Hey guys, got a couple questions on applying some skins to an Osage bow.
1: Should I have some sort of finish on the back before glueing it on? I've only done glass bows and obviously those had finish before the skin application, just wondering because there's a coat of Shellac on the bow's back now, which I'm currently sanding on.
2: Any particular dye or paint color that will make some rattler skins look more "vivid", so to speak? I've heard of guys doing similar with copperhead skins.
3: Okay, one more: Anyone like and use just Shellac for a bow finish? I kept this bow's back sealed with it while I did some steam corrections and I gotta say, looks pretty nice and with the spray can it was super simple. I have plenty of Tru-Oil also and really like it if that's a better option.
You don’t need a finish first, just make sure you’ve roughed up the bow back to allow for good adhesion. You can paint the back black or even use a black sharpie, be aware that going too close to the edge of the limbs with paint or sharpie will leave a thin black line on the edges after trimming the skins with your file. Weylin Olive (Swiftwood bows) has a great video on YouTube about this
I have done 3, 2 rattlesnake and 1 copperhead. I did not stain the Osage bows before applying the skins. I used Titebond3, sized the bow back with glue, then applied another coat of glue on the bow, and one on the rehydrated snakeskin, gently applied the snakeskin and smoothed out any air pockets that developed and let dry, occasionally checking for any developing air pockets. I did not wrap them after laying the skins on. Then I finished the entire bow with Truoil. The 2 with rattlesnake skins have thousands of arrows through them.
Thanks, Bruce. I'm thinking a coat of shellac won't hurt and maybe offer some slight protection under the skin should I happen to wack a limb on something. I see in the video he sized the back with hide glue...
Got the skins glued on with Titebond 3, working on getting it sanded down. Had a couple minor boo-boos, but I was working with one big thick skin and a smaller, thinner one. I'll show finished pics in another thread. Thanks for the help, gentlemen!