Author Topic: Harvesting hickory  (Read 1041 times)

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Offline Muskyman

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Harvesting hickory
« on: September 24, 2022, 06:12:25 pm »
Big tree or little tree?
I went out back today and I have some 6-8 inch hickory trees that I can harvest
Or would you think a tree of 16-20 inches or so would be better for bow staves?
Iíll probably just take one or two of the smaller ones because thereís just something about a big old 100 ft hickory tree that makes me not want to cut it down..
Now there are 2 or 3 of the big ones, sooooo

Offline Pat B

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2022, 09:15:20 pm »
The 6" to 8" would work fine but, depending on where you live it might be too late in the season for the bark to slip exposing a pristine bow back. You may now have to use a draw knife to remove the bark and cambium possibly damaging the back.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline superdav95

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2022, 11:32:46 pm »
I rarely cut down anything bigger then 8-10Ē in hickory.  The nice thing with slightly smaller diameter trees is that sometimes you can incorporate a little of the heart wood in the handle area and fades for a cool effect.  The bigger trees are harder to deal with but do give you a flatter back technically but at 1.5 -1.75Ē at the widest section of the bow itís still fairly flat.  It will come down to tiller in the end with any bow.    Pats right about the bark too. Much easier in the early summer to slip right off.  Iíve done some late season too but harder to remove bark as was said.  Not impossible but harder.  It can still be done to get a pristine back.  Iíve used a dull spoon after removing most of the bark while the back is still soft to get all the cambium off.  Also You can just get most of the bark off leaving a little of the cambium layer in the lows spots.   This effect of leaving the low spots with a little cambium turns dark and also can look cool.  Doesnít effect the performance at all. 
Sticks and stones and other poky stabby things.

superdav95@gmail.com

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2022, 09:06:54 am »
This time of year, I would cut small stuff, I cut one large wind toppled hickory in late July, never again. It took me two weeks to strip 17 staves of the bark and cambium. If you are just stripping a few staves with a drawknife it isn't so bad.

On big trees I halve them with a chainsaw instead of splitting them, after they are in half they split fairly easily.

Here is the result of splitting two large 7' hickory logs to a size where I could drag the parts off a high ridge to my truck. I split the heart wood off some of them to lighten the load, they still weighed about 50# each, that is an F-250 pick-up bed that makes them look smaller than they are.




Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2022, 09:12:22 am »
I pop a chalk line on hickory and cut a kirf on them with a skill saw to split them easily and uniformly.


Offline Muskyman

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2022, 10:04:51 am »
Do you leave the bark on them and store them if it wonít peel off or just use a draw knife and sweat. Then seal them and store them.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2022, 02:18:23 pm »
It's a lot easier to remove the bark while it's still green. If you leave the bark on to dry insects can invade your staves. You can spray the bark with insecticide to kill the wood eaters.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2022, 04:11:59 pm »
You need to get the bark off green even if you use a drawknife. I debarked the staves above and gave them all a coat of shellack on the back and ends just to be on the safe side.

Here they are, debarked in my shop with the shellac drying. I have since taken down all of the antlers, the tournament trophies and cleaned up my shop, it looks much better now. I donated the antlers to a St Jude auction.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2022, 04:15:06 pm by Eric Krewson »

Offline Muskyman

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2022, 06:19:54 pm »
Thatís what I thought, and figured you did. Never read anything to the contrary.
Nice looking bunch of staves. Iím probably going to cut one of the smaller ones.. I hope to get 6-8 staves but will take what I get..

Thanks Eric and Pat

Offline superdav95

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2022, 07:46:15 pm »
Nice haul there Eric. 
Sticks and stones and other poky stabby things.

superdav95@gmail.com

Offline Pat B

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Re: Harvesting hickory
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2022, 10:02:10 am »
When you cut your hickory tree seal the ends well and soon after cutting. Then split it in half and let it acclimatize in a sheltered area off the ground for a few weeks at least before you split it down into staves and be generous with the staves, don't make them too narrow.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC