I did at one time, recently check the prices at Binghams and see they have gone up. Though I still have the presses and oven, I'm not sure I want to lay out 200 bucks for laminates and riser material. Though given a resurgence of interest in archery by virtue of the blockbuster movie Hunger games, I may be arm twisted into making a few more bows.
Most of what bows I made have long since gone on to find new homes. I could never seem to hang onto them long enough to call them mine....
I still make up some cedar arrows from time to time and can whip up a mean flemish string from dacron B50...serving and all...
There is a lot of work that goes into making a longbow, even with power tools the DYI bow maker can expect to spend somewhere around 70 hours, start to finish. Thats after making the oven and bow press. Which can also take some time to make, especially the bow press, which is actually a form.
Flat bows are the most economical to make in both money and time because a simple press can be made from a plank, dowling and strips of car tire inner tube.
Takedown bows are fairly easy to make since one press serves to keep both limbs the same. A riser/limb relationship angle around 22 degrees is easy to establish at the limb mounting pad on the riser, then you have one less press/form curve to deal with and since the limbs are identical, there are usually less tillering issues to deal with.
The fullsized bow takes the longest to make (70 hours), having a good press is of the utmost importance, since any variation in the bed of the press over its entire length (72") is transfered to the bow.
Add limb/riser curvature to the press and you can see where keeping the curves the same on both ends and in proper relationship to each other while keeping the bed square throughout the length of the bow can be a challenge.
The quality of the bow press is very important to turning out a good bow. If the press isnt right neither is the bow. A good bow press is gold...LOL
As I recall I would make a bow for x2 the cost of materials, I would replace the bow in a year if something happened or give them their money back. I would also help with any adjustments it needed. They also got a years supply of flemish strings, I usually sent them off with two.
Their choice of color(s) I never had one come back, and never a complaint.
Over the last couple of years I've been shooting a PSE Coyote (factory bow), I'm on my second set of limbs. The first set cracked after a year..Sadly it was less expensive to buy the Coyote than the material to make one longbow.
+1...there are some very talented people on the forums...handy as pockets...LOL
Yeah I was solid when it came to that, I didn't make any money at it...Though I made quite a few people happy...I guess thats what really counts. Well that and I learned the knacks and tricks to making a sweet shooting long bow, no hand shock or torquing, the arrow whispers of the rest and a fast cast...
Still have my 50 yd. bow range out back too, nice to be able to step out the back door and launch a few...
A person can buy the plans and preselected laminates, riser block oven/press kit and make the rest of what they need from items bought at the local lumber yard...It is a process just to make the first bow.
The bow pictured has long since found a home, I wished I had more pictures especially of the limb tips. I started making bows with builder plans and after getting down the basics, changes the limb tips, shape of the riser, hight of the rest, shape of the limbs, well basically everthing...LOL
I had the good fortune of shooting 3D with world class traditional shooters, and got a chance to ask what they looked for in a bow, illuminating and very helpful, also they are very nice guys not a snob in the bunch...and incredible shots with a longbow...Yeah I was in awe...they never missed...LOL