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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » The Bowyer's Bench » Ash Stave on its Way - Thanks mwosborn! (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Ash Stave on its Way - Thanks mwosborn!
YosemiteSam
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mwosborn was kind enough to send over an ash stave that is ready for scraping. I have few expectations for what I'm going to make. My objective is to make anything that I can use to hunt deer & turkey so 45-65# is fine. I've only made marginal board bows thus far from HD lumber so this is my first attempt at a selfbow from a stave. I'll take a cue from an old Fred Bear interview I saw that said that once I get an even tiller, then it's done -- whatever weight that happens to be is just what it is. But I'll be frightfully disappointed if that's less than 45#.

The stave is 1.75" wide and 70" long. I have a few questions for all of you as I get started:

Essential tools -- I have used a sureform & various rasps to carve & tiller the board bows. What other tools would you deem essential in selfbow making? I'm not interested in buying a bandsaw but a draw knife seems like a good start.

Dimensions -- I've done pyramid designs so far. Would that be fine for an ash stave or should I look at keeping the limbs wider for more of the length?

Heat or steam bending -- any good websites or videos that help with the process for straightening the wood?

Necessary jigs -- I hear putting a little reflex into the tips can be a good thing. Any good resources out there for making a simple form to do this?

Peculiarities of ash. Any experiences you've had with ash that you wish you would have learned before you started scraping?

All thoughts are welcome.

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

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mwosborn
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Not getting much help here? Self bow boys must be sleeping. I will give it a go...

Sureform and rasps will work fine. I personally like my nicholson 49 and my shinto the best. I use a drawknife only to remove bark and sapwood, remove large amounts of wood to rough bow dimensions (if I don't use a bandsaw), and to chase a ring on osage. I would recommend a cabinet scraper. I use to tiller once the bow is bending a bit.

Dimensions - either design would be ok for the ash. I would get as much width out of it as you can. If I was making it, I would probably keep the width parallel out to about midlimb and then taper to tip. (But pyramid would be fine too). If I remember, you said your draw length was around 27". I would make it at least 64" ntn and you should be able to get 50# out of that stave.

Heat Videos - Yes, a lot of good videos on Youtube on using heat on stave. John Scifres has a pretty good one - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAow6vmOzHs
Or you can just google it and get lots of options. I would personally use a heat gun, caul and clamps as shown in the video.

The caul will allow you to add a little reflex and straighten at the same time.

Peculiarities of ash: Its not as good as osage. [Big Grin] It will make a bow though. Go slow, be patient, it will take set and lots of it if you get carried away during tillering. Don't pull more than your desired final weight, don't pull beyond the point you see something that needs attention. Heat treating the belly will make it a bit "snappier".

Good luck.

--------------------
Enjoy the hunt! - Mitch

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Mad Max
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x2

wide as you can
Dry,Dry,Dry.
It's going to pick up moisture during shipping.
Deep heat treat (Marc St Louis style) will help alot.
Mine was 2-1/2" wide 2-1/4" about 12" out
 -

 -
5/16" at the nocks
 -

--------------------
"nothing ventured ,nothing gained"

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PEARL DRUMS
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You have a 1.75" wide stave now, by the time you lay it out and clean up the sides you will be near 1 5/8, which is very narrow for ash. I would keep every bit of the length you have now. Stay parallel on your lay out to at least mid limb, maybe even a few inches beyond. Then straight taper to 1/2" tips. Temper, temper, temper.
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YosemiteSam
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mwosborn - Once again, you're a great help.

Mad Max -- nice looking bow. I won't be working on it for a couple months yet so it's going to be resting behind a cabinet in the house until then. Hopefully, that should get it ready.

Pearl Drums -- wide & long it is. Thank you.

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

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Carson81
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Great advice already given. I will just add that when you heat treat, it helps to coat the belly with something like shellac or a true resin varnish. This will fill the early wood pores and even the latewood soaks some up, leaving the heatreated belly much harder than without.

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Make your own yew or osage selfbow Workshops -
Registration open for January Workshop, January 11-14
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YosemiteSam
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quote:
Originally posted by Carson81:
Great advice already given. I will just add that when you heat treat, it helps to coat the belly with something like shellac or a true resin varnish. This will fill the early wood pores and even the latewood soaks some up, leaving the heatreated belly much harder than without.

I guessing you meant I should add the varnish AFTER the heat treating?

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

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YosemiteSam
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Looks like the narrowest width of the stave is actually 1 5/8" so I'm guessing that the final width will be closer to 1 1/2". Assuming I keep the full 70" length, is 50# +/- still within reason?

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

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PEARL DRUMS
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What spot on the stave is that 1.625 located? If its farther out then it would be narrowed anyhow. Can you keep the center 28" wider than that?
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YosemiteSam
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quote:
Originally posted by PEARL DRUMS:
What spot on the stave is that 1.625 located? If its farther out then it would be narrowed anyhow. Can you keep the center 28" wider than that?

It narrows down below 1.75" at about 5" from center so not far at all from the handle. The narrowest part is right around 17" from center or right around mid limb, and stays around there for most of the remaining length. I was figuring on only tapering the final 13" (22" from center) or so and keep the rest parallel to maximize the width. I had a few minutes this morning to pencil in the layout and even that 1.5" is pretty darned close to the edge of the stave. It won't take much scraping to go past that.

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

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Mad Max
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Find a (Bowyer's Bible Vol. 4) on Amaz__ USED
$10/15 bucks, for the heat treat.
Good luck

--------------------
"nothing ventured ,nothing gained"

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PEARL DRUMS
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It will have to work. Its not that it wont, its just not optimal is all. Kepp all that length and width taper just as you suspect you should.
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YosemiteSam
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Thank you. I'll post some pics once I start scraping.

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

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YosemiteSam
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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Max:
Find a (Bowyer's Bible Vol. 4) on Amaz__ USED
$10/15 bucks, for the heat treat.
Good luck

Good advice. Read through most of vol 1 & about half of vol 4 over the extended weekend. I'm impressed with those guys. It's about as thorough an exploration of selfbow building as I've seen. Looking forward to putting some of their experience into practice myself soon.

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

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Mad Max
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yep

--------------------
"nothing ventured ,nothing gained"

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