Home Forums Bows and Equipment Propeller Twist

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    • Tyler Riberio
      Post count: 2

      New to the forum and hoping to get some advice. I am an aspiring bowyer living in Southeast Alaska (Juneau), where we have a dearth of bow woods to choose from. One wood that I have done research on is European Mountain Ash (Rowan). Seems to be a good bow wood from my research. I found some trees and split some up. It’s a hard tree to identify twist on because the bark doesn’t offer any clues. As you can see from the picture, the stave that I have does a complete 180° twist…Ash Stave

      Bottom-line question: How much propeller twist is too much?

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Post count: 970

      Hi Tyler

      Looks like an interesting project . I am hoping Steve Graf will see this and weigh in.

      I don’t make my own bows so don’t know how much twist is too much—

      Scout aka Ray

    • richard roop
      Post count: 194

      I don’t claim to know squat about carving a bow out of a hunk of wood, but I do know that the wood has to dry / season and the time frames I’ve seen are about 6 months to one year depending on conditions, type of wood, time of year it was cut, etc.

      You might consider obtaining a stave of Osage Orange to gain some experience with while you’re waiting.

      Best of luck !!!


    • Stephen Graf
      Post count: 2342

      I don’t think I have any suggestions for the stave.  In truth, I really can’t tell what’s going on with it from the picture.

      If it is twisted as much as you say, I don’t think it would make much of a bow.  Sounds like Mountain Ash tends to be twisty in your area and it might prove hard to find a good stave.  You might try a laminated bow to see if that would help you work around the problems…

      Cut the stave into 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick slats 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide, depending on the bow style you are interested in.  Orient the slats so that the twists are opposite, glue and clamp into a blank.  You can then work it as if it was a stave.  This will require a backing of some sort.

      A good cheap glue for such a project is Dap Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue.   I have found it every bit as good as Urac, and it lasts forever instead of getting hard in the can.  Keep it in the Refrigerator so it stays dry and cool.

    • William Rice Spann
      Post count: 11

      That’s more propeller than you are going to want to deal with. I’d look for a different piece of wood.

      For info on self-bow making, check out the Bowyer’s Bible books. Lots of helpful information.

      Good luck! There is nothing like working a stave down into a working bow.

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