I’d like to think that I’m pretty good on helping people out when they need to figure out what’s going to be the best thing for them. For most beginners I always recommend getting a bow that has already been made for you. I think it’s just a better and faster and way to get started. I also made my own longbow after I got started in archery and I’m sure that you’ll be interested in finding out where to go to find out more on how to make a longbow.
The first thing to know is that you can take this process as far as you want it to go. What I mean is that you can start from a tree trunk or you can start from a bow that’s 80% done and finish it yourself. There is almost every version in between that you can get to start from. This is really helpful to know depending on the time, effort, and equipment available to you.
The second thing to know is that there is more than one kind of “traditional longbow” out there. The most basic is made from a single piece of wood and then you also have laminate bows which are made from multiple strips of wood and other material glued together. These bows are then pressed and shaped to make them more effective. You can start with plans for any of these and don’t forget that you’ll also have to make some of the specialty equipment, or buy it, just to make the bow. I’m not trying to stop you, but educate you so you don’t get frustrated because you didn’t know going in.
Get educated on how to make a longbow
Please check out any or all of these to get you the right starting points to making your own bow. I thought it was super awesome when I made my first longbow. It was a 62″ red oak D shaped longbow that pulled 40 lbs at 28″ and man it was awesome to see it completed and shooting arrows down the range.
The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible Volume 1 is filled with lots of very useful information on archery and building bows. It will cover lots of different topics that get you all the information you need to make your own bow. You’ll also find that lots of other people reference this book so it helps to be able to see what they’re talking about as well. This is the first book in the set and if you’re getting started, then I’d say to check out getting this book first and adding the others as you progress in your bow building.
Poor Folk Bows Bow Building – This is the website that I used to make my first red oak board bow. It has been kept going for quite a while and has tons of useful information and more so that you can follow right along and make your very own bow. I like that it has options for those in apartments because I built my bow while living in an apartment. There are several bow build alongs that will get you all sorts of information on how to make the bow, how to make the strings, and how to make arrows. You could get almost everything you need to get started just from this site.
Long Bow Build Along – This is a really long in-depth version of the laminated longbow build along that you can go through to get a lot of detail and information on how to build your own bow. The laminated style takes a lot more work and forethought on getting things together, but you can make some amazing and beautiful bows this way. The current bow I’m shooting is a laminated bow and I love it.
Build a bamboo backed bow – This site has a pretty detailed guide on getting a bamboo backed bow together. You’ll have to deal with getting all the equipment and parts together before you can make the bow so there is plenty of prep work. This is a pretty good guide to get you going with this style of bow.
I hope that these four resources will get you pointed in the right direction. It’s not a perfect list of everything, but it will get you thinking and help you figure out what you want to do. Knowing how to make a longbow and actually doing it are two different things. I hope that this helps you go from wanting to do it to actually having your own longbow that you made. I’d love to see any pics on a bow you built.