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Traditional Flatbow

Archery Blog Dave Watson

Blog Enteries (8)

American Flatbow

The American Flatbow has a long long history and the modern bow has evolved over time as knowledge is gained and materials and techniques improve. Native American Indians made and used bows with a flat or rectangular section (Instead of the D shaped English Longbow). As did many other tribal races all over the world. The flat section and wide limbs were the best design for the raw materials available at the time.

Early in by bow making apprenticeship I tried some of these old methods and made some real nice bows. A very early bow was made from Ash with a rawhide backing and glued up with rabbit bone glue. I also made a couple of bows with sinew as a backing, again applied with animal glue. These bows were a lot o...

Instinctive Archery

In essence, look at the target, point and shoot.

But there is a little more to it than that. As with any style or form of archery, instinctive archery as a style has some basics that once learned and practices lead to better and better accuracy.

These basics can be summed up as Form.

The main thing about the form is consistency. The form can be broken down into its main elements to make practice a bit easier.

For instance and to begin with there is the stance, nocking, string grip, bow grip, draw, anchor point, release and follow through.

Becoming a proficient instinctive archer will include adopting a set standard in all of the above, which can seem daunting to begin with but as you...

Hybrid Flatbow

A Hybrid Flatbow is a traditional bow which is a cross between an American Flatbow and a recurve. Its not quite a flatbow and its not quire a recurve.

The structure and build is the same as a traditional American Flatbow. It has flat and quite broad limbs that are rectangular in cross section. But what makes it a Hybrid is that the limbs have reflex and sometimes deflex built into them.

The reflex/deflex limb design gives the bow a smooth draw and greater arrow speed. The Hybrid is usually a little shorter than a traditional American Flatbow, typically 60 – 64 inches.

I make a Read More....

English Longbow

English Longbow.

Early in my practice as a Bowyer I made some English Longbows.

This is one of the bows I made during that time. Using traditional methods and the now classic combination of Lemon Wood Belly, Purpleheart Core and Hickory Back I made these bows with very simple tools.

I got the wood yard where I bought the wood to slice it into thin strips and then sanded them down and glued them up on a flat form with clamps and rope.

It was then a matter of using the spokeshave to narrow the width towards the tips and do the tillering.

I made a thing called a shave horse to hold the bow while I tillered it. A shave horse is a very old implement, it is a bench with a foot operated clamp...

Bow 10 A very early Bow

This is one of the first traditional bows I built.

It is a sort of a pyramid bow made from Ash and Hickory with some Black Walnut accents. I used to make these bows with very limited tools.

I had a block plane, a spokeshave and some rasps and thats about it. I used to take the wood to a local joiners workshop to get it cut and then glue them up, shape and tiller them with the basic tools.

This bow has an Ash core with Hickory backing and it was about 45lb.

A very simple bow but it did shoot an arrow, in fact most of these old bows were very good. I still have one at my allotment. It has a rawhide backi...

Traditional Archery

Traditional archery bows are simple stripped back bows with no stabilisers, sights or other gadgets.

Although simple and stripped back a traditional bow makes the very best use of materials and design. Most traditional bows are have limbs made from hardwoods such as Maple, Ash, Yew and sometimes bamboo. The limbs and the draw of the bow maintain a traditional feel because of the limb material. The limbs are usually faced with a thin layer of fibreglass and can also have a layer of carbon fibre in the core. But what you see when looking at a traditional bow is the simple traditional design and the natural beauty of the woods used in the construction of the bow.

The riser or handle is also usually carved from exotic ...


I made this bow when I was listening to an audio book of the Bhagavad-Gita.

It is an all wood bow with a Lemonwood belly and grip with a core of Purpleheart and a Hickory back.

I built it in form that I made for this style of bow. The reflex in the tips was glued in on the form and then extended with matching Purpleheart and Lemonwood nocks.

I have not used it for years but if memory serves me correctly it was a 52lb bow.

The bow is 72 inches long and has a very flat profile. It is also very slender at just over an inch at the widest point.

I considered this bow to be the best one I have made in th...

The G7

This is the latest bow. It is a true flatbow and complies. ...


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