Author Topic: Elm Staves  (Read 597 times)

Offline LaBill67

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Elm Staves
« on: October 22, 2020, 01:52:48 PM »
Hey men, I have a elm log thatI’m trying to reduce down to some workable staves and it’s just about to get the best of me.  My 70+ years are really coming out.  How many of you have made self bows with elm and I interested in how they turned out.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 02:00:29 PM by LaBill67 »

Online Pat B

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2020, 03:37:00 PM »
Bill, welcome to the 70 club. Elm has interlocking grain making it almost impossible to split cleanly or easily. You can pop a chalk line and run a circular saw making a kerf an inch or two deep and use a wedge to continue the split. Be careful of kickback with the saw. If the grain is straight enough you can saw out your staves on a band saw.
 Elm makes a very good selfbow, well worth the work.
Good luck and don't forget the pics.  :thumbsup:
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!
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Online Mad Max

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2020, 05:02:37 PM »
X2
I would rather fail at something above my means, than to succeed at something  beneath my means

Offline LaBill67

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2020, 05:20:08 PM »
Here's couple of pictures of that monster of a log I'm splitting.

Online Roy from Pa

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2020, 05:50:53 PM »
Oh Boy.. Looks like fun..

I'd put the chain saw to that bugger:)

Offline LaBill67

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 05:58:35 PM »
I should have done that from the start Roy.  I’m half way through but I may put the saw to it for ripping down the halves. 

Online Mad Max

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2020, 05:58:54 PM »
Take you time with it.
Let IT rest for a couple days :thumbsup:

I would think it would split better after you get it in half
I would rather fail at something above my means, than to succeed at something  beneath my means

Online Roy from Pa

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 06:05:03 PM »
Bill, go find a few young men and buy em a case of beer. Then sit back and watch:)

Online Pat B

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2020, 12:52:29 AM »
Bill, that log looks dark in color. When was it cut and how has it been stored since?
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!
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Online Bowjunkie

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2020, 08:46:11 AM »
That's what I was wondering too, Pat. It looks like me, a bit aged. Elm should not be left long after cutting.

Here's one I did a couple years ago. They are a pain, even if kerfed first. The chainsaw is a good option to help get it apart, but be careful. Cutting it lengthwise with all that interlocking grain is dangerous work.


Online Bowjunkie

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2020, 08:47:31 AM »
What a workout.

Online Pat B

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2020, 10:04:07 AM »
Fortunately I've never had to kerf and/or split an elm log. The few elm bows I made were from seasoned staves I got from others.  :pray:
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!
TGMM Family of the Bow

Online Eric Krewson

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2020, 10:11:37 AM »
I split an elm log once, that was enough, I donated the two haves to the bow building area at Twin Oaks.

My thoughts on the "aged" log in the picture is that it has been on the ground too long and may or may not be bow wood with the "may not" stepping to the forefront. My only real experience with white wood left out too long was with hickory, a month is way too long here in the south, the wood turns chalky.

Offline LaBill67

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2020, 11:21:10 AM »
Some good points fellows.  The tree was cut back in April and right away I peeled the bark off it.  I saw some bug damage right away and wondered then if it would be worth the trouble.  Anyway I left it laying outside up off the ground on cinder blocks until Yesterday and decided to split it and see what I’d have. I too am wondering if it’ll make a bow.  At the present I’m working on that black locust bow I posted about several weeks ago and it’s coming along nicely. Anyway we’ll see how this elm turns out and if it’s worth saving.  To all who have replied thanks a lot for you inputs. 

Online Pat B

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2020, 11:49:02 AM »
Bill, on your next whitewood log, or any bow wood log once cut the ends should be sealed(watered down wood glue is cheap and works well), if the bark is remover the back should be sealed and the log or splits placed under shelter, out of the weather and off the ground.
 Years ago a guy gave me a 10" hickory log. It had been on the ground for a week then the log was squared for a mantle and placed in a garage off of the floor for 2 years when it was given to me. A friend with a portable saw mill cut some staves and the rest were cut as backing strips. The first bow I backed the hickory backing cracked across grain...the rest of it became kindling.  :banghead:  Lesson learned!
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!
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Online George Tsoukalas

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2020, 06:35:43 PM »
I have but like the song says it was a long, long time ago.
I was gifted two staves by Drt.
Elm doesn't grow in NH.
I'm 72. I can't imagine splitting out a stave.
Jawge

Offline LaBill67

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2020, 06:26:36 AM »
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to this post.  I'll keep you updated on how this elm log turns out and if I'm able to get anything useful out of it. 

Online George Tsoukalas

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2020, 09:56:38 AM »
I always shudder when people recommend the use of a circular saw for kerfing  logs. I grew up the son of a carpenter and have experienced kickbacks many times. It's not pretty and highly dangerous. Circular saws are intended for dimension limber and not logs.

When I've had to kerf, in by gone days, I've used a hatchet. I placed the hatchet in the spot and tapped it with a 2 pound sledge. Continue.

But nobody listens.
Jawge




Offline LaBill67

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Re: Elm Staves
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2020, 07:44:01 PM »
I have a chain saw with a sharp ripping chain and it does the trick if I find the log to be too much to handle with splitting tools.  I was able to get the log split but when it came to quartering the halves I used the chain saw and that made quick work of the job.  I still have half of it that I need to get to.  I have it up off the ground and covered for now.  Thanks for the warning about the circular saw.  I have tried that but found it to have little effect on large logs.  I'll stick with my chain saw.

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