Question for you bowyers

Thread starter #1


Senior Member
I am working on a hickory self bow and have it roughed out, just about ready to start the tillering.

I decided to put some slight reflex in the ends, and after reading various ways to do this, elected to use heat gun.

The bending worked great, but I also got a decent size check in one limb. The crack is a couple inches long and I am not sure yet how deep.

The limbs are still pretty thick (like 1/2") so I may be able to take off enough wood to get rid of the check, but if not what are my options to repair? Will it matter since its on the belly of the bow? I don't have a pic, but its about 2/3 down the limb towards the end.

Thanks for any help,

Sounds like it wasn't dry enough, or heated and bent too quick. That said, I think you should try to tiller it and see what happens. I have never given up on one till it broke, and have learned from every failure.
Thread starter #3


Senior Member
I think you are right and it was not dry enough. I got a moisture meter and it's now around 8% so i am going to move ahead and see what happens!
8% is borderline too dry. Longitudinal checks generally do not effect the bow unless the check goes to the edge. Maybe unsightly but it is just aesthetics.
Thread starter #5


Senior Member
Thanks, I was able to remove the check while tillering. It wasn't too deep, thankfully. Are you saying that 8% is too dry for bending, or in general? I thought that was on the high end for hickory, but that just from something i read. I am a total bowyer novice.