Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Juniper help

Messages posted to thread:
bugslinger 11-Jan-19
bugslinger 11-Jan-19
IdahoSteel 11-Jan-19
Elderly OCR 11-Jan-19
fdp 11-Jan-19
bugslinger 11-Jan-19
Spookinelk 11-Jan-19
bugslinger 11-Jan-19
IdahoSteel 14-Jan-19
bugslinger 14-Jan-19
fdp 14-Jan-19
osage 14-Jan-19
2 bears 14-Jan-19
Elderly OCR 15-Jan-19
neuse 15-Jan-19
Elderly OCR 15-Jan-19
wonderbowman 16-Jan-19
wonderbowman 16-Jan-19
RymanCat 16-Jan-19
Elderly OCR 16-Jan-19
2 bears 16-Jan-19
fdp 16-Jan-19
Tlhbow 16-Jan-19
Elderly OCR 16-Jan-19
bugslinger 16-Jan-19
Elderly OCR 17-Jan-19
Tlhbow 17-Jan-19
Elderly OCR 17-Jan-19
bugslinger 17-Jan-19
bugslinger 17-Jan-19
fdp 19-Jan-19
fdp 19-Jan-19
fdp 19-Jan-19
fdp 19-Jan-19
fdp 19-Jan-19
fdp 19-Jan-19
fdp 19-Jan-19
2 bears 19-Jan-19
Bassman 19-Jan-19
fdp 19-Jan-19
2 bears 19-Jan-19
Iwander 20-Jan-19
Iwander 20-Jan-19
Iwander 20-Jan-19
Iwander 20-Jan-19
fdp 20-Jan-19
bugslinger 20-Jan-19
bugslinger 20-Jan-19
oneTone 28-Jan-19
camodave 28-Jan-19
Elderly OCR 28-Jan-19
From: bugslinger
Date: 11-Jan-19

bugslinger's embedded Photo



I just acquired this juniper and I’m wondering if it’s big enough to split again into two staves? This is the larger end I can provide any additional pics that may help. I don’t know much at all about building selfbows any advice is welcome.

From: bugslinger
Date: 11-Jan-19

bugslinger's embedded Photo



From: IdahoSteel
Date: 11-Jan-19




where did you get it? How much twist is in the stave? Do you have access to a band saw? Are you certain it is not one of the cedars? Do you have access to quality sinew?

Limb wise I would think you could spit it. But, you may have to glue on additional depth to the handle...

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 11-Jan-19




The quality of the stave is more important than the dimensions.

From: fdp
Date: 11-Jan-19




Depends on what kind of bow you want to make. It actually looks to me like it's going to have some twist in it so you are going to have to allow for that.

That peice in the background is going to twist as it dries if you don't clamp it down also.

From: bugslinger
Date: 11-Jan-19




I got it at my job site in the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. It does have some twist in it, I thought I might be able to work out with steam?? I do have a band saw. No I’m not sure that it’s not a cedar, although I understand the two are often confused. I don’t have any sinew right now but have buddies that are supposed to save me some if they kill late season elk. I do have some good rawhide. I understand the quality is important, the dimensions are for reference. I’m not sure what kind of bow I’m looking to make, any suggestions?

From: Spookinelk
Date: 11-Jan-19




There is no Red Cedar in the SLV outside of the towns, so you can rest assured that it's Rocky Mountain Juniper if you got it there.

From: bugslinger
Date: 11-Jan-19




It came from Mtn Home Reservoir

From: IdahoSteel
Date: 14-Jan-19




I know the natives made shorter backed bows with it, I have as well. They are OK. More of a wall piece really. Still I think it really shines as a long bow or a flat bow(56 to 64)... the wood is very light once dried. I have found it nearly impossible to get a single stave long and straight enough however and have had to splice shorter staves. I have had some success steaming and bending it. But it is prone to pressure fractures. Also, I would plan on a sinew or rawhide backing from the start, even if just a super thin layer.

Best of luck.

From: bugslinger
Date: 14-Jan-19




I may save the best billets I can from it and season the rest to warm the hose. Thanks for all the reply's.

From: fdp
Date: 14-Jan-19




Juniper is a very under rated bow wood. Not only is it possibly the best North American wood to use in combination with a sinew backing, it also makes an outstanding American type longbow.

Juniper is a very resilient wood that will take a tremedous bend before it breaks if it is worked in a relatively consistent manner.

If I find relatively clear Juniper billets that are 30" or more long, I save very one of them. The width is what determines the type of bow they will be used for.

From: osage
Date: 14-Jan-19




I cut a Juniper in Nevada a few years ago. It would have been easier to make a propeller for a WW1 aircraft than a bow.

From: 2 bears
Date: 14-Jan-19




O.K. Juniper is a good bow wood. How do you recognize it? How do you tell it from all the cedars? I may have a good supply or not. It does look like it will be hard to find long enough stock for one piece bows. I have made hiking sticks from it. >>>>-----> Ken

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 15-Jan-19




Look for little blue berries.

From: neuse
Date: 15-Jan-19




I am in Texas, we have lots of cedar, cedar fence post very common. There are cedar bushes and cedar trees. I do not know how to distinguish what a juniper is.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 15-Jan-19




Unfortunately local parlance usually makes trees into things they are not.

To most any evergreen is a Pine tree or a "Christmas Tree" with Cedar being the last option. Then you have the ones with actual accepted incorrect names like ERC, White Cedar and Western Red Cedar.

Undoubtedly many of your Texas "Cedars" are actually Juniper.

