The hardest wood known is lignum vitae with a janka hardness rating of 4300. Ipe is around 3600, purpleheart, brazilian cherry, and bloodwood are all near the top at 2500 to 3000. By comparison, white oak ( a pretty hard wood) comes in at 1360, ash at 1320, and cherry far below that at 950.
Osage orange may be harder to find but it is available. There are several bowyers in the midwest who purchase straight staves for making bows. I can personally attest to its durability as I have these trees growing on my property. I am still cutting firewood from broken limbs from a 2001 ice storm that devastated our trees. The limbs did not fall from the trees like the other species but the fibers split under the immense weight of the ice and stayed connected to the tree. They are famous here in the midwest for fenceposts and I have removed posts from a fencerow that was built in the early 1900's finding the wood still intact but so hard you are unable to drive a fence staple in.
Osage orange (Bois D'arc) Janka rating is 2650.
Osage Orange has a relatively low modulus of elasticity compared to its weight and modulus of rupture which helps explain why it is sometimes used for archery bows. It’s sometimes called Bois d’arc, which literally means “bow wood” in American French.The wood is also very stable, with little seasonal/environmental movement.
Common Name(s): Osage Orange, Horse Apple, Hedge Apple, Bois d’arc
Scientific Name: Maclura pomifera
Distribution: South-central United States
Tree Size: 50-60 ft (15-18 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 54 lbs/ft3 (855 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .76, .86
Janka Hardness: 2,620 lbf (11,640 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 18,650 lbf/in2 (128.6 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,689,000 lbf/in2 (11.64 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 9,380 lbf/in2 (64.7 MPa)*
By the way I like the design you are thinking about.
Edited by PawPaw, 16 March 2021 - 08:08 AM.