I've alway been interested in making things and understanding how they work. When I embarked on making my first bow all of my bow building knowledge was gleaned from you tube videos, reading blogs and from a Bingham Projects DVD which was kindly lent to me by a friend. There were one or two hiccups along the way but I ended up with what has turned out to be a lovely shooting American Flatbow. In fact my son is currently shooting it in competitions! After my initial success I thought I'd tackle something a bit trickier and had a go at a fairly simple takedown recurve. Again this turned out to be a lovely shooter, if a bit plain looking.
In the Summer of 2018 my bow making took a big step forward when I purchased the bow forms and designs of Blackbrook Bows from Andy Soars. I have been a big fan of Blackbrook bows for several years. I remember being totally wowed by the first arrow I shot from one. It was quite simply the best balanced and fastest bow I had ever shot. Anyway, long story short, what started as a bit of fun has now become a pretty serious hobby. My workshop is now kitted out with some great bow making equipment and I am totally hooked on making superb quality, high performance bows. Andy has been a great help to me and I'm loving being able to make the bows that he designed and developed.
In 2019 both myself and my son won the National 3D Champs using American Flatbows I'd made. I was shooting the first glass backed Sigma I made and my son was shooting the very first bow I made. Having won 2 silver medals in the previous 2 years I was well chuffed to win gold and do it with a bow I'd glued together!
Anyway the bow making continued and I've continued to learn and develop as a bowyer. Next up was another Sigma, this time a 68", carbon backed, with heat treated bamboo cores and a riser made out uni-directional fibreglass bars. The aim was to make my ultimate Flatbow. The glass riser gave the bow a nice weight and made it very stable and the limbs were plenty swift enough. I have actually modified this bow multiple times and everything I have done has been to actually slow it down and reduce its weight! It is my main shooter at the moment and I'm loving it.
2020 has been a horrible year given the Covid 19 pandemic but a great year for my bow making and I've spent lots of time in the workshop. For a long time I've wanted to build a Hybrid bow which is fairly short but would draw comfortbaly beyond 30". Many hybrid bows claim to draw over 30" but the only one I have shot that does it without the force draw curve going a bit exponential was a Centaur Triple carbon. Anyway, I decided to finally get myself into gear and developed the Honey Badger. It's a 62" or 63" hybrid that draws smoothly beyond 30" and has loads of reflex making it pretty swift. The first one was made to be sacrificed and I ended up modifying lots of things around the design. The 2nd bow was pretty damn sweet and I made several very similar to it, experimenting with lots of new woods but keeping micarta running into the fades and carbon backing all but one. It's a really good fun bow to shoot and never ceases to make me smile.
Building a bow is a great way to extend an interest in shooting and I believe understanding how they are made can improve how you shoot. It certainly makes you look at other bows differently and it's a great feeling going to a shoot knowing you've made every item that you will be using to compete and an even better feeling when you win!!
If anyone wants to have a go at making a bow and is stuck on where to get any bits please let me know. I do have quite a large amount of materials in stock and am happy to help as much as I can.
Below are some pictures and descriptions of a few of the bows I've made.