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Does the type of wood affect performance when it comes to modern wood and fiberglass bows? Obviously it does with self bows, but I was wondering if there would be any velocity or durability differences expected from using something like yew or osage orange versus other woods from typical custom bowyers.
 

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Assume you mean for cores(one wood or another as veneer is a neglible difference.)

Most bowyers say the choose of core wood doesnt matter much(assuming you choose from the core woods they feel are acceptable.) Ive seen bowyers say that it makes 2 fps difference at the most.

But the reason people choose bamboo often is that its lighter than most woods so people hope to get a small speed bonus.
 

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If you have black glass, no.
But if I am paying for clear glass on the limbs I want a prettier limb wood. One of the most striking bows I ever owned was black locust. Now I chase performance so my limbs are Bkack carbon mesh over carbon foam cores.
 

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Some bowyers will say there is a difference because of the weight of the wood. But others say it’s not worth worrying about. With that in mind my new LB will be Bamboo core with Cocobolo veneers, Cocobolo riser. My Vintage works 62 Bear repro has bamboo core limbs with carbon on back, clear glass on belly. The carbon does help in the preformance department.
 

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Border tested this, it does make a difference. Bamboo and most foams aren't any faster than good hard maple. However elm is apparently even better.
 

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Many people like denser, heavier wood in the riser to add mass, especially on recurves. On the longbow side, Howard Hill bow aficionados seem to have preferences for particular wood lams in the limbs - yew, bamboo, half-and-half, etc. I'm guessing that has more to do with the feel of the bow than any objective performance differences.
 

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When backed by glass, it doesn’t matter. By itself or in just wood lams bows, sure it matters
 

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Grant, are you saying that Border did a test and concluded that red elm is measurably better(the best?) in recurve limbs than other core materials? I have been on the fence between yew and red elm for a future build. Empirical evidence that red elm is the best would make the decision easier.
 

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Grant, are you saying that Border did a test and concluded that red elm is measurably better(the best?) in recurve limbs than other core materials? I have been on the fence between yew and red elm for a future build. Empirical evidence that red elm is the best would make the decision easier.
I don't know if it was red Elm, but it was an Elm species. Even their foam limbs have a little wood in the core.
Yew is special for selfbows because of the sap and core wood combination, but mainly esthetic for a glass bow.
 

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I don't know if it was red Elm, but it was an Elm species. Even their foam limbs have a little wood in the core.
Yew is special for selfbows because of the sap and core wood combination, but mainly esthetic for a glass bow.
FWIW -

(European) White elm : Ulmus laevis

(American) Red Elm : Ulmus rubra

regards,

John
 

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Years ago I had a discussion with John Fazio about maple and bamboo. He said bamboo was faster. (not much a couple of feet - a couple of feet is faster) Pretty sure most of his limbs were bamboo. So elm is faster than bamboo (#2) and maple (#3). If yew and osage is better for a selfbow, wouldn't they be better than elm with glass?

Bowmania
 

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I have a Wes Wallace Royal, RD LB. The limbs are Red Elm and clear glass. IMO the Elm is as good as Yew and Bamboo. I am just not a fan of the wood grain and color. Not really convinced wood core makes that much difference in a recurve but I may be mistaken.
 
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