Author Topic: Stone Age Witch Hazel (updated 1/18)  (Read 56242 times)

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Offline ricktrojanowski

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Stone Age Witch Hazel (updated 1/18)
« on: August 24, 2008, 07:23:43 pm »
After seeing Jamie's "stoned elm" bow I decided I really wanted to give a stone age bow a go.  He was kind enough to help me get started on one this past Sat.   We chose Which Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana).  We chose this because we found some really nice small trees that appeared free of twist and knots.  Also to give another type a wood a try.  You will have to bear with me on this build along.  It is my first and I'm really really low on free time. I'll post as I go but a finished bow is going to be a ways down the road. 
 
I used the following tools so far. 
1 A large piece of heat treated flint with a crudly knapped edge(my knapping skill level) Used for the initial cutting and heavy work
2 2 smaller hand axes one of noviculite and the other of flint much nicer and thinner (Jamies handy work) for more fine chopping
3 Antler tines and big rock for splitting the stave in two pieces
4 Obsidian flakes for scraping and outlining the bow.



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« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 03:52:04 am by ricktrojanowski »
Traverse City, MI

jamie

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 07:37:05 pm »
 ;D

Offline ricktrojanowski

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 07:46:05 pm »
After selecting a tree I cut it down using the big "hand axe" .  Initially making a notch on the tension side then eventually cutting around the entire trunk cutting on the newly created edges.   Then the tree was bent giving it a split between the tension and non tension sides.  Once down it was cut to approximate length.  Then a small silent prayer was said for the dead tree.

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Traverse City, MI

Offline ricktrojanowski

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 07:47:12 pm »
more pics

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Offline ricktrojanowski

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 07:50:07 pm »
Then I debarked the tension side.  Using an obsidian flake to make some light cuts then stripping the bark off.

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Traverse City, MI

Offline ricktrojanowski

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008, 07:52:58 pm »
Next the stave was split using antler tines and a rock.  Antler tines provided by Jamie (I can't manage to shoot a doe let alone anything with tools on its head)  The tension side was saved and the bottom discarded.

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Offline ricktrojanowski

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 08:02:39 pm »
The basic layout was next.  I used a piece of burnt wood to draw a centerline on the stave.  Then using a piece of bark as a gauge I marked the edges of the bow with a obs. scraper.  I didn't want to use a tape measure so I don't have any numbers on length or width.  The width is about two of my thumbs( about 1 5/8)  and the length is up to my chin (maybe 60- 62 inches).  I cut to the lines with the big axe and the nice smaller ones.

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Traverse City, MI

Offline ricktrojanowski

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 08:04:06 pm »
Then Jamie and Mike stood around looking at me as if I were some kind of idiot. ;D.  More to come.  Next I will reduce the stave to floor tiller dimensions.  Bind it to something to keep it from twisting to H@$!.  And let dry.

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Offline Pat B

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2008, 09:37:16 pm »
Cool!  I've got plenty of Hamamelis virginiana along my creek. I've got antler tines, a few stone tools. What the heck am I waiting for! :o ::)
  Thanks for posting your project. You've got the best teacher available. ;)  Looking forward to your progress. 8)     Pat
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

jamie

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2008, 12:51:13 am »
im very impressed with both ricks enthusiasm and the witch hazel. seems very dense,  similar to cornus florida. peace

Dingleberry

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 07:04:52 am »
Awesome Rick,  I can't wait to see this thru.  Like Pat said, your lucky to have such a skilled teacher.  Good Luck.

Would you mind breaking down the time you spent on each task?  thanks

Offline TRACY

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2008, 10:05:17 am »
Making me sweat watching you hard at work ;D. Good post, I'll stay tuned in.

Tracy
It is what it is - make the most of it!    PN500956

Offline Dane

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2008, 10:51:52 am »
Great thread, Rick. I see what you guys decided to do when you got together at Jamie's club this month. Life just got in the way for me, and too many honeydos to count.

I will be watching this thread, very inspiring. Making a stone aged bow sounds like the best of all worlds, tons of work but tons of fun and satisfaction, and a truly primitive weapon at the end of it.

Dane

Greenfield, Western Massachusetts

Offline cowboy

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2008, 11:38:35 am »
This will be very interesting to keep up with Rick, and I agree - ya couldn't have a better tutor. Don't look like Jamie's breaking a sweat there though ::) ;D.
When you come upon a track or trail you do not know, follow it to the point of knowing.

jamie

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Re: Stone Age Witch Hazel
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2008, 11:46:22 am »
paul its good to be the elder  >:D i tapped on rock while rick worked his tail off ;D hazel looks to be a very nice wood. was very dense. i took a couple chops at it compared to all the woods ive put stone too it was very dense. he's earning this bow for sure. peace