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    what finish would look historically correct?

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    Todd the archer
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    what finish would look historically correct?

    Post by Todd the archer on Mon May 24, 2010 8:00 pm

    What currently available and easy to use finish would you use to give a historically correct look?
    Tung oil perhaps?

    Thanks in advance, Todd
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    Geezer
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    Period finish?

    Post by Geezer on Mon May 24, 2010 9:34 pm

    What's best for a period finish? That's a bit hard to say. The Maximilian I bows at the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna are a dark red with gold lettering. I suspect it's a red lacquer.
    Many bows are just dark wood now and it's hard to tell what they were made with. Some bows, like the Fels Colonna Bow in the Wallace Collection (London) are covered in bone plaques. That doesn't help much either.
    I prefer to give my bows a coat of linseed oil to bring out the color. Then wait a couple of days, buff with some very fine steel wool, and rub in a coat of tung-oil. Let that soak in a day or two, buff again and give it another coat of tung oil. If you stop after two or three coats, you'll have a nice, natural looking finish. Add another coat and the tung oil will start getting a bit glossy. If you do 5 or 6 coats, the finish will go very bright and glossy indeed. If you look at the Ulrich V bow in the Metropolitan Museum (New York) you'll notice the finish is surprisingly glossy after 500 years. It was probably brighter when new @ 1460.
    I prefer a flatter finish for my projects, while my apprentice, Lightly, likes 'em glossy. What's best 'period' practice? I really don't know, but 2 or 3 coats of tung oil certainly looks nice and it keeps the wood clean and fresh looking for a long time. Geezer
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    Todd the archer
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    Thanks

    Post by Todd the archer on Tue May 25, 2010 3:15 am

    I will probally use 2 to 3 coats of tung oil as the crossbow I am starting on will be used for hunting. With that being said less shine is better for hunting as a shiny glare can catch the eye of the game being hunted and be spooked.

    Todd
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    Regerald
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    Re: what finish would look historically correct?

    Post by Regerald on Tue May 25, 2010 11:29 am

    Personally, I would use bees wax, diluted in a natural turpentine. As sources say, this was used for wood finishing for centuries..
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    Geezer
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    historical finish

    Post by Geezer on Wed May 26, 2010 6:49 am

    Dohhh! I should have mentioned beeswax. A little research on the web should turn up some other traditional finishes, but beeswax in turpentine is a good one. DRW
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    Lightly
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    Re: what finish would look historically correct?

    Post by Lightly on Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:25 am

    Dear Master!

    I actually want to try the beeswax and turp! In our copious spare time... We have some beeswax in the shop and I have a friend who keeps bees, did we need more..

    Uh, I promise to finish the Hungarian bow, the Danish bow, and the Curtis bow first.


    Maybe.


    heh!

    Love;
    Lightly.
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    Geezer
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    beeswax finish

    Post by Geezer on Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:24 am

    I thought you guys might like to know Lightly and Silly Person have begun experimenting with the bee's wax/turpentine/linseed-oil finish. So far it show great promise. We'll see how it looks after several coats, and of course it will take a while to find out how it wears. Geezer.

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