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Old 04-01-2012, 07:36 AM
r2d246 r2d246 is offline
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Red face Do you need hardwood to make a bow?



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Do you need hardwood to make a bow? I honestly don't think there is very much hardwood growing in my area. That is western Canada. What kind of wood do you use to make a bow in this situation? How would you make it? And how would you make the arrows?
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:58 AM
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Osage Orange , primitive arrows here out of choke cherry or willow ,
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:27 AM
graystone graystone is offline
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Investigate what the local indiginous people used ("Indians"). If there are no hard woods for your self bow, consider tendon backing a bow made from a softer wood. I think that alder, or black birch may be a wood the Indians used. Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:20 AM
brewmaster111 brewmaster111 is offline
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i live in western canada also,you can use chokechery or dogwood for arrows and i know ash and willow have been used although i dont know how well they work,you can also make a survival bow by combining several thin chokecherry or dogwood branches together and bind them on the ends,try backwoodsman magazine they have several articles on making wooden bows.my old boss made his own bows but he used several kinds of wood laminating them together and steaming them to bend it to where he wanted them,but it took him months to do a bow and he told me at least half of them failed but the one i saw him make ....... before it broke on the first draw was a work of art i mean it was incredible craftsmanship
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:32 AM
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PVC/ABS piping...
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2d246 View Post
Do you need hardwood to make a bow? I honestly don't think there is very much hardwood growing in my area. That is western Canada. What kind of wood do you use to make a bow in this situation? How would you make it? And how would you make the arrows?
You don't need hardwood at all. Yew, which is one of the top woods for bowmaking is actually a softwood. It is a confiner tree. Yet Osage/Bois D'Arc is an extremely hard wood.

So hardness doesn't really matter as much.

Now you can practically use any wood to make a primitive bow. How GOOD that bow is the main issue. How long will it retain/release the engery or will it bend and snap. How is the wood prepared? How is it shaped? What range you need? etc etc

These are more important questions to ask.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2d246 View Post
Do you need hardwood to make a bow? I honestly don't think there is very much hardwood growing in my area. That is western Canada. What kind of wood do you use to make a bow in this situation? How would you make it? And how would you make the arrows?
Saxton Pope wrote a great book about building and using bow and arrows. It's back in print and well worth owning.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:44 PM
Grumpus Monkus Grumpus Monkus is offline
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Everything you need to know about making a bow:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=..._id=3460113273
Old 04-01-2012, 11:50 PM
George Newbill George Newbill is offline
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I could not identify an Osage Orange tree if my life depended on it.

The lumber yards around here carry two types of trees, Southern White Pine and nothing else.
Old 04-02-2012, 03:12 AM
r2d246 r2d246 is offline
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Originally Posted by George Newbill View Post
I could not identify an Osage Orange tree if my life depended on it.

The lumber yards around here carry two types of trees, Southern White Pine and nothing else.

I've seen pine, spruce, poplar and birtch. Don't recall seeing any others???
Old 04-03-2012, 09:46 PM
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you can use different wood types, you just have to use different designs. a softer wood works fine if you use a pyramid design. I made a pyramid bow of pine and it worked great. it also helps if you steam the ends and recurve them some. You can also use some sort of backing such as rawhide if needed or sinew which takes a little more skill.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:17 PM
Supermag Supermag is offline
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I could not identify an Osage Orange tree if my life depended on it.

The lumber yards around here carry two types of trees, Southern White Pine and nothing else.
Easiest way to identify them is by their fruit, the hedge apple.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Newbill View Post
I could not identify an Osage Orange tree if my life depended on it.

The lumber yards around here carry two types of trees, Southern White Pine and nothing else.
Here is the fruit from an Osage tree. You can't miss it if it is blooming in your area. Very distinctive fruit. Often called Osage orange or horse apple or hedge apple.

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Old 04-08-2012, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Newbill View Post
I could not identify an Osage Orange tree if my life depended on it.

The lumber yards around here carry two types of trees, Southern White Pine and nothing else.
It's also known as the horseapple and bois d'arc and other monikers. around the bottom of the tree are usually these grapefruit sized green fruits that have little spheres connected like a raspberry. these fruits are really dense, heavier than softballs. and the tree itself has thorns all over it. it is one of the most incredible trees ever. you can buy osage bow blanks from various places but the wood is not available OTC that i know of.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:44 PM
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i use rocky mountain maple alot. it works fairly well. it can be found around seasonal streams and seasonal flood areas. i also use chokecherry, and yew when i can find good bushes. i have also made a bow out of larch. although you have to be selective of your staves.
later
alan
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2d246 View Post
Do you need hardwood to make a bow? I honestly don't think there is very much hardwood growing in my area. That is western Canada. What kind of wood do you use to make a bow in this situation? How would you make it? And how would you make the arrows?
You can make a "bundle bow" from willows or alder saplings. You can make arrows from willow and points from bone or antler. You're better off learning to make snares and traps and catch Marmots, rabbits, etc. You have to take time to hunt with a bow, Traps hunt constantly. For self defense, A good spear made of box elder, alder or cottonwood saplings, points out od a scapular bone, obsidian or flint.

You may have mountain mahogany in your area. SERVICEBERRY makes GREAT bows. The only "softwood" I would make a bow from would be Yew.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Newbill View Post
I could not identify an Osage Orange tree if my life depended on it.

The lumber yards around here carry two types of trees, Southern White Pine and nothing else.
Osage orange are also called 'horse apples', because the rumpled green surface of the fruit has that kind of appearance. I built a laminated crossbow prod out of bamboo and horn last winter, and it worked very well. I may make another one this summer, when it is warm enough to keep the bubbles out of the hide glue....
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2d246 View Post
Do you need hardwood to make a bow? I honestly don't think there is very much hardwood growing in my area. That is western Canada. What kind of wood do you use to make a bow in this situation? How would you make it? And how would you make the arrows?
Pick up the book: "Outdoor Survival Skills" by Larry Dean Olsen. He shows you how to make a very servicable, serviceberry bow. Serviceberries are native to W.Canada. I don't think Osage orange is.

BTW, Serviceberries are very edible too.
Old 04-09-2012, 12:52 PM
benajah benajah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r2d246 View Post
Do you need hardwood to make a bow? I honestly don't think there is very much hardwood growing in my area. That is western Canada. What kind of wood do you use to make a bow in this situation? How would you make it? And how would you make the arrows?
In western Canada the most common bow woods were the softwoods, due to the availibility. A characteristic you see among western North American bows is that they tend to be rather wide in comparison to the Great Plains and Eastern Woodlands where people could get Osage or Hickory.
Out west with softwoods, they compensated by making bows rather wide. Check out "The Traditional Boyers Bible" series, tons of fantastic information there.
Old 04-09-2012, 01:26 PM
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Pacific Yew
Osage Orange
Mulberry
Hickory
Black Locust
Ash

These are all good, but I put them in order of personal preference.
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