Primitive Bow Making Part One

The circular designed logo of Primitive Lifeways

For a little over 10 years I have gone back and forth in teaching a bow making class. To be honest, I see so many folks who are newer to making bows teaching after a year into their journey. I did not want to follow that direction as bow making takes years to fully grasp. After 14 years of making close to 100 bows from all over the Americas, I feel confident to share what I have learned with you. In this class we will craft short Native American replica bows from local woods found in the southwest and midwest.


When and Where?

Location and Class dates coming soon



Cost for part one is $275.00 per student covering all three days. Because we get the wood from a vendor from the midwest a bow stave will cost an additional one time fee of $150.00 plus shipping for a premium osage orange stave. ****Please register months ahead of time as we will need this time to order and prep your stave for class.

What to Expect?

We know you will have fun with this class.  After part one each student will have a precise understanding of how a bow is crafted up to the floor tillering process. Each student will feel confident enough to start crafting bows at home! As always, we encourage students to ask questions throughout the workshop.


What Will Be Covered In this Class?

Bow making is an extensive and complex skill that takes time from start to finish. In part one we will start with an hour long lecture on bow woods, ethical harvesting, seasoning the wood, different styles of bows, backing a bow, draw weight and length, and bow maintenance. 

Then we will start establishing the back of the log and chase a single growth ring. after this is complete, each student will learn how to read the stave and layout the design by following the wood grain . 

Finally we will remove belly wood and start to floor tiller the bow to get the limbs bending. 


What to Bring?

Please Note: The tool items on this list need to be brought with you to class. Most items can be found on Amazon for a good price. 

Mother nature is nothing to take for granted. Having spent over 30 years in a desert environment, Primitive Lifeways recommends you come prepared. 

  • Knife
  • Lots Of Water
  • Sack Lunch
  • Medications
  • Sunblock (natural or synthedic)
  • Wide Brim Hat
  • Rope
  • Carpender Pencil
  • Yardstick Ruler
  • Hatchet
  • Shinto Rasp
  • 80 and 220 grit sandpaper
  • Eraser