Just 7 Steps On How to Make a Recurve Bow?


How to Make a Recurve Bow

If compound bows were not available today, it’s pretty much the recurve bows that would rule the archery world right now. From the beginning of the history of archery, recurve bow is something that the archers on the battlefield put their trust in.


Surprisingly enough, the trust is still fresh as many modern archers do find a recurve bow to be a perfect choice. Although compound bows have their perks in plenty, used as a good beginner bow but a recurve bow will always let you have the raw feeling of archery.


Now, what if we told you could make recurve bow on your own? Yes, that’s true. You can make a bow out of some simple materials and tools. So, how to make a recurve bow yourself? Well, that’s what we are going to answer in this piece!

Stay tuned to find out!


What Is A Recurve Bow?

If you ever have seen a recurve bow, you can immediately tell why it is named as such. The two ends of the bow are a bit curved away from the shooter. That’s how it is named a recurved bow. The reason why it is designed as such is that it can propel an arrow with more strength and power than any simple, regular, or even compound bow.

Although it has a bit of difference in design compared to traditional bows, the recurve bow itself is a branch of traditional bows. So, that being said, you can see that the bow is quite a bit simpler than the compound bows used in competitions.


Can You Make A Recurve Bow?


Interestingly enough, you don’t need to rely on the commercial manufacturers for a recurve bow. That’s pretty much the opposite of the compound bow. You can make a home made recurve bow yourself. With a few tools and necessary materials, you can start your own adventure of crafting a DIY recurve bow.


So, what exactly do you need for making a good hunting recurve bow? We will find out everything in detail in the following sections.


What Do You Need For A Recurve Bow?


First of all, above everything, you need a bit of prior knowledge to build a recurve bow. You need to have some kind of first-hand experience in using a recurve bow. You can’t make something that you haven’t used or seen before.

So, you need to understand how a recurve bow works. Apart from that, you have to get some basic ideas on the construction of a recurve-bow from scratch. It’s not going to be an easy task if you don’t have prior ideas. So if you lack detailed knowledge on this, you may want to seek help from a professional, just in case.


As for the necessary tools and materials you need, the required parts are pretty basic. Then again, you need time, patience, and perseverance for this, as well. So, you may want to separate some times for this purpose before you start to build your own recurve bow.


In this section, we are going to refer to a standard-sized recurve bow. That means all the sizes and measurements of materials and tools we will discuss are solely for the construction of a standard-sized bow.

If you are to make a bow that comes with a larger or smaller profile, you may want to alter the sizes and measurements that we have mentioned accordingly. Just make sure you are changing the amount of wood laminate, wood board, and yew that we have used here.


So, the tools that you will need are as follows.


  • A regular saw to trim and cut woods
  • A knife and a flat file
  • A long cylindrical file if the knife is not there
  • A large-sized file
  • A heat gun
  • A few large-sized screw clamps
  • A heat gun
  • A drawknife
  • One tillering stick
  • A working bow-shaping frame
  • A few pieces of great-quality sandpaper
  • A rasp
  • A ruler to measure
  • A tape if you can’t find a ruler


The materials you will need are as follows.


  • First of all, you need a piece of wood for the main body. It should be either maple, lemonwood, black oak locust, hickey, or other appropriate wood. You must avoid birch, bamboo, or similar types of wood as they simply won’t be appropriate.
  • For the bowstring, you can use a nylon-made bowstring. You can also go for a parachute cord, as well. If you can’t manage these two, you should find something that is quite thick.
  • A strong board of wood that is measured as 2 X 4 feet
  • A wood laminate and bow stave
  • Any type of wax for finishing the wooden part



Where Do I Find These Materials?


It really helps if you find all the materials under the same roof. But the reality is, it’s not always the case. You have to find different materials in different locations. However, luckily enough, whatever we have mentioned here, can be easily found at any local hardware store.


As these tools and materials are closely connected, you can find almost all under the same roof. In case if you miss anything, online stores are always there to save the day!

How To Make a Recurve Bow – Step By Step Guide


So, now that you are ready with the materials and necessary tools, we are ready to begin the steps of building recurve bow. But before we start, let us remind you that it may take weeks to build recurve bow. So, you better make a plan for a long time before you start the venture.


Step 01: Get The Wood Plank 

Also known as a stave, a wood plank is something that you need as the prime skeleton of the recurve bow. You can get one by cutting down a small-sized tree that seems perfect for your bow. You can prefer ash or oak tr

Make a Recurve Bow

ee, in this case.


You need to find a tree that comes with a diameter of at best 20 cm. As for the length, it should be between 1.5 meters to a couple of meters. Now, you should cut the wood piece into 4 different pieces. Now apply glue on the backside and both ends of the woods so that no cracking is there. You need to keep the woods as it is for a month to dry up.

If you are like those who are like, “Woh! I don’t have that much time in hand!” then it’s okay, you can also buy from a ready-made stave from the stores, as well.


Step 02: Pick All The Tools You Have

It’s time to arrange all the tools you have gathered before. Make sure you have everything handy. You have to chase the ring here. It means you need to level the backside of the stave so that it can retain a growth ring th

Pick All The Tools for bow making

ere. It can easily ward off all the useless parts of the wood.


To chase the ring, you need to have the drawing knife, files, sandpaper, and a regular knife, as well. To do this, you need to mark the part of the ring on the wood. Then take off the outer side of the ring. Then use the sandpaper to clean off the thinner layer.


Step 3: Lay The Design Out

First of all, mark the part of the stave with a pencil where you want to carve out the design. Measure a quarter of an inch from both sides of the markings and clean it off with the knife. Notice that the stave is about ½-inch longer than what you need.


So, now you need to point out the midpoint between both the points and mark a line across the wood piece. Try putting the strings on the top where you need to put the nooks. When you are done attaching the strings, you need to mark a line there parallel to the strings.


Then you have to make an outline on the limbs of the stave using a marker or pencil. Try swinging the hatchet by holding the stave in one hand. Don’t forget to smoothen the sides of the stave pretty well.


Step 4: Make The Limb


Now it’s time to shape the limb. Put the handle area in the vice and make it tight. Meanwhile, place the back of the stave as facing upwards. Now, draw the drawknife along the stave with dep strokes. Continue until you get the desired thickness you want.



Step 5: Setting Target Weight

A draw-weight is something that you put on the bow when you are pulling the string. If you need to target the draw weight at 40 lbs, then the bow should also be 40 lbs heavy. To do this, draw a line via the stave-sides measuring ½-inch from the back of it.



Step 6: Time To Do Some Bending

In this step, you need to bend the stave to ensure that both ends are parallel. You can do this by putting your feet on the tip of one end of the bow and holding the handle in one hand, then holding the other end with another hand.

Now try pushing the bow’s back until the two ends are in a parallel position. Keep bending till it gets around 16  to 21 centimeters. Be careful! Don’t put too much pressure as it may ruin the stave.


Step 7. Attach String

Finally, you will have to use a knife, a tillering stick, and a parachute cord. Use these tools to make a notch on the ends of the wooden stave. Use the tillering stick to cut on the string marks on the stave. Don’t do it before you have finished bending.


Now, make a loop on the ends of the string. Remember, the loop has to be double the bowstring’s length. Finally, connect the loops to the open notches that you have just made and place the stave on the stick. Now, pull the string to attach it to the bow.


Comparison Between Recurve and Compound Bow


Now, the question may arise, why only recurve bow? Why not make a compound bow myself? Is it not possible or easier? Well, the answer is, making a compound bow isn’t hard or impossible. But it’s surely a lot more complicated than making a recurve bow.


To put it straight, making a recurve bow is pretty easier than making a compound bow. Although it may take a long time to finish, it is actually a feasible project to undertake. Making a compound bow, on the other hand, may not even seem to be a plausible solution if you are not able to buy one from the stores.


Final Words


If you actually have a pretty clear idea on how to make a recurve bow, you can save a lot of bucks right then and there but you will not get a bow case. However, you better make sure that you have practiced a lot and are following proper guidelines before starting the venture. We hope this piece here will help you a great deal to make your dream project come true. Follow the steps carefully to ensure you are doing everything properly.



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