Western juniper stave selection questions

ramaytush
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ramaytush
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9:37 PM - Aug 21, 2018 #1

Hello. I cut a piece of juniper and I have started to reduce it. I chose a tree with multiple trunks. I took one of the trunks. On the inner side of the tree there are only a few pin knots and no branches. The outer side of the tree had a few live branches. The outer side has the thick reaction wood(compression wood). The inner side looks better but i think the outer side has better compression wood. Which side should I use? Also have you ever used a trunk from a juniper tree with multiple trunks? I am also wondering if pruning the trunks would help them grow better without knots. Thanks. I can add a few pics later.
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ramaytush
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ramaytush
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10:37 PM - Aug 21, 2018 #2

IThird pic is outer side with thick growth rings. Second, inner side. 
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Tapirchik
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8:41 PM - Aug 22, 2018 #3

Hi, is it seasoned?

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ramaytush
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ramaytush
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5:48 AM - Aug 23, 2018 #4

It is not seasoned, it was cut a few days ago. I don't know if I should dry it or work it Green. I also don't know how to split it. I might try to find someone who has a bandsaw. 
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Tapirchik
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Tapirchik
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7:01 AM - Aug 23, 2018 #5

I've seen in some video, guys who make bows from fresh wood but I don't know if it's better seasoned... For splitting, you can use an axe blade as a wedge, hitting it with a hammer

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ramaytush
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ramaytush
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10:21 PM - Aug 30, 2018 #6

I split the juniper trunk. I used a drill to make pilot holes to guide the splitting. I also used a camp saw to cut along the middle to further direct the split. The two halves I think are usable. Here is the first side. This is the outer side of the trunk with the compression wood.
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ramaytush
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ramaytush
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10:23 PM - Aug 30, 2018 #7

Here is the other half. The inner side of the tree didn't have any live branches like the other side.
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Paul Howard
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2:33 AM - Sep 01, 2018 #8

Hi, Are you planning on sinew backing?
Juniper, Tamarisk and Yew are 3 woods that probably benefit the most from sinew-backing because all 3 have good elasticity in compression (far more than most woods) and the best matches for the elasticity in tension of sinew. All 3 tree species are distantly related too.
Some conifer-woods are well utilized by using the compression side of a stave IF backed with sinew or another wood that is strong in tension. If you put a backing on your Juniper staves, it stands to reason that the compression side stave may work very well IF the backing is taking all the tension. Saami-Laplander bows were a 2-piece laminate of Spruce compression wood on the belly and Birch on the back to take the compression. You might be able to do something really cool like that, it's something I've thought about for a long time but haven't gotten around to it.  Thanks for posting your project.
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ramaytush
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ramaytush
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3:24 AM - Sep 02, 2018 #9

Yes it will get backed with sinew. The compression side of the stave didn't split as nicely as the inner side even though the compression wood is not very significant. I hope to try to get it straight and even enough. Going to be a wide thin and flat bow. The inside of the trunk turned   Out very straight and even. It's looking great so far. More pics coming soon. 
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ramaytush
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ramaytush
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3:53 AM - Oct 10, 2018 #10

The bow is almost ready for sinew. It's 40", 2" wide and less than 1/2 inch thick. I want to recurve the tips before sinew. The belly side is bending inward a bit. The back side has the wider knot branches so I want the sinew there. It will have a squirrel skin string, buckskin grip, and if the bow survives filleting and shooting it will be painted to look like a rare endangered local garter snake species.  
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Got Flutes
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Got Flutes
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2:04 PM - Oct 10, 2018 #11

I’ve heard juniper limbs make a better bow then the trunk part. Looks good so far, my sinewbacked juniper bow shot fast! Finally broke after 25 years. Need more juniper!!!! You might order the video Making the Northern California Paddle Bow and Arrows with Billy Berger and Steve Allely.
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Paul Howard
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Paul Howard
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3:07 AM - Oct 11, 2018 #12

One thing you could do before applying the sinew is to bend that bow backward 1-2 inches and braced on a 2x4 with a LOT of shims underneath and heat-temper it and get rid of the "bending inside toward the belly" (also known as "Deflex") and thereby putting some "Reflex" into it, and the heat-tempering will add noticable draw weight. If you do that, you'll want to wipe it with a very damp (almost wet) rag and let it sit for about 1 week then re-tiller it so it's in perfect tiller BEFORE putting on sinew, then when you add sinew and re-tiller after the sinew, you'll have a much better tillered bow and it won't change the tiller with humidity changes (if you don't have perfect tiller prior to sinew, you'll end up with a bow that WILL change tiller and get 'lopsided' as the humidity changes). Juniper responds well to heat-tempering. Just let the wood get Brown on the belly/compression side and never, ever let it go to 'black'. Good luck, nice bow so far!
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