Author Topic: Best Board Bow Wood??  (Read 7443 times)

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Offline riden

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Best Board Bow Wood??
« on: August 03, 2011, 05:40:44 pm »
I am a school teacher and a master woodworker. OK, maybe not a master, but certainly a pretty good work worker. I teach woodworking in different ways in some options classes. These are just fun classes that I want to be hands on. Last year we made board bows using nothing but hand tools. I was very pleased with the way they turned out, especially for my 1st time teaching it.

To be clear, I am good with wood, not into bows at all.

We used ash boards and an old plan from a 1950`s Popular Mechanics. It had a chart on sizes that corresponded to the poundage of the bow. 45 lbs is a legal hunting bow here so that is what they all aimed for, and they were miserable to pull. I doubt the chart was right.

I  ordered the Bowyers Bible, I should have had it earlier. But I woudl like to order my wood this week.

Some have told me they think ash was a poor choice, any suggestions on a better woodÉ . Is it worth the work to laminate different species?

Offline tronman

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011, 06:45:49 pm »
Hickory-great wood for board bows- also maple. That is just my opinion. Have used both and either one will make a nice bow. H
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Offline George Tsoukalas

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2011, 06:49:34 pm »
I like red oak but that s a personal preference. There are 3 keys to making a board bow. First, is choose a board with straight grain. Second, is choose a board with straight grain.
Third, is choose a board with straight grain. My site has info. Jawge
http://georgeandjoni.home.comcast.net/~georgeandjoni/
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If you ain't breakin' you ain't makin!

Offline Pat B

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 07:23:26 pm »
Riden, I suggest you read George's site. Lots of excellent info from beginning to end. Plus, George is a teacher's teacher!!!  ;)
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Online bubby

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 07:25:33 pm »
maple and hickory are great, but white oak is damn near unbreakable in my experience
failure is an option, everyone fail's, it's how you handle it that matters

Offline aznboi3644

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011, 08:10:58 pm »
You say they were miserable to pull?

Did you do any TILLERING at all?

Offline Stingray45

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 08:21:12 pm »
Ash is a fine wood. There are definitely better specimens such a hickory. But I have made several Ash board bows. I bought a very straight grained piece of ash that was 2" x 8" and 72" long, I believe I got 9 or 10 staves out of it. Have had no trouble making bows in the 40#-55# range. As Jawge said the most important thing is a board with straight grain. If you can straight grained hickory that would be your best bet.
Is there anything better than wandering the earth with a stick and string in your hand?

Offline Denham Archer

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2011, 08:49:28 pm »
I would go with red oak.  Easy to get, and makes a fine bow!

Offline Ifrit617

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2011, 09:41:21 pm »
Red oak gets my vote.... It may not be the most durable but is easy to get, easy to work, and makes a damn good bow...
Given enough time, any man can master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man can become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both... And surpass the results. - Tien Tai

Offline makenzie71

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2011, 12:28:21 am »
george you need some updated pics!
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Offline riden

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2011, 01:31:59 am »
Wow, lot's of responses, thanks guys. I should mention, I have an account at a hardwood wholesaler, so I have access to a lot of wood types.

Not many votes for ash huh?

Yes we did tiller them, but I suspect the chart that indicated the thickness and width was wrong or didn't apply to ash. The draw weight was sure more than 45 lbs.

Online bubby

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2011, 04:25:36 am »
look at some of halfeye's posts, he has good success with ash
failure is an option, everyone fail's, it's how you handle it that matters

Offline PEARL DRUMS

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2011, 07:11:03 am »
Hickory, hickory and hickory are the best board bow woods in that order........in my book anyway. You cant break it, it can have more grain violations than oak and still hold together.
Im the "Good" Chris....

Offline Stretch

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2011, 08:06:43 am »
I don't know if it's an issue or not, but most hardwood dealers don't differentiate between Hickory and Pecan.  They're sold as the same wood at a lot of places. 
Mark
Lindale, TX

Offline Pat B

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Re: Best Board Bow Wood??
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2011, 08:37:30 am »
Pecan is hickory!
  Riden, instead of following the directions as to the thickness, tiller your bow out until you get both limbs bending evenly and together then remove enough wood, evenly to reduce the weight.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC