Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Moisture percentage

Messages posted to thread:
RonG 06-Dec-18
Weylin 06-Dec-18
Stoner 06-Dec-18
Tlhbow 06-Dec-18
Weylin 06-Dec-18
Weylin 06-Dec-18
Weylin 06-Dec-18
RonG 07-Dec-18
PEARL DRUMS 07-Dec-18
George Tsoukalas 07-Dec-18
Bender 07-Dec-18
RonG 07-Dec-18
George Tsoukalas 07-Dec-18
RonG 07-Dec-18
Jeff Durnell 08-Dec-18
Jeff Durnell 08-Dec-18
RonG 08-Dec-18
George Tsoukalas 08-Dec-18
RonG 08-Dec-18
Tucker 08-Dec-18
Tucker 08-Dec-18
Tucker 08-Dec-18
Coop 08-Dec-18
MStyles 08-Dec-18
RonG 08-Dec-18
Coop 08-Dec-18
Jeff Durnell 08-Dec-18
Jeff Durnell 08-Dec-18
RonG 09-Dec-18
RonG 10-Dec-18
Jeff Durnell 10-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 10-Dec-18
HedgeHunter 10-Dec-18
RonG 11-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 11-Dec-18
Bassman 11-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 11-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 11-Dec-18
HedgeHunter 11-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 11-Dec-18
HedgeHunter 11-Dec-18
Jeff Durnell 11-Dec-18
Bassman 12-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 12-Dec-18
HedgeHunter 12-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 12-Dec-18
HedgeHunter 12-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 12-Dec-18
HedgeHunter 12-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 12-Dec-18
RonG 12-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 12-Dec-18
Bassman 12-Dec-18
RonG 12-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 12-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 12-Dec-18
Phil 13-Dec-18
RonG 13-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 13-Dec-18
Phil 13-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 13-Dec-18
Bassman 13-Dec-18
PEARL DRUMS 13-Dec-18
Elderly OCR 13-Dec-18
Bassman 13-Dec-18
RonG 13-Dec-18
HedgeHunter 13-Dec-18
PEARL DRUMS 13-Dec-18
Pa Steve 13-Dec-18
HedgeHunter 13-Dec-18
HedgeHunter 13-Dec-18
From: RonG
Date: 06-Dec-18




Fellas, I finally installed a dehumidifier in my wood shop, three days ago it was 85% humidity now it is holding at 40%. The building is drying out as I have been taking readings on the interior walls and they are down to 8% from 14%

I checked my iron wood bow and I got a reading of 5.8% then I couldn't get any more readings after that I'm sure the moisture content is too low for the meter. Should I raise the humidity in the shop or keep it low as possible. I did have it down to 32% before I set the humidifier limit to 40%.

I am worried that the stave may be too dry to continue work on it.

By the way my shop is shaping up, I can only do a little each day, but I'm getting there.

Thank you again fellas for your help.

From: Weylin
Date: 06-Dec-18




I'm not a big fan of moisture meters for bow making. I think they can be deceptive and give a false sense of the moisture. I think monitoring the RH in the room is better. The wood will equalize with the RH given enough time. I wouldn't worry too much about the ironwood (assuming you mean hop hornbeam) getting too dry. It's really strong in tension and can handle some pretty low MC.

From: Stoner
Date: 06-Dec-18

Stoner's embedded Photo



I prefer to cut, split, seal & weigh. When it stops losing weight, time to whittle. John

From: Tlhbow
Date: 06-Dec-18




I should try that one stoner. Still have enough to wait three years or more before cutting one out.

From: Weylin
Date: 06-Dec-18




I agree with the weighing method.

From: Weylin
Date: 06-Dec-18




I agree with the weighing method.

From: Weylin
Date: 06-Dec-18




I agree with the weighing method.

From: RonG
Date: 07-Dec-18




Thank you gentlemen,

my room was pretty wet, but I am getting it down to where you can actually feel the difference, it was like walking into a sauna.

What I was wondering what should the wood measure in percentage of moisture or possibly what should I keep the room percentage at. I don't have a weight scale.

Yes this bow is a Hop Hornbeam and the next will be an Osage.

I was keeping the wood in a hot box at a low temp around 75 degrees and I couldn't measure any moisture at all with my meter., I would stick the meter in the wood on the wall and get an instant reading, but testing out the bow wood I couldn't get a reading except at the first moment. Probably the hot box was drying the moisture out of the wood near the surface and there wasn't enough to detect.

So I decided to get a Dehumidifier to control the room moisture thinking that would be the best way and let the wood balance itself out more naturally.

Plus all the equipment in my building was rusting badly.

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 07-Dec-18




I'm with Weylin on this one, moisture meters aren't for me. Get the RH under 50% for a few weeks and the wood will equalize, then have at it. Its all I have ever done and its never let me down.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 07-Dec-18




I use a moisture meter all the time from the time I start the bow to the first stringing. I have a pin type which only takes surface readings which is why I keep using it as I work the wood. I've been using one for probably 25 years.

I like 8-10% for everything but hickory.

For hickory I like 6-8%.

Controlling surroundings and using the hygrometer to measure relative humidity are fine too. Doesn't mean one can't use a moisture meter in conjunction with that.

Weighing is a good substitute because the wood will stabilize to surroundings anyway but you may be starting at a high percentage of moisture content depending on where you live.

I don't leave my bows in moist environments. I have 2 dehumidifiers going in my basement in the summer. Basement? What's that LOL?

Here in the Northeast winters are dry and summers are humid approaching FL humidity at least for a time. My bow for the year is in a heated environment for the winter and central AC for the summer.

Ron, that reading of 5.8% you got may be a surface reading. I've noticed that here in NH. MC may increase as you begin the process of bow making.

Anyway, I like my meter and don't see anything spurious (I've noted a a caveat above) about using it. Contractors around here use one all the time.

Jawge

From: Bender
Date: 07-Dec-18




Well alrighty then! :) I LIKE this! Yeah I have a meter. But somehow this just makes more sense.

More time consuming, but whatever.

From: RonG
Date: 07-Dec-18




George, yes that is why I can't get a moisture reading on the surface because my meter is a pin type and I dried it in my hotbox, that is what I thought that is why I was wondering what the room should be kept at. If you attempted a basement here in florida you would have to feed the sharks and alligators.

Pearl, that is what I was wondering, I have the room at 45%, I can lower it, but don't want to get the wood too dry. My hickory failed because I built it in 85% humidity, it is holding 40 lbs. which will come in handy when I get as old as you guys....Ha!Ha!

I will hold it at 45% and check the surrounding walls and see what they stabilize to and I will carve on the stave and check it with my meter just to see.

Thank you guys for all the info, I can figure it out from here, if I carve on the stave in a couple weeks and it reads over 10% then I will lower the humidity and vice versa.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 07-Dec-18




Ron, that's why I keep using the meter right to stringing the bow.

Take wood from the belly. Check. If I get a reading greater than the ones I mentioned above then I stop and let it dry. Continue. Check again.

Of course, you should manipulate your work area/ storage. That doesn't mean you should not use your meter.

I mean...up to you. I'm just telling you what I've done for years.

Yes, I was joking about the basement in FL. LOL.

Jawge

From: RonG
Date: 07-Dec-18




I knew you were joking, yes, I will do as you stated, I have the meter I might as well use it also. Anyway if a person can double check their progress, it's the way to go.

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Dec-18




I have a pinless moisture meter I've been using since I started making bows 20 years ago. It works as intended and I trust it. That said, I don't use it much anymore because I don't often need to. If I get a stave from somewhere else I may test it so I know where to store it initially. If it's too wet, it may not come into the shop for a while, but my shop climate is controlled and once the wood is adequately reduced and spends some time there, I know it's good to go.

