Author Topic: ash bows  (Read 7143 times)

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ash bows
« on: August 11, 2007, 02:20:59 pm »
I've wanted an ash bow since I was a kid.  A logging friend of mine gave me a 14" dia. ash log last Dec.  I cut it to 72" painted the ends & dried it in my shop for 5 mo.  I split it out and made 2 very beautiful 60" bows.  I broke them in properly and to my utter dismay they both busted badly. I have successfully built 30 good bows and I know that I'm not a pro but can someone enlighten me about this ash wood. What went wrong!!! :'(

Offline Coo-wah-chobee

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Re: ash bows
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2007, 02:27:42 pm »
             Neanderthal......btw GREAT handle ! ;D Do ya know what kinda ash it was? There are lots of species and some are not as good as others.................bob

Offline Hillbilly

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Re: ash bows
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2007, 08:48:30 am »
Like Bob said, ash is not ash is not ash. White ash is the best bow wood IMO, especially the Biltmore ash subspecies that grows here. Others, such as green, black, and pumpkin ash seem to be more light and brittle. What design were they? 60" should be fine for a D-bow that bends through the handle, but would be quite short for a full-draw stiff handled bow. My favorite designs for ash are stiff handled flatbows about 66"-68" long, 1 3/4" -2" wide at the fades to midlimb tapering to 3/8" tips, or pyramid type @'-2 1/4" at the fades. Ash also makes a good eastern Woodlands style flat-bellied D-bow. Mid 60's length, about 1 1/4" wide at the handle. Your log could also have had some decay or disease that wasn't immediately noticible. Ash can be pretty variable from tree to tree.
Smoky Mountains, NC

Progress might have been all right once but it's gone on for far too long.

Offline Hrothgar

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Re: ash bows
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2007, 08:05:11 pm »
Neanderthal, I've built 2 pretty nice elbs  using white ash, they were 73 1/2" and 74" both around 50# and 1 flat longbow. White ash needs to be a little over-built, like Hillbilly said, for a 66-68" flat bow make it about 1 3/4 or so at the fades and taper to about 3/8" thickness at the tip. Good luck.
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Offline venisonburger

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Re: ash bows
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2007, 10:03:33 pm »
I have 3 ash bows started, I like it, but to be honest I like working with maple better, ash is tough though, alot of snowshoes were made of it because it bends so well.

Papa Matt

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Horn tips
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2008, 06:06:57 pm »
Anybody can give a basic instruction on how horn tips get carved and put on? Do you make a wedge cut into the horn so that the tip fits inside and then glue it or what?