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The Birth of a Weapon: Making an English Longbow

From tree to final bow, watch the making of a handcrafted English longbow in this artfully beautiful film by John Neeman Tools.

John Neeman Tools has released a subtly gorgeous film on the making of an English longbow. From splitting the log into staves to final shooting, this quietly beautiful film takes us through each step with thoughtfulness and passion.

The bowyer begins with a log that he splits into staves and allows to season for three years. That's how long it feels like they took to create this wonderful film. The care they put into it is real and apparent.

We see the craftsman chop, carve, rasp and scrape away wood. We see him fit the horn bow tips and carve them out. We see him take his time and put his heart into this bow that he is making.

He checks and rechecks the poundage, removing wood where needed.

He carefully fits the leather hand grip over the bow and sews it on. He lovingly coats the entire bow with oil. He takes his time in winding and braiding the bowstring.

He creates a weapon, yes, but also a finely crafted, even artful, tool. The same can be said of this film of the process. It's mesmerizing.

Finally, he straps on a quiver full of arrows and slowly takes aim at a target, as the entire building process flashes before his eyes.


John Neeman Tools is a company based in Latvia, in Northern Europe. They are a group of craftsman whose handmade products have earned worldwide praise. They make knives, axes, woodworking tools, leather goods and bows.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.


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The Birth of a Weapon: Making an English Longbow