Where to obtain round timber

PLEASE HELP TO FUND ARCHERY INTERCHANGE

sijomon

New member
Hi,


I've only very recently started my bowyering journey. I attended am excellent ELB course from York Wood Crafts and made a Ash ELB (which I am totally in love with).


The course took us from a semi-green (~6 months seasoned) Ash log, about 12" diameter and 9' long, through to a longbow, using traditional handtools (wedges, froe, side axe, draw-knife, etc.)


Now I'd like to make some more using the same techniques, and whilst I've found it easy to buy some of the tools, and build others (spliting brake, shave-horse etc.) I'm finding it next to impossible to find timber.


I'm after green(ish) round timber from pretty much any hardwood, about 8"-12" diameter, and about 8'-9' foot long, ideal perfectly straight grained, no twist, knot free (yes I know, I can dream though).


I've rung all my local tree surgeons, who don't seem to have any concept of supplying wood for this sort of thing. I've rung all my local saw-mills, but they only seem to keep ready sawn planks, and very little hardwood, and only seem interested in negotiated beyond this if I'm buying in bulk. I've rang round several firewood suppliers (mainly found by noticing ad-boards next to a-roads), but they seem completely fazed by the idea I might want the timber left round, and green, and that I'd want to inspect it before I bought it. I've rang local wood-land management collectives, they seem somewhat more open to the concept, but don't have anything of that size (they mainly have coppiced products: 1"-2" poles etc.) I've tried online timber sales web-sites, but they only seem to deal in enormous quantities.


So now I'm stuck. Short of sneaking into local woodland and stealing trees (which I not suggesting as a serious option) I don't see any way forward.


Has anyone got any advice on where I could go from here to get hold of some appropriate timber?


Thanks,


Simon.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Contact your local conservation volunteer groups via your local council or BTCV.
With autumn and Winter approaching it's the season for coppicing and thinning trees.
Hazel, Ash, Elm, Maple, Sycamore, Hawthorn, Hornbeam most woods will produce a bow.
If you have local woodland or hedgerow you may be able to appropriate such wood if done responsible.
Yew is harder to find, but make it your business to locate every Yew tree within a 2 mile radius of your home.
Bowyer's Diary: Hazel Harvesting.
Del
Del
 

sijomon

New member
I doubt that it's round (or that it needs to be) but you should be able to find something here as they sell wood specifically for bow making: Exotic Hardwoods Uk Ltd | Longbow Wood

Also commercial bowyers such as Richard Head and Pip Bickerstaff will often sell you a stave.

Best,
Backinblack
Thanks for the suggestion, but I am really keen to work from wood that's as close a felled tree as possible, and I'd certainly want to inspect anything before I bought it.

- - - Updated - - -

Contact your local conservation volunteer groups via your local council or BTCV.
With autumn and Winter approaching it's the season for coppicing and thinning trees.
Hazel, Ash, Elm, Maple, Sycamore, Hawthorn, Hornbeam most woods will produce a bow.
If you have local woodland or hedgerow you may be able to appropriate such wood if done responsible.
Yew is harder to find, but make it your business to locate every Yew tree within a 2 mile radius of your home.
Bowyer's Diary: Hazel Harvesting.
Del
Del
I'm contacting local conservation groups now...thanks for he suggestion
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Where abouts are you? If you ever get near Harlow, Essex, I could find you a seasoned stave in my stash...
Del
 

WillS

New member
Don't give up on tree surgeons and arborists. If they all have your details, you'll be amazed at the stuff you'll start getting given. It takes a good year or so to build up but eventually you get a ready supply being offered to you.

If you're on Facebook there are certain groups with daily photos of yew, ash, elm etc trees people have just felled and are looking for something to do with it. Somebody was giving away at least 10 tonnes of freshly cut yew logs over 8ft long yesterday. He ended up burning and planking it unfortunately as nobody local was available to pick it up quickly. It's a gold mine if you look around and are willing to travel for it.

Local councils are great as well, if you take the time to get them excited about bows and the history. My local tree wardens have got my number and give me a ring whenever a yew tree is being taken down in case I want first dibs at the stuff. I had to do some talks and magazine articles for their local area in return, but it's a small price to pay for really good wood.

There are also websites easy enough to find that are designed for people to advertise round timber, and you find some crazy deals on there as most people don't have a clue what it's worth.
 

little-else

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
Might sound a bit silly but if you have an open hearth or log burning stove people will offer you the chance to help yourself when they fell trees or do severe pruning as it costs them nothing that way to dispose of it. You will probably get 1 piece of decent timber a year that way but at least you stay warm in the winter as well. I got some nice lumps of timber for turning that way, if I had an inkling that people were after wood for bows I would have kept some likely pieces. Ash will be the commonest wood up for grabs as many turners dont want it because they have enough already
 
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