Join me in the shop for four days and learn to craft a powerful, smooth shooting Osage Selfbow with basic hand tools. This course is geared toward a more advanced layout that opens up a wide variety of options for bow length and design. You'll turn an osage orange stave into any bend-through-the-handle bow you desire, from the short Plains-Inspired Horsebow to the "archer tall" Eastern Woodlands Warbow. You'll leave with a one-piece shortbow or longbow suitable for both small and large game; built from start to finish by you.
Osage is one of the most sought-after woods in the craft. Its unmatched density, tension and compression qualities, and natural resistance to moisture makes for bows that serve tirelessly for many years; even in extreme conditions. Osage staves require "chasing a ring" to establish the bow's back, and usually contain knots, wiggles, cracks, and other obstacles. Therefore, it is not the best wood choice for first-timers. Bendy-handle designs are also more challenging than stiff-handle bows, because they are tillered as one complete unit and not in two separate sections.
It's highly recommended that those attending the Advanced Bowmaking Workshop have either completed our Bowmaking 101 Workshop, or have attempted to build a few bows on their own. We'll skip some of the introductory knowledge shared in Bowmaking 101 and get right into it, so you'll need a basic understanding of bow layout, tillering, and the use of a drawknife, rasp, tape measure, etc.
-Nuances of Osage
-Chasing a ring
-Advanced bow layout
-Roughing out a bow blank
-Heat corrections and alignment
-Tillering the bendy-handle bow
-Bow string making
-Long term bow care
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 advanced techniques 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 leave plenty of time open for one-on-one guidance and questions/answers.
The final afternoon will be spent shooting in your new bow with one-on-one marksmanship training. If you're an experienced archer that's comfortable in your ways, you'll be set free to shoot in your preferred style. If you'd like to adjust your technique, we'll work through the finer details of intuitive shooting.
This course isn't meant to be a step-by-step walkthrough. It's my goal to help you understand the nuances of Osage and teach you the skills needed to make your own bows for life. We're excited to bring Advanced Bowmaking to the course lineup, and look forward to having you out for a build!
(all-inclusive, no tax)
Class is from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM CST over four days.
(Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
Military, Veterans, LEO, and First Responders will receive a $100 discount.
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. You can expect to be standing on concrete for hours at a time and plenty of pulling/pushing with hand tools. 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 spot 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 provided.
-Big, delicious lunches provided.
(Breakfast/Dinner not provided)
-Shop has heat in winter.
-Shop has AC in summer.
-On-site shower available.
-On-site power is available.
-Free tent/car/overlander camping.
(No generators please)
-On-site fire pit.
-20 minutes from Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA).
No pets - no exceptions. We love all kinds of animals, but no matter how well-behaved, pets cause distractions. Please respect the other patrons who've paid good money to attend and leave pets at home. Thanks for understanding!
Travel & Lodging :
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.
If you prefer to stay in a motel or hotel, the class location is only 10 minutes away from Bellevue, Nebraska and 20 minutes away from Omaha, Nebraska. There are many hotels, motels, restaurants and grocery stores inside a 20-minute drive. I can provide more information about local accommodations once you've booked a class.
Held in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.
2024 Workshop Dates:
Three spots available in each class. Remaining openings are listed next to each date.
Some sold out dates are awaiting payment and can open up if someone cancels. Submit a Contact Form for any date to get on the wait list.
Booking Opens January 1, 2024:
April 18-21 (3 spots)
July 11-14 (3 spots)
October 17-20 (3 spots)
Click here to book a spot. Once you receive an invoice, a $500 Good-Faith Deposit is required upfront to hold spot(s). Payment in full guarantees your reservation.
Cancellations & Rescheduling :
If you need to cancel or reschedule, please do so at least 45 days prior to the date of the class. I'll send out e-mail reminders as the deadline approaches. If your invoice is still open at the 45-day mark, your deposit(s) will be refunded and the spot(s) reopened.
Any cancellations made inside 30 days will incur a $500 admin fee. No exceptions. It's a big trip that's challenging for most to make on short notice, and late cancellations create a huge logistical hurdle for everyone involved. If you back out last-minute, there's very little chance we'll be able to refill your spot.
There's no fee for rescheduling on time, and cancellations made on time will receive a refund.
Completed Class Bows: