Author Topic: The Rose family is full of bow woods  (Read 692 times)

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Offline pnwarcher

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The Rose family is full of bow woods
« on: November 08, 2017, 02:29:10 pm »
What do Serviceberry, Hawthorn, Ocean Spray, Apple, Plum, Pear, Osoberry, and Rowan all have in common?

1. They're good bow woods.
2. They're all members of Rosaceae Amygdaloideae, the rose family!

Turns out the Rose family is really big, and with so many known good bow woods, I got to wondering if any other members of the family would make good bows. Potential candidates:
- Photinia
- Cotoneaster
- Firethorn (Pyracantha)
- Catalina ironwood (Lyonothamnus)
- False serviceberry (Malacomeles)
- Squaw apple / wild crabapple (Peraphyllum)
- Stranvaesia
- Arizona / slimleaf rosewood (Vauquelinia)
- Mom's rose garden? ::)

Anybody tried these? I found a nice patch of Photinia I might try to get a stave from soon.

Offline willie

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 05:57:12 pm »
oregon crabapple --- Malus fusca
and
mountian ash ---  sorbus scopulina

both are supposed to grow local. never found the crabapple yet, but I may have to go looking for some of the local mountain ash. it might be heavier than the lightweight stuff from the nursery.
both are Rosaceae
thanks
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 07:53:15 pm by willie »

Online DC

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 07:10:57 pm »
Pacific Crab and Oregon Crab are the same tree. It's excellent bow wood.
Vancouver Island

Offline shofu

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 08:59:30 pm »
Yes - and less toxic dust!
Also cherry and local favourite Ocean Spray are rose family.
Cool.
Cheers,
George

Offline pnwarcher

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 09:42:21 pm »
I've seen two different species of Sorbus (mountain ash) around here, but am not sure which species they are. I may have to cut some small staves for testing.
Anyone seen Pacific/Oregon crab growing wild in western Washington?

Offline gfugal

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2017, 08:20:13 am »
Nice find
Greg,
No risk, no gain. Expand the mold and try new things.

Online DC

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 08:21:20 am »
The thing is it's such a huge family there's bound to be good and bad in there. Rosaceae is "family" and that's two steps back from species. If you look a Maples there is very good bow wood and there is firewood and that's right at the species level. I think trying to judge wood by it's "Family" is a bit weak but it sure doesn't hurt to try them. I'm waiting to hear something positive about Mountain Ash before I "prune" the one in the front yard ;D
Vancouver Island

mikekeswick

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 09:30:30 am »
Rowan is an extremely strong in tension wood, heavily interlocking grain but finding untwisted pieces is ...tricky :) I've made hornbows with it as the core.
Briar rose is a good bow wood believe it or not, however it takes a cray time to get to big enough diameter. I have two pieces that are perfect but haven't got around to doing anything with them yet. A sinew backed trial bow from a smaller 3/4 inch diameter piece took no set at all even though it was bending too much in the middle due to the small diameter. I think these bigger pieces will make great bows when I get round to it!

Offline willie

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 10:13:27 am »
Quote
I'm waiting to hear something positive about Mountain Ash before I "prune" the one in the front yard ;D

I am waiting a bit also Don, before I start chopping. Can anyone who has used rowan for a bow make an estimate as to what kind of density is nice to find?

Offline Marc St Louis

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 11:01:32 am »
European mountain ash is good for bows but the NA species is soft and fast growing and not bow wood
Home of heat-treating, Corbeil, On.  Canada

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Offline joachimM

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 12:30:36 pm »
I once made an ok bow from a fragrant rose branch. Still shooting.

Tillering is easy. Problems arise when a bowyer thinks he's right and the wood is wrong.

mikekeswick

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 10:48:46 pm »
Our Rowan/Mountain Ash is called -  Sorbus domestica

Online DC

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 08:17:35 am »
In my area apparently we have Sorbus sitchensis. In the interior of BC and Washington they have Sorbus scopulina. There is also an introduced Sorbus aucuparia around settlements and they all hybridize where they meet. So Sorbus is a real dogs breakfast. Source: Plants of Coastal British Columbia, Pojar and Mackinnon
Vancouver Island

Offline Bryce (Pinecone)

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Re: The Rose family is full of bow woods
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2017, 07:38:08 am »
Osoberry/Indian plum/skunk bush makes a surprisingly good shooting and durable bow.
Deer Island, Oregon