Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Osage Selfbow repairs?

Messages posted to thread:
Catscratch 10-Oct-18
Michael Schwister 10-Oct-18
Whiteblackfoot 10-Oct-18
Catscratch 10-Oct-18
Catscratch 10-Oct-18
Catscratch 10-Oct-18
Eric Krewson 10-Oct-18
Bassman 10-Oct-18
badger 10-Oct-18
Osage Outlaw 10-Oct-18
bow-n-head 10-Oct-18
Catscratch 10-Oct-18
Jeff Durnell 10-Oct-18
Catscratch 10-Oct-18
Elderly OCR 10-Oct-18
Catscratch 10-Oct-18
Michael Schwister 10-Oct-18
HedgeHunter 10-Oct-18
Elderly OCR 10-Oct-18
Catscratch 10-Oct-18
George Tsoukalas 10-Oct-18
Catscratch 10-Oct-18
Bjrogg 11-Oct-18
Catscratch 11-Oct-18
Elderly OCR 11-Oct-18
Michael Schwister 11-Oct-18
Jim Davis 11-Oct-18
badger 11-Oct-18
Catscratch 11-Oct-18
Elderly OCR 11-Oct-18
Arvin 11-Oct-18
Arvin 11-Oct-18
George Tsoukalas 11-Oct-18
Eric Krewson 11-Oct-18
Elderly OCR 11-Oct-18
Elderly OCR 11-Oct-18
Catscratch 12-Oct-18
Jim Davis 12-Oct-18
Bassman 13-Oct-18
HedgeHunter 14-Oct-18
Catscratch 15-Oct-18
Bassman 15-Oct-18
Michael Schwister 15-Oct-18
longbowguy 18-Oct-18
Jim Davis 18-Oct-18
From: Catscratch
Date: 10-Oct-18




I've been whittling on my first Osage selfbow and have ran into a problem. There is a wormhole that goes through the backing ring of wood (not sure if that's really what it's called) and when I pulled the bow back it popped and split a the backing a little.

My question is; can I pour some epoxy into the hole, superglue the split down, and back the bow with sinew to fix it?

I don't have a ton of time into it so it's not a big deal if it's not fixable as I've enjoyed the process and had no real expectations of a good outcome on my first try... but if I can fix it and move on then I would like to.

Thanks!

From: Michael Schwister Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 10-Oct-18




You can ALWAYS repair an osage selfbow. It usually involves sinew and hide glue, but I have blown them to splinters and made them back into usable weapons. I cannot tell the stage you are in so I cannot recommend a specific repair. Can you post pictures?

From: Whiteblackfoot
Date: 10-Oct-18




Don’t use string for bow until later in tillering process, use a long string at first to tiller. I use clothes line rope

From: Catscratch
Date: 10-Oct-18

Catscratch's embedded Photo



From: Catscratch
Date: 10-Oct-18

Catscratch's embedded Photo



From: Catscratch
Date: 10-Oct-18




Sorry, I had planned on posting pics from the start but it took a while to figure out how to do it. Hope the pics kind of explain what I want to do with it.

From: Eric Krewson
Date: 10-Oct-18




That is bad, I would move on to another bow project. You can repair it but having repaired a lot of selfbows I have found the radical failures like yours don't hold up well after a repair.

You could cut out the bad place, glue in new wood, fill the longitudinal cracks with superglue and bamboo back your stave and save it but I don't think it would be worth the work.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 10-Oct-18




With a dremel tool clean out the bad wood from the holes,and use a mix of osage saw dust, and super glue. Layer by layer press the mixture tight into the hole till it is filled.Fill the cracks with crazy glue also and clamp.Then sinew back it with hide glue.I would do all the above before you do any thing else.I fixed my last Osage bow like that about a year ago. Still shooting good after many shots, and i had to drill ,and fill 8 knot holes on the belly of the bow.Best way i know of making that stave into a successful bow in my humble opinion. Good luck.

From: badger
Date: 10-Oct-18




You are paying the price for being lazy and not chasing enough rings. Bow is junk! Lesson learned move on.

From: Osage Outlaw
Date: 10-Oct-18




That is not something I would try to repair. When chasing a ring for the back you need to remove any traces of worm holes like that. Keep going down rings until you get a clean back. That will give you the best chance for a long lasting bow.

From: bow-n-head Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 10-Oct-18




Take it down to the next ring. Kids love self bows.

From: Catscratch
Date: 10-Oct-18




Thanks for the replies guys. I will probably try to repair it and continue to experiment with it. I don't really know what I'm doing so I'll try some different things and if I take it too far then I'll have learned something though experience (the best way in my opinion). Knowing that my chances of salvaging it are slim makes it less heartbreaking when it breaks.

I'll start looking for a new log to start splitting apart and now I'll know that worm holes are kind of important.

Thanks again guys!

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 10-Oct-18




Not kind of important... Extremely important... especially on the bow's back. I won't make a bow with a worm hole in it ANYwhere.

