Does anyone know if raffia works on maples?

0soyoung

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Go to the hardware/lumber store and buy a dowel that it roughly the same diameter as that of the stem/trunk you want to bend. Wrap that dowel with rafia, wrap some wire and/or zip ties around it and try to bend it. Of course, you could also try bending without raffia to get some idea of what it does or does not do in the way of helping with bending. At any rate, this should give you some idea what trying to bend your maple will be like before you risk it.
 

Adair M

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i was thinking of bending this trunk more, what other ways could i use raffia?View attachment 354877
If you continue to bend that, the branch will split off at the crotch. Maples are notoriously weak at the crotch.

You don’t bend hardwood branches. You grow them into the shape you want. You can wire the new, soft, unlignified spring shoots and remove the wire in a couple of weeks.
 

SouthernMaple

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I was hoping I could put raffia wire combo on the trunk and leave it on for a while and get a little more of a bend out of it, since putting on the guide wire on the apex ive been able to bend it a little.



DSC_0220.JPG
 

Cofga

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Native Americans used to use a technique to mark trails that might be of use. The would take a leather thong, bend a sapling over, and tie it down to a stake. By the time the leather rotted and broke the bend would be set. So if you see a bent over tree in the woods you know who to blame.
 

Mike Corazzi

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Native Americans used to use a technique to mark trails that might be of use. The would take a leather thong, bend a sapling over, and tie it down to a stake. By the time the leather rotted and broke the bend would be set. So if you see a bent over tree in the woods you know who to blame.

Is that how they made bows?
 

penumbra

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Native Americans used to use a technique to mark trails that might be of use. The would take a leather thong, bend a sapling over, and tie it down to a stake. By the time the leather rotted and broke the bend would be set. So if you see a bent over tree in the woods you know who to blame.
Sometimes this marked a path but more often it marked a source for water. The bend marked the direction in which water could be found.
Is that how they made bows?
No. A bow is made from a straight piece of wood or even one with a little reverse curve. A piece of wood already curved does not have any tension and is just kindling. Of course bow making is actually much more complex than this and it is very hard work. I have been to a few workshops and made a few bows. An Osage longbow can have 20 and more hours in it easily.
 

Mike Corazzi

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Sometimes this marked a path but more often it marked a source for water. The bend marked the direction in which water could be found.

No. A bow is made from a straight piece of wood or even one with a little reverse curve. A piece of wood already curved does not have any tension and is just kindling. Of course bow making is actually much more complex than this and it is very hard work. I have been to a few workshops and made a few bows. An Osage longbow can have 20 and more hours in it easily.
What did they want with bent trees then?
 

penumbra

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What did they want with bent trees then?
As sated above, a bent tree marked a path or a water source.
They probably did bend some wood for use as tools but the bent trees here were markers. They definitely did not grow bent trees for bows. You start with as straight a piece of wood as you can find. Wood was bent for use by steaming it, just like primitive bow makers do today. The bows are primitive, not the bow makers. (usually but a couple guys come to mind)
 

Adair M

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I was hoping I could put raffia wire combo on the trunk and leave it on for a while and get a little more of a bend out of it, since putting on the guide wire on the apex ive been able to bend it a little.



View attachment 354906
What you have there is a thin, taperless trunk with no (or few) low branches with long internodes.

You don’t need raffia, wire, or guy wires to improve this. You need a pair of concave cutters and cut paste.
 

MrWunderful

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This is interesting.....did it work?
Yes and no. It works, but think other things are more effective, easier to come by and cheaper.

Grafting tape/electrical tape
Green horticultural tape and large zipties
Rubber tape and worm drive hose clamps

I have some info saved up for my developing zelkova thread where I use some of these techniques, just need to get around to digging them up and updating.
 

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