Friday, March 17, 2006

How to make a bamboo backed ipe longbow

I haven't been motivated by anything but laziness lately, which I why I haven't added anything, but I just finished doing another build along and thought y'all might not like to have a look see, but I'd post it anyway.

Here is the build along.


At 3/19/2006 7:02 PM , Blogger DagoodS said...

Thank you, Sam. That was (for me) extremely fascinating.

I have never read how a bow is made.

My favorite picture is with all the clamps. I think I counted 31!

At 3/20/2006 6:00 PM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Thanks, Dagoods. Now you gotta go build one for yourself and post pictures. :-)

Good eyes. Yes, there WERE 31 clamps. I got some more squeeze clamps today, though.

At 3/23/2006 12:26 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

Great pictures as always Sam. Have you made many more arrows or are those not as exciting as bows to create?

Now if only you could show how to make tripe longbows. I've just come into a big inheritance of cow innards that I'm not sure how best to use.

At 3/24/2006 8:57 AM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Kelly, arrows are just as much fun, but they aren't nearly as profitable. I made some arrows to match a bow a while back. The bow and the arrows have maple and bloodwood.

The only cow parts I ever use for bows are the horns.

At 3/07/2007 1:48 PM , Blogger Jeff said...


Thanks for posting your buildalong. I decided a year or so back to try to build a bow, and I used your instructions. I built one for each of my sons (5 and 7 at the time, I believe), and then built myself one. Mine broke, but I just finished its replacement, of which I am very proud. I hope soon to tackle a bamboo-backed bow, but I have some more studying to do on that.

I'm usually a Native American style flutemaker, not a bowyer. See my flutes on my blog, and I think I have some posted on myspace too( Drop by sometime.


At 9/07/2008 9:25 AM , Blogger lucio said...

Hello Sam, my name is Lucio and I'm writing you from Italy; I usually read your pages on longbow buildings and I think they're a fabulous job, I'm starting laminated longbow building and your explanations are a really good thing.. this is the fist time I see a detailed step-by step descripion with a lot of pictures :-)
I've learned a lot from you..
But there are some differences between some materials available in Usa rather than in Italy and I'd like to make you a pair of questions about that.
I don't know if this is the right place for that, so, if you can, if you want to translate from my bad english, if you decide this is not a waste of time please contact me in my email address lucio31861 on, i'll be very glad for this..
Thank you so much


P.S. visit

At 1/23/2009 4:32 PM , Blogger the C.I.Ape said...

I live in Austin, is the type of bamboo growing around here good to go for building a bow?

At 1/23/2009 4:51 PM , Blogger sam said...

Nothing I've seen in Austin is big enough. I order mine from Franks.

At 1/28/2009 9:14 PM , Blogger stephen said...

Hi Sam,

I've been studying your build alongs for about a month. Cracked two red oak bows before the third became a success. It is pulling 50# @ 28". Not too confident in the wood though - I see a small crack forming.

Trying my hand at ipe. Found some decking boards and ripped them. I have a question - How wide is the bamboo you are using when first bought? What is the thickness of the stalk? I've been trying to cut it and it is tricky. Not too sure how you flattened it so well. I think the piece I purchased from the garden center is too thin. Any tips?
I live in Southwest Florida and bamboo grows all over down here. Some to 60 feet.

Also, I'm looking to try the flemish string. Where are you getting the dacron?

Please, feel free to contact me at

I appreciate your work.



At 1/28/2009 9:54 PM , Blogger Sam said...

The bamboo I buy is already cut into planks 2" wide. I don't know what diameter they come from, but it has to be pretty big or else the crown will be too high. The planks I buy are about 1/4" thick. I thin them down to at least 1/8".

I get my dacron from Three Rivers Archery.

At 4/13/2012 12:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is how we made our bow and arrow, these tips helped us a lot


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