osage orange bow stock

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by bob clark, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

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    I have a few osage orange logs that are fairly clear.I was thinking of taking some of them to the saw mill and have them cut into lumber. bow stock comes to mind. has anyone had any experience with what size to have it rough cut into? I had heard that you want to start with a block 3"x4" and 6ft long
     
  2. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    You won't want to have it sawn if you're planning to get the most out of it for bow staves. You could saw it but it might waste the entire log, boyers want their bows to follow the grain and if that grain runs contrary to the saw cuts it could spoil the piece.

    If you have the patience, a few wedges, a froe, and a break; spilt the logs into pallings/staves and there's sure to be a market for them, especially if they are well seasoned.

    I miss having "hedge" up here in Northern Minnesota, I could make a bow in a few hours, shoot it for a week or a year until I broke it, slammed it in a truck door, or tried to use it for a walking stick, and then just pend a few hours making another.

    My Grand-Grandfather taught me to make a self-bow and sourwood arrows when I wasn't but 12 years old, of course being from the mountainous part of Kentucky, he preferred hickory. We used .38 pistol cartridges for blunts, and pieces of barrel hoops filed down for broadheads.
     

  3. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    You want to split it and let it set for at least a year.

    big rockpile
     
  4. Cut it in the winter so the sap will be down in the ground. Cut the log to 6 or 8 feet long and let it dry till sometimes toward the end of next summer. Do not split it yet. If you split it now it the staves will warp on you. But wait till next summer before you split it. some people paint the ends of the cut log so the ends want start splitting. Come next summer, split the log as if you were trying to make the old fashion fence post. Try to keep your staves in about 3 to 4 inches wide. This will give you plenty of measuring room when you start shaving it down to a bow. Good luck and happy hunting.
     
  5. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

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    the trees were cut 9 mo ago. the logs are 24" threw and most of them 12'long . I can sell them as corner posts for about 40.00 but i thought the nicer ones that looked clean grained would be worth more as bow stock.

    so I should wait till next summer to split them?
     
  6. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    dont know how it works for cure hedge for bows but if you are cure hedge for posts and dont want them to crack when drying the first year soak them in a pond it helps to set the natural latex in the wood
     
  7. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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  8. If the trees were cut 9 months ago then they are about as dry as they are going to get. No need waiting till next summer. However, have you had them in a safe place? If not they maybe full of worms. Is there holes all over in the bark? If so, they will not work for staves as those worms can really bore down deep.