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Thread: DIY Recurve Bow Build

  1. #1
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    DIY Recurve Bow Build

    I built this DIY Recurve bow using an old pair of fiberglass skis to cut limbs out of. Built a wooden riser from 3/4 inch ply board. It shoots great so far despite the fact that I never finished the riser because I plan to build a solid wood one soon. Was easy and fun to build, I did it by hand with simple tools, hacksaw, drill, sandpaper and a few files.
    I got the idea pondering the coincidence that a few ski manufacturers also made bow limbs, then I got to thinking how similar the two really are....





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  2. #2
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    think your onto a good project idea let us know how it does after you test it awhile looks like I need to find some old skies at a tag sale.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinsulikowski View Post
    think your onto a good project idea let us know how it does after you test it awhile looks like I need to find some old skies at a tag sale.
    I've shot it a bit. It shoots pretty well. Keep in mind I have nothing to compare it to but my compound and have never shot recurve before.
    Most guys have no idea its a DIY build until they get up close! hahaha
    I'm going to ask a few recurve shooters to give it a try and get feedback from them.
    Will post results soon....

    PS - you can often find old skis at Goodwill and Thrift stores for about $10. Most are compressed foam core skis, but if you're really lucky you may find older wooden core ones. Not sure the plain wood skis will hold up without fiberglass reinforcement.
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  4. #4
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    I tried making one of these skii Bows but I found mine to lack in draw weight. At best I got mine up to 25 #. How did you do?

  5. #5
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    I have always wanted to try and do this but never have... let us know how it works out.

  6. #6

    DIY Recurve Bow Build

    Sweet, cool idea

  7. #7
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    Thats a awesome idea!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go geronimo View Post
    I tried making one of these skii Bows but I found mine to lack in draw weight. At best I got mine up to 25 #. How did you do?
    I haven't measured draw weight yet, but I'm pretty sure its between 45 and 55 #. It feels pretty heavy duty to me. I left the limbs about 2" wide all the way along to keep the strength up.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go geronimo View Post
    I tried making one of these skii Bows but I found mine to lack in draw weight. At best I got mine up to 25 #. How did you do?
    Ok, so I finally got it measured for draw weight, turns out its 38 pounds. Not bad I guess, most of the target shooters I know are shooting less than that. It shoots well, and its very light. All round a great project.
    Next mod I'm going to build a center-shot riser for it out of aluminum.
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  10. #10
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    The only criticism I would give it would be the limbs are most likely pretty heavy (actual weight), for the draw weight of the bow, when compared to normal recurve. Looking at the bow it looks more like a newer hybrid longbow. When strung, do the limbs contact the string other than at the nock? If so, how far down?

    The idea is great, and if that's what the budget allows, it's a great build for the dollar. It has to be tons better than the PVC bows you see on youtube. A 38lb bow, if the cast is good due to the heavy limbs, should easily cast a hunting weight arrow well enough for a deer out to 20yds. IF you do decide to hunt with it, use a sharp, 2 blade cut on contact head, and weigh the arrow. 350-450gr would be about ideal for the bow. I would also find a way to chrono it and see what it does with a hunting arrow. If for target only, use whatever tunes best and do not worry about weight.

  11. #11
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    thats pretty sweet. I may have to give this one a try.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by handirifle View Post
    The only criticism I would give it would be the limbs are most likely pretty heavy (actual weight), for the draw weight of the bow, when compared to normal recurve. Looking at the bow it looks more like a newer hybrid longbow. When strung, do the limbs contact the string other than at the nock? If so, how far down?

    The idea is great, and if that's what the budget allows, it's a great build for the dollar. It has to be tons better than the PVC bows you see on youtube. A 38lb bow, if the cast is good due to the heavy limbs, should easily cast a hunting weight arrow well enough for a deer out to 20yds. IF you do decide to hunt with it, use a sharp, 2 blade cut on contact head, and weigh the arrow. 350-450gr would be about ideal for the bow. I would also find a way to chrono it and see what it does with a hunting arrow. If for target only, use whatever tunes best and do not worry about weight.
    Being compressed foam core limbs its actually VERY light, maybe even lighter than most recurves. Yes the string does touch for about 3-4 inches each end. I dont intend to hunt with it, I have a compound for that. This project was just to see if I could make something that compares to the recurves I see at the range, and to mess around with traditional archery a bit. I'm surprised at how well it shoots, will get some feedback from some of the recurve shooters at the range to see how they compare it.
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  13. #13
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    Awesome DIY.
    Thankful for each arrow shot, especially the ones that hit where I was aiming.

  14. #14
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    Bringing this one back up...What kind of results are you finding?
    Counting down the days til MN season starts!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by budalcorn45 View Post
    Bringing this one back up...What kind of results are you finding?
    Hi, thanks for the interest.
    I spent the day at the range with it recently. At 34# it shoots great, equivalent to any similar store bought recurve IMO. Its accurate and has very little vibration. I had 6-8" groups at 20m with no sight.This is particularly impressive to me as I'm used to my compound bow. Keep in mind I'm using a nylon bowstring on it but will be making a dacron string for it soon.
    Took a newbie budy of mine along a few days later and gave him this bow to shoot, he had a blast and was right on target most of the time with little attention paid to correct form etc and despite the fact that he's otherwise left handed.
    The recurve shooters who've tried it say it is comparable to anything they're used to. All round I have to say I'm very impressed with this bow.

    I found a pair of vintage wooden skis with more curve in the tip so I'll be making another set of limbs from those soon. I may have to add a layer of fiberglass to back these to increase the stiffness but I'll try them as is first.
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  16. #16
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    I love this idea...What kind of skis did you use for this? Did you use downhill or cross country? I am seriously stoked about trying this out.
    Counting down the days til MN season starts!

  17. #17
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    Kastle compressed foam core downhill skis. Working on another set of limbs from old wood cross country skis too.
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  18. #18
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    Great idea. I have an old riser from a compound bow with a broken limb sitting around. As well as old downhill skis. Guess what I'm going to try. Nothing to lose.

    I don't think it will work so well with the cross country ski's. I think that they are much lighter build and you'd end up with a 15 - 20 lb pull. But hey - if you've got a pair sitting around you don't care about - you've got nothing to lose. I'd love to hear the results.
    Bowtech Destroyer 350 w/ Spott Hogg 5 pin sight, QAD Pro rest, B-Stinger Stab, Alpine Archery 3 quiver
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    various others..... Stick bows as well. Including my favorites.. the Bear Grizzly Magnum and the Groves Target

  19. #19
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    If the old wood skis turn out to be too weak I may put a fibreglass or carbon fibre laminate on them to stiffen them.
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  20. #20
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    Really cool idea!

  21. #21
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    very cool
    turkey

  22. #22
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    That's awesome man!

    I'm shopping for skis!!!

  23. #23
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    Did you rip those down to 2" or sand them?

  24. #24
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    This is crazy interesting. I have never heard of this before. I will have to call some friends to see if they have some old ski's.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by treehermit View Post
    Did you rip those down to 2" or sand them?
    I cut them down to within a few mm and sanded them the rest of the way.
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