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Author Topic: Finish for my self bow
Adge23
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So I am ready to put a finish on my completed hickory self bow and after doing a lot of research I'm more confused than ever. I can't seem to find what will be the best for the use I will doing with this bow. I plan to hunt with this bow so don't want it super light in color. But I also what something that will bring the wood grain out. Don't want it shinny or to have smell to it.

Am I looking for something that doesn't exist?
Any recommendations are welcomed

Thanks !

Posts: 22 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Mar 2017  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pat B
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I like to hand rub finely ground charcoal with water or oil into bow woods like hickory and ash. It's a pretty subtle effect for will show off the grain and does cut the stark white of the wood. For a finish I've always used Tru-Oil, a linseed oil gunstock finish. Tru-Oil has a high gloss finish so after it dries I give it a quick spray of satin poly.

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Posts: 13166 | From: Brevard, NC. | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KenH
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Tung Oil!

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Living Aboard the s/v ManCave

Posts: 655 | From: FL | Registered: Oct 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roy from Pa
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I apply an alcohol base aniline dye first, it comes in numerous color choices. Then I put on 4 to 5 coats of tung oil. You wipe it on, wait 7 to 8 minutes and buff it off. Wait 24 hours between coats. Its not a high gloss shine, more of a satin finish.
Posts: 11325 | From: PA | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Tsoukalas
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On hickory I put on Rit Dye dissolved in denatured alcohol. Then I spray on 3 coats of spar urethane. Jawge
Posts: 4859 | From: NH | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scrub-buster
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I put 2 coats of spray shellac on my hunting bow and then hand rubbed 2 coats of TB3 on it. It wasn't a pretty finish but it was great for hunting. No shine and water resistant.

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AKA Osage Outlaw

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Carson81
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If you do stain then apply finish, be sure to experiment with scrap piece for compatibility. For example, a solvent based dye might run when applying a solvent based finish like shellac or a charcoal and oil stain like PatB suggested works great with tung oil or true oil over the top but might cause problems with a water based poly sticking.

I like to use water based stains then base coat with shellac, and then topcoat with tung oil or linseed oil. Dean torges demonstrated that shellac is one of the most effective finishes guarding against moisture. And it is natural and easy to use. I like to mix dry shellac flakes in denatured alcohol, or everclear.

Good luck!

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Posts: 118 | From: Oregon | Registered: Dec 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Adge23
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Thanks for the responses
Posts: 22 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Mar 2017  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bowjunkie
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Alcohol or oil based aniline dye brings out the grain best without mudding it up. Thunderbird satin finish gives it a durable, clear professional finish.

I've handled a lot of Dean's bows, own a few, and while he advocated shellac for sealing staves and may have finished a few bows with it, I've never seen one. I doubt it was a favorite of his as a bow finish.

Posts: 2379 | From: Pa | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Drewster
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Based on your desire, I would stain it with an oil based stain followed by four or five coats of Tru-Oil. Complete the finish with a couple sprayed coats of satin Helmsman Spar Urethane Poly for a tough finish.

I've been using this combination for several years with very good results.

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Carolina Traditional Archers
North Carolina Bowhunters Association

Posts: 371 | From: NC Mountains | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
RAU
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I'm a big fan of paraffin melted into warm wood with heat gun til it won't absorb any more as per Dean Torges in Hunting Osage bow. Looks great, nice flat finish, no smell, and easy to completely redo as needed. It won't work so good over some stains tho. I use over rit dye in alcohol
Posts: 686 | From: NE Pa | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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