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Good Woods for Bows and Bow Making

Note, I am only listing those woods commonly available in Canada and including a few imported woods that can be purchased.

The higher quality woods can make high poundage longbows. The lower quality woods can still make good bows, but you will need tomake the bow wider, longer and a lower poundage. Bamboo, rawhide or sinew backing can also make a bow stronger and more durable. You can also make a bow stronger by gluing different woods together in laminates - although the wood on the belly of the bow should be good for compression (sapwood is better for compression than heartwood).

TOP QUALITY WOODS

Apple
Ash
Bamboo (good compression)
Beech
Birch
Cherry (good compression)
Elm
Hickory
Holly
Juniper
Maple
Mulberry
Oak
Osage
Pear
Pecan
Persimmon
Plum
Tamarack
Walnut
Yew (good compression)

MIDDLE QUALITY WOODS

Black Ash
Douglas Fir
Eastern Redcedar
Elderberry
Hawthorn
Sassafras
Sumac
Sycamore

POOR WOODS

Aspen
Cedar
Fir
Mango
Mahogany
Pine
Poplar
Redwood
Spruce
Willow

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