Mathews Inc.
Maple good bow wood?
Contributors to this thread:
Bone Collector 16-Mar-09
spider1 16-Mar-09
Boobacker 16-Mar-09
Jeff Durnell 17-Mar-09
horsethief/office 17-Mar-09
George D. Stout 17-Mar-09
horsethief/office 17-Mar-09
Alpine Stick 18-Mar-09
Ryano 21-Mar-09
RC 21-Mar-09
hawk-eye 21-Mar-09
Wondering if Maple would be any good for making a bow and if so what do I need to look for and then do to begin the drying process?

From: spider1
Not a bad bow wood, but it depends on the type of maple. Rock or sugar maple is good as is vine maple.

Vine maple tends to lean over as it grows, so the stave has to be taken from either the top or bottom, side staves will twist as they are tillered.

When cutting a tree for staves, look at the outer bark for twists and broken branches and other visible signs of trouble. After cutting the tree, the ends need to be sealed with a latex paint or polyurathane, or even wood glue. Anything to seal the ends. The tree trunk will start to lose moisture quickly and it will lose it faster at the ends, this will develope checks in the wood that could ruin good staves later. The trunk needs to be stored off the ground and out of the elements.

It could take a year or so for the tree trunk to dry enough to start working on and even longer for the staves or billets to be usable.

Good luck, I usually just go to a local hardwood lumberyard and pick through the pile of lumber for what I'm after. But then again, I usually make backed boardbows and not selfbows.

From: Boobacker
16-Mar-09 check out this link

From: Jeff Durnell
You could make an all wooden bow out of maple, with special design considerations. Not all maple is of equal quality. Most view any of it as a second rate bow wood, at best, for selfbows. I've never made one of local maple, only vine maple, but know of others' attempts. Most failed.

I reserve maple, figured and plain, for use in bows with fiberglass backings.

In my opinion, there are other local woods that are better suited. Got any hophornbeam, hickory, locust, ash?


horsethief/office's embedded Photo
horsethief/office's embedded Photo

He is talking about all wood bows horsethief. Maple makes a great laminated bow, that's a given.

Didn't see that mentioned there George. Is this a selfbow thread? (:^)

I still have standing hickory up the wahzoo if anyone wants to cut the stuff. Lots of cherry already on the ground too and its easy to get to now.

From: Alpine Stick
In 9 years and perhaps 100 or so bows, the only one that ever blew up on my tillering tree was a maple board bow before it ever reached full draw. I recommend hickory in the local woods (or osage if you can get it).

From: Ryano
Well I hate to disagree with whats been said but from my experiance good hard maple is one of the best white woods out there for selfbows. I actualy would rate it well aboveash or hickory. There is nothing soft about the maple staves Ive worked, I'd say its one of the hardest local woods there is when seasoned properly.

From: RC
Ryano, I don't believe ya. So yer gonna have to send me a free stave to test it:)

From: hawk-eye
There are many kinds of maple, some are hard, some are not. Norway maple is hard, but brittle it just depends what kind of maple you use, all maples are not equal.

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