Making a Medieval Style English Longbow




Here are some instructions I wrote recently on how to make yourself a medieval type English longbow
I think it will suit this site as it does away with traditional tools in favour of an angle grinder :-)

you can view the instructions here

BTW - see for more info on this type of bow

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Step 1: Pic2


Step 2: Pic3


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    17 Discussions


    11 years ago

    This project looks awesome but there isn't enough documentation of you actually making it to be a full Instructable. There are two things which you could do. 1) If you happen to have images of you making your project you can create some more steps, add those additional photos into your Instructable and then republish your Instructable. 2) If you don't have any more pictures of you working on your project, that's ok too. That just means that your project is better suited to be submitted as a slideshow. Your images are already in your library, and you can use the same text that you have already written for your Instructable so it should only take a few minutes to create your slideshow and show the world what you made! Thanks for your submission and let me know if you have any questions along the way.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    wait a second. Are you the back street bowyer? because that picture is in the back street bowyer guide. pic2

    arrow shot

    10 years ago on Introduction

    hmm.. in that picture, it looks a bit awkward how you hold the bow... you elbow is bent... hmm... I can see why you have it bent though, that arrow looks pretty short

    2 replies
    alanesqarrow shot

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    shooting a warbow is very different to other types of archery and requires a very different technique - see for more info and a great video clip
    the arrow in the pic has a draw length of 32" but I was still struggling a bit when the pic was taken and there is still another good 1" to go


    8 years ago on Introduction

    These are the detailed instructions I've been looking for!
    I just finished making my bow using your instructions and it works brilliantly! Surprisingly, it only took me about 2 hours to shape the actual bow out of a 6 foot long, 2 inch wide, 1 inch deep maple stave, and it kept its shape very nicely after bending and allowing it to set.
    The only tools i had to use were a ban saw, a belt sander, and a rats tail file for the knocks. i also made two arrows using dowels modeled after English longbow arrows found on the Mary Rose, but i will not be firing these due to the instability of the dowels.
    Also, i wrapped a long piece of leather rope from an old jump rope around the six inch handle area, which gives the bow a feeling of authenticity.
    I also included a picture of my unique way of stretching the bow by putting it on top of a door and hooking the string on the lock. I just tied knots in the string to adjust the tension.
    Thank you so much for these wonderful instructions!


    WOW i've been looking for directions this in-depth for years! Those are some sweet bows....anyways definitely next on my "to-do" list....


    9 years ago on Step 1

    Nice Bow! I'd like to see more on how you made it!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe a slideshow with the pictures and a link would have been more appropriate here, awesome job by the way!

    i agree with arrow shot and your leaning forwards.
    also if you where using a normal longbow made from modern materials (99% the same except collapsible) I would say your techniques a messed up but that's probably the arrows which look really short


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I read the .pdf instructions and I just want to let you know that after a fair amount of time spent searching for similar instructions I have to say that this is the most complete set of bow-making for beginners instructions I have seen. For those of you who want something more to look at I found one person on youtube with a 9 part video instruction. The video is grainy but his tillering videos are the best. Here is the link to the first one:

    Also, thank you for a link to bowstring instructions. I figured I would buy the strings but I might refer back to this later.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hah, finally, a "bowyer" who actually knows how to tiller. Another great resource for making your own bow is "The Bent Stick" by Paul Comstock, should be able to find it at 3 Rivers Archery. The Traditional Bowyer's Bible by Jim Hamm is of course standard reference.

    1 reply