Author Topic: Very first stave attempt...  (Read 1647 times)

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Offline Jake Spoon

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Very first stave attempt...
« on: April 29, 2024, 08:12:23 pm »
Hello everyone,

After going 2/5 in my attempts to build a board bow, I made up my mind to try a stave. JW Halverson very kindly traded me an osage stave recently, and in the meantime I also acquired this piece of osage.

This is the first stave I have ever worked with.

Total length is 68"
At the narrowest point it is around 1 3/8" wide.
The thinnest section is around 2" thick.

Unfortunately, this narrow spot is almost smack dab in the center. My goal is to make a bendy handled bow. And, I would like to try for around forty pounds at 28".

The question I have, is do I have enough wood to work with if I am careful? I am willing to leave it long and to possibly back with rawhide as this will also be my first attempt chasing a ring.

You guys have been more than helpful in my recent attempts and failures and I am grateful for any advice you have on this thing. If nothing else, maybe I can learn something from it!

- Jake


Offline bjrogg

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2024, 08:34:45 pm »
It looks like enough wood to get a nice bow.

The first thing you need to do though, is chase a ring to see what you really have to work with. It very likely will get a little narrower.

Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline Muskyman

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2024, 11:30:50 pm »
Hey Jake, I’m pretty much still a novice at bow building but the one thing I can say without hesitation is that Osage is amazing stuff.  Also if your narrow spot is at the handle area that’s fine in my opinion. Also you can laminate wood to the back to make a thicker handle. The growth rings look good on your stave. Like Bjrogg said chase your ring and you will have a much better idea of what you’re working with. Lighting has really helped me stay onto my growth ring. I have a bow I’ve been working on and it’s only 1&3/8 inch wide at the fades and it’s turning out pretty good.
I’ve got a feeling you’re gonna be happily surprised.
Good luck

Offline willie

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2024, 11:54:12 pm »
nice ring growth

use all 68" and all the width that you have.....

ELB?

Offline bentstick54

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2024, 01:12:05 am »
I made my 1st Osage bow following the measurements for an Osage flat bow design shown in TBB vol.1 by Ron Hardcastle. Then I started seeing how far I could push the design. I have gone as narrow as 1-1/4” at the widest part of the fades, straight taper to 3/8” at the tips. My handles are approximately 7/8” wide and anywhere for 1” to 1-1/4” thick, then a thin leather handle wrap put on. Most bows have been about 50# @28”, but had one I tillered to 57# with no problems. It doesn’t take a lot of Osage to make a stout bow.

Offline bentstick54

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2024, 01:13:30 am »
Here’s a snap shot of the one shown in TBB vol 1 for reference.

Offline Jake Spoon

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2024, 12:04:25 am »
Thank you all for the encouraging advice!

I started chasing a ring this afternoon going very slowly. I will report back when I have made more progress on it, probably this weekend. I am determined to go slow with this project.

-Jake

Offline Jake Spoon

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2024, 06:12:28 pm »
Hi! Wishing everybody safe travels to and good times at the Classic this weekend!

I have been chasing a ring on this stave a bit at a time this week. I have two questions if you guys don't mind to humor me.

1. Is this crack that has shown up a major problem?

2. If I intend to back this bow with rawhide, can I leave this residual early wood? Or, do I need to get it off the back?

I hope it shows up ok in the resized picture. I am really grateful for the help so far. I appreciate any feedback on this thing.

- Jake

Offline bentstick54

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2024, 06:42:29 pm »
I would use a cabinet scraper and remove the residual wood. If you don’t have a cabinet scraper, a pocket knife or something similar will work.
As far as the crack is concerned, as long as it runs with the grain, and does not get to close to the edge, it will be fine. I’ve made multiple bows with similar cracks and have had no issues.  I fill them with thin super glue until they won’t absorb anymore, and then tiller from there.
If you can get a good back chased there’s no need on Osage to back with rawhide. You gain nothing in performance and are just adding needless weight to the back of the bow, which robs cast. I would only use rawhide as a preventative in the case of a questionable back.

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2024, 09:00:22 pm »
I agree with everything bentstick said.

#1 fill the cracks with thin superglue from every angle. I have several like that. One even runs off edge through handle.

#2 I would suggest you just plain get in the habit of cleaning up the early good with scraper as you go. It really helps to keep everything less confusing. It also looks so much cleaner and smoother if you don’t back it.

#3 if you succeed chasing a ring. No need to back Osage. However I will leave that up to you.

I sure wish we could post larger pictures.

Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline bentstick54

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2024, 11:37:00 pm »
I agree with Bjrogg about #2. I chased a ring on a 62” Osage stave today that is thin ringed and I find it easiest to chase a ring with a draw knife for 4” to 6” then remove any residual early wood with a scraper, then do another 4”to 6”.

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2024, 01:06:15 pm »
I agree with Bjrogg about #2. I chased a ring on a 62” Osage stave today that is thin ringed and I find it easiest to chase a ring with a draw knife for 4” to 6” then remove any residual early wood with a scraper, then do another 4”to 6”.


That’s exactly how I do it. Always cleaning up with scraper so I don’t get lost.

Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline TimBo

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2024, 03:41:22 pm »
How thick is the side there?  It looks like it might have a pie shaped top back to belly profile still, in which case you will need to flatten the sides a bit, so you may end up getting closer to the crack.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2024, 04:53:34 pm »
Those drying cracks(checks ) shouldn't be a problem, just fill them with superglue and keep going.



Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Jake Spoon

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Re: Very first stave attempt...
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2024, 11:31:00 pm »
Today I filled the cracks with superglue and made some more progress chasing the ring. I almost finished, except for working around the knots and cleaning up some of the early wood.

I wasn't exactly sure how to tackle the knots in the best way. I was reading about it and I watched Clay Hayes's video where he left some wood over the knots and returned to remove it later. I have been doing that here.

TimBo: the side is about 2 inches thick where that crack is.