Author Topic: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)  (Read 11093 times)

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Offline Kent D.

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Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« on: May 12, 2009, 10:44:40 am »
I have lots of chinaberry trees on my land.  I have researched different sites about the possibility of using chinaberry for a bow, but found nothing.  The tree has white wood and seems to be on the soft side.  Have not actually checked the speciific gravity, actually, the most ive done with these trees are to cut them down to make shooting lanes for hunting.  Just curious if anyone has ever tried to make a bow with one.  They grow very straight and tall.  That is what got me thinking about whether they would be decent for bows or not.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 11:17:53 am »
A few years ago someone posted a chinaberry bow. Probably not the best bow wood but give it a try.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline mullet

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2009, 01:56:10 pm »
  I think that Trapper Joe posted a sinew backed Chanaberry bow a few years ago. I believe it's in the Mahogany family.
Lakeland, Florida
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Offline cracker

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2009, 01:59:30 pm »
Please be aware that all parts of the tree are poisonous wear a respirator if you are making sust IE saw sander etc. I would use rubber gloves at least until the sap dries.Thanks Ron
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Offline El Destructo

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009, 02:45:11 pm »
Please be aware that all parts of the tree are poisonous wear a respirator if you are making sust IE saw sander etc. I would use rubber gloves at least until the sap dries.Thanks Ron

The toxins are neurotoxins and unidentified resins, found mainly in the fruits. Some birds are able to eat the fruit, spreading the seeds in their droppings. The first symptoms of poisoning appear a few hours after ingestion. They may include loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, bloody feces, stomach pain, pulmonary congestion, cardiac arrest, rigidity, lack of coordination and general weakness. Death may take place after about 24 hours. These are chemically related to Azadirachtin, the primary insecticidal compound in the commercially important Neem oil. These compounds are probably related to the wood and seed's resistance to pest infestation, and maybe to the unattractiveness of the flowers to animals.
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Offline mullet

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2009, 03:04:52 pm »
 No kidding? :o My sister used to eat them when she was little along with dirt. ::)
Lakeland, Florida
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Offline cracker

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2009, 04:18:14 pm »
Yep we used to get a mouthful and blow them through a piece of pvc pipe like a pea shooter.Wonder we ain't all dead.
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Offline Pat B

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2009, 08:42:20 pm »
I got shot in the eye with a chinaberry from a slingshot. My brother gave me $10 if I wouldn't tell Mom and Dad. They found out when I came to supper with my eye swollen shut and tears pouring out of that eye...but I did keep the $10! ;D
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline smokeu

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2009, 08:47:38 pm »
Its a non native invasive species as well. I read in a tree book that i am reading that eating as few as 6 can kill you.... It also says that some birds eat them and it will make them drunk. Also stated that the wood has no comercial value....  Would like to see if it would make a bow. There sure is plenty of it around here.
Longview, TEXAS

Offline Hillbilly

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 08:51:10 pm »
There have been a few Chinaberry bows posted on here over the years. Like Eddie said, Trapper has made a couple, and I think Thimosabv make some kind of big ol' honkin' warbow out of it that looked really good.
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Offline smokeu

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2009, 08:52:20 pm »
Thats pretty funny Pat... My dad always said that the Chinaberry was the premium sligshot ammo of the day. He always talks about how they would carry them in their mouths and have these huge battles.  Its funny because I just made a nice oak slingshot for him.
Longview, TEXAS

Offline mullet

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2009, 10:17:22 pm »
  Yep, like Pat said, It was the best in slingshots, when green. Only better was budding green oranges and grapefruits.
Lakeland, Florida
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Offline smokeu

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2009, 01:17:04 am »
I googled the sg and came up with .66
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Offline stickbender

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2009, 03:05:50 am »

     Eddie, maybe your Sister eating the dirt might have saved her from poisoning.  The Macaws in S.A. eat a clay, that neutralizes the poisonous seeds that they eat.  Maybe she was on to something...... ;D  Hmmm, I wonder if June bugs would neutralize it...... ;D

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P.S.
What does a China Berry tree look like?  Do they grow down here?

Far East Archer

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Re: Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2009, 04:44:55 am »
Chinaberry is a nice wood, it carves nicely and has nice color as well. If it really is poisonous, well, I must be invincible  ;D
I cut a lot of this wood, use it a lot in other wood working projects, never try as bow yet....

Ive had the sap run in my eye before, sawdust all over me, breathed in sawdust, worked wood while green, even eat with a chinaberry spoon!
Something not right with that information.....I think you should be ok to use the wood.

It may be slight brittle wood since it is related to the mahogany wood, so, make wider and longer than you normally do.