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What kind of wood makes the best kind of bow? Answered

 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.

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expertgino1 (author)2016-12-28

Osage orange is what american Indians made bows and arrows from, they're available on ebay

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SteveL98 (author)2016-03-02

Can spruce be used for lower poundage bows?

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JoeL47 (author)2015-09-08

believe it or not folks, privot makes a fine bow, is free (in most cases) and is abundant in the south. find a piece roughly 3-4 foot long and atleast as wide as your thumb. 1 - 1.5" would be good for medium draw strength (20-40#) depending on how thin you carve it. have made more than a dozen and they work really well

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JoeL47 (author)JoeL472015-09-08

and i must stress, dont forget wax wood!! excellent for bows, and can be found fairly cheap if you shop around.. i suggest the 6' waxwood staff from budk.com, for 20 bucks you can make 2 nice 3' bows, or one nice long bow... or even make a couple sets of compound bow limbs if youre fairly handy..

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zelback1 (author)2013-07-29

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.

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acidbass (author)2010-03-30

 i make my own bows and i use the like 1 inch thick oak branches

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lemonie (author)2010-03-27

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

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steveastrouk (author)lemonie2010-03-28

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.

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lemonie (author)steveastrouk2010-03-28

The Mongol bows were laminated I believe (checks), but "composite" may be technically not quite the same?

L

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orksecurity (author)lemonie2010-03-29

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

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steveastrouk (author)lemonie2010-03-28

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

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gearhead1951 (author)2010-03-28

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 ! 

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jtobako (author)2010-03-27

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.

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