Bow Making With Ed Scott (videos)

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Brokor, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Don't miss this extraordinary series about bow maker, Ed Scott. He is a true, time honored master and there is much to learn from him. (This was an 8-part series, uncut...but the account has been closed. For further information on Ed Scott, please search YouTube)

    New Update: Link to the entire 94 minute documentary HERE on YouTube.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
    M000X1 and modernwoodsman like this.
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    The highlights of bow making (to clarify)

    Phase 1 - Preparing the Stave

    • Choose the wood material, ensuring there are as few (or none at all) knots in the wood. Select and cut the portion of the log to be used for the stave. Typically, it is a wedge shape cut length-wise from the log from the outer to the center (the center being the point). If you can imagine a 'V', and the open end closed solid would be the bark side and the point is the tip of heartwood. A true master bowyer will know about the tree growth rings and how the grain of the wood will respond/behave. Having knowledge of growing seasons in your area may prove to be beneficial.
    • Rough out the dimensions and length of the bow to be made, leaving plenty of material to be cut away during tillering process. The wood should still be green at this stage. Prepare the belly of the stave for sinew (if applicable).
    • Shape the stave using form and clamps, or any method you choose. You are not trying to make the final shape of a finished bow at this point, merely bending the wood as needed. The stave may remain in this position until it dries a bit and time will vary depending upon location and if there is a drying method employed. Complete drying is not expected at this point.
    • Prepare the sinew (if applicable) and then apply to the belly of the stave. The correct amount of sinew to apply is an art and varies with each stave.
    • Rest the stave and allow to cure (dry) for several weeks or longer.
    Phase 2 - Shaping and Tillering

    See videos above.

    Phase 3 - Stringing the Bow

    See videos above

    Phase 4 - Sealing the Bow

    See videos above

    --- Remember, the back of the bow is under tension, the belly of the bow is under compression.
    Each wood has different characteristics, some have more tensile strength and others compress better. The idea of adding sinew to the belly of certain woods is to balance out the tension (or take up some tension) from the back of the bow, while adding strength to the belly. For clarification, the "belly" is the part which faces the archer, and the "back" is the part facing outward. ---
    Dont and M000X1 like this.
  3. Very good vid, thanks!
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I have several bows, but I can see this being useful knowledge. Next does he show how to make bow strings? Learned that in the Boy Scouts long, long ago.:cool:
  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Videos still active, updated.
  7. M000X1

    M000X1 Monkey

    Loved the videos. I have been looking for a good bow making tutorial. This was beyond!

    Things may be a little different in a survival situation, but using the knowledge from this tutorial in the situation would make it a whole lot easier to get a quality bow that would actually down a game animal.
    Brokor likes this.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Another fantastic video detailing how to make a bow.

    This is a Xiaoshao Bow, made from wood, sinew, and buffalo horn. It's very flexible and powerful.
    Ganado, Dont and Dunerunner like this.
  9. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Ed Scott is a well known bowyer, and I have studied him 001.JPG and many others to craft bows over the years. Crafting a quality bow under survival conditions takes practice beforehand, as it is a complex undertaking in the best of times. This is my most recent bow, American Flat Longbow from a red oak board, finished in October 2018, 72" long and finished up at 45 pounds of pull. A slow but very accurate bow, and a pleasure to shoot. I have made and broken many bows along the way ,some bows survive and some break making it a journey filled with pain and pleasure, but necessary to acquire the skills of a bowyer. Actual hands on is the only way to learn. Good luck!
    3cyl likes this.
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