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Anchor Bowmen Archery Club News

New Longbow Arrow making course

Courses, Equipment Posted on Wed, November 24, 2021 19:39

Well, we finally gave in to the demand for an arrow making course to complement the longbow making course we have run for a number of years now.

The challenge we set ourselves was to run a course that would allow 12 completed arrows to be made in a single day.

But not just a basic arrow (too boring…), we wanted a fully fledged competition arrow, that would be well matched to you and your bow – aiming for better than you could easily obtain commercially.

As you can see from the 1st course photo, we at least managed to produce the arrows in the day:

During the day we covered:

  • The theory of what matters in creating a well matched arrow set
  • Measuring individual draw length and ‘full-draw’ bow weight
  • Selecting and preparing the arrow shafts (straightness, length, optimum spine, grain pattern, tapering, footing and precision matching)
  • Cresting (creating the personalized painted decoration you can see above) – so at least when we miss the target we can admire our distinctive art work
  • Fletching (size, shape, spin)
  • Initialing and numbering
  • Varnish matching (getting the ultimate consistency in weight, center of balance and spine)
  • Bow tuning after your arrows are made

Most of the sets ended up with 12 arrows within +/- 1lb of the set average, cut to the optimum length for the individual and bow and with a weight variation of +/- 10 grains across the set. Everyone also left with the knowledge of how to close that weight and spine range down even further with a bit of patience and precision varnishing over a few days.

The first few sets tested are also reported to be flying straight and true (or at least as well as archer skill allows).

If anyone is interested in attending an arrow making course:

  1. The courses are held at West Park School, Spondon, Derby on Saturdays and run from 9am – 6pm, for a maximum of 10 participants
  2. You need to bring the longbow you plan to shoot, (and need the arrows matched to), along to the course. You can attend without the bow, but we won’t be able to get the optimum spine match we can with it.
  3. The course cost is £100 for 2021/22 courses, for which you get the 12 arrow matched set you produce on the day and the skills to continue making your own going forward.
  4. The course dates for 2022 are:
    • 15th Jan 2022 (FULL)
    • 5th March 2022 (1 place remaining)
    • 25th June 2022 (4 places remaining)
    • 19th November 2022 (3 places remaining)

For course bookings or additional information please contact

The Longbow courses return

Courses, Equipment Posted on Wed, November 24, 2021 18:53

Well, after the COVID enforced break we have finally restarted the longbow making course, finishing the first course just 3 weeks ago.

It seems that everyone was gasping for a bit of entertainment after the lockdowns and as a result we have been overwhelmed with requests for places.

We initially arranged the one course that sold out overnight in under 10 hours.
Within a couple of weeks we had arranged and filled 4 additional courses running through the back of 2021 and throughout 2022.

I am afraid that means we currently have no more course places left in 2021 or 2022, but have started up a waiting list in the event of any places coming free or to get the first notice of any additional courses we plan (likely to be in 2023 now though).

If you want to join the waiting list and get early notice of the next course opportunities then please drop an e-mail to and I will add you to the course contact list.

Through 2021/2022 the course cost is £175 for which you get:

  • 2 full days of entertainment making your bow and leaning the techniques
  • you will leave with a finished bow and string you have made yourself
  • the bows are 3 laminate, bamboo backed with a tapered core

Future longbow making courses

Courses, Equipment Posted on Wed, June 06, 2018 16:39

We are planning to run additional courses in support of the DCAA sport England grant project. These are open to all DCAA affiliated archers at a cost of £20. The bows made will form part of the counties longbow library, but the skills gained are yours to keep.

The county will also have longbow making tool kits available for use after the course if anyone wants to go onto make additional bows. If you want to make a personal bow then we can probably supply a laminated stave for £120 as long as the demand is not too high.

courses are planned for :
Saturdays 7th/14th July – course now full
Saturdays 18th/25th August – 2 places currently remaining

and we are planning 1 further course later in the year if the demand is there – date to be arranged when we have enough interest.

e-mail of you are interested in a place on a course.

Longbow making course – Day 2

Courses, Equipment Posted on Wed, June 06, 2018 16:28

Well the good news was that everyone came back for the 2nd day of the course!

The morning began with everyone filing string grooves into their shaped horn nocks and making a Flemish twist string of the right length.

They then all had the fun of trying to brace a bow that was still reluctant to bend much beyond bracing height.

The rest of the morning was spent completing the tillering process and getting the bows to about the right draw length and draw weight.

Over lunch we oiled the handle sections ready for a bit of light needlework to add a leather handle at the start of the afternoon session.

The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to the final tweaking of the limbs to achieve the perfect bow bend, plenty of sanding for beautifully smooth profiles, fitting the arrow pass and polishing the horn nocks.

Finally we ended the day with the final inspections, measurements and marking the bows before we completed each bows birth certificate.

So by the end of the course we had 6 brand new bows, 6 newly qualified bow makers and the anticipation of trying them out for the first time (after a few more coats of oil that is).

Longbow making – day 1

Courses, Equipment Posted on Sun, May 27, 2018 11:58

Yesterday we held the first day of our first longbow making course at Anchor.

6 willing volunteers braved the workshop with the intention of making a bow each in just 2 days.

After a couple of hours of instruction, rasping, sanding, scraping and filing the bows were ready to teach how to bend.

a careful eye for the developing curve of the limbs and precision pencil marking leads to even more scraping and sanding…

at each stage we exercised the bows to test the bend and ‘teach’ them where we want them to go, exposing any stiff or weak spots in the limbs and racking up plenty of steps for those with step counters.

The only problem all day was persuading the team to put down the tools long enough to get some lunch! No one seemed to want to stop.

But eventually by early afternoon we were all fed and the bows were developing a nice even bend.

By the end of the day the nocks were glued in place and the process of shaping started, (much to the disgust of those with any sense of smell). We even had a few smiles on the end of day group photo.

Bow making part 2 …. coming next week