When to heat and adjust a stave/bow?

Dedicated to the Bowyer and his craft. A place to talk building techninques, design, and build-alongs.

When to heat and adjust a stave/bow?

Postby zeek from coon creek » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:22 am

Hello, folks. I have a question for the self-bowyers. At what point of bow construction should a person heat and adjust a bow/stave? I have a nice knot free straight grained osage stave that looks like a roller coaster when sighting down the back. One limb has a pronounced reflex while the other has a bit of deflex or possibly viseversa..seems like I can never keep it straight which is which. At any rate one tip points pronouncedly away from the archer while the other tip points slightly towards him as he is facing the belly of the bow. I would like to try and heat and adjust both limbs to be more similar and also would like to flip the tips. The bow/stave is bending pretty good on the floor, but still way to heavy for the string and tree at this point. It is fully dried. I bought the stave in 2005 at the cloverdale shoot and roughed the bow out in 2009. It has been gathering dust on a shelf in my shop ever since. I've not attempted to finish it on my own for fear of ruining a very, very good piece of wood. It truly is knot free it doesn't have so much as even one pin knot in it (I got really lucky when I bought it; as it still had the bark on it and had been sawed out rather than split so it could have been anything really) and should produce a very good (even if it is boring) bow. So, do I bring it to full tiller then heat and adjust, or should I go ahead now and heat it then finish tillering or should I do something in between? I will try to find some batteries for my camera and upload a couple of photos of the thing so the experts can see what we are working with. Of course, I'll have to figure out how to build a caul and come up with a way to heat the thing as well.

"All things are difficult before they are easy." (found in a fortune cookie)
zeek from coon creek
5X5 Bull
Posts: 458
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:56 pm

Re: When to heat and adjust a stave/bow?

Postby KsBow » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:27 am

Zeke, it sounds like you've removed enough wood to reshape your limb now. I always get most of the wood removed before flipping tips or untwisting or moving side to side. Just go slow and don't get it too hot. Reflex is the limb tip moving away from you and deflex is the one moving toward the archer. I'd do the deflex tip first. Just get it a bit on the reflex side of straight. Then the deflex side. You may not even want to flip the tips after your initial adjustments. Hopes this helps.
Building Bows, Making Friends, and Making Memories
Charter Member Oklahoma Selfbow Society
At Large Representative-OSS
2014 OSS Hall of Fame Inductee
2015 OSS Master Bowyer
Past President Kansas Bowhunters Association
Current SW Rep KBA
Member BCO
User avatar
Imperial (7X7) Bull
Posts: 2056
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:53 pm
Location: Chase, Kansas America

Return to The Bowyers Workbench

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests