laminated long bow



New member
Having made a few laminated longbows. I am now thinking how to keep string follow to a minimum.

My thoughts

Backing thickness if this is increased would this help only problem I see is not overpower the belly

Choice of materials having used two different timbers for the belly so far
Black Walnut and lemon wood I have found Black Walnut the best so far (not been able to find any Yew or Osage yet for the belly)

Thickness off middle core thicker or thinner ?

Balance between the length of the bow and weight and draw length ?

Tiller Full compass of keep the handle stiffer

One other question
I have been ask to make a long bow of a female club member

28 lb at 27 inch with maximum cast

I thought
3 mm ash backing (hickory hard to find at moment)
center core 4mm purple hart
belly Black walnut
71 inch long 1 inch at the handle 3/8 at tips

I open this up to other bow makes thoughts


New member
to keep string follow to a min, there are many suggestions in the trad bowyers bible.

length: the more working wood there is the less compression it is put under and the easier it is for it to spring back.

width: the wider the bow the more wood there is to take the compression as well and the thinner you can make the bow resulting in less set.

the backing itself has little to do with set unless, as you pointed out, it overpowers the belly. with wood lamination bows my view is the thicker the backing the deeper a lifted splinter can go if the backing comes apart. this is just my opinion.

as for the second question. i would go with a fastflex boo core or another lighweight material. the center mass in a bow doesnt allot for much compression or tension, it just spaces the belly and backing to make them move further causing an increase in draw weight. although the purple heart will make a beautifull core. and make the tips as thin as you are comfortable making them. anything taking weight off the ends of the bow will increase cast. but from what i have read these suggestions will only add a few fps overall. hope this helps. best of luck.

dustin d


New member
In particular TBB points out that set close to the handle has a magnified effect when you get close to the tips (simple geometry). Keep the limbs thick and wide enough near the handle to take almost no set, in the middle enough to take limited set and then keep limb tips as light as possible. If you keep limb tips fairly stiff you'll increase cast, although you may get a bit more handshock.


New member
As Dustin says, use a light core material behind the backing rather than purpleheart. You can go very light eg western red cedar or other softwoods in this position. Even if the bow is made too long, it'll still be fast.

American ash backing will help guard against set by pushing the neutral zone towards the belly, and forcing the backing to do more of the work. DAvid