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have been making all types of bows for some time but for whatever reason, I had not backed a bow with hickory until recently and had a surprise. I backed an Ipe stave with a nice clean,well seasoned, edge-grained piece of hickory milled to 1.5 X 3/16. I thought it might be wise to taper each limb like I do with bamboo. At the point where i left floor tillering to string the bow, the hickory lam broke on the edge of the limb. So my questions are:
1. Was this a rare fluke?
2. Would I have been better off to reduce the thickness to 1/16-1/8" over all and not tapered?
Anyway,I removed the hickory and applied bamboo to finish the bow but still embarrassed about the incident. Any thoughts for the Old Timer?
 

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I have backed several bows with hickory with great success, but I have had a couple fail. Both were not perfectly straight-grained, though and snapped at a little swiggle in the grain. I have had better success, lately with hard maple and white oak as backers. They also are less likely to overpower the belly on some lighter compression woods.
 
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