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what kind of wood can you make a good bow and arrow with? Answered

give some pics if someone could



Best Answer 8 years ago

Osage Orange is rumered to make the best bow but that may be because it's also the hardest wood to use. I think the problem is you have to carve within just a few growth rings or it will splinter. jtobako has a good recipe. How you carve it will depend on the wood. I would recommend hickory because it's easy to find at the appropriate length plus hickory is very forgiving of knots. Find a tree and select a dry branch. Bend it and release. If it has a nice snap to it see what you can do with a larger branch. Debark a staff with a diameter of at least three inches and use that otherwise untouched surface as the back of the bow (the plane facing the target). Then carve away the rest of the staff until it bends uniformly. For longbow arrows you just need any plant that grows straight. Shortbow arrows are harder to make because shortbows don't have that rigid bit in the middle that sets the arrow in the center of the limb's thrust. That means the arrow has to curve around the bow's handle just the right amount. It gets complicated, and I don't have any experience to share on that.... As modern persons we have the advantage over our ancestors in knowing that bow making WILL work, if properly implemented. So just toy with it, wear safety glasses and yeld to any creaking.

No, just the bowmaker. Yew is tricky to find these days, isn't it?

if your in England it's easy to find, unlike those suggested by @asdterror

check out <a href="http://www.archerytalk.com">www.archerytalk.com</a> , there is a ton of info on th' site and these folks are happy to help

(Recalling a conversation with a traditional bowmaker several years ago) A "proper" longbow (as used by English archers to inconvenience French knights), you need yew, taken from that part of the tree where heartwood and the outer layers meet. One is pale, one is dark (can't remember which is which), and one is strong in compression (for the side of the bow facing the archer) and the other is stronger in tension (for the side of the bow facing away from the archer).

Yew and hickory are great. But if they are scarce, try cedar. My youngest boy broke several homemade bows before trying cedar (like I told him to do the FIRST time). The cedar bow has done a great job for him. It's almost strong enough to hunt with!

Here's and instr. on it.
Here's a linkto one somewhere else.

I used to have a book called something like "Something for a boy to make" or something like that published by Popular Science or Mechanics and it had several great build a bow articles. I never did build on but I used to almost have the articles memorized. They suggested "Osage Orange" wood.

Good luck and don't put your eye out.

I have a copy of that book in .pdf format. It's title is "Popular Mechanics, "The Boy Mechanic" I frequently use it as sort of a reference book. Lots of illustrations and projects, though many of them would never pass muster now because of the danger factor (which never stopped me. lol)
You can grab a free copy here:

I remember one issue that gave instructions on building your own x-ray machine. I still remember the directions on that one but have never had the lack of sense to build one. I'll check out your link.

I've seen red oak, maple, I believe yew was traditional for longbows... I would _really_ recommend having someone who knows what they're doing (find your local archery range and/or SCA archers) inspect the bow before you do much shooting with it. Even modern bows which have fiberglass layered with the wood have been known to fail spectacularly at times, sending two nontrivial pieces of wood flying about the archer's head at high speed. (Remember, you're holding the string next to your face, if you're using the standard nock point.) Someone who knows a bit more about bows than I do can look at it, put it under a bit of stress, look and listen to how the wood is responding, and tell you whether it's likely to do that any time soon. (I shoot; I'm emphatically not qualified to be a marshal.)

Depends on where you live and what you have available. Yew is considered best in Europe, Osage Orange for East Coast and Central USA, Juniper in the Southwest, Bamboo in the Far East/Orient. However, bows have been made of most woods, the style being modified to what works best for that wood. The cheep way to start (around here) is with Red Oak. Nordic bows have been made of Birch (tending to wide, flat bows), Hickory is a favorite in the land of Dixie.