Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Ash vs Maple cores

Messages posted to thread:
strigif0rm3s 21-Jun-22
fdp 21-Jun-22
Jeff Durnell 21-Jun-22
Stealth2 21-Jun-22
Stealth2 21-Jun-22
krakka17 21-Jun-22
Okaw 21-Jun-22
Bowlim 21-Jun-22
bodymanbowyer 21-Jun-22
grouchy 62 21-Jun-22
Longcruise 21-Jun-22
Jeff Durnell 21-Jun-22
babysaph 21-Jun-22
Jeff Durnell 22-Jun-22
Babysaph 22-Jun-22
monkeyball 22-Jun-22
shade mt 23-Jun-22
Kodiak 23-Jun-22
Fred Bauder 23-Jun-22
Fred Bauder 23-Jun-22
fdp 23-Jun-22
Fred Bauder 23-Jun-22
fdp 23-Jun-22
Orion 23-Jun-22
Jeff Durnell 23-Jun-22
R.grider 27-Jun-22
Babysaph 27-Jun-22
Uncle Lijiah 27-Jun-22
Runner 27-Jun-22
Uncle Lijiah 27-Jun-22
Jeff Durnell 27-Jun-22
GLF 27-Jun-22
From: strigif0rm3s
Date: 21-Jun-22




Can any of you tell the difference between Ash and Maple cores? (specifically ASL's) I know design and the glass does 99% of the work....but im sure some of you have an opinion....hahhaa.

If you had to choose. Ash vs Maple....what would you pick and why?

From: fdp
Date: 21-Jun-22




Nope........I would pick Maple because it has been used in absolutely COUNTLESS bows over the years and has some of the best properties available for use in glass laminated bows.

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 21-Jun-22




If I had to pick one of those two, I'd pick maple simply because I have a bunch of it. But I wouldn't put it out where it was visible unless it was highly figured because it's too plain looking for my taste. Curly, quilted, or birdseye under clear glass with good clear hard maple inside, yep, that would be ok by me.

From: Stealth2 Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 21-Jun-22




I've had both in a few bows. Didn't notice and difference in performance but Maple is prettier

From: Stealth2 Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 21-Jun-22




I've had both in a few bows. Didn't notice and difference in performance but Maple is prettier

From: krakka17
Date: 21-Jun-22




If these are your only 2 choices, go with maple, they are fairly similar. If you have other options,and you Are Looking for more performance get Bamboo or YEW they will definitely perform better than the others.

From: Okaw
Date: 21-Jun-22




I like ash better than maple for making my own lams. The ash I have is very clear and straight grained. It saws and grinds better than maple. It’s possible ash glues better than maple also. I’ve had glue failures with maple, but none with ash. Performance seems the same.

From: Bowlim
Date: 21-Jun-22




Maple is a very easy to glue wood, most likely bond failure is something normal like excessive glamping pressure, or contamination, or problem with glue. Neither wood is oily or resinous in a way that requires anything other than normal glue prep. Ash can be porous, so may not have full contact, I would give the edge to maple on any property relevant to woodworking. Ash tends to be relegated to uses like axe handles, which is no criticism, but the kind of thing that happens when a wood has lesser commercial properties. I used it on the gunnels of my canoe. which is certainly a critical application.

As mentioned, wood quality is a bigger issue that wood species. So you need to test the actual wood you have for weight strength and so forth, if anything is suspect. Just as one would with arrows shafts. With flat limb bows that are glassed you can get away with all that fancy boudoir wood people like, because the glass will do almost all of the work. But with a deeper stack, I prefer to select wood by it's structural capacity.

You may wish to test, or inquire as to specific gravity of the wood you are considering. Ash is slightly heavier than maple, but the biggest factor is which species you are using within either, and the actual piece itself. The SG ranges from .45 to .60.

I would use maple myself, very compact and consistent wood. There is a reason why it is used in musical instruments.

From: bodymanbowyer
Date: 21-Jun-22




I have made my long bows from Maple and Ash. No difference in performance. Ash is just a little bit different color. Pretty darn hard to beat maple.. Ash does make a great baseball bat so it is tough. JF

From: grouchy 62
Date: 21-Jun-22




I like the appearance of Ash especially when I stain it. I can get a color that looks just like yew and other beautiful woods.

From: Longcruise
Date: 21-Jun-22




I use maple and occasionally elm. I don't concern myself with appearance. If I'm going for aesthetics, I use veneers with maple cores. It's proven to have longevity.

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 21-Jun-22




"I would use maple myself, very compact and consistent wood. There is a reason why it is used in musical instruments."

