Longbow

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Longbow

Postby joe.ford » Fri Apr 20, 2007 5:22 pm

hello,

I am thinking of making a longbow, but I don't have access to any uwe wood. So I was wondering does anyone know of any other good substitutes?

Would hazel be any good, I know its flexible, I've got some Cedar of Lebonon would that work?

can anyone help

Joe Ford

ps

sorry for the bad spelling, I just can't seem to spell today.
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Postby HughSpencer » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:22 am

I believe cedar of Lebenon might work, Hazel won't it loses its spring quite quickly. As a kid I used to make bows out of hazel coppice and Mum's bamboo canes for arrows. In spite of trying I never managed to shoot any of my brothers :-)

Ash is good and was used in mass production of bows.
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Postby robin wood » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:25 pm

for a first attempt forget yew, its best to make lots of simple kids type bows quickly to get a feel for it and gradualy build up the size thickness and power. Feel free to try with the hazel, the cedar would probably be better though neither will be ideal they would make a bow that will fling an arrow a fair way and last long enough for you to learn from them. top woods to look out for I ould say would be ash and elm (young trees regrowing from old stumps and 3-4" diameter cleft into 4 make ideal bow staves). Failing that field maple or whatever you can lay your hands on. A nice straight clean piece is more important than species. I have used various species for pole lathe poles over the years and the requirements are similar, I have used larch, rowan, ash and alder though for bows I have only used ash and yew.
handy cheat for making a good bow quickly, when you have roughed out the stave and dried it you start tillering, that is testing the curve and shaving off the bits that dont bend so well till you get a nice even curve. I do this with an abrasive flap wheel on an electric drill, it follows the grain nicely, doesn't tear out sections like a cutting tool can and gives quite similar results to traditional scraping just much faster.
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Postby Trevor Watson » Thu May 10, 2007 6:36 pm

One of the best beginners woods for bow making is ash. Many bows were made of this before yew became the wood of choice.
It often has a nice straight grain and is wasy to work.
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Postby joe.ford » Thu May 10, 2007 9:27 pm

does Ash not snap easily?
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Postby Trevor Watson » Fri May 11, 2007 8:48 am

Ash is a very forgiving wood especially in its length, which is why we use it as poles for the lathe. All bow woods will break occasionally and ash is no exception, but no more than anything else.
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Postby Steve Martin » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:35 am

I don't know if it grows in the UK but osage Orange makes great bows. Native Americans used it and the French call it "bois d'arc". Hickory and it''s cousin pecan seem to work pretty well also.

Is there any point in tillering a long sapling to use for the more traditional spring pole? Do you get a smoother spring and does it make them last longer, the same or wear out sooner?
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