There are still guys who make tradional bows and they use Osage
A lot...:icon_wink: :icon_wink:
Sorry Burl I just noticed this post it slipped by. Yes bow staves are a nice little niche, but you really have to follow some strict parameters when selecting the wood for a bow. I am certainly not an expert but I do know the basics.
When I first started becoming interested in Osage, I was talking to a guy in East Texas who was trying to sell me some huge ERC logs. It came up in the conversation that he needed a really nice Osage log for his son who wanted to make some Osage bows, and the stuff doesn't grow there - just an occassional scraggly he says. It just happened that my dad had a particularly nice one in the back yard of one of his rental properties. I told this logger that if he wanted it I would bring it with me but the ERC price would have to come down. Well, in hindsight, which is 20/20, I did not realize what a nice log that was. It was perfectly straight for 12 feet, no limbs or eveidence of where any limbs had even been, and SOLID. It wasn't huge but was a nice size. An 18" DBH which is solid, is better than a 30" cracked anyday. Those solid ones are hard to find. If there was a market for veneer Osage (and there may be one day the way this tree is being "discovered") then this tree would have qualified.
Now the cool thing about bow staves is, you can get a stave out of a fairly straight branch as well as you can the trunk on an Osage. Many Osage bowyers will use a slight curve to their advantage while others want them perfeclty straight.
Have you made one yet? I would like to be able to say that I have inasmuch as I am calling myself the Bois D' Arc Boy, so I guess I need to get around to it. I'll add it to my list.
If you know anyone who wants some staves let me know. i believe I can accomodate any sized order.