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Re: [SCA-Archery] painting/finishing wood bows

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  • INEZ ADAMS
    Hi, Eric the Black If you will take 1 part boiled linseed oil. 1 part white vinegar and 1 part turpentine. Mix well and put on bow. This hydrates the wood
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 1, 2000
      Hi, Eric the Black

      If you will take 1 part boiled linseed oil.
      1 part white vinegar
      and 1 part turpentine.

      Mix well and put on bow.
      This hydrates the wood and then can be finished off
      with a rubbed paste varnish. If you want it a different
      color then use some stain after hydrating the wood.

      Then any time you want to clean or condition the bow
      just use the same mixture on it and buff off.

      This is the formula that the museums in England
      use on their finest furniture.

      This is also good for the wood furniture in you own castle.

      Ldy Innes
    • INEZ ADAMS
      As far as staining a bow. If you want a brown stain. simply use brown paste shoe polish. It is easy, cheep, and really easy to find. Ldy Innes
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 1, 2000
        As far as staining a bow. If you want a brown stain. simply use
        brown paste shoe polish. It is easy, cheep, and really easy
        to find.

        Ldy Innes
      • jrosswebb1@webtv.net
        Wax should be used liberally on all bows, self bows and laminates if they will be used outdoors in any kind of damp or wet weather. Take this from some one
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 1, 2000
          Wax should be used liberally on all bows, self bows and laminates if
          they will be used outdoors in any kind of damp or wet weather. Take this
          from some one that found out the hard way several years ago with my
          first custom bow( an osage and fiberglass lammy longbow). I was hunting
          in snow and rain and thought that the fiberglass made the bow impervious
          to wet. A few weeks after hunting, the bow de-laminated and when I sent
          it back to the bowyer he told me that it was soggy inside and warned me
          that fiberglass is not waterproof, in fact it is hydro-porous.
          He was a gentleman and furnished me with another bow.
          My mundane profession is an artist and consultant to art supply
          manufactures and paint and vanish suppliers. Shellac is ultra sensitive
          to heat and is slightly soluble in water. It should only be used as an
          initial sealer before the varnish or oil rubs go on.
          Any of the drying oils(linseed,walnut,poppy) are traditional and fine.
          If you heat the oil and dissolve beeswax or carnuba wax into it and
          after it has cooled a bit you may dilute it with turpentine or mineral
          spirits(never add while hot!) you can make a fine traditional finish
          which will be somewhat water resistant.
          Most of the contemporary bowyers(John Strunk, Bill Matlock,etc.) like
          Verathane as the final varnish. I know it's not traditional but it works
          great and is relatively easy to use and doesn't suffer from cracking and
          checking as readily as the drying oils. Any good spar varnish will also
          work, but even after the bow is varnished, you want to continue to apply
          wax paste to it. Wax is the best protection against moisture.
          The standard for self bows is to regularly rub them down with an oily
          rag(linseed oil).
          This is a process recommended by Maurice Thompson in"The Witchery of
          Archery"and it is more appealing than the Cherokee practice of rubbing
          their bows down with lard, which darkens and goes sour, but does protect
          against moisture.
          I rub my self bows down with cold pressed linseed oil(the same oil I use
          to make oil paint) and it is the purest form of the oil. I buy it in
          health food stores where it is 80% cheaper than the inferior product
          sold in art supply stores.
          Respectfully,
          Geoffrei St. Albans of Eastwood
        • Lord Conall
          I have a hickory longbow that I smoothed with steel wool and used tung oil on. I also put it on my arrows to help keep the moist out, at least a little. I
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 1, 2000
            I have a hickory longbow that I smoothed with steel wool and used tung oil
            on. I also put it on my arrows to help keep the moist out, at least a
            little. I re-oil my arrows once a year before the season starts. So far,
            so good...

            Regards,
            Conall Riabhach
            Aquaterra, An Tir


            > Heilsa,
            >
            > I just got my first traditional bow and it has no finish, varnish or
            > paint. I'm wondering what would be best to handle the Texas heat and
            > humidity. Any thoughts?
            >
            > Erik the Black
          • Greg Christensen
            ... This is one thing that I have to disagree with I made a cedar strip canoe which has fiber glass on both the exterior and interior. Granted that the fiber
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 2, 2000
              >that fiberglass is not waterproof, in fact it is hydro-porous.

