This is topic Rawhide backing..a pictorial in forum How To - Resources at Trad Gang.com.


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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
I decided to rawhide back the perfect snake bow since I violated the grain run out so many times. Still may not save it, but it will generally help a straight bow with questionable grain or small violations in the back. BTW it is a nearly identical procedure to doing snakeskin backings. Here's how it's done...

First you'll need some supplies, your rawhide (generally comes in 2 stips 2" x 36" long... on this one I am using some thin calfskin that I cut from a side 1 3/4" x 36"). You'll also need your glue, a bowl, a razorblade, a towel, some tape or wire ties and some ace bandages.

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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
Here's a close up of the thin calfskin rawhide I will be using

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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
First you will want to rough up the back of your bow with some sandpaper to give your glue something to adhere to

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then blow off the dust and clean with some thinner or acetone

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Posted by mich-mtnman (Member # 3974) on :
 
where do you get the rawhide like that ? thats sweet.
 
Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
Put a thin layer of glue on the back of 1 limb and handle smear it in with your finger making sure the entire surface is covered and let dry. This is called sizing the back


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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
Now put some luke warm water in your bowl and put in your rawhide to soak. This will make it pliable so that it can form to your bow.

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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
After a few minutes remove one piece of the rawhide and lay it out on the towel

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Fold the towel over on the rawhide and pat most of the moisture off

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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
Now put a thicker layer of your glue on the back of the limb and handle

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There should be no dry spots or thin spots in your glue

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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
Next lay your rawhide down on the handle and back of the bow

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If this were a straight stave I would wire tie or tape the rawhide at the handle so that I could pull it tight inducing some tension before wrapping and then wire tie or tape at the tip as well cutting off any excess length with my razor blade. (but on this snaky stave stretching the rawhide isn't going to work)

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Start wrapping with an ace bandage at the handle (leaving room for rawhide overlap on the next piece at the handle) and wrap towards the tip overlapping your wraps by about 1/2 the width of the ace bandage. Use your other hand to make sure the edges of the rawhide are smoothed down on the edge of the limb as you wrap.

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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
Continue wrapping until the entire limb is wrapped and then tie off or clip the bandage. here is the first limb wrapped.

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Then simply repeat the procedure on the other limb, and then set aside to dry for 24 hours before unwrapping. Here is the entire bow wrapped.

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Tomorrow we will unwrap the bow and see how it looks. Then we will use a rasp to "cut" off the excess rawhide on the edges of the limb.
 
Posted by trashwood (Member # 827) on :
 
Great presentation Ferret. I sure hope sneeky snake hangs together.

the last year or so I have come to love big catfish skins and hide glue for rawhide backing and backing over sinew. catfish skin seems lighter weight per square inch but does not give up anything in strength.

Rusty
 
Posted by AZStickman (Member # 16) on :
 
Nice Job Mickey....Can't wait to see how she turns out.... We're on the same wavelength today... I just finished a sinew harvest/ prep pictorial........Terry
 
Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
Michmntmn.I picked up a side of the thin rawhide at GLLI a few years back from a vendor selling leather prods. I've traded/given most of it away over the years. Have enough left to do one more bow.BTW whitetail doe rawhide from the belly area is also very thin and tough, and a good use for that small hide.

Thanks Rusty, I'm hoping she makes it too. Would have rather had a naturally snaky piece of osage but they are just so hard to find. Catfish skin should work great it is so tough!

Cool Terry! I'm going looking for your thread.
 
Posted by Dano (Member # 748) on :
 
Great timing Mickey, got some bows to back soon. Great tutorial [thumbsup]
 
Posted by Buemaker (Member # 2932) on :
 
Nice job Mickey, I often use rawhide from reindeer, I beleive you call them Caribou,it is very thin, 0,015" to 0,020" thick. Very pliable and easy to work with. Bue--.
 
Posted by fletcharrows (Member # 1947) on :
 
Super nice Ferret - Can't wait to see the finished limbs.

fletch
 
Posted by John Scifres (Member # 946) on :
 
Nice job Mickey. However, that one pic of the wrapped snake head kinda jumped out at me [Smile]
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 180) on :
 
Cool job Mickey!

Have you thought about leaving some of the rawhide,to extend over the edges? Might help hold her together?
 
Posted by mich-mtnman (Member # 3974) on :
 
i missed out . i couldnt go to glli! my buddy did and he said it was great. great post ferret i cant wait till its finished!
 
Posted by Littlefeather at work (Member # 982) on :
 
Great pictoral Mickey!
 
Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
Thanks guys...

Timo thought about that, but the way the wood snakes back and forth the rawhide barely covered some outside edges of the curves and draped over some of the inside edges of the curves and would have been real tough to trim off evenly.

Bue the caribou rawhide sounds neat. Strange that they would have such thin hide and such thick hair. This calfskin is hard to measure. The dial caliper barely moves and still basically reads zero ha ha. In comparison the deer rawhide I have measures about .020 and the elk rawhide about .035. Would be tough to back a bow with the elk rawhide..too thick!
 
Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
OK...back at it..

Since it has now been 24 hours since we wrapped it like a mummy, it's time to unwrap and see what we have

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Oooh..looking good! Here it is totally unwrapped

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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
Next we take a small 4 cornered rasp and using the rounded smoother side and stroking from back to belly we start cutting off the excess rawhide that was wrapped around the limbs edges

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We continue this following any humps or dips cleaning up both side and tips of the bow

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Posted by the Ferret (Member # 103) on :
 
And here is our bow with a fresh rawhide back all cleaned up.

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At this point you could either paint, stain, or seal the rawhide as is. In the case of this bow, later it will get a snakeskin backing over the rawhide for decoration using basically the same procedure we just used for putting on the rawhide.

To see where this bow goes from here, please see the thread " The Perfect Snaky Osage Bow..part deux"
 


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