Friday, 5 August 2011

Heat Bending Osage

The bow has a few spare inches of length, so I thought I'd put a hint of recurve on the tips and try to take out some twist.
I'm not sure if I've screwed up...
Osage is a bit more brittle than the Yew. I clamped it on the bending jig, wiped some olive oil on it and applied the hot air gun set to 220C, I gently applied pressure and after about 15 minutes I felt it starting to bend, however the bend isn't very smooth and some splinters lifted on the belly of the bow. Hopefully this is only superficial and will come out as I work the belly down during tillering.
I've noticed that on the Primitive Archer website and in the Traditional Bowyers Bible they often add a thin steel strap over the belly of the bow where it is being bent, this helps distribute the force more evenly and helps stop splintering.
I've never needed this with Yew, perhaps my impatience didn't help and I should maybe have made sure I'd heated the wood more evenly, however I think it's a recognised problem with Osage, and it just means I've gained more experience.
Worst case I'll add a thin strip of extra wood at the bend on the belly of the bow and blend it in with a bit of a string groove near the tip. Pics later.

1 comment:

  1. You probably heated it too fast. If it's thick, you should heat it more slowly next time to get all the wood hot before bending. It should be alright though. As I heard one say... Osage will spoil ya!