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Rawhide Backing


Rawhide for Backing - Pair
Approximately 2 1⁄4”x 34” to 36’”.

Cut for the perfect thickness - two strips per package.

How to Install Snake Skin or Rawhide Backing

By: Mike Yancey

First clean back of bow good with alcohol and let dry then apply two coats of thinned down Titebond II or 3 glue and water, allowing to dry between coats. Next, soak snake or rawhide in water for about 5 minutes for snakes and about an hour for rawhide. After the backing is soaked in the water take it out and clean the flesh side with a dull knife to remove any tissue that might be on the flesh side.

Once cleaned apply straight glue to the flesh side of the backing and lay on the back of the bow. For snakes you want to get the pattern the way that you want it going down the limb, you have plenty of time to move it where you want. For snakes, I put the head end of the snakeskin in the center of the handle and the tail end at the end of the bow. Now whether its snake or rawhide begins working the air bubbles out from under the hide working from handle to bow tip.

On recurve bows and snake backing it is best to carefully wrap the limb with an ace bandage also you must wrap a rawhide backing. When wrapping make sure that you are not moving the snakeskin or the rawhide backing around on the limb. You want to work down the limb, removing air bubbles as you go and making sure that the hide stays in the center of the limb.

Once you have completed the first limb do the other the same way.

On snake backing I like to give the skin an hour or so to dry then check for any air under the skin, you can feel it with your fingers as you run down the back of the bow going from head to tail. Same on rawhide but give it a couple of hours then carefully remove the ace bandage and look and feel for air pockets.

If there are air pockets all you have to do is wipe the bubble towards the side of the bow or if the sides have dried you can take a needle or a razor blade and poke a smack hole and release the air, once the hide dries you won’t see the hole.

I like to give snake skins a couple of days to dry before removing the scales, and then I wipe them off with steel wool, wiping from head to tail. If it’s a glass bow you can sand off the excess skin or use a fine file on the edge of the bow. If you are backing a selfbow I trim the skins as soon as I put them on, while they are still wet.

Rawhide backing I give a couple of days to dry then rasp off with a fine rasp or file at the edge of the bow or you can overlap it if you like. The main thing to remember here is if you are backing a selfbow you need to give the bow plenty of time to dry out before stringing and sealing the bow.

You have added a wet hide to a dry bow; the bow will pull all of the moisture from the skin, pulling all that moisture into the bow. Your bow will take a set and lose cast if you don’t allow time for it to dry back out.

Once dry and the bow cleaned up you can now seal with whatever type of sealer you like and that’s all there is to it.

Note: All wild animal parts sold are legally taken in Arkansas or purchased from legal dealers in other states. No wild animal parts will be sold or shipped out of the United States. Before purchasing any wild animal parts make sure that is legal for you to purchase and possess such product in your state, county, or city. This is your responsibility and all legal fees or fines will be the responsibility of the purchaser, not Pine Hollow Longbows.