Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Heat treating?

Messages posted to thread:
Papadeerhtr 23-Oct-22
g2knee 23-Oct-22
Papadeerhtr 24-Oct-22
dgb 24-Oct-22
M60gunner 24-Oct-22
g2knee 24-Oct-22
Papadeerhtr 24-Oct-22
fdp 24-Oct-22
Bassmaster 24-Oct-22
Cedarsavage 24-Oct-22
M60gunner 24-Oct-22
fdp 24-Oct-22
Bowlim 25-Oct-22
From: Papadeerhtr
Date: 23-Oct-22




Question for the bowyers, can I heat treat a hickory selfbow with a heat gun? If so what do you guys recommend for the steps involved? Thanks for any help.

From: g2knee
Date: 23-Oct-22




I heat treated a homemade crossbow prod with a heat gun. Worked great and even reversed some string-follow. My understanding is you want to lightly toast the wood, but not char is.

I’ve read the ideal is to partially tiller, then heat treat before final tillering (and before any real string-set takes place. Makes the belly stronger. Will add a few #’s to the draw weight too.

From: Papadeerhtr
Date: 24-Oct-22




Do you need to add any oil or something to wood while heating?

From: dgb
Date: 24-Oct-22




Hunting with a hickory bow myself this year. I used a heat gun - didn't add anything - just slowed toasted the belly as I had it reflexed. I used a thin wire to reflex it with a center brace. let it sit for a couple of hours before I strung it up. Worked great - fast bow!

From: M60gunner
Date: 24-Oct-22




When making a bow what’s the difference between heat bending and heat treating?

From: g2knee
Date: 24-Oct-22




I didn’t add any oil or anything either. I will reiterate — let it sit for a few hours tied/clamped down after heat treating.

From: Papadeerhtr
Date: 24-Oct-22




Thanks for info guys. What kind of form did you guys use? My next hickory bow is being heat treated. How much weight did it add to the bows draw?

From: fdp
Date: 24-Oct-22




Heat bending is a process by which you heat a particular area.

For instance, just heating the outer 1/3 of the limb to add a recurve, or a particular area to remove a kink, etc.

In "heat treating" one TYPICALLY carefully heats the entire length of the belly of the bow to introduce heat induced reflex. Depending on the type of wood the heat treating can also promote other changes in the properties of the wood as well.

From: Bassmaster
Date: 24-Oct-22




I use a 4 inch reflex form made from lam ply wood ,but a 2 by 6 or 8 pine plank will work too.I floor tiller the rough cut bow ,so that it will bend to the form. Straighten, and line the tips up with the middle of the handle, and give the belly a good heat treat. Tiller to 20 inches with a long string. If you see it taking to much set heat treat it again. Put it on a short string braced at 2 to 3 inches ,and finish tiller to the weight, and draw length that you want. Their are others ways to get the same results,but this works best for me. If you tiller slow ,and properly you will get a bow with some reflex when finished. Stave needs to be dry,dry,dry with hickory, and when finished stored in the home. It can suck up moisture like a sponge stored in the wrong environment, and will take set,and you will lose poundage. Long winded ,so I hope this may help you.

From: Cedarsavage
Date: 24-Oct-22




I've only done it once. Definitely less string follow than other hickory bows I've built. The belly looked like a golden biscuit when I was done. I didn't use oil.

From: M60gunner
Date: 24-Oct-22




OK, thanks, a little different than hear treating for making bamboo fly rods. We heat treat the bamboo to harden it and to make it springy.

From: fdp
Date: 24-Oct-22




Probably a similar affect in some woods M60.

From: Bowlim
Date: 25-Oct-22




I think the science is generally missing on heat treating as far as making a higher modulus wood. I have yet to hear anything that supports it. You could check with Forrest Products Lab, if they are still around.

Same seems to be true with bamboo. I realize there is controversy over this in the rod community. Does give the rod a nice colour.

Rods and bows are stronger if they have the correct moisture content. Heat treating will temporarily get you there if the bow was over moist.

Bending wood severely is a process of heating it till the lignen melts/plasticized, and then the fibers slip relative to each other. When cool it hardens off again. There is a misconception that wetting wood makes it bend. Largely it makes the wood weak. Moisture is often used to cause steam, and the steam carries heat into the fibers, and they bend. One has to be careful as one can end up with the wood breaking as the moisture made it weaker.





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