** These staves are hand split by bowyers, trimmmed, bark and sap wood removed, insect free, and graded. Staves sold with bark on cannot be graded the way these staves have been graded. **
We are again offering Hand Split graded Osage Orange bowstaves to the public. These are offered for the construction of Native American style flatbows and specialty longbows that require following an annual ring to make the "back" of the bow.
Anyone who has worked with Osage Orange knows that it is a twisted, bumpy and wavy wood that is superior to most US hardwoods as a bow material.
Our staves whether they show saw marks or not are hand split with wedges to ensure good grain integrity. Sawed staves, unlike our split ones, may or may not follow a twisting grain -- you never know till you take it down to the ring, and splitting ensures it runs close to right. That is why ours are split.
Osage Orange is the premium traditional bow wood for Plains Style Flatbows from 38 to 60 inches. It offers the best substrate for sinew-backed bows. In 1815 a sinew-backed Osage Orange bow was worth a horse and a blanket in trade in southern Missouri, so the excellence of this wood has long been recognized.
Our present stock was cut in winter of 2016, which means they are green staves at present and require further drying. Be sure to dry your bowstave in gentle drying conditions or it may split uncontrollably.
Our bowstaves come without bark, as the bark harbors the notorious beetle that can eat Osage heartwood. We remove this bark before drying.
We consider the following to be defects in Osage Bowstaves:
Twists that put the two working limbs out of a sync.
Open knots or filled knots significantly larger than a pencil in the working area of the bow.
Cracks, checks or interruptions in the solid nature of the wood.
Excessive "pins" or solid small areas that would eventually grow to be a limb.
We consider the following to be acceptible inclusions:
A slight front to back bend in the plane of one limb that could easily be heat-straightened (not including twists)
A small pin or two or even maybe three in a working area of a limb.
A solid knot in the handle section where there will be no stresses.
A solid knot in the nock area that would not be subject to bend stresses but be workable into a nock.
Deflex or a reverse bend in the entire stave toward the target.
Flex, or a bend in the stave toward the shooter.
A defect in a stave that is located outside the outline of the bow.