Home Forums Bows and Equipment wood types in mn

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    • eric
      Post count: 17

      What is the best wood for me to use for my first handmade bow? I live in mn and there is like no one around here that could teach me anything about tradintional archery. They all like compounds, and sights, and lots of other gadgets:cry:. Thanks for any advice anyone has.

      Eric

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      Do you have any Hickory around?

      ch

    • eric
      Post count: 17

      Yes there is hickory around here. What should I look for in the wood if I want to make a bow out of it?

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      There are several different species of hickory, most of which grow pretty uniform. I’d find a Pignut or Mockernut(although any of them will work) hickory about 6-8 inches DBH (diameter at breast height) that is pretty straight and free of knots and branches up to about 7 ft. Cut’er down, split in half, seal the ends, put it in the barn, and forget about it for a year.

      When selecting a tree, you need to look at the bark carefully. It can, with practice, tell you how the grain runs underneath. If the bark spirals around the trunk, no matter how straight the tree may be, the grain will also spiral.

      ch

    • Archer86
      Post count: 4

      Hey Eric, I heard hickory is a good wood to make a bow out of. If you are going to use power tools, such as a table saw and sander to get the shape, oak, or red oak, works real well. You should be able to get an oak board from a lumber store, watch the price though. I just recently started making my own bows to and find that oak works well. Haven’t tried hickory myself though. It is a good feeling to shoot an arrow off of a functional bow that you made. And don’t get discouraged if the first few bows you make aren’t up to your expectations, or if they break.

    • andysims
      Post count: 1

      I’ve made self bows from both the oak boards found at hardware stores like Home Depot and from hickory staves. I suggest starting with an oak board a full 6′ long with grain (rings) that run the full length of the board. You may have to do some sorting, but it is worth the time.
      As for the hickory, I suggest shagbark as the grain tends to twist less than the bitternut variety. Good luck and take your time.

    • Buckhorn73
      Post count: 77

      Eric, I’m still hoping to successfully complete my first bow and am convinced that if and when that happens it will be from a hickory log, I split and stored three years ago – should be perfect now. An oak blew up during the tiller stage, two black locust staves had the grain lift during floor tillering – one of them is still around and may make a kids’ bow – you see how it goes, and they tell me I may break many more before I get one done. However, I have eight nice chunks of hickory to play with and if one of them turns into a shootable bow before I leave this Earth, I will be a very old,happy archer.

    • crittergitter
      Post count: 42

      honey locust a thorn tree works fairly well find a strait one cut split pull of bark seal store for 6 months ,when dry you will see that the inner bark has dried,it is ti be the bows back try to find a log that the heart wood comes close the the inner bark as heartwood helps a lot.walnut also works as well as ash and black locust another type of thorn tree,cedar is another candidate but i know nothing about cedar.

    • greg
      Post count: 4

      In my opinion, your best bet is to back either red oak or white oak with hickory. This greatly increases your chance for producing an all wood bow that shoots well, is durable, and much more pleasurable to make. Some of the best advice on making self-bows is in the Bowyers Bible series. Cutting green wood for bows is something you should try after starting with more reliable wood and construction methods. After you cut a tree, dry the green wood to a suitable level for a bow, demention it on your home woodworking tools, you still may end up with a scrap bow. Starting out with dry and dementioned(as well as straight grained) lumber you can build a good bow on your first try if you work slowly and tiller it to your liking. Then you will know what you want out of any type of wood/tree that you want to fashion a bow out of. Usually adequate quality hickory boards are avilable with local suppliers, and oak is easy to find, just look for straight grain.
      This is kind of long, though I’ve had many failures before I began making good shooting bows and thought this may help you out. Good luck.

    • TheWildCat
      Post count: 5

      I think it would be great to get a Hickry Stave fer a bow and let er cure out. In the mean time, I would go to Home Depot like these others have recommended and make a Red Oak Board Bow to start. Ya gotta do some sortin, but worth the time. A 1″x2″x6′ Red oak board is bout $6. Ifin ya mess up the Tillerin, its equivelent to a Cheeseburger. Mess up the Tillerin on a Hickry Stave thats been curin fer several months, is a little harder to eat. My first was a Bamboo backed Red Oak bow 47#@28″ “D” style 72″ Tip to Tip. Thats was several years ago, and several bows ago. Was Shootin it today and it still shoots Sweet. I built a 66″ Self Pyramid bow from a 1″4″x6′ Red Oak Board with no backin 43#@28″ and it still shoots great too. Look fer some good staves to make ya a good Self Bow, but dive in, get your feet wet, make some wood shavins and have fun. Ifin ya make a mistake, learn from the lesson, set it in the corner and start on another one.

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