Remaking and adding weight to a self Yew Warbow

Feel free to ask questions and leave comments below, this section will be updated frequently. 

Remaking a self yew longbow:

This is an alteration currently under way. Although an excellent stave of Italian Yew the boywer (no names mentioned) has spent too long flexing the bow on the tiller, the result in this case is excessive set. The plan is to use low amounts of dry heat to bring the bow back to its original shape. There are certain qualities to look for to know whether the bow will benefit from this process.

  • Does the bow have compression fractures on the belly – if yes they will get worse
  • Does the back have large (over 5mm) knots – this process is going to make the belly much stronger and in turn put more pressure onto the back of the bow, a dead knot is likely to open up or break
  • Is there enough length in the stave to achieved the desired draw length safely – too short and after a few arrows you will quickly return to excessive amounts of set

This picture best demonstrates the difference in the limbs. The near limb is yet untouched and is showing over 3″ of set, the far limb has been lightly heat treated and is already much straighter…


A closer look at the corrected limb. Now with approximate;y .5″ of set. The natural direction of the grain in this limb prevents total straitening – do make sure you don’t induce reflex if attempting the same!

As of – 02/01/2015


You can now see the bow (third from the top) is dead straight.

The bow will now be left until the summer, nocks added and re-tilllered. Everything up to this point has effectively been attempting to get the stave back to what it was before it was first made. Reverting the over-working on the limbs and correcting the profile a little.

In the summer months the bow will be re-made and more detail will be added later.

May 2016

After a period of allowing the bow to return to normal it was finished and nocks added. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera set up to track these last stages but the bow is currently back with its owner in Canada. It ended up being 150lb and exceptionally fast and when the owner (he knowns who he is) is strong enough to pull the bow again I expect some excellent distances from it.