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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:54 am
by Daniel @ Tenkara USA
Given the original/best wood for tenkara nets is the "kaya" tree, which is only found in Japan and rare, we'll likely be looking for alternative woods to be used.

I am investigating the very common Manzanita trees here in California, if I can find appropriate branches, I think these would make gorgeous nets. There is also the Pacific Yew, which is a relative of the kaya.

Chris just turned me on to a relative of the kaya tree, the California Torreya, which seems to have a lot of potential: I will look further into this wood, and hope it will have appropriate branches. But it does look good, though it's a bit rare too. Reading more about it, it grows by mountain streams! Great! And, native americans used to make bows with them!!!

Suggestions for woods?

Re: Woods

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:20 pm
by rsetina
All this talk about making nets had me looking in the trees at many of my delivery stops today! I didn't see any branches suitable for a tamo but it was fun looking for them. :lol:

As for proper types of trees for making them, I haven't given it much thought though I was thinking that the tree in my mom's backyard would have made some very nice ones. I think it was a maple tree, Sherry would know. The trouble is, we sold the house a year ago so I can't get any from it, and it had LOTS of branches. :x

Re: Woods

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:19 am
by Daniel @ Tenkara USA
Absolutely incredible what one may find online these days!
So, in my research for the ideal woods for a tenkara net, and after Chris discovered California has trees of the same genus as the Japanese Kaya, the California Torreya, I started looking at where I could possibly find these trees.

Expecting only general suggestions of elevation and range, I was amazed to find the resources below, they give me almost exact coordinates for patches of these trees! As it turns out, it looks like the fishing trip I had planned for this weekend won't happen (I wanted to go far away, but wasn't able to leave today), so, I guess I'll be doing some hiking this weekend:

Re: Woods

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:26 am
by CM_Stewart
Torreya taxifolia is definitely endangered. I don't think torreya californica is.

Re: Woods

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:03 am
by ToddW
Hi all. I have been bending some frames into shape the last two weeks. In my neck of the woods :lol: , ash trees are common and have great characteristics for frames; it is what was used traditionally for making snowshoe frames by the Native Americans. I've been trying other tree varieties with mixed results.

Last night it was an ironwood branch. As the name implies it is about the hardest wood in North America; it is traditionally used for axe and other tool handles. After gallons of boiling water and a lot of sweating, I was able to bend it into a recognizable frame, not helped by the fact ironwood branches only grow in one direction for about 6 inches before taking off on a new vector. I have no idea how it will take a finish but this experimenting has been a blast!

Thanks for all the great info on the site and BTW, is there an update on the netting? or did I miss that. Regards, ToddW

Re: Woods

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:18 am
by Anthony
Check out Hickory. I know that it's used for steam-bent wood projects. I have a rocking chair made out of bent hickory.

Here's a pic of a similar one:


Re: Woods

PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:32 pm
by ToddW
I've heard of hickory being very workable for steam-bending projects, however, there's no hickory to be found in my region(upper mid-west). If anyone finds a good branch of hickory and gives it a go I'd be curious about the outcome. It looks like a wood with a lot of character. ToddW

Re: Woods

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:07 pm
by tnitz
I'm trying juniper - Ishi would have used it. It has good qualities and is rot resistant. Also, if you get up into the higher desert country, it can grow in a myriad of shapes so finding good stock is a little easier. I also like the coloration.

It's drying now so will be some time before I can snap images.

For those on the "wet" side of the west, I would think vine maple would work well if well treated. But you also have cedars that might work better.

Re: Woods

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:57 am
by jayfisher
A possibility is osage orange (.Maclura pomifera). Native Americans sought osage orange to make bows. Its smooth texture and beautiful golden honey color makes it prized for wooden handles, furniture, and carving. For fishing, osage orange has a reputation for being highly rot resistant. Check out Google images of "osage orange wood."

I also love the suggestion of Manzanita and the Eucalyptus being used in the production nets. We have so many beautiful choices.


Re: Woods

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:02 am
by Daniel @ Tenkara USA
Juniper can be a great wood to use, and it sounds like the osage orange could be good too. However, one of the main things to know is whether it's possible/feasible to find the right branch shapes.

Some trees sound great, like the Manzanita which is abundant and beautiful, but in practice it's nearly impossible to find the right branch shapes (I have looked at hundreds of bushes and only found one that worked, it worked beautifully), the branches are never symetrical at all and hardly ever split into 3 stems. I have so far seen 2 Juniper branches that will work (I have looked at maybe 60+trees), there are many types of Juniper, some which work better than others, and it's used in Japan with relative frequency, but a bit hard to find semi-symmetrical ones. Then there is the California Torreya, which is a relative of the tree used in Japan (the Kaya), I have found groves of these trees but not a single branch (the secondary stems are too thin) . The only ones I have found with consistency on branch shapes are the Jeffrey Pine and Ponderosa Pine (both are very similar)

It'd be nice to know if the osage orange could work too (if it's possible to find the right branch shapes). Do you have any of these near you?