Well, the red oak selection at Home Despot looked like utter crap. I bought a couple middling pieces of maple which I'm considering taking back. I did however go to a real lumberyard today and picked through a bunch of 5/4 hickory and ash and picked up a couple boards that ought to yield at least 4 bows a piece and a couple cut off ends from those bows that again if splicing billets will yield a couple bows apiece as well. So, rather than make a huge mess in my apartment cutting all these up into roughed out board staves, I'm thinking I'll go to the park district wood shop and cut them all out on the table saw/band saw there. So, on the hickory and ash they're both plain sawn boards and I can lay out a bow on each one to be able to take advantage of trying to chase a ring. For the other bows I would get out of each board, they would be more towards the outer edges, away from that nice sweet spot in the middle where if you chase a ring you can get a nice slightly crowned back. I'm wondering what should be the maximum width of the staves I'll cut out. I'm wanting to build mainly American flatbow design - probably all with rigid non-working handles but I can certainly do a couple D-bows as well, and probably will. I'd like to do a D-bow in the ash for sure, sort of ELB style with a barely rounded belly. Would I be best off cutting these boards out so that I have staves 1 1/2" wide, or should I go a bit wider. What would you do? I want to maximize the number of staves I can get out of each board. Oh yeah, the hickory board is 7 1/4" wide but as I've laid out the first bow 1 1/2" wide it's slightly off-center to take advantage of the highest point of curvature in the growth rings when viewed from the ends of the board. Taking that into account, I can get one 2" wide stave and two 1 1/2" staves out of the hickory, in addition to the stave already laid out. I'm thinking maybe doing a couple bows with limbs parallel width until 16" away from the tips then narrowing down to 1/2" tips. I could also play around and do a couple mild pyramid designs where I taper from 1 1/2" down to 1/2" tips. Maybe that 2" wide stave could be a really wide pyramid? The ash has the growth rings pretty well centered, so I predict only being able to get three staves out of it - one laid out right on the middle where the growth rings peak and one on either side. Those could all be about 1 3/4" wide max up to maybe 2". What sort of designs will work best for these two bows? Even though it's 5/4 stock, I'm anticipating gluing on handle risers just to bulk up the handle somewhat. I've also changed my mind about cut in arrow shelves. I figure if I'm building a spine tester why not just use that to match my arrows to the handle shape versus doing the cop-out way and cutting in a shelf. So, I have a little paradox - spine them arrows lighter and make a bit longer to compensate.