From: Catscratch
Date: 10-Oct-18




^^^ Lol, now I know!

What about knots in the stave? My first assumption was to avoid them like the plague, but I've seen plenty of selfbow pics on the internet that have knots in them.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 10-Oct-18




A knot is part of the tree structure so there is more potential integrity in the wood in and around a know.

A wormhole is like drilling a hole straight through the linear fibers.

Still, I take Jeff's thoughts a bit further. I don't even use wood with knots.

From: Catscratch
Date: 10-Oct-18




I threw away my first stave because I didn't like the little knots I found in it and how the grain moved around them when I split it. Figured the hole in the middle of the knots was weak... For my second stave I looked around a lot to find a section of tree that didn't have any small branches coming off it to avoid the knots and ended up with a worm hole that I didn't even give a second thought to.

Lol, learn as I go! At least I have enough hedge to keep me busy for a while.

From: Michael Schwister Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 10-Oct-18




It can be fixed using sinew and hide glue. Would have been an easy fix if you just kept working down to a complete unaffected ring on the back before working the sides or taking ANY material off the belly. "Tis only a flesh wound" If you have a pile of staves you cut yourself move on. If that is the only osage you have or can find, repair it with sinew. It was a wasp larvae. I had a batch of affected staves in about 2003. I called Dean Torges to ask him what to do, he in turn asked if I had a canoe, (yes) fill it with water, place the staves inside for a week, and "drown the bastards". One of my favorite memories from our many phone conversations...................

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 10-Oct-18




well, if yer makin selfbows and you cant deal with knots yer gonna be wood huntin som-beotch.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 10-Oct-18




Won't, not can't. I have piles of knot free wood.

Still I like to look for perfect trees, even if I ultimately just leave them.

From: Catscratch
Date: 10-Oct-18




I just might be a wood huntin som-beotch before this is all said and done! I found running a draw-knife soothing and relaxing and having the perfect piece of wood could become an obsession! I can deal with knots. I thought they were a big deal but at first. Now that I know different they won't be as much of a concern.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 10-Oct-18




I think it is toast too. That photo with the worm hole (the last one) seems to sow some ring violations with is not a good thing. Jawge

From: Catscratch
Date: 10-Oct-18




George - tell me what you see in the last photo. What are you looking at in that photo that says ring violations? I want to make sure to correct anything I can on the next go-around...

From: Bjrogg
Date: 11-Oct-18




I'm just looking on my phone, but the only ring violations I see are from the grubs. I personally would start a new bow especially if you've got some more Osage waiting for you. Like previously stated, remove rings till you get to a good one. Not saying it couldn't possibly be backed with sinew but especially after it lifted a splinter I'd be very concerned. I work with knots all the time. A knot is totally different than a worm hole. I use hand tools just because I like them. Not any put down of power tools. I just like them. I also like the way a draw knife follows the grain around a knot. Just like the tree grows the grain around a knot. The tree doesn't grow grain around a worm hole.

Bjrogg

From: Catscratch
Date: 11-Oct-18




Thanks for the reply. I was real careful to not violate the ring so that's why I wanted to know what was seen that showed the violation. That way I could avoid doing it again.

Since thinking about it over night I'm pretty sure that I'll go ahead and chase rings down on this stave until I'm past the worm holes. There won't be much left of the bow once I do that but I'm chalking this one up to learning the wood. I'm pretty sure I'll gain enough knowledge through the process that it will benefit me for when I start my next one.

Anyone have some criticisms of what I've done so far (besides the obvious wasp-worm hole)? Like I said; I'm learning here and sometimes I don't even know I'm wrong until after the fact.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Oct-18




Jawge was probably seeing the color change and the slight hints of "early" wood on the margins.

It looks more like "lunar" ring violation which is going to be pretty normal for even the best ring chaser.

From: Michael Schwister Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 11-Oct-18




BEWARE!!! Becoming a "wud chasin sumbitch" is addictive, and if left untreated can negatively impact focus, concentration, and can lead to completely ignoring fresh sign of game in the constant search for "perfect bow wood" trees instead of deer sign!! It can even put one of risk of an auto accident while driving through states such as Iowa, ILL, Ind Ohio staring at fence rows looking for 'sage' and not watching the road (I70 through Indiana/Ohio.ILL should called the "osage orange fence row expressway"

From: Jim Davis
Date: 11-Oct-18




If I were to try to salvage that bow, I would do what Bill says, just up thread from this. I have done that several times, but to me, it's only worth it if you don't have more Osage to start another bow.

From: badger
Date: 11-Oct-18




Bill, you are wrong about the worm holes ok if they go straight. You might get lucky and some are worse than others but all are very high risk.

From: Catscratch
Date: 11-Oct-18




Don't they call them "split limb" design in the compound world?

I have hedge everywhere. It's all I burn for firewood so I get to deal with it often. Finding "good" pieces is different than just finding pieces though.

