Home Forums Bows and Equipment Eastern (hops) hornbeam

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    • shawhill
      Post count: 63

      I cut a bunch of hornbeam for fence post about two years ago they vary from 4″ to 7″ in diameter and about 6-7′ in lenght. The lady that ordered them cancelled on us and they hav sat seasoning. Im curious, as long as they havent split on the ends too bad (hornbeam usually doesnt) would they make a decent stave/bow? I would love to try my hand at a homemade selfbow but cant make myself buy a seasoned stave that I’ll probable screw up the first few times. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks


    • Stephen Graf
      Post count: 2371

      I have no personal experience, but have read the bowyers bible series. It is mentioned as a good bow wood several times.

      We have american hornbeam around us. Some folks call it iron wood. I’ve been wondering what the difference is between American and Hop hornbeam…
    • Troy Breeding
      Post count: 994

      I’ve made one bow out of Eastern Hop and it works great. Light in the hand and shoot pretty smooth. My stave came from a tree that was approx 5″ dia.


    • William Rice Spann
      Post count: 11

      I have made some bows out of Eastern Hop Hornbeam. It can make a wonderful bow, many would argue the best northern wood. If it has been sitting with the bark on, you most probably will have significant insect damage. With a “white-wood” like this, the back of the bow is right under the bark. Scrape down to the cambium and see what it looks like. Be careful of getting into that first layer of sap wood. The other issue with hop hornbeam is twisted grain. Watch for bark “barber poling” around the trunk. This would be difficult to work with.

      Overall, get your hands on the Bowyers Bibles, especially 1 and 4.

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