Rafter bow?



New member
Hi all. This is a bit of a shot in the dark, but does anyone know what types of wood might be used to make the rafters of a roof on a 1970's house near london? I'm currently in the middle of having a loft conversion done to my house, and have rescued 3 nice long rafters that look in good condition and are pretty straight grained. I have a few projects that I can use them for, but the first thing that entered my mind was could I get a few free (or ?30,000 depending on how you look at it) board bows from them that I can experiment with? I'll probably do some bend tests before I go ahead and try making a full bow out of one, but was just wondering if anyone had an idea of what wood it might be?


New member
I didn't notice any stamps on the pieces I've salvaged, but that could just be because I didn't look for one. No photo at the moment. I've stashed them away in the shed for now, but I think you've probably answered my question anyway. Whatever it is, it doesn't sound destined to become a bow. Then again, building a usable bow out of pine sounds like an interesting challenge. Alternatively I could make a lot of arrow shafts. If my wife has anything to say about it they'll probably become book shelf supports thought. :(

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Yup, prob some fast growing species of pine generally reckoned to be no good for bows but good for arrows maybe.
Prob better off looking out for local woodland, parks, golf clubs doing coppicing this time of year.
If you are North London you could pop out to Harlow, I could prob find you a stave of seasoned Ash or nip over the road and point you and a saw at some Hazel!
I need to cut a bit for myself sometime... There is some Maple down from the recent high winds too :).
Bottle of white wine is the usual finders fee ;)
(you get a free go with the Chinese repeating crossbow etc... )