Groan. Guess I will have to go see if I can find a Mulberry tree.
It is suppose to be one of the preferred woods. Where I am, we don't have Ash, Black Locust, Lemonwood (still not sure if this is a citrus lemon or not), Yew, Osage, Hickory, or White Oak that I know of. Some of those are in North Florida.
Which is better, branch staves or trunk staves? I think I read somewhere that trunk staves were better because the growth rings are thicker but I am not sure. I would not be able to harvest it until Fall/Winter when the sap is low and I still have to find a Mulberry but I would like to know which would be better ahead of time. Okay, I found a passage in McPherson, "a flat outer surface will make a stronger bow because this higher percentage of forces is spread over a wider surface. The smaller the tree or limb, the rounder the outer surface, the more tension exerted in a smaller area." We know that wood fails first under compression, not tension. That means the belly will give before the back of a bow. We work the belly and can make that flat. The back of the bow is the part we do not have control over and do not want to touch. McPherson does not say which is better and uses both branch and trunk wood but the trunk wood seems like it would have a flatter outer surface rather than a more rounded surface like a smaller branch. I guess it just boils down to the size of the branch or trunk.
This is not something I am looking forward to, curing time, all the heating, bending, shaping, tillering, maybe backing, wood treating, etc. Very long term project if I do it right (as McPherson shows). I could make a quicker single stave bow (shorter curing time) that won't last as long (like Tom Brown shows) but I would rather make one to last longer if I invest as much time on it. I think I would rather buy a good wood recurve but I need to make one (using primitive means) just so I will know I could. Archery is something I am not new to though with all the shooting of modern bows I have done.
- Robert M.
"I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me." - Paul, c. A.D. 60 (Philippians 4:13)