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Author Topic: Opinions please.
Dorado
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Got a question for y'all if you don't mind.
I'm wanting an English longbow. If I could I'd like to make one from osage but I don't have access to a good source, tools, and I've never built a bow. I saw that 3Rivers and some others have hickory you finish English longbows for around $70. I was wondering if that'd be a good way to start. I was thinking I could inlay some horn tips and finish it out how I'd like.
I'd prefer osage but I can't really get it where I live without it costing an arm and a leg.
Opinions/Options

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Samick Sage 35#
Bear Polar 59#@29

Posts: 294 | From: Wichita Falls, Tx | Registered: Dec 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scrub-buster
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I'm assuming Wichita Falls is a dry climate. Hickory would perform well there. As far as an English Long bow, I can't offer any advice. I've never made one. Good luck with your build.

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AKA Osage Outlaw

Posts: 1309 | From: Indiana | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dorado
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It's surprisingly humid here. We've got several lakes around the area and it's fall so it'll get wetter. How bad does that affect hickory? I was thinking that if I sealed the wood well after I finish that it should be fine.
I really like the look of hickory and I believe that it would make for a handsome bow as well. The company making the blank is GI Bows. Anyone have any experience with them?

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Samick Sage 35#
Bear Polar 59#@29

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Mo_coon-catcher
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Hickory will work fine. It soaks up moisture like a sponge of left in high humidity for long periods of time. Causing the belly fibers to soften a bit and deform easier in addition to not being as snappy in return and weighing more. But if kept in a dry room in the ac, it'll be fine. But in dry winters it'll definitely pick up some performance compared to a humid summer. It shouldn't be any problems in an English longbow. But youll want to shift the cross section a bit compared to a yew or Osage ELb. You'll want more of a flat belly, so that it looks like a squashed share with rounded corners. And a good heat treat will do wonders with this wood, especially in a narrow/ deep cross section. No idea about the you finish it bows.

Kyle

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KenH
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I've finished out a couple of GI Bows bows. They are very nice to work with. They have a pretty good ELB cross-section as they come. Pretty much all they need is 400 grit sanding, stain if you want, and clear coat -- I like Spar Urethane.

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Living Aboard the s/v ManCave

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scrub-buster
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You can make a simple hot box to help remove excess moisture from hickory if necessary. Or you could use a car on a hot day. You can weigh the bow on a digital kitchen scale and monitor weight loss/moisture loss.

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AKA Osage Outlaw

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Dorado
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You guys are great. I'm glad that there are people like you out there that I can rely on.

What would I gain from removing excess moisture? I'm assuming that once dry that that would be the beat time to seal with urethane.

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Samick Sage 35#
Bear Polar 59#@29

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Roy from Pa
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If the wood has too much moisture, the bow would take on set, meaning the limbs would take on an unwanted bend.. Hickory could be dry, but if it lays around in humid conditions, it will absorb moisture. A hot box like scrub suggested is a great idea for keeping hickory dry between working on it and sealing it.
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scrub-buster
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Hickory performs best at a low moisture content. It absorbs moisture quicker than most woods. If it's too wet the limbs will be sluggish and take set like Roy said.

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AKA Osage Outlaw

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Dorado
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I found a supplier for the GI bows that's fairly inexpensive. $65 shipped. But they're out of stock on the one I want. They should get some in soon. They said a week or two. Hopefully I can get it then. I'll be looking at the 50# weight bows. That should be more than heavy enough to hunt with and be light enough for me to enjoy shooting.

So with hickory my best bet would be to hot box it for a while then seal immediately after removing it before it has a chance to absorb any moisture.

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Samick Sage 35#
Bear Polar 59#@29

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jhk1
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The finish won't keep the hickory from absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. It will slow the process, but not completely eliminate it. That's why one of the previous post's recommendation to store the bow indoors in an air-conditioned room is a good idea.
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Mad Max
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It might take a month to dry it out when you get it.
bending it before it's dry could put set in it.

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"nothing ventured ,nothing gained"

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KenH
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If you don't want to wait, order a 45# draw weight, cut 1" off each end and file new string notches; that should bring it up to 50#...

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Living Aboard the s/v ManCave

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Dorado
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I don't mind waiting. I think I'd rather have the length.
Would treating it with tung oil help before sealing? Or is that not something I should do?
It would be kept inside and unstrung with my other bows when not in use.

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Samick Sage 35#
Bear Polar 59#@29

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KenH
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Tung oil is an alternative sealer, not something you can paint sealer on top of. Four coats of tung oil gives you a beautiful satin finish, and might just be better than mucking about with urethane/lacquer/varnish.

Always unstring a wood bow. Keep it under AC as much as you can...

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Living Aboard the s/v ManCave

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