Shooting for Old Times

  • Advertise with us
Project by maplerock posted 07-05-2013 03:05 PM 2328 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last year I got the urge to build a longbow. I have hunted for years, although it seems the more time I have the less I hunt. Having harvested (nice way of saying it) two trophy deer in the past, I mostly go out for the walks now. My brother in law has a knack with woodworking so we each built one.

Osage or yew is the wood of choice, but the blanks are hard to find. I found some, but for one bow the cost was over $100. Figuring I’d screw this up, I opted for a visit to the building materials store. I found a piece of hickory 6 inches wide and 7 feet long. For about $10, it would get me enough for both bows.

I laid out a template for the rough shape of the one piece bow and carefully cut it out. I left a buffer to be sanded on the belt sander. The bow was 62 inches long and 3/4 inches thick (the original board thickness.) I added a scrap of walnut for the handle and sanded vigorously until the shape was close. Then carved slight grooves in the ends for the string to rest upon. For the next step a nylon string was used. Later a commercial bow string would be added.

Next step was to use a jig my brother in law built to make sure each limb had the same flex. The jig was a strip of wood mounted vertically with dowells to rest the bow handle on and to hook the string under. When mounted perpendicular to the floor and the bow rested on it horizontal to the floor the limbs could be observed at stress (as in the draw process.)

One bent less than the other had to be sanded more. When both were even, the bow was ready to be finished. Next I took the bow to Bass Pro Shop, where it was fitted for a string. One strung it was ready to shoot!

It shoot really well. Of course it is only as good as the person shooting it, but I really feel as if I could take a deer with it. However, since after taking the deer there would be tracking, field dressing, and dragging, I think I will just use it for target practice.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

6 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3583 days

#1 posted 07-05-2013 03:47 PM

Nice project—and, thanks for the detailed write up on construction. You make it almost sound “do-able.”

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Don W's profile

Don W

20247 posts in 3858 days

#2 posted 07-05-2013 04:02 PM

Nice bow. I learned to shot on this type. I used to be pretty good, but that was when I had a lot more energy and could actually see what I was shooting at.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4868 days

#3 posted 07-05-2013 04:54 PM

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3115 days

#4 posted 07-05-2013 11:52 PM

Very nice looking bow…well made.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3558 days

#5 posted 07-09-2013 04:54 AM

Jerry, another fun read. It sounds like something I have heard someplace…maybe in the shop. This is beautiful work and shows your patience with the process. I don’t know what is better. The story, the work, or the photos. Since I don’t have to choose, I’ll take all of the above. Nice job.

-- Big Al in IN

View doubleDD's profile


10805 posts in 3334 days

#6 posted 07-13-2013 03:31 AM

Brings back a lot of memories. Nice job on the build.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics