Author Topic: holly or apple as core?  (Read 449 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline stuckinthemud

  • Member
  • Posts: 1039
holly or apple as core?
« on: September 22, 2017, 05:49:47 am »
I just got back from cycling my log-pile and found a few staves I'd completely forgotten about.  One is a holly stick, averaging 35cm diameter, oval in cross-section, with several clean sections 40cm long. I'm sure they'd make a 5-piece magyar, any thoughts on holly as a core-wood - interlocking grain, dense, takes glue well and responds well to heat correction; roughly about as good as hazel for performance in a self-bow.

or.

The other is a beautiful apple stave, clean, 70" long, 4" average diameter.  Would make two fabulous long bows, but, could also make several cores.

What would you do?

Offline mikekeswick

  • Member
  • Posts: 902
Re: holly or apple as core?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 11:37:44 pm »
Maple :)
Apple is pretty dense and is very prone to checking.... Holly is no good at all.

Offline stuckinthemud

  • Member
  • Posts: 1039
Re: holly or apple as core?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 03:20:53 am »
Turns out their both also prone to really, really, tiny pin knots that are not at all visible until the bark has been carefully cleaned off, and the blank has been cut to length and planed down >:(

Oh well, going to have to go fell that field maple I marked back in the summer.  Really wish I was brave enough to run a trial on some hazel

Offline mikekeswick

  • Member
  • Posts: 902
Re: holly or apple as core?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 04:39:53 am »
Yes even a hint of a pin knot is no good.
It is possible to find good hard maple in the hardwood suppliers. Yandles will send orders in the post and are pretty good at selecting what you ask for as long as you specify perfect straight grain,flat sawn boards. If you aren't planning to bend the core into sharp bends there is nothing wrong  with using boards. Finding good enough wood in our climate is.....interesting. Everything wants to sprout branches!
I made a bow with maple from a board that has shot many thousands of shots and is in tip top condition. I've also used ash for a core on a Magyar inspired bow and that is holding up very well. Ash is probably one of the easiest woods to find with flawless clean wood. I've read about people using it quarter sawn to get around the earlywood problem but mine was flat sawn. Ash is also one of our best steam bending woods and will bend to any shape. I have two sets of cores for Turkish bows bent and ready to go but haven't got around to prepping any horns for them yet.

Offline stuckinthemud

  • Member
  • Posts: 1039
Re: holly or apple as core?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 12:46:36 am »
Your right about finding timber in this country, I spend longer looking for suitable staves than I do working with them, but then at least the dog gets plenty of exercise!  There are a few suppliers I like to use, Interesting Timbers is excellent, and I agree that Yandles are also very very good, although I thought their stock was kiln dried?  I have to confess, I am not comfortable with letting other people choose my timber, I've been let down far too many times.   

Interesting that ash works well as in theory it probably shouldn't.  Any thoughts on acer pseudoplantus (English Sycamore) - its classed as a hard maple, not quite as hard as field maple, but in theory it should be better than ash, should't it?

Offline mikekeswick

  • Member
  • Posts: 902
Re: holly or apple as core?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2017, 11:10:32 pm »
As I said if you aren't bending it into an extreme shape it doesn't matter if it is kiln dried. Kiln dried wood is still air dried. The only thing against ring porous woods is the 'difficultly' of  grooving them. Again you don't need Turkish style grooves the surfaces can just be roughened with a hacksaw blade for example.
The type of wood doesn't matter as long as it conforms to the requirements of accepting glue well and isn't too dense. I think our sycamore is a little too weak/brash.
I know all too well what wood suppliers are like...that is why I mentioned one that is good IF you stress how perfect the wood needs to be.