Primitive Archer

Main Discussion Area => English Warbow => Topic started by: stuckinthemud on October 09, 2017, 01:21:37 am

Title: European beech suitable?
Post by: stuckinthemud on October 09, 2017, 01:21:37 am
Hi everyone, just a quick one, following Upstatenybowyer's latest using Fagus Grandifolia, is European Beech, Fagus Sylvatica, useful for UK bowyers?  It is harder, with a higher mor and higher em than FG. 

Figures off wood database
Common Name(s): European Beech.
Scientific Name: Fagus sylvatica.
Distribution: Europe.
Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter.
Janka Hardness: 1,450 lbf (6,460 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 15,970 lbf/in2 (110.1 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,075,000 lbf/in2 (14.31 GPa)
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: Del the cat on October 09, 2017, 05:11:47 am
Never tried it, I know it's hard and heavy, the rest is just hearsay. Maybe make a small try out bow first.
Del
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: stuckinthemud on October 09, 2017, 05:22:23 am
I can't tell you how many perfect beech saplings I've walked past and not cut because of hearsay, but, I think I will cut one and have a go, beech is one of the main forest trees in this valley. Beech, birch, Norwegian maple, sycamore, hazel, then oak are the dominant species, in that order.
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: Del the cat on October 09, 2017, 06:26:42 am
That Norwegian Maple makes a nice primitive  :)
Del
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: stuckinthemud on October 09, 2017, 06:39:54 am
Really? Sound of saw-blade being sharpened....
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: Del the cat on October 09, 2017, 07:21:36 am
Really? Sound of saw-blade being sharpened....
https://bowyersdiary.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/maple-ii-vs-maple-i.html (https://bowyersdiary.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/maple-ii-vs-maple-i.html)
Del
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: FilipT on October 09, 2017, 10:30:15 am
Woods here are basically 95% E. beech. Would be interesting to attempt to make bow out of it. Can maple be made with warbow configuration or it prefers flatbows?
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: DC on October 09, 2017, 12:47:14 pm
I've got a big European Beech in my front yard. I've done searches for "European Beech Bows" on a few occasions and all I ever found was "the fibers are too short" whatever that means.
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: stuckinthemud on October 09, 2017, 01:14:54 pm
I've just read through the posts on Del's blog (Sept and Oct 2012) and his maple primitive flat Bow worked very well. As for the too short fibres thing, I wonder how much is experience and how much is rumour, I am definitely going to cut some this winter.
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: Marc St Louis on October 09, 2017, 04:09:37 pm
The few people that talked about using European Beech in the past said that bows made from the wood broke in tension, hence the short fiber thing
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: FilipT on October 09, 2017, 09:48:26 pm
We can assume the usual "if you don't see much bows out of it around forums, it's not suitable" or we can experiment with it.
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: mikekeswick on October 09, 2017, 11:54:23 pm
Yes the wood is dense and hard but the short fibers thing is not hearsay. Bows made from it tend to break in tension and it doesn't do too well in compression either. Save it for spalting and tool bodies :)
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: stuckinthemud on October 10, 2017, 12:03:42 am
 :( :( :(
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: meanewood on October 10, 2017, 08:14:16 am
I've made Warbows out of beech and found it a good bow wood!
You can check my post no 108 on page 8 of my posts for some pics.
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: Del the cat on October 10, 2017, 09:05:52 am
I've made Warbows out of beech and found it a good bow wood!
You can check my post no 108 on page 8 of my posts for some pics.
Errr, that looks to be a thread about stand count on warbow string s :(
Couldn't see any pics.
maybe post a link?
Del
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: joachimM on October 10, 2017, 02:03:02 pm
The reason beech is so often used in furniture and hand tools (spoons, carving planks, ...) is because it doesn't splinter, since the wood fibers are so short.

If you really want to use beech, use saplings, or the upper side of branches. These have the most juvenile wood, which has the highest microfibril angle (which is the main explanatory variable in bow wood quality).
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: meanewood on October 11, 2017, 12:02:22 am
Hi Del
Sorry links are a bit beyond me.
Page 8 will become post 111 when I post this, subject - arrow weight.

Just to add, the 4 bows I made 3-4 years ago were from a nice board that produced a set of arrows as well!
I used a flat back and rounded belly profile and for the most part got away with it.

Two of the bows developed some very faint crystals which have not caused any issue to date.
One other developed a deeper one, probably due to carelessness when tillering. I decided to cover that crystal with a nydam style binding and have had no issues with that either.

