Sealing Sinew?

Discussion in 'Primitive Tools' started by dirt7, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. dirt7

    dirt7 Supporter Supporter

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    This seemed like the most appropriate spot for this question, so here goes. If you have used real sinew for a wrap, what do you seal it with? While pine pitch would be ideal, I am not sure if I would be able to find any or make it. Ideally I would like something that isn't glossy, but would protect the sinew from moisture. My thoughts are just a matte polyurethane, but I would love to hear what others have used in the past.
     
  2. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    What did you wrap? Will it get handled frequently?

    I usually shellac the sinew, then apply beeswax over the shellac. Thinned epoxy is very well regarded in the Bowyery world, too, but I've not tried it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  3. dirt7

    dirt7 Supporter Supporter

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    20190109_085843.jpg

    @OrienM I wrapped the knife where the blade meets the handle, so it will see a good bit of use.
     
  4. doanehead

    doanehead Scout

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    A few coats of Tru-oil would seal it well.
    knock the shine down with steel wool
     
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  5. Lee C.

    Lee C. Supporter Supporter

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    Wow! That is a sweet lil knife right there! Really cool design!
     
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  6. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    Yeah, nice work!
     
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  7. dirt7

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    IMG_20190112_130839.jpg

    I ended up wrapping this again, staining the sinew and using tung oil to seal it. I'm curious to see how well it holds up with use. Thanks for the input guys!
     
  8. LazyPK

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    I normally just use beeswax. Cool knife :dblthumb:
     
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  9. Desert Drifter

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    Hide glue along with rawhide and sinew was the mountain mans Kydex.

    frankenhawken 002.JPG

    I think you can find hide glue granules at wood working stores and on line. You mix the glue granules with water and heat it over low heat. The sinew should be a little damp. Apply with a popsicle stick or stiff artist brush. When the hide glue and sinew dry it shrinks and becomes incredibly tight and rugged hard. I've never worried about rain or snow. It would take a deluge of a storm to soften it up. If it did it would just dry hard again. If you want to make it water proof shellac or bees wax will work.

    'dirf
     
  10. JW_Halverson

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    If you don't want to order several ounces of the yellow/golden 3rd rate hide glue when all you need is about half a teaspoon for a job like this, go to the grocery store and purchase the highest grade hide glue available...Knox unflavored gelatin.
     
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  11. Barry J

    Barry J Scout

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    Thank you for the info!
     
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  12. Barry J

    Barry J Scout

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    Thank you! Will it work just as well on artificial senew? And do you just guess at how much water to add?
     
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  13. USMCPOP

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    From Frank Ford's site. While it's about instruments and repair, he also has some good stuff about machining and home shop tech. http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/hstpages.html.

    Hide glue: http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Data/Materials/hideglue.html

    Gelatin glue: http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/TipsTricks/KitchenGlue/kitchenglue.html Gelatin takes a bit more water.

    Some say the gelatin in NOT hide glue, but bone glue. https://www.talkbass.com/threads/knox-gelatin-as-glue.105711/

    Hide glue info & source: https://bjornhideglue.com/
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  14. JW_Halverson

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    It will NOT work on artificial sinew. That stuff is made of polypropylene and or nylon. Neither is very hydroscopic and they artificial sinew is heavily impregnated with wax. I had to make up a hundred movie prop arrows that looked relatively accurate historically in the camera, so I used artificial sinew over the fletchings of turkey wing feathers. I sealed it with superglue. The superglue dissolves and consumes the wax, binds into the fiber.

    Hide glue, bone glue, for most all purposes is exactly the same thing....protein colloid made from the hydrolysis of collagen. Different types of collagen glues have different properties that will work for better or worse in certain conditions. The one thing NONE of them is good at doing is holding things together in the presence of water. It will suck water vapor from the air to re-wet the proteins. Best to find something else to seal the sinew and hide glue wrap. Often tree resins were used, Plains tribes also used juice from pulped prickly pear. Once that stuff dries, it makes a pretty decent waterproofing for rawhide and other animal based materials.
     
  15. Barry J

    Barry J Scout

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    Thank you for the explanation! What you say makes sense. I appreciate you taking the time to write this.
     
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  16. Sticks N' Stones

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    I'd normally use some high quality pitch (not hastily cooked) but another alternative is a few coats of outdoor poly (I did this on my sinew backed bow, it's glossy, but repels water well).
     
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