I think I'll just continue to whittle on this piece and chalk it up to learning experience. Once it's whittled down to nothing I'll grab a new piece and apply what I've learned to it.

I'm afraid the addiction has bit in and taken hold. I'm probably a ruint man! :(

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Oct-18




Are you serious? You drill a hole through the crown of a bow back and it would take a miracle to hold it together.

A drilled hole would be the ultimate ring violation.

From: Arvin
Date: 11-Oct-18




My experience with this kind of problem was sad just like yours! Be more careful when picking a stave. Go down rings till you get through all the worm holes as badger said. And yes move on to a new stave and bow build. Lesson learned. I dont think there is many self bowyers that have not experienced this aleast once. Arvin

From: Arvin
Date: 11-Oct-18




My experience with this kind of problem was sad just like yours! Be more careful when picking a stave. Go down rings till you get through all the worm holes as badger said. And yes move on to a new stave and bow build. Lesson learned. I dont think there is many self bowyers that have not experienced this aleast once. Arvin

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 11-Oct-18




Yes, elderlyocr I identified what I saw. Jawge

From: Eric Krewson
Date: 11-Oct-18




I have seen several osage bows that had the backs full of unfilled wood wasp larvae holes and trails.The owners said they wanted to see if they would blow so they made the bows wormholes and all. Strangely bow bows were shooting and had been for a while.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Oct-18




If you want to start talking tiny pin holes perhaps but some grub holes are far larger. I'll pass.

Still, I'd like to see you do the drill test.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Oct-18




You can learn by watching someone else make a mistake. ;)

From: Catscratch
Date: 12-Oct-18




Well, if you want to learn something by watching someone else make mistakes you guys might just become pretty damn educated by watching me build a bow!

I just started another thread asking for links to good tillering video's. I don't know how to decide between tapering the limbs towards the nocks, or removing wood from the belly. In my mind either one would achieve the same thing and allow for more even bend in bow. How do you know which to do and when?

From: Jim Davis
Date: 12-Oct-18




The thing is, wood is three to four times stronger in tension than compression. So, if you have a smallish hole straight down in the back of a bow, there is still plenty of wood to carry the tension load.

But, if I'm using a stave that has a hole, I feather the growth ring down to the hole (not the part toward the sides of the limb, but toward the fade and tip).

Just finished up hickory that someone had gouged through the back over about a quarter of the limb width. It's shooting just fine.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 13-Oct-18




Most of my selfbows ,and backed bows are very clean from flaws.Elm,Hickory,Black Locust, Walnut,some American Hornbeam.These are all woods i have easy access to.The cleaner the better no doubt.All the Osage i have ever worked with have flaws of some kind, big knot holes,twisted,punky wood in some spots,etc,etc,etc.After many hours of work i have had some fail,but i have also got some successful, good shooting bows from some pretty funky Osage that are still shooting fine. It is rare wood in my neck of the woods so when i get a stave that i may get a bow out of i go for it. Some times it works, and some times it does not.You never really know until you try. JMO.

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 14-Oct-18




When i see a clean hunk of Hedge around here i know somehow the dang thing will get Jinxed and have a catastrophic. When yer wood poor even a gnarly hunk starts to look really good!

I went thru a huge pile of ate staves past couple weeks. For life of me some buggars eat just sap wood. Others over achieve and eat right thru. Go figger?

HH~

From: Catscratch
Date: 15-Oct-18




I went ahead and took the rings down below the worm hole (mainly for practice). Ended up with almost nothing left, but I think I got some good practice out of it. That crack was pretty deep, deeper than I thought it was! I looked at a couple more logs that I have cut and not sure I have much for donor staves without heading out with the chainsaw. I still have lots of Osage in piles and plenty of standing trees that I'm starting to eye pretty closely. Damn addicting stuff!

How long after cutting a tree down do you have to wait to split a stave? Then how long should it dry before you start working it?

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 15-Oct-18




If you have every thing right now you could make a short plains Indian sinew backed bow from it, or back it with something, and give it to a youngster.They love hand made bows with paint on them.I have made ,and gifted them to local boy scouts, and they love them. Just a thought.

From: Michael Schwister Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 15-Oct-18




Went from standing tree to finished bow in 28 days in at least one instant. Bow is still in good working order. Killed four deer with it in 2013 on four consecutive weekends. Cut tree and work down to blank, put in drying box when not working on it, and whitle on it every day. Heat temper belly with heat gun until brown like toasted marshmallow at about 21 days gets it to final MC. Do it in winter in a heated house really helps.

From: longbowguy
Date: 18-Oct-18




Sounds like as many ways to whittle osage as to skin a cat. It's a wonderful world. - lbg

From: Jim Davis
Date: 18-Oct-18




"How long after cutting a tree down do you have to wait to split a stave? ... .?"

Just as long as it takes to cut a stave-length log off the felled tree. (You should wait till the tree stops bouncing where it fell.) ;-)





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