A bow wood storage area could be made too dry I suppose, and some staves are more prone to damage at those lower levels. I've over-dried two bows. They were completely tillered, shot a few times, then left in the drying box for a couple weeks(apparently the temperature was too high) until I could finish shooting them in... effectively done, only needing a finish. Yew is much easier to overdry than other bow woods... and will let go violently when it decides to tell you that you screwed up. Dang I miss that bow :^(

Between the dehumidifier, electric heater and a/c, they keep my shop at 45-50% RH. It keeps the tools from rusting and is the final drying place for my bow wood. Fresh split logs, or any other wood with high moisture content, begin their drying process in a safer area of the garage until they can handle the relative humidity of the shop.

Just weighing them until they quit losing weight doesn't tell you much if you don't know the relative humidity of the space and how it correlates with wood moisture content. Wood moisture will stabilize in higher humidity, stop losing weight, and still be too high.

This chart is from The Bowyer's Bible Vol. 1, and might help, especially if using the weighing method

Relative Humidity - Moisture Content 30% rh - 6% mc 43% rh - 8% mc 55% rh - 10% mc 65% rh - 12% mc 75% rh - 14% mc

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Dec-18




Well that didn't come out the way I wanted. lol. Let me try something else.

Relative Humidity - Moisture Content

30% rh - 6% mc

43% rh - 8% mc

55% rh - 10% mc

65% rh - 12% mc

75% rh - 14% mc

From: RonG
Date: 08-Dec-18




That is what I was hoping for Jeff, Thank you very much. I wish I didn't have the pin meter because it can only tell you what is on top of the wood.

As I mentioned I don't have a scale and don't really need to do it that way.

I am keeping my shop at 45% right now, so that sounds pretty good, I will check the wood after it has been in there for a few weeks and see what it says and adjust from there, regardless this is better than what I built my Hickory in. Maybe I can give my Hickory bow to the coast guard, it has already been water tested.....Ha!Ha!

I will make a copy of your humidity chart and post it in my shop, Thanks again Jeff.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 08-Dec-18




Ron, it doesn't matter that you have the pin type. Just keep checking as you work the stave into a bow. Eventually you'll get to within an inch of the back. That's what I do.

The only disadvantage is the cost but you already have one.

Jawge

From: RonG
Date: 08-Dec-18




Yes Jawge, but I was just saying if I thought about it at the time I would have got the other type, I'm sure none of them are dead accurate, but are great for comparison.

Yes I will continue to use the meter for reference, but I needed the specks that Jeff gave me.

I am checking the wood in the walls and it is down to 11% from 15% it will take some time to dry this building out. Thanks to you folks I have a base to work from.

When summer gets here and I turn on the A/C unit I'm sure I will have to do some slight adjustments.

I think it has been 9 days and I have dumped eight gallons of water from the unit, it has slowed down some showing the moisture in the building is reduced considerably.

From: Tucker
Date: 08-Dec-18

Tucker's embedded Photo



Here is a chart you can use to estimate wood moisture content at equilibrium based upon the known temperature and relative humidity being consistent long enough for the wood to reach equilibrium. So by using the weighing method talked about above, when the weight stops changing the wood is at or very near equilibrium. You can then look at the chart to figure out wood moisture content. ( Just because wood reaches equilibrium and weight stops going down doesn’t mean that the moisture content is low enough to work into a good quality self bow. Some wood like birch and hickory NEED to be at a lower moisture content than others in order to avoid massive set.)

From: Tucker
Date: 08-Dec-18




Jeff- the chart you shared above is good. It just left out a small yet important bit of information- that being what the temperature is. relative humidity alone will not dictate moisture content of wood at equilibrium. It is also a function of temperature. This is because air (and wood)have differing capacity to hold moisture based upon the ambient temperature. To illustrate this: saw mills preparing lumber use kilns (heat) to drive off moisture and reduce wood to a specific moisture content. If it were a function of relative humidity alone, it would be much less expensive for them to put wood in sealed buildings with just dehumidifiers running, at a specific relative humidity, with no regard for what the temperature is.

