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wood selection for your bow

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wood selection for your bow

Old 03-14-2005, 10:10 PM
  #1  
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Default wood selection for your bow

hey I want to have a custom long bow made by centaur, currently known as selway.
i talked to jim the guy that builds them, he said i could have it custom made with whatever
wood i wanted, i am new to the traditional world, and i want a wood for the riser and limbs that
will be a beautiful looking bow, really appealing and also have some great performance
so what woods would you reccomend that could do this?
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:33 AM
  #2  
Giant Nontypical
 
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Default RE: wood selection for your bow

What do you like? Dark wood or light wood? Or something in the middle? Go to www.recurves.com (ChekMate bows) and www.tradstore.com/woodshed/ and look at the woods that are available. Naturally both sites have a lot of the same woods, but each has something the other doesn't. ChekMate has some really eyepopping veneers that they can put over limb corewoods.

Some of my favorite riser woods are Bolivian Rosewood, bocote, cocobolo, tulipwood, zebrawood, kingwood, wenge and ziricote. I like bloodwood, purpleheart, osage and padauk accent woods for color contrast. Face cut red elm, yew, and osage make nice looking limbs under clear glass. Osage starts out a bright yellow and mellows with exposure to the sun to a deep honey color. Or you can have veneers put over whatever limb core woods you choose, ChekMate has some stuff called waterfall bubinga that I think is to die for. Or you can go with black or brown glass over just about any kind of core wood. They say that colored glass gives slightly better performance than clear glass, but I'm not so sure.

Best thing to do is ask the bowyer what limb core woods he'd recommend to give the best performance for his design at your draw length.

Remember that the heavier riser woods will make for a bow that gives a bit less handshock and vibration and give you a tad better stability. It doesn't make as huge a difference with longbows as it does with recurves, but when you compare two identical longbows with different weight riser woods you can tell a difference. I had a Saxon Mongoose with a shedua riser and a friend had the exact same bow, exact same draw weight, exact same limb cores but with a leadwood riser. It was much heavier and it held steadier on target and had noticeably less handshock than mine did.

Sometimes you can get a really great, beautiful bow if you just give the bowyer a general idea of what you like and then turn him loose to exert his own creativity on actual wood selections.
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:27 PM
  #3  
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Default RE: wood selection for your bow

I recently had a custom bow built using laminated Hard Rock Maple for the riser and the limbs, with black fiberglass over the limbs. It has a camo appearance to it which is what I wanted. I will try to get pictures.
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:39 PM
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Default RE: wood selection for your bow

I really like Bocote and cocabola for risers. A little over a week ago, I picked up a new longbow with a bocote riser and red-elm limbs. It's classy, but not something that looks flashy. I really like the color of red-elm limbs, and I find that they compliment many different woods. I especially like them with cocobola. I know it would be a bit of a contrast, but I've always thought that shedua limbs would look very nice on a waterfall bubinga riser.
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:54 PM
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Default RE: wood selection for your bow

I'm currently waiting to shoot my second custom bow I was supposed to have done that already, only plans got changed. Anyway, my first is a 63 inch longbow made with cocabola riser and bubinga and clear glass limbs. I draw 70# at 28 inches. It's a beautiful bow and has served me well. In two years I have taken 2 whitetails with it. I really enjoy shooting it. Don't intend to stop. Currently I'm waitng to shoot a 55 inch recurve made from cocabola riser and bamboo and brown glass limbs. I've been told it is also 70# at 28 inches. Hope to shoot it this friday so he can finish it. I chose cocabola in both instances because I prefer the feel of a bow with a little more weight, and I like the looks of it. My shot is more stable it seems with the heavier riser.

Jim
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:28 PM
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Default RE: wood selection for your bow

gapshot, you must really like the heavier drawing bows. I like cocabola too; somebody told me it's the only wood that doesn't float. Don't know if that's true or not, but I think it makes for a very strong riser.

ORIGINAL: gapshot

I'm currently waiting to shoot my second custom bow I was supposed to have done that already, only plans got changed. Anyway, my first is a 63 inch longbow made with cocabola riser and bubinga and clear glass limbs. I draw 70# at 28 inches. It's a beautiful bow and has served me well. In two years I have taken 2 whitetails with it. I really enjoy shooting it. Don't intend to stop. Currently I'm waitng to shoot a 55 inch recurve made from cocabola riser and bamboo and brown glass limbs. I've been told it is also 70# at 28 inches. Hope to shoot it this friday so he can finish it. I chose cocabola in both instances because I prefer the feel of a bow with a little more weight, and I like the looks of it. My shot is more stable it seems with the heavier riser.

Jim
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:18 PM
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Default RE: wood selection for your bow

It's true I do like a heavy bow; at this point in my life I can shoot them. Who knows what the future holds. I've never tried floating my bow, the few times I have fallen into a stream with it, I was always able to hang on, (hahaha). I have not heard that, but I was told to keep it waxed to prevent the woods natural oils from evaporating and cause the bow to check.

Jim
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:09 AM
  #8  
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Default RE: wood selection for your bow

I like heavy woods that help steady the bow and absord recoil like Arthur mentioned.
That is why I chose African Blackwood for my last Trails End recurve and Snakewood for one I have on order.
Both woods are very expensive but worth the extra cost to me.
Here is my African Blackwood bow.
It looks much better in person.
The chocolate waves in the wood aren't visible in the pic.


Sag.

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Old 03-17-2005, 09:13 AM
  #9  
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Default RE: wood selection for your bow

Snakewood riser.


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Old 03-17-2005, 09:43 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: wood selection for your bow

Both are knockout bows, Sag, but I still think that riser on the snakewood bow is one of the most stunningly beautiful pieces of wood I've ever seen. Absolutely gorgeous! I love nicely figured hunks of wood.

The one thing I didn't like about my friend's bow with the leadwood riser is the leadwood had hardly any figure or interest to it. The best way I can describe it is it looked like chocolate pudding that was molded into shape. You almost had to look through a magnifying glass to see what little grain pattern there was to it. But it's another wood with a specific gravity so high that it sinks like a rock in water.
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