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Wood (Read 2772 times)
english
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Wood
Nov 13th, 2004 at 5:11am
 
Here in England, I find the most useful trees to be birch, hazel, willow and ash.  Birch has birch bark, (the wood is also very useful stuff), birch sap...  Hazel makes good baskets, short spears, arrows.  Willow makes good fire drill hearths/drills, good bark cordage, and a few other things, like medicine, bandages, &c.  Ash is a fantastic wood: very hard and tough, and so makes great spears, throwing sticks, bows and just miscellaneous bits and pieces that require hardness.  Also, makes good arrows and even arrowheads.  I was wondering if anyone knows any uses of these or any other woods which I haven't listed.  I don't know much about American woods like hickory - how are these used?
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Matt_C
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Re: Wood
Reply #1 - Nov 13th, 2004 at 10:01am
 
Willow has medicinal properties, and if you find a nice piece, or even a large straight bark covered root, you can make a pretty good wooden weapon.
Hazel is a very pretty wood, and also quite hard, good for musical instruments (but I'd prefer using pearwood).
Yew is poisonous, so it must have some use in that context, it's also meant to be a good carving wood. Red and white oak are commonly used for making bokkens and bo/hanbo. Hmmm, don't know many more, really.
Oh, and lets not forget the humble stinging nettle! (not a tree, but still). You can boil it and then drink the tea, it helps your body absorb calcium. You can make quite nice chordage out of it (I want to make a nettle sling, that'd be one braggable little thing!).
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english
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Re: Wood
Reply #2 - Nov 13th, 2004 at 11:26am
 
I've made a nettle sling.  It isn't great, because first of all, I used dead nettles, too late in the season.  So it sucks.  I didn't bother with retting, or any complex processes.  I'm going to try and make another some time.  Now is the time to do it, I guess, but I am overloaded with college work.
  Willow is really too weak for weaponry.  Yew sap could probably be used as an arrowhead poison.  But I hate the actual wood.  It looks nice, sure, but it's horrible wood to carve.
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Douglas
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Re: Wood
Reply #3 - Nov 13th, 2004 at 11:52am
 
I wish we had more hazel in the states - it's a very useful plants, the nuts are pretty tasty.
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english
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Re: Wood
Reply #4 - Nov 13th, 2004 at 12:33pm
 
Yeah, it is useful.  Apparently the Powhatan made bows from Witch Hazel, the American relative.  Hazel is probably the most common tree/shrub in England, at least in the south.  The only problem the wood has is that it splits more easily than most woods, but that can be an advantage, and isn't usually a problem if you can work wood well.
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Re: Wood
Reply #5 - Nov 14th, 2004 at 5:57pm
 
Knife handles. The nordic knives uses curvy birch for some of there handles, and i don't see why you couldn't use any of those woods for handles.
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english
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Re: Wood
Reply #6 - Nov 15th, 2004 at 2:38pm
 
Ash is probably the best wood for knife handles.  Or some other hard woods.  Ash has such a straight grain though, so perfect for tool handles.  I think Oetzi had a knife handle of ash.
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Re: Wood
Reply #7 - Nov 15th, 2004 at 4:03pm
 
The thing about knife and sword handles is that the wood must not pulp under torque (like most pine type wood will). Curly maple and yew make a good handle, so does oak and hazel...rattan and pine eventually give you a floating tang :/.
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Re: Wood
Reply #8 - Nov 15th, 2004 at 9:47pm
 
Ash seams to me to be the best all round wood there is. I have a knife with a ash handle and it is a good handle.
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Re: Wood
Reply #9 - Nov 16th, 2004 at 10:30am
 
Ash is a little more difficult to carve than most woods (nowhere near as hard to carve as beech, which is very fine grain, or yew, which is just curvy and unpredictable).  But it is very useful.
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Re: Wood
Reply #10 - Nov 16th, 2004 at 10:58am
 
It depends what you want to make. For instance, if you were making a wheel, you might make the hub out of elm, because it doesn't split, the spokes out of ash because they are strong but flexible, and oak because it's simply tough.
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