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'Bone Hardening' your ramrod

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There was an interesting question over on the I love muzzleloading site. The question was about do folks 'bone harden' their ramrods. I'd bet 90% of the folks on this list have no clue what that is about the same as using a rotary dial phone to make calls or listening to music on an 8 track tape.. I have done that in the past but haven't needed to do it for years as I haven't needed a new ramrod. I also did this to all my cedar arrows. Of course that was long before anyone ever thought of inventing a compound bow.
Ohio Rusty ><>
 
There was an interesting question over on the I love muzzleloading site. The question was about do folks 'bone harden' their ramrods. I'd bet 90% of the folks on this list have no clue what that is about the same as using a rotary dial phone to make calls or listening to music on an 8 track tape.. I have done that in the past but haven't needed to do it for years as I haven't needed a new ramrod. I also did this to all my cedar arrows. Of course that was long before anyone ever thought of inventing a compound bow.
Ohio Rusty ><>
Not 100% sure it helped extend the life of ramrods, but was taught do it so the surface hardness of the wood was improved. Same principle and process applied to toughen up baseball bats surfaces. Does it really help or just tradition? Doesn’t hurt things so why not? Open debate….. Back to ramrods, there are the kerosene and coal tar soaks. Found those to make for a smelly sticky mess. But that didn’t stop some.
 
Open debate….. Back to ramrods, there are the kerosene and coal tar soaks. Found those to make for a smelly sticky mess. But that didn’t stop some.
You betcha, open debate. :oops: This is an old saw/myth. The soaking in kero thing might make the rod more flexy while the kero is still wet but when it dries you only have a standard but stinky rod. I've done it and tried it many times. I usually rubbed my hickory rods with lemon oil to keep the surface from drying out. A benefit? I dunno but I did it.
 
All human endeavors old wife's tales attached to them, once in place they persist for generations, people swear by them and even get upset if you try to debunk their nonsense.

SPOCK.JPG


Actually the fun is trying to find out the root cause for the wives' tale. Just because somebody proclaims a myth "debunked" doesn't mean it has been.



For example "seasoning a barrel" doesn't work with the steel we use today, but if you have an almost iron, hand forged barrel, does it work then, because that's when the myth started?

Example:

A long time ago, and this is documented, folks in some areas thought that well water was bad for you, while drinking beer was better. THEN recently in this century, some very unscholarly (imho-hbc) writers proclaimed this a debunked myth because they claimed folks drank water and thus voila..., 🙄

NOT understanding that when this teaching started, wells were ground water wells, and if the well was lower than the barn waste dung heap, or the outhouse etc......

The beer they drank instead of water was small beer, which normally has 2% or less alcohol by volume, plus B vitamins from yeast still present, so became a safe water source... they cooked with it as well.....

They IGNORE the fact that even into the 19th century Typhoid, Cholera, and Diphtheria epidemics broke out in cities like London, spread by community water sources,

Example:

Bats are evil, or evil creatures become bats, and travel by the light of the full moon. No, bats travel every night, but they may have been considered evil as rabies may be carried by bats, and the folks who started the myth could SEE the bats flying when the moon was almost full or full. Further, folks around a blazing open fire could see bats overhead in the edge of the firelight, the bats being attracted to the bugs who were attracted by the fire's light, but the bugs didn't come too close due to the smoke.


SO just be careful when you think a "myth" has been debunked. FIRST find out the actual myth as it was first voiced, for A LOT of writers in the 20th and 21st centuries think that because people think a saying is a wives' tale or a myth, they can bung-it-up wrong, and that isn't a problem. THEN try to see what the folks were getting at.



LD
 
It wont make any difference on the ram rods strength or durability. But, just like many things regarding primitive hobbies like muzz shooting and self bows, if WE feel better doing it; then by all means do it. Individual confidence is all that matters.
I always tell new bp shooters that the great thing about this hobby is that you can do things in many different ways to achieve the result. There really isn’t a wrong way as long as you use Safety first and last.
 
Won't say it hardens or strengthen the ramrod in whole but it does smooth and harden the surface which helps resists gouging and chipping which can extend the life of some ramrods. And not all ramrods, some are plenty smooth and hard and seem to resist damage but others just seem to be a magnet for gouging/chipping, will assume softer/less dense wood, where hardening does seem to help.
 
Plus it gives a person something to do when there is nothing much else to do. Many folks these days can't even imagine having nothing to do they're so occupied with their devices, like us on the forum right now. I could be out in my shop as I write this boning a ramrod, but here I sit. 50 or so years ago we found constructive things to do to occupy our time. Not that I mind sitting here looking at the laptop and engaging in learned conversations.
 
There was an interesting question over on the I love muzzleloading site. The question was about do folks 'bone harden' their ramrods. I'd bet 90% of the folks on this list have no clue what that is about the same as using a rotary dial phone to make calls or listening to music on an 8 track tape.. I have done that in the past but haven't needed to do it for years as I haven't needed a new ramrod. I also did this to all my cedar arrows. Of course that was long before anyone ever thought of inventing a compound bow.
Ohio Rusty ><>
"The question was about do folks 'bone harden' their ramrods. I'd bet 90% of the folks on this list have no clue....."

Cialis or Viagra are very helpful......a friend told me cough cough....snort.
 
It is amazing what I learn here from you all. So I was piddling in my gun shed today and this thread came to mind. I went and grabbed a set of antlers from the bone bucket and sawed one off and went to town on a T/C Renegade ram rod. Now I had already sanded this thing to 500 but the burnishing with the antler gave the wood a whole new super smooth and and hard texture. I was amazed. About the time I finished the ram rod, the stain dried on a grip I'm doing for a Stainless unmentionable and another post from this thread came to mind. So I went to town on one side of it. Again I was taken back by the result. I took a pic of the side I burnished and the side that was just the stain dried. Again this grip was sanded to 500 then whiskered 3 times. This is simply amazing to me. My only question is, now that I've burnished this grip and smashed and closed the pores so to speak, will it still take some oil to finish?
KIMG0869-01-BURST1000869-COVER.jpg
KIMG0871-02-BURST1000871.jpg
 
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