[Warbow] 3/8 Popular shafts.

heartwood

New member
Anyone know if there's some kind of shortage of 3/8 Popular shafts?. I'm having lot of trouble getting hold of them and I don't want to make the shafts myself (not got the time).
 


bobnewboy

Member
Have you tried Carol Archery in Stoke D'Abernon, Surrey.? She stocks a huge number of shafts at any one time. Tell her that Bob (Company of Sixty) sent you... :)
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
Maybe if you search for poplar not popular you will get more hits, plenty of people do 'em. I've had some from Richard Head.
Del
 


WillS

New member
Depends if you're bothered about getting real poplar or not ;)

There's plenty of yellow poplar (tulipwood) around (longbowshop do them I think, as well as Richard Head and some eBay shops) but as far as I'm aware it's only Lee Ankers who's making shafts from real poplar (aspen) now, and he only started this year. He'll have them readily available in a few weeks in all sizes.

If you want traditional medieval shafts that are similar to medieval poplar try willow, alder or lime wood shafts. In 3/8 sizes they'll be very similar in mass to aspen. The tulipwood sold as "poplar" in archery shops is usually quite a bit heavier than true poplar.
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
Depends if you're bothered about getting real poplar or not ;)

There's plenty of yellow poplar (tulipwood) around (longbowshop do them I think, as well as Richard Head and some eBay shops) but as far as I'm aware it's only Lee Ankers who's making shafts from real poplar (aspen) now, and he only started this year. He'll have them readily available in a few weeks in all sizes.

If you want traditional medieval shafts that are similar to medieval poplar try willow, alder or lime wood shafts. In 3/8 sizes they'll be very similar in mass to aspen. The tulipwood sold as "poplar" in archery shops is usually quite a bit heavier than true poplar.
I don't know where this idea that Poplar is Aspen comes from???
They are two very distinct trees.
Aspen is easily identified, the trunk is relatively smooth with diamond shaped markings about the size of your thumb nail which look like someone has picked out a regular pattern with a giant engraving tool.
https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/learn/british-trees/native-trees/aspen/
It's overall shape is a bit like a birch tree.
A Poplar is taller, more narrow in overall shape and often planted in rows as windbreaks alongside roads in open country.
Del
 


WillS

New member
Del, "Aspen" is another name for Populus Tremula or "European Poplar."

According to that wonderful (and infallible) source Wikipedia:
These species are called aspens:



However, "poplar" as sold in archery shops is not of the populus genus. It's actually tulipwood or "yellow poplar" a.k.a Liriodendron Tulipfera. It doesn't come from Europe but America and has no historical bearing on medieval arrow materials unlike the Populus Tremula which was used for arrows. You can't get Populus Tremula arrow shafts in the UK any more (or at least, you couldn't until I convinced Lee to start making some ;) ) as even the stuff imported from overseas archery suppliers like Fairbow is Tulipwood, as is the "poplar" sold by Richard Head, TheLongbowShop and other various sources. In fact I think most of those guys get their shafts from Magen at Fairbow anyway.
 


Lucasade

New member

Lucasade

New member
True p. nigra (not one of the hybrids like the Lombardy poplar Del mentioned) is one of the rarest trees in Britain - it is believed there are only about 7,000 trees, about 600 female and mostly clones so genetic diversity is a major issue for restocking. Therefore a sample is almost certain, if cut in this country, to be p. tremula. On the other hand, planting of p. nigra is very much encouraged so if you can find some then plant your own in some spot you'll have future access to (in a hedgerow by some ancient woodland near water would be ideal), start pollarding it after about 15-20 years and get your own lifetime's supply! The problem apparently is that it mostly grows on floodplains and river management practices for the last 300 years have not been amenable to it.

To answer your question, the bark of p. nigra is darker than p. tremula and the new growth is downy. To tell the difference if you just have an arrow blank you'd probably need to consult a botanist.
 


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