How to Make a Longbow

Longbows have been used by ancient men for warfare and for hunting.  During the Middle Ages, they were used for armed combat.  While the English made use of longbows made of yew, the Japanese used longbows of red oak. The Indian mythology is full of how longbows were used by God Rama and in the days of Mahabharata.  Mythology has it that the Bhishma, the man blessed with the ability to live as long as he wished, lay in a bed of arrows for days strewn on him by Arjuna.

Longbows gave way to firearms in the sixteenth century. Here is how you can make a longbow:


  • Select a branch from the tree in your backyard. The sapling should be about 6 feet long or so. Bend it and see if it recoils back. It should be flexible and be able to withstand sufficient amount of pressure.

Make a Longbow

  • Cut a small slit near each end of the sapling. Also known as nock, this little slit will hold the bowstring in its place.  Tie some string to the slit at the top end of the bow. Curve the bow and tie the free end of the string to the other slit. The string should be tight and you should make sure that sapling is shaped like a bow. You should cut off any remaining string.
  • For arrows, look for straight, pointed sticks. The arrows for a long bow should be about 3 feet long. Remove any protrusions or knobs.  You can make use of a knife or a razor to sharpen and shape the head the arrow. Make the arrow as pencil-point shaped as possible.
  • Arrows can be strengthened by burning them in fire. Hold the pointed part of the arrow in the flame, till it becomes black. The arrow should not catch fire, it should just blacken.  The action of charring makes the point strong and tough. Make a small slit on the other end of the arrow. This slit or nock will rest against the bowstring when you take an aim and shoot.

Warning: Longbows and arrows are fine if you are using for practice. But never aim them at human beings or animals. Even a simple bow shot can be dangerous.

Filed Under: Science & Nature


About the Author: Daniel Sherwin holds a degree in Chemistry and plans to be a scientist sometime soon. He finds himself very close to the nature. Currently, he is living in New York, USA.

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