Straightening / Bending wood?

Discussion in 'General Slingshot Discussions' started by Obl1v1Aus, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. Obl1v1Aus

    Obl1v1Aus Meh!

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    A recent tree trimming yeilded me some beatiful forks for slingmaking but a couple of them are a little twisted.

    Is there anyway I can bend / straighten a fork limb without expensive equipment and without weakening the fork too much.

    I've seen it done with thin strips of material for bow making using steam but I dont know if that will work for this.

    The pics of the fork in question are below, it was harvested from either a silverbark or a ghost gum tree.

    Should I bother, or leave it as it is?

    Appreciate any help you brilliant people can provide
    ImageUploadedBySlingshot Forum1387102050.225808.jpg ImageUploadedBySlingshot Forum1387102065.814591.jpg ImageUploadedBySlingshot Forum1387102078.207748.jpg
     
  2. Lacumo

    Lacumo Member

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    You’d have to steam a piece like that for a long time to get it flexible and then getting it to set in the alignment you want it in would be difficult. I think the natural fork carvers live with a philosophy that's pretty much “go with what nature gave you.” Steaming works best with thinner pieces of wood--you put them into a form under pressure so they cool and dry into the shape you want and then laminate multiple pieces you’ve shaped into the finished work you’re putting together. Steaming one big piece into what you want is a whole different thing and very difficult. That fork would be fighting you every step of the way.
     

  3. Ravensbull

    Ravensbull New Member

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    Is it still green, meaning cut alive and no yet dried? If so, I'd say maybe try clamping it between a couple flat boards and leave it to dry. Or maybe under a couple large bricks or heavy flat rocks.. Just ideas I guess, I haven't bent any wood since high school woodshop. In this case your fighting against the actual growth... I seen a video by Gamekeeper John where he had taken a wide natural and tied the forks closer together with the fork gap he want and the dried it. Different situation though.
     
  4. 4foruglenncoco

    4foruglenncoco Member

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    I saw a guy use a rice cooker to steam the wood
     
  5. Obl1v1Aus

    Obl1v1Aus Meh!

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    Thanks for your responses guys,
    this fork was dried in the microwave with the bark still on, this particular tree has very thick bark and I didn't notice the skewing until it was stripped.

    I might try and finish it as it is, I had a suspicion that it would be a fruitless excercise.

    thanks again
     
  6. Ravensbull

    Ravensbull New Member

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    If you can't get it to balance well, I'd consider cutting it down to PFS size. From the side view picture it looks like that once you would round over the fork tips it would turn out pretty even.