is under each scale well. And I spread tb3 over the top and wash it in with a sipping wet paper towel so itíll soak into yhe Skin a bit. Thought i imagine it would stop the skin from being dyable. The first several I did wanted to flake apart bad over time as well. Hereís probably the best one Iíve had so far.

Kyle