How to quick dry or even further dry hickory staves.
Hickory is a wood that will benefit from additional drying with heat to further
remove moisture and keep it dry while working on a bow.
What we do to reduce moisture quickly and then keep the stave dry while working on the
bow is very simple. We take a simple tube and put a 100 watt light bulb at one end. The bulb is placed at the bottom of the tube and a wire is added to keep the stave from hitting the bulb. A set up like this can be used to quick dry a stave or to keep hickory bows/staves nice and dry. If you do that, the hickory will be much less likely to follow the string and take a set.
When you're ready to work on the stave, remove the bark, leave it full width, then reduce the thickness to one inch but leave the
handle area about two inches thick and seal the ends about three inches
all the way around each end as well as the handle area for about eight
inches all the way around the stave with several coats of a quality
sealer. This will prevent the ends from checking and the stave cracking
through the handle where you reduce from one inch to two inches.
Place the stave in the tube for a couple of weeks, removing and
swapping ends about every other day. Hickory reacts well to this drying technique.
While working on the bow, return it to the tube each day after working on the bow.
IMPORTANT! Allow the stave to cool down for an hour or so before bending the wood
as the limb will take a set if bent while still warm.
If you don't want to come up with a tube, you can also place the stave near a wood burning stove or fire place in the winter or a hot attic in the summer.