Traditional Archery

Home > Traditional Archery
Traditional Archery 2017-11-17T06:17:53+00:00

Traditional Archery & Bow Building

Bow Building Classes

I offer selfbow building classes at my shop in north Idaho. The class sizes are small, usually 2-4 students, so each student gets a lot of one on one instruction. We will go through the entire bow building process from selecting a stave and to finally shooting our new bows. The classes are designed to teach the process, not just have you build a bow and be done. We will discuss bow woods, bow design, and factors influencing performance and accuracy. You’ll get a premium osage orange stave and any other materials you’ll need. Classes are 4-5 days depending on your schedule. Dates can be worked around your schedule but, if you’re interested in a 2018 class, pick a week or two that will work for you and let me know soon, then we can settle on dates. We provide lodging, meals, and transport to and from the airport (if you need it). The videos below will give you an idea of what the classes are all about. Cost is $1500 per person. You can email me for more details.

Here’s what past students have to say!

I attended a 1 on 1 bow building class with Clay in July of 17.  It was a great time  that I will never forget! Clay’s knowledge and experience are second to none!.. He and his wife welcomed me and treated me just like family.  I recommend anyone that gets a chance to attend a bow build with Clay to jump at the opportunity.

Joseph Greenleaf

If you are looking for a bow building class, I would recommend taking one of Clay’s workshops. You’ll get the opportunity to meet other bowyers, share your experience with like-minded people, and make what will probably be the best bow you own. The entire process of taking that stave and turning it into a bow was by far the best bow building experience I have ever had.

John Yost

Free Bow Building Resources

Osage orange traditional archery longbow

Osage orange longbow

Traditional archery has been a passion of mine for over 15 years. When I started on this journey back in 1999, information was still pretty sparse. The internet wasn’t very user friendly (remember the days of AOL and dial tones) and you didn’t have sites like this that show you step by step how to make bows, sharpen broadheads or make a bowstring. I also didn’t have anyone to show me how it was done so I made plenty of mistakes learning the things that you’ll see demonstrated here.

I’m really proud to have an entire blog and video series on traditional archery so you can quickly learn the things that took me years to master. Learning how to make all your own traditional archery equipment and learning to shoot it accurately though will still take some work. I wish there was a place like this online when I first started but hey, hardship builds character right…

When most people think of traditional archery, they think of a beautifully arced longbow or recurve and some will even think of bow making. You’ll find that here but that’s just the beginning. Below are links to posts and videos that will show you, step by step, how to make a longbow, create beautifull and functional arrows, strings, and all sorts of other traditional archery related projects.

A lot of what you’ll find here shows you how to make stuff – bows, arrows, etc. But, even if you shoot a modern longbow or recurve, you’ll find some useful info here as well. Like tips on shooting traditional bows accurately and how-to projects that are applicable to any traditional bow.

How to make a longbow

This is the premiere video series on how to make a longbow. Here, I show you exactly how to take an Osage orange blank and make your own selfbow from start to finish. My complete list of traditional archery videos is below. Simply click on the link and the video will play on this page.