If I was to use beech again, I'd adopt a more rounded back and flatter belly, much like other white woods.
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: stuckinthemud on October 11, 2017, 12:12:58 am
That's a great looking set, love the arrows being made from the same wood as the bow.  Did you temper the bows?
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: meanewood on October 11, 2017, 12:31:55 am
No heat treatment.
I'm going through a period of tring to be as authentic as possible when making warbows.
They may have used heat but I'm sure they didn't use heat guns.

The bow shown is 90lbs but I did get one of the others to 115lbs!
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: Del the cat on October 11, 2017, 01:08:08 am
I'm going through a period of tring to be as authentic as possible when making warbows.
Difficult as we don't really have any idea of how they actually did it.
No shortage of armchair experts, and guessers tho'
Del
Let's see if this works:-
http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php/topic,41798.msg571078.html#msg571078 (http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php/topic,41798.msg571078.html#msg571078)
Yeah, looks good... that doc1 opens to give the pic :)
Nice bow ... Nice hairstyle too, just like mine :) ;)
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: meanewood on October 11, 2017, 05:26:52 am
Three things have changed since that photo.
I have even less hair!
I may have put on a few pounds.
I don't tiller warbows to that shape anymore. I tried to follow the shape that Roy King was using when he was doing those 'Mary Rose' replica's that were shown in Hardy's book, Longbow.
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: Marc St Louis on October 11, 2017, 05:50:03 am
Hi Del
Sorry links are a bit beyond me.
Page 8 will become post 111 when I post this, subject - arrow weight.

Just to add, the 4 bows I made 3-4 years ago were from a nice board that produced a set of arrows as well!
I used a flat back and rounded belly profile and for the most part got away with it.

Two of the bows developed some very faint crystals which have not caused any issue to date.
One other developed a deeper one, probably due to carelessness when tillering. I decided to cover that crystal with a nydam style binding and have had no issues with that either.

If I was to use beech again, I'd adopt a more rounded back and flatter belly, much like other white woods.

If you used a board then how can you be sure it was European Beech and not American Beech?
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: meanewood on October 11, 2017, 11:01:18 pm
Hi Marc
European Beech was stamped on the board by the specialist timber supplier I got it from.

I did buy another short piece from them to make some arrows but I can't remember what was stamped on that. It had a more reddish colour but was also beech!
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: FilipT on October 12, 2017, 12:39:34 am
No I am not sure whether should I cut some beech or not. Maybe you were lucky OR maybe it is a good wood choice!
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: cadet on October 12, 2017, 12:42:15 am
Beech was/is typically used in planes because it is hard, and because of the high proportion of medullary rays which effectively present wear-resistant end-grain to the sole of the plane; that high proportion of medullary rays may be problematic on the back of a bow?
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: stuckinthemud on October 12, 2017, 05:43:48 am
At the end of the day, if you can cut a beech sapling for free, you may as well try it and see what happens. You don't really have much to lose, especially if you build to match a string you already have . that's what I'm gonna do anyway
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: loefflerchuck on October 13, 2017, 07:07:02 pm
Del, you say Norwegian Maple is good. It is planted by the city in parking strips everywhere down in Salt Lake. I always thought it was junk as every early or late snow branches would snap like glass. I know they were affected by a fungus(There is a reason not to use non native plants). They were cutting them down all over my old neighborhood because of that. If I would have known I would have taken some.
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: Del the cat on October 13, 2017, 11:46:44 pm
Del, you say Norwegian Maple is good. It is planted by the city in parking strips everywhere down in Salt Lake. I always thought it was junk as every early or late snow branches would snap like glass. I know they were affected by a fungus(There is a reason not to use non native plants). They were cutting them down all over my old neighborhood because of that. If I would have known I would have taken some.
Maybe what you have over there isn't the same as we have over here (UK)?
It's very hard to accurately identify trees... the wood near me is mostly European Hornbeam, Oak, and what I think is Norwegian Maple... maybe it's native Uk Maple ... I dunno, but some counicl bloke told me that one they'd cut down was Norwegian Maple... i was moaning that they'd cut it int 3' lengths  ::)
Del
Title: Re: European beech suitable?
Post by: loefflerchuck on October 14, 2017, 08:30:55 am
Hmmm? i would thing the only difference would be minor hybrid tree farm changes. Maybe try it out someday