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seeking opinions on wood for making arrows

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  • Sol
    Well, I am contemplating taking the plunge and going beyond pre- manufactured components for my arrow-making. It so happens at work this winter that our big
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 13, 2007
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      Well, I am contemplating taking the plunge and going beyond pre-
      manufactured components for my arrow-making. It so happens at work
      this winter that our big contract involves cutting down eastern
      redcedar (Juniperus communis), and the occasional pine of various
      species. We're leaving the larger-diameter logs to haul away (5
      inches or larger on the narrow end), but I can salvage the other
      stuff from our burn piles (it's finally snowing and I hope we can
      ignite them this week).

      I just re-read the relevant chapters in the
      _Traditional_Bowyers_Bible_. I figure to hand split and plane the
      wood because the tools are more readily available to me and I'm
      already tired of wearing earplugs for so many hours.

      And I'll be keeping my eyes open for other potentially useful woods,
      especially possible round shoots, but we cut more of those in
      summer. Quite often we cut down buckthorn, black locust,
      honeysuckle, black cherry, prickly ash. Less often we cut dogwoods,
      green ash, chokecherry, red maples, even the occasional hickory.

      Also, I often come across turkey feathers of indeterminate age.

      I am afraid I won't be attempting bows anytime soon. I am not
      particularly interested in longbows, and making a recurve does not
      seem like a good starter project. So I'll just spend a few years
      working on arrows.

      I currently use a modern center-shot 45# recurve. I aspire to use a
      horsebow and thumbring, but a new bow is out of budget for a couple
      years probably.

      My questions are:
      1. Does anyone have experience with eastern redcedar for making
      arrows?
      2. Is there a maximum or minimum diameter to consider using?
      3. What about experience with other locally harvested North American
      woods for arrow shafts?
      4. Has anyone noticed any difference in performance based on feather
      type?
      5. Would feathers salvaged in the woods be any good at all?

      I am looking forward to your answers. I appreciated the recent
      discussion on making spine testers, since that's something else
      that's been a little beyond my pocketbook.

      Thanks,

      Sol
      humble archer
      Barony of Jararvellir, Kingdom of Northshield
    • thebowhunter@swbell.net
      this cedar is to soft for arrow the spine might get about 10=15 lbs.
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 14, 2007
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        this cedar is to soft for arrow the spine might get about 10=15 lbs.
      • thebowhunter@swbell.net
        if you can aquire osage this is good plus dogwood or tryt the martha stewart arrows tomatoes stake bamboo arrows.
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 14, 2007
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          if you can aquire osage this is good plus dogwood or tryt the martha
          stewart arrows tomatoes stake bamboo arrows.
        • Sol
          ... Hmmm, I brought a log home, I ll see what it s like. I was thinking it might not be so bad because the wood is less flexible than some of the other trees
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 16, 2007
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            --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "thebowhunter@..." <piy@...> wrote:
            >
            > this cedar is to soft for arrow the spine might get about 10=15 lbs.
            >

            Hmmm, I brought a log home, I'll see what it's like. I was thinking
            it might not be so bad because the wood is less flexible than some of
            the other trees we cut, requiring a lot less holding wood when falling
            in order for the tree to actually go down without a heavy push, and
            the fibers tend to snap more than bend as the tree falls.

            We don't have much osage orange in this area, but plenty of dogwood.
            Definitely want to try the latter, just not cutting it at work right
            now. The benefit of culling slash from work is that it is free, as
            opposed to the Martha Stewart tomato stakes, but I'll definitely look
            them up the next time I'm in the garden section at the right time of year.

            Thanks for the suggestions.

            Sol
          • logantheboweyder
            The cedar wood that is used so much for wood arrows is Port Orford Cedar, native to the pacific northwest. Among the pines, Lodgepole Pine makes a servicable
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 17, 2007
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              The cedar wood that is used so much for wood arrows is Port Orford
              Cedar, native to the pacific northwest.

              Among the pines, Lodgepole Pine makes a servicable shaft, but I'm
              not sure of where it grows.

              For dogwood shafts, i believe you are looking for branches already
              sized. Rose canes work as well. I've been told that sometimes
              Hickory is passable, and so is Ash (but I've no idea which kinds).

              Related question: Does any (within reason) wood work well for
              making crossbow bolts?

              Logan


              --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Sol" <fula_chris@...> wrote:
              >
              > Well, I am contemplating taking the plunge and going beyond pre-
              > manufactured components for my arrow-making. It so happens at
              work
              > this winter that our big contract involves cutting down eastern
              > redcedar (Juniperus communis), and the occasional pine of various
              > species. We're leaving the larger-diameter logs to haul away (5
              > inches or larger on the narrow end), but I can salvage the other
              > stuff from our burn piles
              > Thanks,
              >
              > Sol
              > humble archer
              > Barony of Jararvellir, Kingdom of Northshield
              >
            • Mark Hendershott
              ... Throughout the mountain states I believe. ... I ve heard spruce and maple work also but have never used them. I once made some shafts from a 1 x 4 trim
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 17, 2007
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                At 06:49 AM 1/17/2007, you wrote:

                >The cedar wood that is used so much for wood arrows is Port Orford
                >Cedar, native to the pacific northwest.
                >
                >Among the pines, Lodgepole Pine makes a servicable shaft, but I'm
                >not sure of where it grows.


                Throughout the mountain states I believe.


                >For dogwood shafts, i believe you are looking for branches already
                >sized. Rose canes work as well. I've been told that sometimes
                >Hickory is passable, and so is Ash (but I've no idea which kinds).


                I've heard spruce and maple work also but have never used them. I
                once made some shafts from a 1 x 4 trim stock bought at Fred
                Meyer. It was likely either hemlock or white fir. It worked fine
                but the shafts were heavy compared to Port Orford.

                Simon Sinneghe
                Briaroak, Summits, An Tir


                >Related question: Does any (within reason) wood work well for
                >making crossbow bolts?
                >
                >Logan
                >
                >--- In
                ><mailto:SCA-Archery%40yahoogroups.com>SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com,
                >"Sol" <fula_chris@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Well, I am contemplating taking the plunge and going beyond pre-
                > > manufactured components for my arrow-making. It so happens at
                >work
                > > this winter that our big contract involves cutting down eastern
                > > redcedar (Juniperus communis), and the occasional pine of various
                > > species. We're leaving the larger-diameter logs to haul away (5
                > > inches or larger on the narrow end), but I can salvage the other
                > > stuff from our burn piles
                > > Thanks,
                > >
                > > Sol
                > > humble archer
                > > Barony of Jararvellir, Kingdom of Northshield
                > >
                >
                >



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              • Frederick Fenters
                Ash was commonly used for the shaft of arrows for the English Longbowmen. It usually has a tight and straight grain which makes it very suitable for arrows.
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 17, 2007
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                  Ash was commonly used for the shaft of arrows for the English Longbowmen.
                  It usually has a tight and straight grain which makes it very suitable for
                  arrows. Ash can be pretty heavy, so you may see a greater drop than you are
                  accustomed at distance. Popple can be used, is very light, but warps at the
                  hint of a humidity change (I have some that we used to make demonstrator
                  "bad" arrows. I won't say they look like pretzels, but . . .)



                  Anything you glean as you describe is probably worth trying, but I would
                  suggest that if you do not have a spine jig, you build or buy one. I
                  imagine the spine of such "twig" shafting will vary widely.



                  Padraig



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