Recurve bow build

Here’s my latest blog post:

It’s been a busy summer, finally I’ll have some time again to work on cnc projects.


Good job . To think that was a scrap bit of wood to start off with. Many a person would have thrown that bit of wood away:)

Yeah I try to collect discarded pieces as much as I can!

Limbs are interesting to make — if you’re doing fiberglass then one needs to make a form and use a suitable clamping arrangement and hot box or glue setup — lot of needed gear, and then there’s tillering.

Bingham Projects is one of the main suppliers, but I don’t think they’ve expanded to CNC for that sort of thing yet.

EDIT: One interesting option is to just use some old skis for limbs — see the FITA book on making your own archery gear or

I did try for a self-bow out of Ipê, but had issues w/ the joint at the handle — need to revisit that project.


I really don’t want to go the ski route. Also no pvc or other cheap hacks.

I want it to be made as it should be, even though I realise my first try probably won’t result in a world class bow.
I 'm finding so much contradicting methods… Especially when using fiberglass. Some use strips, some use some kind of cloth tape. Very confusing…

For fiberglass you’ll want:

  • a form
  • a way to apply even pressure all along the form (one classic way is to use a length of fire hose and an air pump)
  • fiberglass strips for the back and the belly — Gordon’s Bo-Tuff is the standard, specialty places such as 3 Rivers Archery sell it
  • core material / laminations — you’ll decide if you want them to taper in thickness or no, and how you’ll work the fades
  • a suitable epoxy, and depending on which you use, a heat box

Lots of build-alongs for this — Sam Harper’s is good:

Yes, but the advantage of fiberglass is its lasting nature — I’ve got bows at home which are fiberglass which over 4 decades old — they shoot fine — an all-wood bow that old (and I’ve made a fair number) and shot as much as I would prefer to shoot (for a while I was up to every day) is either a broken stick, or a shot out wall-hanger.

I’ve found a source for limb fiberglass strips in Germany. The Bo-tuff I had already heard of but is very hard to find in Europe and all things considered too expensive in the few e-shops I’ve found it in.

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