3-Day Bow Building Class
Three spots available in each class.
Join me in the shop for three days and learn how to craft a powerful, smooth shooting white wood selfbow with basic hand tools. You’ll leave here with a one-piece longbow that's suitable for both small and large game; built from start to finish by you. Together, we'll explore a tried-and-true hunting technology of the ancients, and one that remains effective and widespread today.
White woods (used to describe hardwoods that have thick sapwood and very light color) have been used to make bows for thousands of years. They grow abundantly in almost every environment and can make fast, durable weapons when well executed. They generally require less work than bows made of osage orange because there's no need to "chase a ring", and their tension strength makes them more forgiving of a new bowyer's errors. Quality bow woods can often be found growing right in your back yard!
Osage orange is one of the most highly sought-after bow woods in the world, but it grows in limited areas of the central and southern United States. It's often twisted, wiggly, and full of knots, cracks, and other obstacles. When you buy it, it's expensive; and when you cut it yourself, you go through a lot of osage before you find one as straight and trouble-free as the everyday white wood tree.
It's my belief that in order to introduce as many people as possible to the art of bow-making (with their local and readily available hardwoods), we need to set aside the coveted osage tree. It's time to get excited about the high-performance bows that can be made from the oaks, hickories, elms, maples, hackberry and more.
In this course, you’ll learn :
-Bow stave processing
-Longbow design and layout
-Rouging out your bow blank
-Heat treating wood
-Tillering a bow
-Bow string making
-Bow and arrow aftercare
-The fundamentals of instinctive shooting
Most of the 3-day class will be spent in the workshop with tools in hand, but there will also be a short wilderness walk where we'll discuss tree identification, tree selection, processing bow staves, and seasoning wood.
Each bow will be crafted to your personal draw length and desired draw weight. You’ll be challenged to navigate the character (imperfections) in the wood and learn tricks of the trade under the watchful eye of a master bowyer. Take years of trial and error off the learning curve with focused individual instruction. Small group sizes leaves plenty of time open for one-on-one guidance and questions/answers.
The final afternoon will be spent learning the fundamentals of longbow marksmanship with your new bow. If you're already an experienced archer, you'll be set free to shoot in your preferred style. If you're a first-time archer or someone looking to explore a new method, we'll skip the complicated nuances of the shot cycle and cover a simple, instinctive shooting technique for real world application.
This course isn't meant to be a step-by-step walkthrough. It's my goal to help you understand the process and teach you the skills needed to make your own bows for life. There's nothing quite like the feeling you get after a bow you've made with your own hands sends an arrow downrange with authority, and I look forward to sharing that with you.
(all-inclusive, no tax)
Price includes a free copy of my bow building book.
(Coming soon! All who attend the class before the book releases will receive a copy when it's finished)
Classes are held from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM CST over three full days:
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
I like a relaxed shop environment, but come prepared to work hard! It takes some physical exertion to turn a quartered log into a bow with hand tools. You should expect to be sitting on a wooden shave horse or standing on concrete for hours at a time. Your bow wouldn't be as awesome if you didn't sweat for it, right?!
Must be age 19 or older to attend the class alone. (Sorry, Nebraska's rules)
Anyone under 19 must be accompanied by a parent. The parent does not need to buy an extra ticket unless they also plan to build a bow, but will need to remain onsite while their son/daughter works regardless. Not recommended for anyone under age 15 due to the labor-intensive nature of the course.
You'll want to bring a pair of closed toe shoes to wear in the shop, and some shirts/pants you don't mind getting dirty.
Materials and tools are provided.
Lunch is provided every day.
(Breakfasts and Dinners not provided)
Coffee is provided.
Shop is heated in winter.
Shop is opened up in summer.
On-site shower available.
On-site power is available.
Tent/car camping is available on my one-acre property.
(No generators please)
On-site fire pit.
20 minutes from Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA)
You are responsible for travel expenses to and from the class. This includes any plane tickets, rental cars, fuel expenses, lodging (if not camping onsite), and food other than the provided lunches and snacks.
Cancellations - If you need to cancel, please do so at least 14 days prior to the date of the class to avoid a $150 late cancellation fee. No exceptions. Cancellations made on time will receive a full refund.
If you prefer to stay in a motel or hotel, the class location is only 10 minutes away from Bellevue, Nebraska and 15 minutes away from Omaha, Nebraska. There are many hotels, motels, restaurants and grocery stores inside 20 minutes drive. I can provide more information about local accommodations once you've booked a class.
Held in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.
Available Dates :
Remaining openings are listed next to each date. Red dates are sold out.
Click here to book a class!
0 - January 29-31
2 - February 19-21
3 - March 19-21
1 - April 23-25
0 - May 28-30
2 - June 18-20
Tentative dates for 2nd half of 2021:
(These cannot be booked yet)