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21886RE: [SCA-Archery] Re: Thanks for all the help (formerly: My first bow project)

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  • Rj Bachner
    Dec 3, 2006

      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
      as well.

      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.


      Brokenaxe Archery

      7451 St Jacques West #2
      Montreal Quebec Canada
      H4B 1W7

      "Beauty is power and elegance. right action, form fitting function,
      intelligence and reasonability. and very often expressed in curves."

      -----Original Message-----
      From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of logantheboweyder
      Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 9:54 AM
      To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
      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"
      > even remotely appropriate for a bow wood?

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