Instructables

What kind of wood makes the best kind of bow?

 I've been looking for a good kind of wood to make an ameture bow. I understand that traditionally, wood of Yew was used, but thats hard to find. Any recommendation? Thanks.

zelback11 year ago
In terms of durability and strength, Osage Orange and English Yew are the best out there, but they cost an arm and a leg. When you get down to it, any tree that bears a fruit, nut, or wields thorns is a good, dense wood that should, in theory, make a good bow. As such, black locust and hickory are both more affordable and easy to find. If you want to back any of the bows you make, I recommend Hickory. It has the right properties to receive a significant boost in speed and power if you back it.
acidbass4 years ago
 i make my own bows and i use the like 1 inch thick oak branches
lemonie4 years ago
See here as an example:
www.english-longbow.co.uk/cat20.htm
Thing is, if you want the best materials for the job, they may be hard to get. If you compromise on materials, you compromise on the bow.

L
The book we have on making a LongBow now advocates lamination as the only good way to make one - the quality of yew needed just isn't available any more.
The Mongol bows were laminated I believe (checks), but "composite" may be technically not quite the same?

L
I'd consider wood/horn lamination to be an early composite material...

Yes, composite bows are made with materials suiting compressive or tensile loads - amazing things, considering how old the concept is.

#1 son is an occasional archer, and I'd like to make a longbow with him, but his draw weight is so small, the thing would look like a garden cane when it was finished.

Steve
Go to www.archerytalk.com or www.poorfolkbows.com and do some searchin'  !!  Poorfolkbows recommends red oak and will show you you how to pick a good plank for th' project ! 
caarntedd4 years ago
Yew?
jtobako4 years ago
Depends on where you live and how much you want to spend.  England favors yew, North America likes osage orange or juniper, and Asia, of course, favors bamboo.

Mostly, the physics of the wood you have determines the shape of the bow-Northern Europeans used birch and fir but the bow limbs were wider and flatter than the yew bows of the south.  Native American bows tend to be shorter and only half-drawn compared to English longbows-but they brought home plenty of big game.