21886RE: [SCA-Archery] Re: Thanks for all the help (formerly: My first bow project)
- Dec 3, 2006Heya
White oak is an excellent choice for a bow wood. It is almost as strong as
hickory, makes an excellent flat bow and with some effort it makes a pretty
good Longbow. It is, like Hickory very much prone to holding moisture
content and so you should be very careful about making sure it is
maintained at about 9% Moisture content (MC) and that when done that you
seal the bow well.
If you are not careful about MC then white oak can take a lot of set. You
need to keep it dry dry dry.
If you are going to make a bow of hickory or white oak a drying box is well
worth the effort.
White Oak also takes well to heavy heat treating. The last one I made I
toasted the heck out of it 3 times while I was making it and it works well.
Like Hickory, edge grain Laminations are an excellent backing for wood bows
I suggest you stick with flat bow designs till you are familiar with how it
works. For a 28 inch draw, a 66 inch bow, 6 inch handle and 1 3/4 inch wide
limbs will give you a pretty nice 50 lb bow when your done. You can also
make the non bending handle section as much as dbl the length and narrow the
limbs to 1 1/2 inches for the same effect with little or no set if tillered
Red Oak is less prone to holding on to water, is not quite as strong but
also makes a good bow. It is a favorite of many bowyers though because it is
easier to work with for excellent results.
As Logan mentioned, any wood can make a bow with the right design. But the
denser harder hardwoods will work the best. Most softwoods don't have the
guts to make a useful long-lasting bow. Most Junipers, Yew and some fir
heartwoods to the exception.
I suggest you find a good cabinet maker's lumber yard and find some quarter
sawn hardwood to start with, around here white ash and red oak are the
cheepest options that work well.
this is some good basic instructions on making your first bow.
And this is some instructions on selecting a board stave in a lumber yard
I hope all this helps, let me know if you need more info.
7451 St Jacques West #2
Montreal Quebec Canada
"Beauty is power and elegance. right action, form fitting function,
intelligence and reasonability. and very often expressed in curves."
From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of logantheboweyder
Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 9:54 AM
Subject: [SCA-Archery] Re: Thanks for all the help (formerly: My first bow
Almost any wood will work for a bow. You will need to go flatter and
longer to get a less-suitable wood to work, even white pine. I
believe that woodbows.com makes a lot of self-bows out of red oak,
with passable results. White Oak should work just fine, with the
right bow design. Use it to make a flatbow. Following the growth
ring on the back will be more important. Backing with sinew or linen
might be advisable if you were going to make white oak your preferred
> Is "white oak"pins*
> even remotely appropriate for a bow wood?
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