Home Forums Bows and Equipment refinish a glass bow

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    • Dave Nash
      Member
      Post count: 113

      Need a push in the right direction

      fella,s. I have a Osage bow with a mat finish and want to sand it and put a gloss finish on it.I have ordered some true oil. Will true oil work over the glass? Want to bring out the beauty of the wood and not being much of a woodworker looking for some advice. Thanks for any suggestions guy’s.

      Stay warm

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Not a bowyer by any means, but raised by a cabinet maker and wood butcher.

      The glossy finish MIGHT enhance the grain if the glass is good and clear.

      However, NOTHING will penetrate the glass overlay to actually “beautify” the grain of the wood.

      Alas, true oil might not adhere to the glass. The wood is not a few thousands removed from the exterior because of the glass.

      DEFT spray varnish has served me well in the past in such spray over situations…if the original finish is lightly sanded away.

      Emphasis on lightly…you don’t want to remove glass and change tiller on the limbs! Gently as she goes, hoss… 😯

    • Dave Nash
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 113

      Thanks Doc, might have been a little hasty ordering the true oil sounds like.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Others might see it differently. I’ve used true oil and a self bowyer I know swears by it but he uses no glass.

      Works great on anything WOOD. Glass limbs are something different.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Hey guys, I took some weight off of a recurve a couple of years back and instead of refinishing with poly I used true oil. It turned out well and with the effect I was seeking. It is a duller shine but nice. Don’t know how to describe maybe well but it doesn’t reflect as much in the sunshine.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      If R2 says that it will adhere to glass, I’d take it to the bank!

      Definitely adhere to wood riser… just the glass raised a question in my mind.. but if R2 says it is a go, DO IT!

      Just be careful with sanding the limbs… you didn’t mention wanting to reduce weight…or tiller

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      A light sanding shouldn’t change anything on a glass limb to be noticeable but if one gets too aggressive you can remove pounds (takes quite a bit of elbow grease to so with sandpaper)but more importantly it’s not that difficult to mess with your tiller.

      Wood limbs are way more prone to changes when sanding.

      I’m no bowyer by any means but I’ve taken poundage off of several bows for me and others and I’m very particular about tiller.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Again, I defer to the Master.

      I once bought a stock bow with bad finish… the bowyer had quit building but kept me advised on sanding it down…and admonishing me to use very fine grit and light strokes to just remove the surface finish…

      From that limited experience, and one other, I deduced tiller was easier to change…

      Ergo, my cautionary note. Then again, when I undertake such projects, I tend to get after it like gangbusters…so ignore my admonishments and enjoy your project and go with Ralph’s input!

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Oh, yeah by the way. If I hadn’t guidance of my best friend, the maker of Yellowjacket Longbows as my coach and confidence builder I probably would have never put a file or rasp to one of my bows much less anybody else’s.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      I’ve taken rasp to grips and side plates when a bow didn’t suit me… but had a hobby builder friend build me limbs…they were in perfect tiller when he finished, but when I got them, they were 3/8″ off…sent to my new bowyer and he adjusted them to right tiller…but it did take off 2# come to think of it.

      Nice to have guidance or a fall-back to undertake major projects!

      Hopefully, this input will help our original poster.

    • Dave Nash
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 113

      Thanks guys I am going for it. Sure nice to have the assurance of trad bros who have been there done that. Will try to post pics when completed.

    • coastalbendbows
      Post count: 120

      before swithing to an epoxy finish I would sometimes tru oil bows. I would sand them down to 220 and then put on a glover and just rub down the whole bow with it. after about the fifth coat it would be really shinny

    • Bernie Clancey
      Member
      Post count: 82

      Another choice might be tung oil. I have a friend who is a bowyer and he uses tung oil to finish his bows. Be very careful with sandpaper on the glas, you can scratch it quite easily so use very fine grit.

      When I was making bows all I ever used was spar varnish to finish my bows and it held up well over the years.

      I don’t think you can do much to change the look of the grain of the wood as it is buried under glas and covered with clear epoxy glue.

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