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14036Re: [MedievalSawdust] Wood to use to be period???... What do you think

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  • conradh@efn.org
    Feb 3, 2011
      On Thu, February 3, 2011 10:41 am, maf@... wrote:
      > I was reading a book a few years ago about Yew and the making of bows.
      > They talked about thefact that yew grown in warmer climates grows faster
      > but the thicker growth rings make it less suitable for use as a bow. I
      > would think that the same is true for other woods and uses, where it grew
      > may be just as import as species.

      True enough, and traditional woodworkers in all kinds of places pay
      attention to such details.

      However, do remember that some trees are _stronger_ when they grow fast,
      and others weaker (like most softwoods).

      Also, microclimate can be very useful to users of local woods when it
      comes to this issue. Particularly if there are mountains nearby. I
      recall Tim Severin's account of a very traditional timber merchant who was
      helping him with wood for building his _Brendan_, a replica Dark Ages
      Irish curragh he eventually sailed to North America while investigating
      the voyages of St. Brendan. The merchant was going to great effort to get
      some ash trees that had grown in thick woods on the north side of a hill,
      because the wood would be stronger. So you may not have to go far to get
      the climate that will give you the right wood.

      I know from my own handlemaking that the best ash comes from understory
      trees--they go straight up without much branching, so you get very clear
      sapwood. And since ash is one of those odd trees where the sapwood is
      _stronger_ than the heartwood...as in the old English craftsman's proverb,
      "Heart of oak, bark of ash".

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