Bow Making

Selection of a tree begins the bow making process. I might choose only 5 or 6 out of a hundred trees. I make a careful study of the way the tree grows, paying specific attention to the Osage bark, as the grain of the wood follows the bark.

A chain saw is the only power tool used, the felled trees are split with steel wedges and hammers. Removal of the bark and sap wood underneath is next. Then the wood needs to be cured for at least a year. Only then may one begin the carving to uncover the beautiful bow inside.

Using only draw knives, hatchet and/or machetes we begin to shape the bow. There is something spiritual when using with your hands working with this particular wood, the Osage Orange, as it has so much soul and Spirit inside. You will develop a connection with your bow long before it shows itself to you.

The magic Spirit of the bow awakens in your hands through focused attention and intention. You can’t know exactly what this means until you’re holding your own bow crafted by YOU.


Under The Sun

My preferred wood for bows is Osage Orange due to its particularly desirable properties for bows. The Yew, Black Locust, Mulberry (in the same family as Osage), Hickory and many other woods also make fine bows. The tension and compression properties of Osage make it a premium bow wood.

Be prepared to spend at least 40 hours to make your first bow. It may take longer, it all depends on you. A finished bow after final sanding still requires oiling and burnishing to have that beautiful polished sheen. Imagine doing all of this without any power tools out in the open air and sunshine. A wonderful experience at any age.