Archery is a sport that has been in practice for tens of thousands of years. Our descendants were required to create the tools used for hunting, such as the bow. But now we can get them from our local archery shops. The bows are made of wood staves gathered by cutting down trees. Nowadays, creating a recurve bow for hunting can be a trendy and enjoyable experience. But how do you do so? Let’s discover!

What is a Recurve Bow

recurve bow is an archery bow with curved limb tips that bend away from the archer. When the string is pulled back, the tip of the recurve appears like the number “3.” These limbs tend to be shorter than traditional longbows. These limbs store more energy when the string is drawn back. The reflexed ends of the recurve bow accelerate more quickly than the rest of the recurve compared to a traditional longbow.

There are many different recurve bows, but some common characteristics distinguish them. The limbs of a recurve bow are typically made of several layers of wood, fiberglass, or carbon composite. They also feature wood risers and are lightweight and adjustable. Regardless of style, a wooden recurve bow can be a good choice for beginners and experienced archers alike.

Recurve bows are the oldest bow style on Earth and are primarily used in competitive archery. Recurve bows are also the only type of bow permitted in the Pan American Games. They require more physical prowess, greater balance, and a tighter grip on the center of gravity than other archery bows. For this reason, it is ideal for hunters who want to hunt with their bows.

Materials Required to make your Bow.

It is necessary to have a good stave of wood for the base of the bow and tools to form it and make it strong enough to stand up to the enormous physical force of shooting. It is also necessary to string the bow and then apply the final touches to ensure that it’s comfortable to shoot with.

It is also necessary to have several tools to create parts of a recurve bow. Here’s a comprehensive list of the bow-making supplies you need to make a DIY bow and arrow.

  • Wood: Maple, citrus wood, oak, black locust, yew, or be wary of bamboo, birch, and other woods, since they won’t be effective.
  • Bowstring: Parachute cord, nylon bowstring (or another kind of string)
  • A wooden board should be at least 2 feet by 4 feet.
  • Wood laminate
  • A bow stave
  • Oil or wax finish

Tools Required For DIY Bow & Arrow

  • Hatchet
  • Glue
  • Screw clamps
  • Drawknife
  • Tillering stick
  • Bandsaw or jigsaw
  • Bow shaping frame
  • Belt sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Plane
  • Vice clamps or grips

The Process of Making a Recurve Bow

A step-by-step guide on making a recurve bow with no prior knowledge.

Step 1: Select the Wood

You’ll require a sturdy but flexible wood stave for the bow’s foundation. Choose trees with an area of 20 centimeters or less.

When you have cut the tree, you can reduce its size to as little as 1.6 to 2 meters. After that, cut the piece into quarters.

Then, glue the back and end of the wood to stop any cracks in the future. The wood should dry for about a month.

If you don’t feel like working to make the stave, you could purchase a pre-made one. The stave is the base wood for your bow.

It should be the length you would like your bow to be, and it must be made of durable, malleable, and flexible wood.

Step 2: Next Up Design

Begin by drawing out the overall shape for the bow on the stave with a pencil or pen. Include the riser and handle as well as the limbs.

When you mark out the limbs, make sure they are straight and flat – you can bend them in the future.

The handle should cover the eight inches in the middle length of your bow. Make sure to sketch where you would like the bowstring’s nocks.

Step 3: Shape the Bow

Utilizing a hatchet or a similar tool (bandsaw or jigsaw), depending on what you prefer, cut out the bow’s design. Keep in mind the length you envision for the bow. You want the handle to be one and a 1/2 inches thick.

It is now time to recognize the back and belly of the stave to decide how you can bend it. The bow’s back is the outside part that faces your target while shooting. The belly is the inside curve on the opposite side that faces you.

Hold the stave in an upright position. Secure the upper leg with the tips of the lower leg firmly planted to the floor. Bend the bow gently to determine the wood’s flexibility.