              This is one thing that I have to disagree with I made a cedar strip canoe
              which has fiber glass on both the exterior and interior. Granted that the
              fiber glass without the epoxy will let water thru though it won't keep
              shape. If the bow was not sealed on the edges (not belly or back) then the
              moisture will gain access to the wood and the fiberglass on the belly and
              back will help to hold it in. Also if the fiberglass is not coated
              correclty with epoxy and leaves gaps and void which would also let water in.
              Just remember that most modern boats are made with fiber glass and they
              don't normally sink.

              Fiber glass does break down under UV rays (sunlight) so apply wax with UV
              protector is recommended.

              Gregge The Archer
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            • Neil Bensen
              The fiberglass fabric and resin are not waterproof. The coating on fiberglass boats which makes them waterproof is the gelcoat. That is the final finish
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 2, 2000
                The fiberglass fabric and resin are not waterproof. The coating on
                fiberglass boats which makes them waterproof is the gelcoat. That is the final
                finish which makes the boat smooth, gives it color, and makes it shiny. Once
                the gelcoat has been breached, the boat can absorb water and fiberglass can
                "rot". This means it delaminates (freezing often helps this process along) and
                starts to work one layer against another until it destroys itself. This happens
                if there are any void spaces, or there is any of the fiberglass fabric which did
                not completely absorb the resin.
                I've seen many a boat go to the crushers because someone sanded through the
                gelcoat while trying to get all the bottom paint off and then just put new
                bottom paint back on without repairing the gelcoat.
                I would not rely on a semi-rigid coating to keep your bow waterproof over a
                long period of time. Repeated oiling is better because you are replenishing the
                moisture in the wood.

                Calum McKay


                Greg Christensen wrote:

                > >that fiberglass is not waterproof, in fact it is hydro-porous.
                >
                > This is one thing that I have to disagree with I made a cedar strip canoe
                > which has fiber glass on both the exterior and interior. Granted that the
                > fiber glass without the epoxy will let water thru though it won't keep
                > shape. If the bow was not sealed on the edges (not belly or back) then the
                > moisture will gain access to the wood and the fiberglass on the belly and
                > back will help to hold it in. Also if the fiberglass is not coated
                > correclty with epoxy and leaves gaps and void which would also let water in.
                > Just remember that most modern boats are made with fiber glass and they
                > don't normally sink.
                >
                > Fiber glass does break down under UV rays (sunlight) so apply wax with UV
                > protector is recommended.
                >
                > Gregge The Archer
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              • Greg Christensen
                The epoxy resin is waterproof if it was not then my wood strip canoe would be waterlogged which it is not. Yes if there are void spaces as below there will be
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 2, 2000
                  The epoxy resin is waterproof if it was not then my wood strip canoe would
                  be waterlogged which it is not. Yes if there are void spaces as below there
                  will be problems....You are right about the gel coat (a special blend of
                  epoxy resin) if it is removed the fiber glass breaks downs if it is not
                  protected from UV rays or in your case water freezing in the voids. Your
                  also referring to boats made with fiberglass mat material which is not the
                  standard fabric that has a weave to it, but the strands go in all directions
                  like wool felt.

                  I don't know if oiling will actually go through the epoxy resin and
                  fiberglass, but I do know that if there is moister in the air then the wood
                  will pick some up.


                  Gregge the Archer

                  >
                  This happens
                  >if there are any void spaces, or there is any of the fiberglass fabric
                  >which did
                  >not completely absorb the resin.
                  > I've seen many a boat go to the crushers because someone sanded
                  >through the
                  >gelcoat while trying to get all the bottom paint off and then just put new
                  >bottom paint back on without repairing the gelcoat.
                  > I would not rely on a semi-rigid coating to keep your bow waterproof
                  >over a
                  >long period of time. Repeated oiling is better because you are
                  >replenishing the
                  >moisture in the wood.
                  >
                  >Calum McKay
                  >
                  >
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                • Neil Bensen
                  I have sought the oppinion of a professional. First, my appollogies. Resin IS waterproof. The issue of removing gelcoat is one of exposing void spaces and
                  Message 8 of 12 , Aug 2, 2000
                    I have sought the oppinion of a professional.
                    First, my appollogies. Resin IS waterproof. The issue of removing gelcoat
                    is one of exposing void spaces and creating voids between fiberglass fibers.
                    Second, bows may typically have the sides exposed and just have a
                    polyurithane or varnish finish which can break down and allow moisture to enter
                    and/or leave the wood, requiring maintainance periodically.
                    Third, stress fractures in the resin over time and repeated bendings may
                    allow moisture acces to the wood.
                    Fourth, the matting material used in fiberglass construction makes no
                    difference to its abbillity to TRANSPORT water. Fiberglass matting won't absorb
                    water into the fibers, but it will allow water between the fibers. I was not
                    refering to boats constructed with matting or with roving in particular as they
                    bath have the same properties if not fully resinned.
                    I think, however, that we are striving for the same point, which is; if
                    fiberglass is not aplied correctly or breaks down in some way, the wood
                    underneath is at risk. Oiling wood is a good way to restore moisture. If resin
                    begins to crack, a repair to the fiberglass is necessary for the strength of the
                    bow and for the protection of the wood underneath. You may want to seek the aid
                    of a professional in repairing the fiberglass if you are unsure of how to do it
                    properly.

