Material for bow nocks.


New member
I'm by no means an expert on bows (that's why I'm here asking questions), so please forgive me if I don't the correct terminology at any point.

I'm interested in trying to make my own selfbow, probably in the style of a warbow. I'm interested in the function of bow nocks, and what materials can be used. So I imagine the primary function of the bow nock is to protect the wood of the bow from the string. Do they also provide support to the narrow ends of the bow? Does the material used really matter?

From what I can tell horn was traditionally used on English warbows. However, I've seen reference to nocks on other bows made from wood (a different type to the bow), iron (and other metals) and modern plastics. I'm interested what properties (if any) a bow nock needs, and what materials are suitable. I'm thinking about using jade to make the nocks for my bow, if it wouldn't cause any problems.

Thanks for your time.


You can buy horn nocks part made for this sort of project. The horn is socketed and you can file the desired shape into the nock. Horn is light and durable, easy to work and approved by longbow societies for use in competition. Common to have a groove for the string and another for the stringer on one end.
Knowing nothing of Jade I can't comment as to it's suitability but in the interests of speed, a heavy material is best avoided.


New member
Knowing nothing of Jade I can't comment as to it's suitability but in the interests of speed, a heavy material is best avoided.
Thanks. I did wonder if Jade might be too heavy to use for the nocks. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the most effective material to use, I was just thinking about making the bow look pretty. That being said, I don't want to ruin the bow in the process. I guess I'll just need to learn to work horn.

Del the Cat

Well-known member
I'd think Jade was a bad idea, prob too hard and prob tricky to glue.
I suggest you look at the 2 part horn nock instructional posts on my blog, which I did specifically to help out people in your situation.

Bowyer's Diary: Horn Nock Making Instructional (part 1)
Waterbuffalo horn is great to work with and easy to get.
IMO... DON'T BUY ready made nocks... why would you think they'll fit your bow? And how do you know what the internal hole dimensions are?
It's a bit of a job when you first do 'em, but I give some good pointers in the blog, plenty of pics and a couple of video clips.
Once you've done your first few it gets much easier and quicker


Active member
Horn would probably be best, mainly because that is what is specified a longbow must have to shoot under archery society rules (AGB & BLBS at least)