18 Jan

Making my first longbow

Around May 2007, I walked into Archery Only, an archery shop in Newark, CA. I rented some equipment and spent a couple of hours on their shooting range. I was hooked! A couple weeks later, I was the proud owner of a brand new compound bow. Months have passed and I have gradually increased the draw weight on my bow until I reached my target 70 pounds (for those of you not into archery, that means it take 70 pounds of force to pull the string back). My girlfriend has been to the range with me a couple of times and is marginally interested in the sport. She has carpal tunnel problems and needs a light bow (unlike my 4 pound monster compound bow).

This long prelude was simply meant to justify my recent endeavor, I have built her a longbow out of home depot redwood! It works so well, I was almost tempted to keep it as my own and buy her something else…almost…

I haven’t finished sanding it to the proper draw weight or length (each archer can pull the string a certain distance back called draw length). I also plan on making the string for it myself. If anyone is interested in how I did this: simple, I used a hand planner on a long piece of wood from Home Depot until I got a shape roughly resembling the longbows I saw on Google. That’s also where I found dimensions and profile drawings.

I can’t speak to the durability of this bow nor to whether redwood was a good choice yet. I assume that her draw weight of around 40 pounds should not put too much strain on it. We’ll see…