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Teak gun - laminate or not?

KA68

New Member
May 31, 2005
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0
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I've just come back from my local timber supplier with a beautiful piece of teak: 1.7m x 50mm x 50mm, straight & quarter sawn. I plan to make a 1.2m single rubber speargun for local fishing in Sydney, Australia.

I am trying to decide whether I need to laminate the teak or not. Conventional wisdom suggests that laminating is essential, but the following builder says that laminating is not required:

http://www.collinsspearguns.com/Products/ReefRange/reefrange.html

If possible, I'd prefer not to laminate to keep the construction as simple as possible.

Has anyone had any bad experiences with single piece teak spearguns?

R
 

socalspearo

New Member
Nov 16, 2005
5
0
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It is my understanding that laminating is done to prevent any warping of the barrell over time. As long as the piece of teak you are using has been properly aged, then cut straight, you should have no problem. You might want to check internet custom spearguns for the details (http://ic_spearguns.tripod.com/) , but basically the gun should be cut to within 1/8" of the size you want the barrell (in all dimensions) then stored vertically for a MINIMUM of 6 weeks. Aging for 2-12 months is better. Commercial gunmakers generally laminate to avoid this lengthy aging process. This allows any natural curvature to come out and then the barrell can be cut straight and to the desired dimensions.

Good luck and please post pics of your progress!
Logan
 

jimdoe2you

freediver/spearo/comedian
I don't know too much about building guns, but A.B. Biller and JBL are two American companies that build teak guns out of single pieces of teak. I have one that's a few years old and I have friends that have guns that are more than ten years old that are as strong now as they were when they were new.

Jim
 

stoneshot

Custom Speargun Builder
Aug 20, 2005
49
2
0
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Bradenton/Tampa
Wood, Any wood is just that, it is inherently prone to warping,cracking, and waning. The straighter the grain the less prone it is to warping. I have gotten to where I can look at a board and tell if it is going to go south on me or not. To be honest the first dozen or so guns that I built were made of heart pine that I had recovered from a remodeling job in Williamsburg, Va. As far as I know the guns are still being used to slay huge catfish in the lakes and rivers of Arkansas. They were built of a single board of heart pine. But, those boards also were cut over a hundred years ago and had already waned or twisted all that they were going to, given the little that I trimmed off of them to make a gun. Wood is a strange enitity indeed, because the more you cut from a board the more that it generally wants to grow back to its general form(tubular). That is why most people lam. thier guns. because we as people are impatient, and it will take forver to find that perfect board that once cut does not wane, or warp. When you laminate two or more pieces together, you have different forces working against each other and kinda of equalizes the two sides. The reason that Collins says that, is because the price of Teak is so high and laminating is the best method to make use of the resources available. A speargun can be made either way, but the best and most economical method to use a lamination method.

Btw, It has been my experience that almost ANY wood can make an acceptable speargun. It all depends on the properties that you want in a speargun. Teak can last for years without proper care so as rubbing in some oil every couple of years. That is not to say that you should mistreat a teak gun by letting it go, and let the grain of the wood rise, this will affect your shots and your gun will be harder to take care of after that. There are many different woods out there that make great speargun woods such as: Jatoba, Jarrah, Bocote, and many others. The gun I use everyday is made of Ash, and is over 9 years old and has probably killed more fish than has ever been posted on this forum. It has been 60' deep in the Arkansas river killing 80 lb flathead catfish and in the gulf shooting snappers from 20' away. The gun has bounced around the granite rocks that face Murrey lock & Dam in Little Rock and been dropped from a boat over some sunken tanks in the Panhandle of Florida. I have never had to refinsih it or even replace the trigger. It has had the same Sea hornet trigger since I built it, the trigger has never failed even though I have had two 3/4" bands on it before. I wouldn't want to put that much pressure on it everyday, usually I use just one 5/8" 24"(soaked) band stretching the whole 48" to the first notch.

So, don't close your mind to different woods. They can be rewarding!
 

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metelin

Member
May 1, 2004
80
9
8
NorCal/Greece
It's simple, how long do you want to wait before you build you gun? If you want to build it soon, and soon is a relative term, you should laminate and the more laminates the better. If your laminates are 1/4" thick or less you can start building in a couple of months.

If you don't laminate, your gun is going to warp, it doesn't make sense to go through all the work to build your gun only to have it warp on you at some point in the future.

I generally cut my pieces about 1/4" thick, let them sit for a month to dry out then I glue the pieces together making sure to alternate the wood grain and I let the block sit for another month. At this point I mill the block so it's square but not to it's final dimentions. Finally I glue another piece on the bottom in a inverted "T" configuration. If the final dimension are going to be 1 1/2''w x 1 1/2"h the final piece I glue on the bottom is about 3/8" thick by a 1 1/2" in width.

I know this sounds like a pain in the a** but you will be happier in the end.
Good luck and send us pics when your done.

Steve
 

metelin

Member
May 1, 2004
80
9
8
NorCal/Greece
after you laminate enough pieces to get the width you want your gun to be, you laminate one more on the bottom to get the proper hight. wood warps after you cut it, so by laminating and opposing the wood grain you create opposite force in the block that hopefully counter each-other to keep the gun straight, otherwise you have to wait a long time for the wood to stabilize before you make your gun.
thanks for the kind words.

steve
 

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KA68

New Member
May 31, 2005
4
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It's been about 2 months since I started this thread. Based on the advice I recieved here, I decided to store the piece of teak to see if it would warp, before I made the gun.

Today I had a good look at the teak - it has warped slightly. No surpirses given the earlier feedback. The timber has a warp of about 2 or 3 mm in one axis (measured as the deflection of the timber at the mid point of its length, from a straight edge held to the ends of the timber).

At this stage, I plan to measure and note the exact amount of deflection of the timber in as much detail as possible. I will then store the timber in a dry place for further curing. After 2 months or so, I will measure the deflection to see if it has changed. At that point, if the warping has not changed, I will make the speargun. If it continues to warp, I will give it some more time.

Given that the timber has some warping, how can I re-cut it so that I start with a straight piece? I'd like to use a router to cut the channel etc, running off the side of the timber.

Thanks again for everyone's feedback.

R
 

metelin

Member
May 1, 2004
80
9
8
NorCal/Greece
KA68 said:
Given that the timber has some warping, how can I re-cut it so that I start with a straight piece? I'd like to use a router to cut the channel etc, running off the side of the timber.
R
You could try running it through the router on one side and then recheck it but I would do it on a table saw with a long fence.
Good luck.

Steve
 

stoneshot

Custom Speargun Builder
Aug 20, 2005
49
2
0
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Bradenton/Tampa
This may help you out better than I could explain...





I have used this method for years...building furniture......When I build a gun...I try to take as little as possible at a time....the more you take off in one shot the more the wood wants to twist,wand, and bow.
 

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Adammoore

Member
Jan 25, 2012
19
0
11
Egypt
So allow me to ask I built a gun once I let the laminates stay for a month it all wrap so when I put the pieces all together it resulted in gaps between the wood which I had to fill with epoxy , so now that am planning to build another what shall I do shall I glue them straight after the cut then let the blank to age or shall I let them age as thin laminates then glue but then agan the same problem or shall I tie the laminates to a straight edge and ket them laminate may that reduce the twist and tension comes out longitudinal maybe pleas advise this Is driving me crazy !!!
 

s14slide

New Member
Jun 20, 2013
7
0
0
Running Springs
I'm no expert here, but I believe the answer would be to let the wood dry as thin laminates. Once its done warping, replane then to get them four square. That's squared on 4 sides. Then you can glue all of the pieces together under "a bunch" of clamps, alternating the grain. By doing that, you minimize any additional warping that the wood may do, get rid of the gaps between the pieces of wood thus providing for a stronger bond. The less space you need to fill with glue, the stronger the bond will be. This will also help prevent warping.
 

Adammoore

Member
Jan 25, 2012
19
0
11
Egypt
Yeah but the dimension is considered a problem here my last piece of wood was about 5 cm height * 1 cm width and a 160 cm lenght when it wrap imagine the 1 cm thickness to plane it again it would end up less and less and for the width too it warped in all dimension width and hight so shall I cut the laminate in a bigger dimension to be able to plan it again later , this is like PIA and it's the only thing that is delaying me from my 2nd build :(
 

foxfish

Silver Smoker
Staff member
Team Leader
Dec 31, 2005
12,871
2,916
478
59
Guernsey, Channel Islands
There are many ways to build a laminated gun.... if you have a seasoned piece of teak that you can cut this into three (or more) laminates.
I would cut the strips & just spin the middle laminate around & glue them up.
Clamp the pieces to a solid straight edge, timber or metal, & leave to cure for 72 hours (assuming you are using epoxy).
I am a fan of mutable laminates & often use 20 or even more to get a beautiful effect but strong result!
 
Reactions: portinfer

Adammoore

Member
Jan 25, 2012
19
0
11
Egypt
Hey fox thanks for the tip here so u suggest that I cut and glue straight forward then let the whole stock age did I get that right ? I don't get the part of 20 u mean u use 20 what laminates !!!
 

scallywag

Glass half full
Oct 7, 2010
380
54
68
st austell cornwall
I know its going off topic and I apologize in advance but my appetite is well and truly whetted. I've spent some time recently making a bush craft knife for a canoeing trip to Norway but my mind is now back on making guns. As is my thrifty nature and having been inspired by Foxfishes photos, I'm going to make a multi laminate leftovers gun! (By the way the knife is made from an old file)
 

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