American Woodworker
Contact Us | Help | Report a Bug
Sign in | Join
 

Build a Recurve Bow Cambria Heights NY

The bow is laminated with thin strips of wood and fiberglass (Fig. A) . They're bent and glued together with epoxy using a plywood form. You don't need a zillion clamps to squeeze the forms together, however.

The Home Depot
(516)488-8500
600 Hempstead Turnpike
Elmont, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(516)823-0700
101 Green Acres Road
Valley Stream, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(718)641-5500
11220 Rockaway Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(516)565-3700
172 Fulton Ave
Hempstead, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(718)830-3323
75-09 Woodhaven Blvd
Glendale, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-11:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-9:00pm

The Home Depot
(718)558-8640
92-30 168th Street
Jamaica, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(718)977-2081
13220 Merrick Blvd
Jamaica, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(718)358-9600
131-35 Avery Avenue
Flushing, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-11:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-9:00pm

The Home Depot
(718)507-9007
73-01 25th Avenue
East Elmhurst, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(718)661-4608
124-04 31st Avenue
Flushing, NY
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-11:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-9:00pm

Build a Recurve Bow

Build a Recurve Bow

I got my first bow for my fourth birthday. It was plastic and thank heavens the arrows had rubber tips because everything within a 30-ft. radius was fair game. These days I exercise better judgement and only shoot at designated archery targets, but my fascination with this ancient technology is as strong as ever.

Several years ago I built my own wood and fiberglass recurve bow from a kit. The “recurve” refers to the way the bow curves away from the shooter at the tips. This gives the bow more snap when the arrow is released. Building the bow was almost as exciting as shooting it. Since then I've built several bows, each with a feel and character of its own. They're beautiful to look at and fun to use. There aren't too many woodworking projects you can play with outdoors!
A bow may look complex, but the kit I used makes it pretty straight forward (See “Bow Kits,” below) . In this story, I'll show you how to make a bow from one of these kits. No specialized tools are required, but you will need a bandsaw and an oscillating spindle sander to shape the bow. A drum sander in a drill press can substitute for the spindle sander.
The bow is laminated with thin strips of wood and fiberglass (Fig. A) . They're bent and glued together with epoxy using a plywood form. You don't need a zillion clamps to squeeze the forms together, however. The kit's manufacturer has a better idea: to apply clamping pressure, you inflate a fire hose with a bicycle pump. Then, you place the assembly in a shop-made plywood box equipped with incandescent light bulbs. The bulbs provide the heat necessary to cure the epoxy. The result is a one-piece recurve bow with incredible strength and flexibility.

PHOTO 1:
The first step in bow building is to make the form for gluing the bow laminations. The form is composed of four layers of 1/2-in. plywood glued together. One layer is a template cut to the exact shape. The other pieces are cut oversize and trimmed to match later. A notched trowel makes a great glue spreader.

PHOTO 2:
Flush trim all the form layers with the template layer. The top half of the form is built in the same manner. 

BUILD THE FORMS

1. Use the full-size paper patterns from the kit to lay out, cut and smooth one layer of plywood to  use as a template for  the upper  and  lower halves of the form (Fig. B) .
2. Rough cut the other plywood layers about 1/8-in oversize.
3. Glue the layers together using 1-3/4-in. screws as clamps (Photo 1). Use a wet rag to clean away any squeeze out on the template edge. You will need a smooth surface for the bit bearing to ride on in the next step.
4. Once the glue is dry, use a router with a flush-trim bit to trim the other pieces even with the templates (Photo 2).
5. Drill a 1/4-in. hole in the center of the lower form and drive in the steel riser index pin (Fig. B) .
6. Glue the reverse...

Click here to read the rest of the article from American Woodworker