From: Tucker
Date: 08-Dec-18




*Addendum to post above- I’ll concede that in most cases the Relative Humidity- Moisture Content chart that Jeff shared above Is “close enough “ for most purposes making wood bows. Depending on temperature there can be 2-3% difference in final wood moisture content. Most of the time this won’t be a problem, but if the wood is of a type like birch then it can make a big difference, since it seems that each kind of wood has its own m.c. in which it quits taking so much set when bent, and getting it below that threshold is important.

From: Coop
Date: 08-Dec-18




Man I wonder how the Indians did it? Seriously makes a guy wonder how they did it without moisture meters and such. Lots of info here for sure. I'm just a dumb ol fiberglass lam guy and work with thin strips!

My buddy makes some awesome self bows and I'm amazed at the performance of them.

From: MStyles
Date: 08-Dec-18




When I made my bend-thru-the-handle hickory selfbow, the moisture content in the stave got down to 6%. That took about a year before It got down from 11%. That bow is 60” #60 @ 28”.

From: RonG
Date: 08-Dec-18




Thanks Tucker, as you further pointed out what Jeff sent me is close enough for a selfbow in most cases, but your chart will come in handy on those 90 to 100 degree days here.

As mentioned above my hickory was made in 80% moisture, it held its shape for a couple of hundred shots, but it bent back and took a set and I lost 12 pounds. I am working at not letting that happen again.

I hope others have read this and hope that it helps them also to make great self-bows.

Thank you everyone.

COOP, there is nothing wrong with lam bows, it takes knowledge and skill to make any bow. Self-bows are a little more picky you might say.

From: Coop
Date: 08-Dec-18




My buddy always told me he takes a piece of wood and makes the bow out of it that the wood says here's your bow. Me as a lam bow guy takes a piece of wood and makes the bow out of it that I WANT to make.

Serious question. How did the Indians make bows without moisture meters or knowing the relative humidity? Enquiring minds would like to know.

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Dec-18




They used their senses. They could see when it was taking set early in the bending... that means let it dry some more. Feel it's strength and resilience, or lack of them, which is proportional to moisture content. Hear whether it rings like a bell when dry or offers a dull wet thud when tapped on solid ground or a rock. Keep it dry and warm by the fire. Use the fire to soften it and shape into reflex or align the limbs. Use flint to make axes, scrapers, antlers and bones for wedges to split logs. Simple. Use what ya have.

Same way they make them without fiberglass lams, epoxy, steel tools, electricity, and machinery to grind trees into perfectly flat and precisely tapered thin strips.

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 08-Dec-18




Same way many still do it. We're trying to help folks develop those senses, help folks gain knowledge, skill, and experience. If that initially means using a hygrometer and scale, so be it.

From: RonG
Date: 09-Dec-18




Jeff we have no solid ground or rocks in Florida so I have to use a hygrometer.....LOL!!

Thank you for your time, knowledge and expertise.

From: RonG
Date: 10-Dec-18




The building is a solid 50% relative humidity and the dehumidifier is shutting off then coming back on when I open the door to come in, but doesn't need to run long. Now to wait a month and see how my wood staves are drying out.

Thanks everyone.

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




Mine is off more than it runs this time of year. The heater kicks on too sometimes and that helps.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 10-Dec-18




I've never used a moisture meter. Using the seasons to your advantage is always a good idea when making bows in a more intuitive manner.

I tend to buld with woods that like or tolerate high moisture when the general conditions are like that and switch to those which like lower moisture when the hunidity drops.

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 10-Dec-18




Arid western country bows were much different than eastern bows. Bow wood choice was a big thing for indigenous NA bows as well. Some wood species will perform well even if its forced dry but not seasoned.

Seasoned wood is a big difference from dry wood. We were just having a chat about this by the fire pit last week. The stomach cant wait 13 mo for seasoned bow wood in the fight for survival!

HH~

From: RonG
Date: 11-Dec-18




(quote) The stomach cant wait 13 mo for seasoned bow wood in the fight for survival!

Good point Shawn....Ha!Ha!

Jeff, the dehumidifier actually puts out warm dry air, neat! I got one four times larger than what I needed, so it does the job very well.

