It was about time I tackled the project of a period-type English Longbow, and with much inspiration and guidance from alanesq's website (http://www.alanesq.com/bsb.htm), I was able to complete a simplified version of the English longbow.
The final product is about 6' 4" with a low draw weight of about 25 lbs at 24 inches, perfect for simple target shooting. As you can see, I wasn't going for a battle ready, armor-piercing warbow or anything. It looks nice, took about 5 hours to make, and was under 10$. This is the perfect bow for a nice weekend project.
**DISCLAIMER** This bow is, in fact, a weapon! I take no responsibility for how and in what fashion these instructions are used. A bow is dangerous; don't shoot arrows at anything you don't mind hurting or destroying.
For a video of the bow in action, check the link on the last step!
Step 1: Materials
This is a VERY cheap project...if you already have the necessary tools, that is. Most, if not all, of the tools and materials can be found at a Home Depot or other similar store.
Angle Grinder (with sanding attachment)
6-7 Feet of 2"x1" Red Oak
6-7 Feet of 2"x1/4" Pine***
Twine (for the string)
***I made the assumption, not very educatedly, that a pine "belly" on the bow would handle the compression much better than the red oak, seeing as pine is much less dense than red oak. Well in my haste, I got cedar instead of pine, which resulted in a very useless "belly" that did not handle compression very well. In my last couple of steps I included a picture of the...consequences...of a cedar "belly".