How to Make a Recurve Bow – Step By Step guide

Archery has been going on for centuries. While it initially started for hunting, it has come a very long way.

Those who are in archery sport should learn how to make Recurve Bow.

Archery is a coveted sport that is loved and followed by millions. However, archery started with humble beginnings, and it became such a global phenomenon.

A Recurve bow is a trendy kind of bow in archery. It takes a standard bow and makes it better. It ensures the arrow is propelled further and goes more distance when pulled back. Its length and girth play a vital role in the distance.

Making a recurve bow is not extremely hard; a bit of knowledge in crafting will be sufficient. In this article, we’ll discuss how to make a recurve bow. 

Steps to make a recurve bow:

Step 1 (Gathering everything): 

Before you get to work, you need to make sure you have gathered everything right and around you so you can work at a stretch. To make a recurve bow from scratch, you need the following:

• Belt knife

• Drawknife

• Half-round or a 4-way rasp

• Hatchet or axe

• Scrapper

• Saw

• Ruler

• Pen

• Oil or turpentine for finishing

However, you can also use an automated blade to shape and cut the bow effortlessly. A stave is a bit technical, but it’s faster. However, not being cautious can ruin your bow as well.  

Step 2 (Choice of wood): 

Now, you have to choose the right wood for your job. You cannot use a kind of wood that’s too weak that it’ll break from a few hits. 

Again, choosing a kind that’s too hard will make it hard to work as well. So, choosing a type of wood that’s not too strong while holding up very well is essential. 

Note: Hickory, yew, lemonwood, and maple are perfect quality wood for making a bow. They’re easy to work with an axe or saw, while they hold on very well when shaped into a bow. 

Step 3 (Getting a stave): 

The stave is the piece of wood you need to get to work. If you know your craft, you can get it directly from a tree. Otherwise, you can buy one from your local store. 

Make sure your stave has a diameter of at least 15 to 20 centimetres and at least 1.5 meters long. Also, if you chopped the wood yourself, make sure it has been aged for at least a month.

Step 4 (Marking the outline): 

Once you’ve chosen your stave, you have to prepare it for cutting. Take a marker pen or pencil and outline around the stave. Make sure you have your design and have some extra space around so that you can cut precisely.

Step 5 (Strength test): 

Although slightly unconventional, the strength test of your stave is significant. Because it determines how long your bow will last. 

Take your stave, put one end to the ground and bend. Bend it a few times to see how much it holds up the pressure. Don’t do it too much and you’ll end up breaking it or damaging it permanently. 

Step 6 (Forming the limbs):  

Now that the outline is ready to take your saw and cut around it. Be very careful so that you don’t cut off the excess. 

Now, place the handle section in your vice and tighten it. Now take a drawknife and draw around it. This will make sure your stave is of the thickness you want your bow to be. 

Step 7 (Bending and shaping the bow): 

Now, take your bow to a shaping frame and give it a shape. Apply pressure to parts you want to bend to provide it with the required curve.

Attach the bow to the frame tightly and then recurve it. If the bow seems too hard, then use a heat gun and heat it a bit. 

However, make sure you’ve taken precise measurements and then applied pressure. Not taking measures right can be very problematic. 

Step 8 (Resting the bow): 

All the pressurizing and heating have got your bow all worked up. For this reason, it needs some rest. 

Keep your bow at rest for at least a few hours and let it adapt to the pressure. The rest will set it up and help us continue with the rest of the work. 

Step 9 (Cutting string slots): 

As we’re almost done with the string, it’s time to put the strings. Pick up your drawknife and cut at the two ends of your bow. 

You can do it in a few subtle strokes, and it’ll be perfect. You can also use a cylindrical file to make cutting easier. 

Step 10 (Tillering): 

Tillering means giving your bow; it’s a draw. Use a tillering rope and tie it to either side of the bow. The tillering bow should be twice the size of your string and should be fastened well. 

Take the bow and tie it to the tillering stand. Now, slowly pull the string and decide on the draw. Gently pull the string and finally settle on a point. This is a very time-consuming process, so do it slowly. 

Step 11 (Attaching bowstring): 

Now that the bow is ready, and we have found our accurate draw. Remove the tillering string and tie the bowstring. Tie it properly, so it doesn’t come off. 

Step 12 (Finishing the bow):

It’s a job well done. Once the string is tied, the bow is complete and ready for use. Now, take sandpaper and smoothen parts of it. You can also apply colour, artworks, stickers, etc. to get the aesthetic design right. 

Also Read: The Barnett Whitetail Hunter 2 crossbow review


There you have the step by step guide how to make a recurve bow. A perfect recurve bow is an archer’s dream. 

While it might seem a tad bit complicated, it’s not rocket science. It’s beautiful if your first try isn’t perfect.

However, a bit of fine-tuning here and there and a bit of effort can get wonders done. The article is catered to help you make your perfect recurve bow, and we hope it’s helpful. 

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