Author Topic: How poroys hackberry should be  (Read 589 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline capitainepatenaude

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
How poroys hackberry should be
« on: January 12, 2021, 06:01:10 pm »
Hello everybody!!

I went to cut some wood yesterday to get bow staves. I found some hackberry (celtis occidentalis) and decided to give it a try, knowing that it was a loved wood by some members of primitive archer forum. The wood splitted easily and cleanly. I was surprised to see how porous it was. And by porous, I mean outstandingly porous. The rings are completely covered with small pores and are tight ringed. Also, the wood is lighter than the american elm I use. I was just wondering if it was a common feature of hackberry and if it will make a bow. Maybe the pores will close when drying. I have 15 clean staves of hackberry and I would be very sad to turn it into toothpicks and firewood.

The soil on which the hackberry grows is wet. Also, tge climate is somewhat cold here. I live in Canada.

Online Morgan

  • Member
  • Posts: 839
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2021, 06:58:15 pm »
I use a lot of hackberry and I am a big fan of it. Like on anything else, ring thickness can vary a great deal. Hackberry is light weight and makes a fine bow when the belly is toasted. The first hackberry bow I made has several thousand shots on it and shows no sign of giving up any time soon. While it is porous, Iíve never thought of the rings being incredibly porous.
I should have some end cuts in my shop, if not Iíll cut the glue off the end of some staves and take a pic of what Iím used to working with if youíd like.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 09:20:40 pm by Morgan »

Offline eastcreekarchery

  • Member
  • Posts: 195
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2021, 07:16:08 pm »
Post a pic of the endgrain so we can see!

Offline Allyn T

  • Member
  • Posts: 553
  • I'm addicted to information
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2021, 07:19:59 pm »
Google search hackberry wood and click on the wood database. Has pictures at the bottom including endgrain
In the woods I find my peace

Offline capitainepatenaude

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2021, 10:50:22 pm »
Morgan, it would be fantastic if you could provide me some pictures.

Thank you everybody for your fast responses. Here's a picture. https://imgur.com/a/cYSpy1g

It's the best I can do with my cellphone tonight. I'll try to post an other one tomorow.

Offline dylanholderman

  • Member
  • Posts: 770
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2021, 10:55:42 pm »
i've only made one bow from a hackberry sapling but my end grain looked like yours and was also physically light weight

Offline Eric Garza

  • Member
  • Posts: 555
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2021, 08:20:31 am »
I have never seen hackberry with such tight rings. That photo reminds me more of eastern hophornbeam.

Offline Allyn T

  • Member
  • Posts: 553
  • I'm addicted to information
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 09:00:09 am »

In the woods I find my peace

Offline capitainepatenaude

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 01:27:58 pm »
This hackberry is definetely less porous than mine. I still hope that I have some usable bow wood. I currently have 24 bow stave and it would be a shame to burn them.

Offline eastcreekarchery

  • Member
  • Posts: 195
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2021, 01:59:32 pm »
Make sure you toast the belly of your hackberry bow. Ive heard its necessary to make a snappy bow from hack

Offline stixnstones

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,419
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2021, 06:44:42 pm »
I use hackberry all the time. Toasting the belly does help and dont be afraid to toast it a couple times if needed. Makes a lite weight snappy bow. Get that bark off and seal it now, it comes off way easier when green.

Online Morgan

  • Member
  • Posts: 839
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2021, 07:03:06 pm »
I apologize, I cannot take better detailed pics with my phone. The pics I am showing are of different staves, from different trees. There is one with pretty tight small rings, but i donít have any with a ton of early porous wood to reference though I have had in the past. One pic is of the rings on the fade of a finished bow, you can kind of make out the porosity on it.

Offline organic_archer

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: How poroys hackberry should be
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2021, 09:23:41 pm »
Hackberry that looks like Morgan and Allynís photos will make fine bows. Iím a big fan of hackberry and have made many. It makes a durable bow thatís light and snappy. As others have said, give it a good heat treating to really bring it to life and get that bark off ASAP. Feels like running your draw knife through concrete if you let it dry on the stave.

Quality varies wildly and depends on growing conditions. Iíve seen them with dense 3/8Ē rings, some with 7-10 RPI, some thatís all spongy and porous and everywhere in between. The really spongy looking stuff seems to be pretty poor quality. If you have access to more hackberry, cut another and youíll probably find a denser tree.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 09:32:59 pm by organic_archer »
Owner
Organic Archery
Hand-Crafted Longbows & Wooden Arrows