Author Topic: Tree's For Bow Wood  (Read 3602 times)

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tradrick

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Tree's For Bow Wood
« on: January 14, 2008, 05:21:22 pm »
Can anyone tell me if staves cut from a pecan tree or a silver leaf maple would make good bow wood.I have a buddy that just dropped a huge silver leaf maple and says the pecan trees next.If they do make good bows what method would you use to get them seasoned ready for working.Thanks tradrick

Offline richpierce

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 05:36:31 pm »
Silver maple is pretty worthless for anything.  It's soft, light, weak and doesn't burn long either.  Pecan should be near as good as hickory.

Offline DanaM

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 06:16:03 pm »
I believe Pecan is the weakest of hickories but it should make a bow, just keep it a bit wider and longer.
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Offline Hillbilly

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2008, 06:44:45 pm »
I third the motion. Snatch the pecan and leave the silver maple. Like Dana said, pecan is technically a hickory (in the same genus).
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duffontap

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2008, 06:44:59 pm »
The maple might work as a wide (2") flatbow.  I would try it.  The Pecan should make a great bow.  Keep it wide too. 

       J. D.

Offline DanaM

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2008, 06:47:39 pm »
J.D. silver maple isn't even worth making a fire with ::) completely worthless, its only good trait is that
its very scenic and nice to look at.
"Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things."

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Offline Hillbilly

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 07:01:36 pm »
Most other maples will make a bow, some are excellent. Silver maple and boxelder, though, are awfully brittle, light, and weak- very similar to willow or aspen. Wouldn't say you couldn't make a bow out of it, but it would be awfully iffy. I've got a couple silver maples in my yard, and every time it comes a breeze, the whole yard is full of broken limbs. Like Dana said, you can't hardly even burn the stuff, it's like cardboard.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 07:03:38 pm by Hillbilly »
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tradrick

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2008, 02:02:49 am »
Thanks guys,I'll see if I can get a couple of the pecan logs.Won't cost nothing ,just a little sweat.I had thought I heard pecan was similar to hickory but wanted to be sure.The advice is to make the bow a little wider.How wide?And what about the drying method?Should I split them into staves and shelac both ends?Should I leave the bark on or off?tradrick

Offline richpierce

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2008, 08:08:07 am »
Seal the ends for sure.  I would split into staves and seal the ends, see how many staves you get.  I'd leave most of them seasoning with the bark on over the winter, outside, covered.  The bark sticks pretty well this time of year unlike the growing season, when it should peel easily. 

If you want to get going on a stave, you can debark carefully (you want to preserve the smooth outer wood as the back of your bow), split it down to width, and hatchet it to about the right thickness plus 1/4".  Seal the back (I use Elmer's glue) and let it dry in a garage, unheated building, etc for a couple of weeks while strapped down to a 2x6 so it won't twist.  Then bring it into a partially heated area, then all the way into the house and it can be ready to work pretty quickly this way.

duffontap

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2008, 08:31:14 am »
J.D. silver maple isn't even worth making a fire with ::) completely worthless, its only good trait is that
its very scenic and nice to look at.

We have it around here and it is soft.  I had a couple friends make nice wide flatbows out of some pretty soft Broad-Leaf Maple so it made me curious.  I think I would try it but the Pecan would be an obvious first choice between the two. 

         J. D.

Offline DanaM

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2008, 08:42:10 am »
J.D. I guess it couldn't hurt to try it but I know I don't have enough time to waste on such a marginal wood.
Of course once I retire I will have time to experiment more. ;D
"Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things."

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Offline Hillbilly

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2008, 08:48:18 am »
Some of the soft maples are pretty good wood. I made a decent bow from striped maple(moosewood), and I've seen a couple red maple bows posted on here. OT used to make bows from one of the NW soft  maples. Those are still a lot tougher wood than silver maple, though.
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Offline Pappy

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Re: Tree's For Bow Wood
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2008, 09:53:33 am »
I'm with JD on the Pecan for my first choice of them 2,I have made some out of sugar Maple and hard rock that were fine ,don't know about Silver,ant been that hard up for wood yet.Don't
think it would be to good tho. :)
   Pappy
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