BrokeStick Breaks Four Sticks in a Row

broke reflex

I put a lot of work into this bastard. They all hurt, but this one…

This one hurt, too. So what? “If you ain’t breakin’ ‘em, you ain’t makin’ ‘em.”


Actually, what bothers me about this one is, it’s the fourth broke stick in a row. Is that a bad sign or what? And I have all these pictures. This was going to be a rarity here at BrokeStick: a how-to build along, rather than a how-not-to, which is BrokeStick’s specialty, its niche.

And then it broke.

I may still do the build posts. I’ve got all these pictures! And it might be instructive. At the very least, I’ll have recorded the general steps in this debacle.

And I can use this next pic for instruction … if you don’t already know what chrysaling is.

chrsyal break reflex

See those nasty lines — look like stretch marks — at the bend? Those are cross-grain fissures, cracks, tears — something like that.  It’s called chrysaling.  No “t”. That’s how it’s spelled.

Chrysaling happens at weak points along limbs. Curiously, this same chrysaling broke another zebrano-backed bow I was not exactly making but overseeing, trying to lead Brother James to the no-promises land of traditional-style bowyerism. So far he’s 0 for 3 and my hands were on two of those sticks when they broke. I got this touch, you know?

Zebrano, AKA zebrawood, is a hardwood, but that doesn’t mean it’s great bow wood. Trouble is, zebrawood is great bow wood — at least from the aesthics side of the equation. But it may need to be supported by fiber to work as belly or back.

I should mention at this point, my zebrawood experience is extremely minimal. It’s possible we got two bad chunks. But each board was purchased at separate stores, different times, dates, etc.

Brother James was going to make a fourth attempt at a zebrawood bow, but he changed his mind after seeing this bow. He switched to walnut and bamboo. I’m working a walnut boo job myself. So far it looks like a survivor. It’s the subject of an upcoming build along. If it breaks, I may give up bowyerism. Five in a row might be too much. A streak like that might teach me how to spell kwit.

One thought on “BrokeStick Breaks Four Sticks in a Row

  1. Pingback: fiberglass temporarily restores broken bow

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