Step 4: Trim the Limbs

Make the bow into a sturdy vice, clamping around the handle. After that, you can use files, a drawknife, sandpaper, or a plane to cut down the limbs until you have your desired thickness.

The length of the limbs determines the draw weight of the bow. In the beginning, you should try to find a slightly heavier draw weight, which you can adjust later. A little over 5/8 inch is the ideal size. While doing this, shave the wood from the belly of the bow and not the back.

Step 5: Bend the Limbs

When the limbs have been cut to the proper thickness and length, it’s time to bend the limbs. Initially, the recurve bow’s limbs curl away from the handle before curving back towards the tips of the limbs.

Utilize Bow shaping frames to do this. It lets you attach your bow with various clamps and gradually bend it to form. Attach the stave to the bow to secure it.

Be sure to use precise measurements. Both bow’s limbs must be bent precisely at the exact angles to construct an efficient bow. When the handle is fixed in the correct position, bend the limbs to the same place on each side.

After you’ve bent the bow, you can leave it there secured in the shaping frame overnight. This lets the wood adjust to the desired shape.

Step 6: Get A String And Arrow Rest

Now, it’s time to go to your local archery shop to get a recurve bow string and arrow rest. Rests and strings aren’t expensive, and the shop will advise the best option for you. You can also get additional gear like recurve bow quivers, recurve bow sight, etc. They can put the rest in, set up the bow, and match the arrows to your bow’s draw length.

However, if you want to string the bow yourself, you can follow the next step.

Step 7: Recurve Bow String

It’s time to take care of your bowstring. Utilize a circular file to cut out the notches in the precise location at the apex on each limb. Start the work from the inside of the wood and not the exterior wood. This helps in preserving strength.

The bow now needs to be tillered.

Tillering is used to describe how evenly the bow bends when it is pulled back until it is fully drawn. Attach a length of cord made from parachute to the bow’s notches. The cord must be double the length of the bowstring you plan to use.

Attach the bow’s handle by securing it to the top of the tillering stick. Pull the tillering string lower into one of the notches on the tillering stick. This lets you increase the bow’s flexibility while making sure that it is bent evenly.

If the bow seems to be not bending evenly, take it off and slowly shave the limbs slightly.

When the bow is sufficiently flexible to bend towards the initial tillering notch without feeling stiff, you can set the tillering string to an upper notch while letting the bow sit. Repeat this procedure until you reach the ideal draw length. It may take a few months of gradual adjusting.

When the bow begins to shake at any time, then take it off. It is an indication of tension. Adjust the thickness of your limbs, and then try again.

Factors to keep in mind When making a recurve bow

When making your recurve bow, the most important things to think about are drawing width and height. It is vital to have a good shooting experience using your new Recurve bow.

Draw length

The length of your draw is the primary measure of how far you have to draw the bow back to take a shot.

This will determine the amount of bow that each archer requires.

A proper draw length can provide an easy and solid shooting platform that allows you to concentrate on increasing your accuracy rather than fighting with your bow.

To determine your draw length Stand up and raise your arms to your sides naturally.

Find someone who can determine the distance between the fingertips of your hands to determine the wingspan of your hands.

You can then divide the measurement in 2 1/2, approximating your ideal draw length.

Draw weight

Another thing to consider when designing your own Recurve bow is the draw weight. This is the force you must apply when pulling the bow back until it is at full draw.

The right draw weight for you depends on the purpose for which you’ll be using the bow. It won’t require the same draw weight as hunting if you’re shooting for a target.

A draw weight between 25 and 28 pounds (11 to 13 kilograms) is ideal for shooting at targets for most novice shooters.

When hunting with bows, 40lbs (18 kilograms) is the recommended draw weight that will effectively reduce game such as deer, elk, or even wolves.


Like a gun, Bows are shot so that it can be a hazardous tool. Therefore, careful and controlled use is essential.

Anyone new to shooting will benefit from joining a club to learn how to shoot a recurve bow and, most importantly, safe shooting techniques.