Cornus mas ‘propeller’ 43/28” (No. 102)

ntn: 56½”

bh: 5”

mass: 454 gram

max. width: 2”


stiff handle

Really good cornus mas (cornelian cherry) are quite rare at my homeland. But, as this wood is one of the best bow woods here, I take every piece I get my hands on.

This one was a special stave, super clean – just three warts on the back-, but the thing was and is twisted and is a propeller like hell (grain wise). The good thing is the thing is, watched from the back or belly, a perfect symmetrical propeller. I mean it does balance out very nicely.

A tricky thing to tiller as you always get a false view, one limb is in side view – the other shows half of the belly and the side.

In this case the stave was one of the rare with heartwood – so nice! I gave up my first idea of a bendy handle, just to leave on a bit of the beautiful colored heartwood and made a short 3” stiff handle.

Some remaining cambium on the back adds another bit of coloration.

To compensate the twists a bit the bow got side nocks on upper and lower tip.

Limbs are mild concave from fade to midlimb and taper then into lenticular cross section, the last four inches are triangular.

This wood is a dream to work with, it is the heaviest here and can be polished like horn or bone because it is homogenous dense. A sharp scraper produce asurface on this wood which doesn’t need much more sanding.

08”: 07,5

10”: 11,2 (+3,7)

12”: 14,4 (+3,2)

14”: 17,6 (+3,2)

16”: 20,9 (+3,3)

18”: 24,2 (+3,3)

20”: 27,5 (+3,3)

22”: 31,0 (+3,5)

24”: 35,0 (+4,0)

26”: 39,0 (+4,0)

28”: 43,0 (+4,0)



hello Siomon, greetings from Romania.

I’m a very big fan of your work and always check to see if you have posteted something new.
cornus mas is quite often in Romania and i have made some bows out of it (light years behinde yours). have you everer tried to heate treat the wood?

Hello Florin,
nice to hear from you from Romania!
To answer your question: no, I didn’t with c. mas.
But I did some years ago a heat treating on a dogwood bow, came out great and shot like hell – but did explode unexpected. I’m not sure if it was the heat treting …
It was cornus sanguinea – same family.

Hey Simon,

Awesome bow. Gives me confidence in my propeller stave (Carpinus caroliniana) in the shed. Any words of wisdom on tillering something like this?



Hi Rex,
tillering character staves can be tricky. My tip if you use a tiller tree: switch over often (meanining upper limb is once on the right, then on the left side). An othether good thing is to mark the bend in different stadium on the wall behind (see my buildalong: )
Go slow and be sure the limbs are balanced out soon while tillering and control often.
Good Luck!

Cornus mas ist ein phantastischer Werkstoff. Meine Wenigkeit fertigt daraus gelegentlich Gebrauchsstöcke für die Kampfkünste. Unkaputtbar das Zeug. Die Verarbeitung eine Wissenschaft für sich. Einen Bogen aus cornelian cerry zu basteln steht noch auf meiner to do Liste. So eine Art Heldenteil. Also Odysseus gerecht. Dankeschön für die hier gezeigten wunderschönen Anregungen. Herzlichst Michael Harbarth.

Tohle není luk, ale vrtule letadla. ¨
Krásná práce.

This is not a bow, but a propeller from the plane. ¨
Beautiful work.

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