Thanks for the inputs fellas

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Dec-18




It was said to be quite common for natives to stockpile select staves for future use so seasoned wood was likely not that uncommon in finished bows.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 11-Dec-18




Some native tribes had a working bow ,and one in the works at all times seasoning it over their fire with smoke ,and heat.Others strung the bow reverse with a string.Then they would sinew back it,and let it dry naturally.Western Indians had dryer climate than east coast Indians. Still holds true today. Hickory is a great wood for making bows in low moisture climate. Not so much in high moisture climates.Tends to take on moisture, and takes set.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Dec-18




It is interesting that Hickory was still widely used in the East, often in conditions of high humidity. Likely their technique of seasoning over fire and smoke as Bassman mentions and sealing with grweae greatly mitigated that problem.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Dec-18




It is interesting that Hickory was still widely used in the East, often in conditions of high humidity. Likely their technique of seasoning over fire and smoke as Bassman mentions and sealing with grweae greatly mitigated that problem.

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 11-Dec-18




Im sure elm was prolly used widely. All kinds of species and all make great bows. Wood was easy treat and retreat. Drys fast, sapling could be strapped to keep from flipping inside out. Month later it could be stuffed in a elk hide tube over fire and yer building bow. When bow got some set this wood was easy to fix over fire. Most of all a good elm could last a native a ling long time.

I guess if the hunting grounds and the family group was fat with meat stores,’ bow wood hunting was a thing that needed done. A wood poor native without an arra laucher or bullets be gettin hungry right fast.

HH~

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Dec-18




Seems like the nature of Elm regarding splitting made it a bit less popular than it is with us using steel tools.

The Encyclopedia by Hamm and Allely is bit light on Elm and heavy on Hickory etc.

You can pop a Hickory Sapling in half with a sharpened antler spike and a stone. Elm shrugs that off or turns into a frayed mess.

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 11-Dec-18




They chopped em right out the tree pard! The rest were sapling bows where no splitting was needed. Think one of the oldest from teperate climate found in ice was an elm. Older than Italian Icemans bow. The benefits of Elms longevity outweigh its drawbacks as to spliting it. I have elm bows that have fifty to hunnerd thousand shots out of them. When i feel them getting soft on string tension i stick em in a warm place rub some fat on em. GTG!

As an all round long hunt bow Elm beats hickory every time all the time. Fire and forget. Yer not breaking it unless in tribal combat after yer bullets are all shot!

HH~

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 11-Dec-18




Yep. Elm's interlocking grain is stubborn. I've used the antler splitting method with hickory, works great.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 12-Dec-18




ocr ,trolling again

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 12-Dec-18




Nope. No evidence that Elm was commonly used in NA.

The Elm used in Europe seems to be less interlocked and splits cleaner judging by pics I've seen by guys splitting it.

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 12-Dec-18




No evidence it was not. Your book clearly has many mentions in it. Just seems like its makes complete sense to me: If you have two woods both make good bows one is way tougher, lasts longer, wood cells break down slower under tension or compression I would say its a no brainer that it was in common use to our East, Northeast, Southeast Natives.

I will have to cut a Sapling with a stone axe and use only native tools to build one. You build a hickory and in 20 years of shooting them hunnerd of thousands of times in all native conditions we see which one is still of hunt quality. Hickory spalt out easy in the damp east coast in a year if you don't grease it every wet day.

HH~

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 12-Dec-18




You seem to be getting the impression that I think Elm is bad wood. It's the only wood I cut for selfbows.. It's the best all around bow wood on Earth.

But send me into the woods to make a survival bow and I'm heading straight for a hickory sapling.

Who cares if it lasts 20 years? Making a fresh bow every once in a while gives you something to do by the fire while you're holed up for the winter as the Natives undoubtedly did.

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 12-Dec-18




My gut never waited for winter to end. Babies need milk, mommies need food to make it. If im a long hunter feeding babies and the tribe, im building elm elk killer bows. Everyday im not making arrows, killing birds for feather, napping , making hand tools, gathering im losing moccasins on ground un the chase.