Yes, same thing with ash. I have an ash Strat. I got it for its tone and appearance. Strats are usually alder. Maple isn't always the best tone wood. It can be too bright and is often used as a cap for its figured appearance on a thicker chunk of something warmer tone wise. But depends on the instrument, sometimes bright is what is wanted. One of my favorite electric guitars is solid sugar maple, neck too.

A couple of other good lam woods often overlooked, and of better appearance imo, are black cherry, sassafras, elm, and sometimes walnut.

Bows and guitars would be a lot less interesting if there was only one good wood to use.

From: babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 21-Jun-22




I am not an expert but like the other guys say. Maple is hard to beat. Besides its the glass that counts. LOL

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 22-Jun-22




With that mindset Jack, you'll NEVER make that selfbow ;^)

From: Babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 22-Jun-22




Maybe not. Lol

From: monkeyball
Date: 22-Jun-22




Not much good Ash standing here in PA, if any. May be something to think about.

Had all three native woods going on here....figured Walnut and curly Ash in the riser, Maple lams, and it's sitting on a cut of Ash to boot.

Good Shooting->->->->Craig

From: shade mt
Date: 23-Jun-22




Wish I would have saved some ash, I cut a bunch of it for firewood, when we first moved here...now like Craig said, not much of it left, almost went the way of chesnut...

Hopefully they come up with a solution would like to see them come back.

Maple is and always has been, a popular core wood.

From: Kodiak
Date: 23-Jun-22




For the guys that say the core doesn't matter, it's just a filler, then why use it at all? Why not just use a solid glass limb?

Limb cores must matter a great deal or nobody would ever use them.

From: Fred Bauder
Date: 23-Jun-22




Shoot a longbow with a bamboo core and then shoot the same model and weight with a different core and then tell me core does not matter.

From: Fred Bauder
Date: 23-Jun-22




Shoot a longbow with a bamboo core and then shoot the same model and weight with a different core and then tell me core does not matter.

From: fdp
Date: 23-Jun-22




If you take 3 bows made on the same form, with the same specifications but different core woods and paint them all one color, let 100 archers shoot them and don't tell any of them what the core woods are, none of them can tell the difference one from the other.

From: Fred Bauder
Date: 23-Jun-22




I disagree

From: fdp
Date: 23-Jun-22




And you certainly have the right to do that.

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 23-Jun-22




I tend to agree with fdp. The core material certainly contributes substantially if not majorly to the bow's weight and performance; fiberglass also adds durability and prevents the limbs taking a set.

Having said that, there probably isn't a great deal of difference between different core materials. Differences, yes, but probably not large enough in most cases that most folks would notice. For example, folks would easily notice the difference between an all wood vis-a-vis an all glass limbed bow of the same design, but much less likely to notice much difference between an ash core vs a maple core glass laminated bow.

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 23-Jun-22




Not a great deal of difference between most, true, but there are no absolutes, so I wouldn't say NO difference between any wood core variances in a glass bow. Differences in aestetics are real differences. Jes saying. And there's a noticeable difference between woods nearer the heaviest and lightest ends of the spectrum. Differences in a bow's carry weight, shooting attributes, and sometimes draw weight/stack height. Many people may not notice, but I wouldn't say NObody could.

Between ash and maple? Probably not, except for looks. And even then, most would see they're different, but couldn't tell ya which was which.

From: R.grider
Date: 27-Jun-22




Probably maple. I think bamboo is the best choice myself.

From: Babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 27-Jun-22




Fdp is right. It’s the glass lol

From: Uncle Lijiah
Date: 27-Jun-22




Just curious. When bowyers say maple or hard rock maple, I assume they're referring to the sugar maple or red maple tree? I would think the silver maple or box elder would be a lot softer wood.

From: Runner
Date: 27-Jun-22




They are referring to Sugar Maple species. Even Red Maple is softer species.

It is closer to Silver Maple and even crossed with it for decorative purposes.

From: Uncle Lijiah
Date: 27-Jun-22




Thanks, Runner

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 27-Jun-22




Sugar maple's hardness can vary. Just like the hardness of red maple can vary. I have a gauge to check the hardness. Usually sugar maple is noticeably harder and heavier than red maple, but not always. Sometimes there's not much difference between the softer pieces of sugar maple and the harder pieces of red maple. I've used red maple in bows a few times with no problems.

Besides the wood doesn't matter, the glass does everything :^)

From: GLF
Date: 27-Jun-22




Why cut down our trees when glass lams would work as a spacer between other glass lams. Unless, wood matters





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