                    Calum McKay

                    Greg Christensen wrote:

                    > The epoxy resin is waterproof if it was not then my wood strip canoe would
                    > be waterlogged which it is not. Yes if there are void spaces as below there
                    > will be problems....You are right about the gel coat (a special blend of
                    > epoxy resin) if it is removed the fiber glass breaks downs if it is not
                    > protected from UV rays or in your case water freezing in the voids. Your
                    > also referring to boats made with fiberglass mat material which is not the
                    > standard fabric that has a weave to it, but the strands go in all directions
                    > like wool felt.
                    >
                    > I don't know if oiling will actually go through the epoxy resin and
                    > fiberglass, but I do know that if there is moister in the air then the wood
                    > will pick some up.
                    >
                    > Gregge the Archer
                    >
                    > >
                    > This happens
                    > >if there are any void spaces, or there is any of the fiberglass fabric
                    > >which did
                    > >not completely absorb the resin.
                    > > I've seen many a boat go to the crushers because someone sanded
                    > >through the
                    > >gelcoat while trying to get all the bottom paint off and then just put new
                    > >bottom paint back on without repairing the gelcoat.
                    > > I would not rely on a semi-rigid coating to keep your bow waterproof
                    > >over a
                    > >long period of time. Repeated oiling is better because you are
                    > >replenishing the
                    > >moisture in the wood.
                    > >
                    > >Calum McKay
                    > >
                    > >
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                  • jrosswebb1@webtv.net
                    I think we are all on the same page here essentially about fiberglass and its need to be sealed. The use of fiberglass cloth to make bows stopped about 40
                    Message 9 of 12 , Aug 2, 2000
                      I think we are all on the same page here essentially about
                      fiberglass and its need to be sealed.
                      The use of fiberglass cloth to make bows stopped about 40 years
                      ago and I've seen way too many accidents with them at Pennsic where they
                      delaminate in a very dramatic way, even after a thorough inspection
                      which they passed.They dry out, get old and fatigued, and delamination
                      is almost impossible to detect,until it happens then, BOOM!
                      The type of fiberglass laminations used on most modern bows is
                      where the fibers are laid out it vertical strands(much like the way you
                      lay out sinew for a sinew backing) and then adhered to themselves with
                      the resin,The bowyers purchase these pre-made laminations. These lammys
                      are then adhered to other lammys including the wood ones with a heat
                      cured synthetic resin glue. The way it was explained to me by some of
                      the bowyers I spoke to about my unfortunate accident with my hunting bow
                      in the early 1980's is that microscopically, there are passages between
                      the fibers which will eventually allow moisture through the fibers. The
                      fiberglass and resin are not absorbent but porous, the wood is absorbent
                      and almost acts like a wick.This is why all good bowyers seal all of the
                      bow, not just the edges and recommend that the owners continue to oil or
                      preferably wax on a regular basis.
                      Now before I go out hunting, I thoroughly wax my bows with a
                      beeswax paste, or Johnsons paste wax or Butchers wax and I carry some
                      with me into the woods.
                      On my self bows I use linseed oil.
                      But people PLEASE continue to care for your bows! I don't mean to
                      burst any bubbles here, but just because your bow is made with
                      fiberglass. it is not invulnerable to moisture.
                      Respectfully,
                      Geoffrei St. Albans of Eastwood
                      Canton of Lions End
                      East Kingdom
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