Not saying yer wrong. My sense tells me a good bow in hand is better than two not built. Ifin i was a native.

Every been in high country camp livin on ground hunting in late fall or winter? Never have many moments to sit back and watch stars. Hunt 10-12hrs, then chores to stay warm and alive, lick yer wounds from 12-20 miles in bush. So, i’m bettin a good bow that lasted many moons went a long way.

HH~

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 12-Dec-18




They planned better after living that life for Thousands of years. Remember we made it just fine before the bow was even invented.

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 12-Dec-18




I would guess that since we now know from DNA mapping that human and animal DNA has only been around about 250k years. That its likely species of trees we see now are in same timeframe give or take 50k years.

What spear shaft would i pick given moisture content, strength, shape? If i look at say American Elm vs Bitternut Hickory. One mature tree has millions of seeds the other several hunnerd. Leads me to think if i could find a great spear shaft easily would i hunt all over for for another? Not sure. Could a great spear shaft lead to a great native bow stave? Maybe so.

Both make good bows and boar spears.

HH~

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 12-Dec-18




I don't know about your DNA point. If it goes back 250k years it goes back a step farther and so on.

A lot of the arrows in that book are split hickory too which adds to my opinion that Hickory was a choice they seemed to make a bit more readily.

From: RonG
Date: 12-Dec-18




OK folks no fighting!!!!!...LOL!

I am no where near the expert you two fellas are, but didn't most of the native Americans back their bows with sinew and if that was the case they would probably have used Hickory as it is easier to work into a bow with primitive tools or maybe they just used what was available, I'm sure we are more selective of our wood than they were because we rely on the bare wood and they relied on the sinew.

I agree that Hickory is not the bow wood for Florida unless you build and keep it in a controlled atmosphere between use.

Not taking sides, this is just my observation from what I am reading. If I am wrong you can tell me, not a problem.

By the way I took another reading of the wood walls in my shop and the moisture is down to 9.2% and the relative humidity is 52%, now I am getting close too working wood again.

I have a Mohawk bow that is totally sewn up in leather of some type, you can't see what it is made of, I think it is more of a ceremonial bow instead of a hunting bow. I have had it for over twenty five years strung and hanging on the wall, not much poundage. I got it from a Mohawk native American, Joe Jr.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 12-Dec-18




Just discussing.

No, most bows were not backed with sinew but defintely a wide variety of woods were used depending on what was locally available or offered in trade.

FWIW Thompson's Indian companion in Florida used a half Hickory sapling bow.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 12-Dec-18




Yes , the Cherokee Sudbury bow was also a hickory bow.At nearly 66 inches long it has a lot of set.They made it work for them at 45lb. pull.I built the same bow with about the same amount of set. The bow would kill at 45 lbs for sure, but I have made sugar maple, walnut,birch,and white oak survival bows that shot as well or better. The eastern woodland Indians made longer bows ,because they were on foot.The plains Flathead, Souix, Apache,and many more made bows both d shaped ,and unbacked,and some sinew backed bows with reflex. Horse bows,so they were shorter.Some of the best bows ever made came from the California Indians, Yurok, Wintu, Hupa,Klamath, Modoc,and on and on.Most of ,but not all were wide,thin, short,reflexed sinew backed bows made from yew or juniper, or mountain Ash, and some other woods. There bows were beautifully painted,and there napped heads ,and arrows were works of art.Though they were all Indigenous people of North America their bows were diverse to say the least.

From: RonG
Date: 12-Dec-18




I hope he had better luck with his....Ha!Ha!

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 12-Dec-18




Well he also had the old "any stick will do for a bow, a good arrow is a heap of work" quote attributed to him so they may not have been quite as worried.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 12-Dec-18




There was some speculation that the Sudbury bow (Wampanoag actually) might have been left strung for some years.

The amount of set in the museum bows in the Encyclopedia varies quite widely. It's a bit hard to judge them without knowing their whole history.

I wonder if any of the die hard guys using grease finishes rubbed in with heat could chime in on that process used on Hickory.

We're a bit spoiled with our surface treatments and that might be limiting our understanding of how they coped back in the day.

From: Phil
Date: 13-Dec-18




very interesting thread ... I have a question if I may ..

What are the different characteristics between seasoned wood, and dried wood

From: RonG
Date: 13-Dec-18




Byron Ferguson said it, ...Any bow will shoot a good arrow, but no bow will shoot a bad arrow. or something like that. In other words it's the arrow not the bow that has to be spot on.

Phil, I am not an expert, but kiln dried wood is done in a very short time span and is more expensive and possibly the wood could be a little weaker than seasoned wood.

Obviously seasoned wood is balanced pretty much through the whole stave and matches it's environment which makes a much better prospect for a bow if it is dry or wet enough.

I think there is not much difference except I think kiln dried is not dried all the way through because of the short time it is forced dried.

Maybe one of the experts will add to this.

I will take a picture of my Mohawk bow and post it after I get done with my honey do's this morning which are a lot more than normal....Ha!Ha!

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 13-Dec-18




Kiln dried wood certainly is thoroughly dried.

Many bowyers came back to the seasoned wood is better than quick dried wood thought after Baker tried to brainwash everyone into believing seasoning made no difference.

You CAN make a great quick dried bow. It comes down to whether you feel the benefits of seasoning are worth the additional wait.

Many guys likely make quick dried bows which are lightly used and end up seasoned anyway before any of the detriments of quick drying and hard use manifest.

You'll hear the exact same discussion when it comes to sinewing and drying versus curing.

From: Phil
Date: 13-Dec-18




... So is seasoning just the removal of moisture?

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 13-Dec-18




No, drying is. Seasoning is the lengthier less understood process of what happens to the remaining constituents over time.

I know the satandard retort wil be that unless you can prove exactly what happens then nothing happens and it's a waste of time.

The benefits of seasoning are undoubtedly greater for woods with high resinous content.

That's where those 7-10 year seasoning times were given for Osage and Yew.

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




Must be something to it. Never worked with a 5 or 10 year old stave.

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 13-Dec-18




I cant explain it, but can promise seasoned osage/yew is much better than dried. It works differently under tools, it reacts differently as the tillering process is being done and it holds it shape better in the end. Why? Beats me.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 13-Dec-18




Polymerization and evaporation of volatile compounds seems to be the most sensible explanation.

Those compounds must shore up the cell walls like a crude epoxy with a very long cure time.

Bamboo flyrod makers use various mixes to duplicate that effect and those rods also hold their shape better.

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




Interesting.

From: RonG
Date: 13-Dec-18




Yes, what Patrick said.

Pearl Drums, it's just like smoking meat for 18 hours it is much more tender and tastes better than cooked for two hours.

That means us old guys are better than you younger ones, because we are aged.........Ha!Ha!

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 13-Dec-18




Sure seems like push dried Hedge does not have the spring of seasoned hedge. Given the growth ring ratios or about the same.

I just finished a bow out of a 9yr old stave of Hedge. 38@28” but it fires an arrow very hard. Prolly faster than some of my hunt weight bows.

HH~

From: PEARL DRUMS
Date: 13-Dec-18




I have to agree with that, Pat. It has to be something at the molecular level. But, I'm just a simple guy building simple bows and cant scientifically prove any of it.

So Ron, you're saying you are smoked meat and I'm just cooked meat at 46 yrs old? :) :)

From: Pa Steve
Date: 13-Dec-18




I worked one osage (seasoned) stave that was over 20 years old. It was hard as a rock and very rough on my hand tools. The composition of the wood was much different than a two or three year old (dry) stave. I don't have near as much experience as most here but the difference was night & day.

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 13-Dec-18

HedgeHunter's embedded Photo



Here is a 110 yr fence post top from Oklahoma. Wood is like petrified forest lumber. Not sure what it does but aging for sure make wood hard as diamonds!

HH~

From: HedgeHunter
Date: 13-Dec-18

HedgeHunter's embedded Photo



The meaty side.

HH~





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