Author Topic: Chinese Elm?  (Read 709 times)

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Offline paulc

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Chinese Elm?
« on: October 10, 2021, 01:35:52 pm »
Anyone worked w it? It is all over Savannah and I got a couple pieces now drying. I assume if the back has been violated its gotta be backed? I've mostly had success w hickory that I don't back...

Thanks, Paul

Offline bassman211

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2021, 01:49:51 pm »
I could be wrong , but I think Badger said it was very good wood for bows. I know American Elm  can make a good bow with the right piece of wood, and heat treat.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2021, 01:52:20 pm »
Seems like I've read that Chinese elm isn't a good bow wood unlike other elms. I've never used Chinese elm but have used red and and winged elm, both very good bow woods IMO.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline PatM

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2021, 05:12:01 pm »
True Chinese Elm is likely the best of all Elms. That's the stuff Badger was talking about.  The type  more commonly called Chinese Elm is actually Siberian Elm. Bowyers have varied opinions on it.

Offline paulc

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2021, 06:14:17 pm »
Based on Wikipedia photos I've got Chinese elm...Paul

Offline Hamish

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2021, 06:21:29 pm »
Guys have made 100lbs warbows from Chinese elm. Not sure if they needed a good heat treat or not.

Offline bassman211

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2021, 06:55:32 pm »
Though I will never get my hands on either  it is nice to learn facts like that.

Offline jeffp51

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2021, 01:22:14 pm »
Most of the stuff in the US is Siberian elm.  I have made several broken bows out of if, but I think the tree had fungus.  I have also made one really, really good bow out of siberian elm. It can make a really good bow if you get a good piece of wood.

Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2021, 10:37:02 am »
Sounds like you did your research and it is Chinese. A lot of people get Chinese and Siberian mixed up but it's pretty easy to tell them apart by the bark. I have not tried Chinese elm but Siberian elm is one of my favorite woods. It smells wonderful working it and makes a great, fast bow. Small diameter trees are best to take advantage of the stronger in tension elm. I remove the bark and use the unbroken sapwood ring under the bark.

Offline jeffp51

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2021, 11:23:45 am »
Chuck it's interesting you say it smells good.  The stuff I had smelled like a wet gym sock.  Maybe the least pleasant smelling wood I have worked with.  That might be why that particular stave didn't hold up.

Offline Hamish

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2021, 07:26:53 pm »

Wet elm usually has an earthy smell. I have heard it described as smelling like "cow shit".
I never noticed it with small saplings or branches, but have from large sections from big trunks. Maybe it has more to do with the heartwood?

Offline bassman211

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2021, 09:14:14 pm »
Chuck says it smells wonderful, Jeff wet gym sock,Hamish cow shit. Quite a deviation in people's nasal membranes. Got a big chuckle out of  the Hamish description.

Offline loefflerchuck

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2021, 09:48:10 pm »
Maybe itís like cilantro, love it or hate it. Other people have commented on the pleasant smell of Siberian elm saplings, specially when heat treating. I may be in the minority or it may be a young or mature tree thing. Anyone else wanna give an opinion on Siberian elm musk?

Offline PatM

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2021, 10:19:05 pm »
It also depends where it's growing and just the individual tree.  I used to cut Elm from a particular swampy area and some of it smelled terrible and other trees smelled pleasant.

 In another area all of it smelled fine and great when heat treated.

Offline Selfbowman

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Re: Chinese Elm?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2021, 11:08:09 am »
Thatís some funny sh..., there.
Well I'll say!!  Osage is king!!