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Researching wood for self bow (Read 7881 times)
Fritz_the_Cat
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Researching wood for self bow
Jan 1st, 2006 at 10:43am
 
I've never made a self bow except for a "twig bow" that didn't work very well years back . I plan on harvesting my own wood up in northern Michigan near Alpena (45 degree Latitude) . Anyone know a good site to indentify wood by its bark ? I might be able to get some white Ash . I have tons of red Oak . Has anyone ever used Beech? Tongue
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Lo there do I see my Father , Lo there do I see my Mother , and my Sisters and my Brothers, Lo there do I see a line of my people back to the beginning, Lo they do call to me they bid me to take my place among them in the halls of Vahalla where the brave may live forever
 
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Hellfire
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #1 - Jan 1st, 2006 at 5:27pm
 
Wood that will work for a bow:


red cedar, mulberry, red oak, white oak, black oak, black ash, white ash, ironwood, hackberry, elm, beech, osage, yew, cascara, vine maple, hard maple, bl maple, black locust, honey locust, juniper, hickory, chokecherry, black cherry, pin cherry, plum... many others.


Basically, if the wood is above 39 lbs. to the cubic foot, or .5 specific gravity, then it will work for a bow.




Need any more details on making a bow just ask. such as..

how wide?
how long?
poundage?
tillering?
stiff handle/bendy handle?
sinewed?
recurved?
setback?
ect, ect..

websites for bows:

b16.ezboard.com/bpaleoplanet69529

www.stickbow.com- g2 leatherwall


Suggest you go to paleoplanet, and read up the archives, particularly the Archery resource center, it has very good articles for beginning bowyers.

If you need a pic of a very basic bow I just made, just ask, its made of a red oak 1by2by6'.

Hope this helps.



edit:

correct tiller, or bend, for a bow.
...

diagram for sudbury bow:

...

pic of red oak tree

...

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Hellfire
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #2 - Jan 1st, 2006 at 5:33pm
 
also, if you have an account at Amazon dot com, then look up

traditional bowyers bibles, vol I, II, and III.

I suggest you get them all, if you are serious into making bows.


If you have a bookstore nearby, maybe they could order it for you, then it would probably be cheaper then amazon.


also- a good website for begginners

www.primitiveways.com

look up the topic "Sapling Bow". Ought to help a lot.
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Fritz_the_Cat
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #3 - Jan 1st, 2006 at 5:34pm
 
I'll look up the websites . Thanks . I'm a bit concerned about cutting a piece out of season . Most sources say to cut during the winter and I won't be able to visit my land until spring  . My 4 wheel drive Jeep is kaput .

If I can't find any White Ash on my property I'll settle for Red Oak . I've never heard anyone making a bow out of Beech . It seems to be a tuff wood and it is "springy"

I'm a bit in awe how bow makers split their wood so cleanly. I've seen some pictures and the staves look perfect . Did you write the post on a red Oak bow made out of a klin dried board ? Cheesy
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Lo there do I see my Father , Lo there do I see my Mother , and my Sisters and my Brothers, Lo there do I see a line of my people back to the beginning, Lo they do call to me they bid me to take my place among them in the halls of Vahalla where the brave may live forever
 
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Hellfire
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #4 - Jan 1st, 2006 at 5:39pm
 



It is actually best to cut the wood in spring, because the bark is green and will peel directly off the log. They say that the wood is full of sap in the spring, but it doesnt matter, because even in the dead of winter, when the wood has no sap, it is the exact same moisture content as it is in the spring.

The sources that you refer to say to cut wood in the winter because the lumber companies seem to prefer winter cut wood, that it seems to "take to the kiln" a little easier. Meaning it wont check as badly when they kiln dry it.


Did you write the post on a red Oak bow made out of a klin dried board ? Cheesy [/quote]

May have been someone else. I have a nice red oak board bow, I may post it. Its about 55lb at 28", about 1" of set. Its a nice bow.
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Douglas_The_Black
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #5 - Jan 1st, 2006 at 6:28pm
 
Im always amazed at how you get such great staves too. my staves always end up so crappy looking Smiley
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drum_slinger
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #6 - Jan 1st, 2006 at 7:14pm
 
Go to Tradgang.com, They are a completely primitive bow site, and if you put up a post for help, I just about garuntee you will get at least one piece of usful advice, but will probably get much more. There are a lot bowyers that post there that are very experianced, so listen to their advice.
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BrianS
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #7 - Jan 1st, 2006 at 11:02pm
 
Nice bow.  Interesting organization clutter mess!!  Wink  Looks like my basement.
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Hellfire
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #8 - Jan 2nd, 2006 at 9:34am
 
Quote:
Im always amazed at how you get such great staves too. my staves always end up so crappy looking Smiley



What kind of wood do you split into staves. Some wood splits much more cleanly than others. Ash will split cleanly enough to use the split side as the back of the bow. Osage and elm will not split very cleanly, often very stringy. I've come up with some good ways to split hard-to-split wood like elm. Such as hammering a wedge in the top, and cutting out the split while it splits.
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Fritz_the_Cat
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #9 - Jan 2nd, 2006 at 11:24am
 
I'm going to try to find a sutible tree this weekend . I'd like to make two bows.  One for actual use around 50 lbs. Is that enough for Blackbear ? The second one I like to try an 80 pounder . Years back I saw a 80 lb self bow and it was a beauty . I don't think I could hunt with it but for a wall hanger it would look cool .

As for length my hunting bow what would you guys (and gals) suggest ? I have plenty of sites to shoot from so lenght would not be a problem . I'm going to cut the staves just over 72" and I'll have plenty of time to figure out the dimensions. Smiley
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Lo there do I see my Father , Lo there do I see my Mother , and my Sisters and my Brothers, Lo there do I see a line of my people back to the beginning, Lo they do call to me they bid me to take my place among them in the halls of Vahalla where the brave may live forever
 
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Hellfire
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #10 - Jan 2nd, 2006 at 4:41pm
 
Quote:
As for length my hunting bow what would you guys (and gals) suggest ? I have plenty of sites to shoot from so lenght would not be a problem . I'm going to cut the staves just over 72" and I'll have plenty of time to figure out the dimensions. Smiley




Need any help with dimensions just ask.
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Hellfire
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Re: Researching wood for self bow
Reply #11 - Jan 8th, 2006 at 1:54pm
 
Ok, here is some good bow wood. In this pic, there are some elm staves and two plum staves to the far right. The longer elm staves will make 5/8ths 50lb longbows, the shorter ones flatbows, and a really short stave (because of a knot), a sinewed bow.

...
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