Selfbow basics- harvesting wood – dead wood

When winter has gone it is very worth to look for dead trees or branches, just when in spring the trees are beginning to grow again. It is easy to  notice what is dead and what is still alive. Usually the bark has more or less detached from the trunk too. So there are very clear indications to recognize if the wood is really dead. I cut the dead wood, split and check it for signs of decay and wood worms. Maybe I´ve cut firewood, but in most cases I´ve got bowstaves, already dry, I can begin to work them right now.

Recently I checked a crop of Black Locusts growing at the southern slope of a very prominent small mountain just nearby called “Spitzkopf”. In the Middle Ages there was a silver mine there.

I found some dead Black Locusts, one of them very straight. I can´t remember to have seen a Black Locust like this one. Thick growthrings, no knots, no twists, already dry. Enjoy the pics, sometimes the dreams of a bowyer become true.

perfect locust stave spring 2010
splitting locust spring 2010
some more locust spring 2010
cross section of locust spring 2010

The bark is almost very lose, I cut it with a drawknife and will leave the wood for some weeks, for to give it a final drying. Time is a healer.

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