From: wonderbowman
Date: 16-Jan-19




Without getting into latin names I'll say all ERC is juniper, but a different species than "western" juniper. I have not found properties to be any different between the two and I work with both, a lot. All ERC trees look like bushes to start, and will stay bushes, albeit big bushes, unless trimmed.

Here is some nice looking ERC

From: wonderbowman
Date: 16-Jan-19

wonderbowman's embedded Photo



From: RymanCat
Date: 16-Jan-19




Purty esp. with a gloss overcoat.

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 16-Jan-19




ERC and Western etc. will also form hybrids where ranges overlap.

From: 2 bears
Date: 16-Jan-19




They are all called Cedar around here. Soooo the ones with blue berries will make a bow? Most of them seem to have red berries. Thanks. >>>----> Ken

From: fdp
Date: 16-Jan-19




It's dark when I get home during the week. I'll post some pics. of Juniper this weekend when I'm off.

From: Tlhbow
Date: 16-Jan-19




Pinion wood is more common in Colorado San louis Valleyou area than cedar . Is it juniper ?

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 16-Jan-19




It's a pine.

From: bugslinger
Date: 16-Jan-19




Are you saying the pics I posted are pine?

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 17-Jan-19




No, the post above asking if Pinion is a Juniper.

From: Tlhbow
Date: 17-Jan-19




How does fresh cut Juniper smell . Pinion sent is like cedar .

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 17-Jan-19




That depends what you think "cedar" smells like. Some people think Western Red Cedar salmon plank/sauna is a cedar smell, others think of Cedar chest as the smell of cedar.

Juniper smell is the latter.

From: bugslinger
Date: 17-Jan-19




Agree with above regarding the smell, my garage smells like a cedar chest.

From: bugslinger
Date: 17-Jan-19




Agree with above regarding the smell, my garage smells like a cedar chest.

From: fdp
Date: 19-Jan-19

fdp's embedded Photo



I was finally able to get out and take some pictures today of our Texas hill country Juniper.

Here is a picture of a standing tree showing the bark.

From: fdp
Date: 19-Jan-19

fdp's embedded Photo



Here is a picture of what the berries look like. The berries are only on female tres.

From: fdp
Date: 19-Jan-19

fdp's embedded Photo



Close up of the leaflets.

From: fdp
Date: 19-Jan-19

fdp's embedded Photo



The berries for size.

From: fdp
Date: 19-Jan-19

fdp's embedded Photo



These are 2 different Juniper bows in progress.

The one on the left will ga short West Coast type bow.

The one on the right a much longer narrow limbed flat bow.

From: fdp
Date: 19-Jan-19

fdp's embedded Photo



This is one half of a set of sister billets that will be used to make a long, wide limbed flat bow.

From: fdp
Date: 19-Jan-19

fdp's embedded Photo



Here is the narrow stave shown above setting next to a 64" D/R longbow I was shooting today to give you an idea of the length and width.

Theis is actually going to be a "sapling" bow as this was a small, fairly straight tree that I cut and started working on 3 or 4 years ago.

From: 2 bears
Date: 19-Jan-19




Thank you. Great pictures. I know I have see that where I hunt. Could you give a couple of clues what the Cedar looks like in comparison. I want to be sure not to cut the wrong wood for staves. >>>>-----> Ken

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 19-Jan-19




Nice looking bow on the right.I can see you have made some nice bows with that wood.You went from maple bows in Ohio to Juniper bows in Texas.Nice.

From: fdp
Date: 19-Jan-19




Thanks Bassman.

Ken, I don't have any Cedar around close to me. However, the next time I get around some I'll take some pictures. If you look at the limbs and the leaflets they are pretty eaasy to identify. There will be berries on the ground all year long, and when the berries are on the tree's there is no doubt what you're seeing.

From: 2 bears
Date: 19-Jan-19




Thanks.Don't go to any trouble. You have been a big help.>>>----> Ken

From: Iwander
Date: 20-Jan-19




I always figured the natives put a bunch of senew on Juniper and Cedar for a good reason. Every so I ever built out of it blew up.

From: Iwander
Date: 20-Jan-19




Sorry for the typos, I meant to say "sinew" and "Bow"

From: Iwander
Date: 20-Jan-19




Some historic accounts claim that the Monache Indians of the California Sierra mountains built some of the best sinew backed juniper bows.

From: Iwander
Date: 20-Jan-19

Iwander's embedded Photo



I haven't been able to dig up too much information on the Monache tribe. From what I gather they had fine bows, were referred to as a "mountain" Indians so they wouldn't be confused with the valley Indians, and they were somewhat feisty.

From: fdp
Date: 20-Jan-19




Oddly enough I've never had a Juniper bow blow up whether sinew backed or self bow. I have had some take a bad set, and have intentionally tillered Juniper bows and over drawn them to see what they would do. If you put sinew on one it is virtually unbreakable.

From: bugslinger
Date: 20-Jan-19




Found this you today, I think I’m gonna go back up and get it.

From: bugslinger
Date: 20-Jan-19

bugslinger's embedded Photo



From: oneTone
Date: 28-Jan-19




Just to answer some of the above questions: Pinon is a pine tree which bears its seeds in cones. Juniper (of which there are a number of species, e.g. Rocky Mountain, One Seed, Alligator) is not a pine and bears its seeds in what are called berries. The two woods do not smell the same.

From: camodave
Date: 28-Jan-19




We used to have a roadside inn called the Juniper in near here. Long gone now. Wish I had paid more attention to the wood presented there. Would have been a great education on Alberta juniper. To me juniper is a low bush. But I recall some large carved works displayed at the Juniper Inn.

DDave

From: Elderly OCR
Date: 28-Jan-19




That's Common Juniper. It actually has the largest geographical range of any woody plant.





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