The variety of beautiful riser woods is overwhelming. There is almost every color represented from black Gabon ebony, to a variety of purple-hued Rosewoods, to yellow Osage Orange. For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of building bows is the opportunity to work with these beautiful woods. There does need to be a word of interjected here. Caution: quite a few hardwoods are listed as toxic (to varying degrees) so a respirator should always be worn whenever wood dust is in the air.

The written word can not accurately or adequately describe the beauty of these woods, but I will try to list and briefly describe some of the choices available.

Bocate: It is also called Codia and Baria. Yellow green to tobacco brown with black stripes, often highly figured with many "eyes". Hard and heavy with a weight of 50-60 lbs/cu.ft.

Cocobola: Often called Funera or Nambar. It is variegated, orange, yellow and dark red with irregular black stripes. 60-77 lbs./cu.ft.

Paduak: It is a light reddish brown to rose red or orange red, with darker red or purplish stripes. 40-50 lbs./cu.ft

Tai Rosewood: Ranges in color from deep red to purple. The color doesn't fade or darken with time. 55-60 lbs/cu.ft

Brazilian Rosewood: Sometimes called Palisander, Pianowood. Is a variegated brown and violet with irregular black stripes. 47-56 lbs/cu.ft

Gabon Ebony: Generally jet black but sometimes with lighter colored streaks. Hard and heavy @ 50-75 lbs./cu.ft.

Macassar Ebony: Black with yellowish or reddish brown streaks. 68 lbs./cu.ft

Tulipwood: Sometimes called Pau Rosa and Brazilian Pinkwood. It has alternating stripes of straw or yellow and red or violet. 55-69 lbs./cu.ft

Ziricote: Tobacco brown to reddish brown with irregular dark brown or blackish streaks. 50-60 lbs./cu.ft.

Canarywood: Rich yellow tan sometimes with orange or red stripes. 45-50

Pink Ivory: Bright pink to pale red. Hard and heavy at 70 lbs./cu.ft.

Bubinga: Often called African Rosewood. Light red or violet with fairly evenly spaced purple stripes. 58 lbs./cu.ft

Shedua: Also called benge. Yellowish brown to dark brown with gray to black stripes. 50 lbs./cu.ft

Granadillo: Reddish brown in color and is often used as a Rosewood substitute. 60 lbs./cu.ft

Purpleheart: Also called Amaranth. It is brown when freshly cut but soon changes to a rich purple. 60 - 65 lbs./cu.ft

Mexican Kingwood: Dark purple stripes on a yellowish purple background. 75-80 lbs./cu.ft

Zebrawood: Golden brown with pronounced dark brown streaks. 45-55 lbs./cu.ft.

Bloodwood: Sometimes called Satine. It is rich strawberry red, sometimes with golden yellow stripes. 60 lbs./cu.ft

Goncalo Alves: Light golden brown to reddish brown with blackish brown streaks. 53-80 lbs./cu.ft


Glossary of Terms
Bow Forms
Bow Forms 2
The Heat Box
Riser Woods
Limb Woods
Let's start building
Building the riser
Tricks and tips
Shaping the Bow
Nock design and placement
Shelf Design and Options
Tillering the Bow
Bow Finishes

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