I always wanted to make a bow (archery) the english long bow was a solid bow, not a laminate. Did anybody ever try to glue up a bow that worked afterwards? If so How pls.

  • Seems a little broad and vague to me. Lots of bows are laminated, I believe most recurves are a laminate, and I've seen longbows too. of course the lamination stretches the length of the arm, not across it...
    – bowlturner
    Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 19:44
  • Hello Bowturner I feel a recurve is a bit ambitious as first project. Thats why I wanted to see what is possible and advisable before I make a fool of myself and i make something that fires backwards
    – Guido Coza
    Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 21:06
  • Well you can laminate a bow. My point was that the lamination needs to go the length of the limbs of the bow, this will give it its 'flex'
    – bowlturner
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 12:24
  • This requires a very specialized set of techniques that, while adjacent to woodworking, diverges quickly from anything most woodworkers would do. For example, many laminate bows are wrapped in cord to give the joint strength. Did you research elsewhere first, like Youtube or even the Great Outdoors SE? I just don't see much of the knowledge necessary for this being found on a woodworking site.
    – user5572
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 13:47
  • @jdv, even some quite complex/intricate laminate bows can be built by any woodworker without any prior experience, same as they could make the type of handle asked about in the recent Q on bending and laminating. It's really the making of a solid-wood bow that's particularly specialised by modern standards, given most woodworkers these days aren't used to removing so much waste entirely by hand and make the judgement calls necessary throughout the process that the limbs aren't too weakened. By comparison you only really need to shape the profiles of the limbs on a laminate bow, simple stuff.
    – Graphus
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


What will your bow be made from?

PVA can be used in bowmaking to glue wood to wood. If bow will be used outdoors exterior grade of PVA is best.

Obviously PVA not suitable to bond synthetic materials. You will use epoxy if you want to add fibreglass, carbon fibre, micarta etc. But you can also choose this for bows made only from wood. Epoxy has zero creep and 100% waterproof.

Gluing laminations on a former - How to make a Longbow uses PVA (Titebond II)
Making A Laminated Bow In Silence... uses epoxy (from Smooth-On, possibly EA-40)

Bows made from solid wood still possible today, but much more work!
Osage orange bow made on this video.
Sweet cherry, Making a Recurve Bow in Silence
Ash, part 1, part 2.

  • This answer boils down to "here, let me Google that for you", which is probably why the original question got a down vote.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 11:13
  • @FreeMan, yup, but Code of Conduct.
    – Graphus
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 14:58
  • Sadly, @Graphus, silently following the "CoC" doesn't teach new folk anything.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 15:06
  • thank you Volfram Really appreciated! And I not even thought of anything but wood. @freeman, I did search the net for how to make a bow(however u right, I do not use google) and did not find what I was looking for.
    – Guido Coza
    Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 19:33
  • 1
    @GuidoCoza if you'll take the tour or even just hover your mouse button over the up/down vote arrows next to your question, you'll see that research is expected before asking a question and that you're expected to show what research you've done and where you've fallen short.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 30, 2022 at 11:00

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