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How to Make a Wooden Recurve Bows-Plus The Best Material Choice

make recurve bows with wood

Only a hunter can understand the importance of recurve bow and the fantasy of using a recurve bow during hunting. Nowadays, it is really easy to purchase a recurve bow from markets or online, but only a true deer hunter can know the fun of making a recurve bow at home with his own hands.

Obviously, the natives in America used to make wooden recurve bows from the wood of local trees. If you are a diehard deer hunter and want to know all the knowledge about how to make a wooden recurve bow? Our article will help you to know all the tips and techniques to build recurve bows for all species of deer, like whitetail deer, mule deer, moose, sika deer, or any other found in the US. We will start with how to make them, and you can read the best materials for the purpose at the end of the article.

From Where Can You Buy The Right Materials?

You can get all the materials easily from the big hardware shops, and many online stores offer these materials at low rates.
Different types of wood you can get from the locals’ wood yards for your wooden recurve bow, and you can cut down wood according to your demands and needs.
The things that you need to make a recurve bow are a saw, a knife, screw clamps, a hot gun, a draw knife, a pencil, sandpaper, tillering stick, a large file, a tape measure, and a rasp, as well as you, need a thick type of nylon for the bow string and a wood laminate.

How Thick Should Wood Be to Make a Bow?

You should keep in mind that the wood plank for bow-making should have a diameter of not less than 20 cm. Otherwise, it will be difficult to cut and shape it. It is really time-consuming to cut a tree plank and make a recurve bow from the stave of a tree.
If you are in a hurry, you should buy a stave from the market according to your demand for size and length.

Ideal Height and Size of Your Recurve Bow

The height of the wooden recurve hunting bow should be chosen according to your height and how much draw size you want. If you want a draw of 25 inches, then your bow should be 66 inches, but if you want more draw, then the size should be more.

Construct Your Own Recurve Bow Simple & Easy Steps

tips to make wooden recurve bows


Now we will give you full and detailed information step by step on how to make a recurve bow out of wood?

  • Firstly, cut a tree for a stave or buy a tree stave of almost 20 cm wide. After that, cut an even plank that is of proper length and perfectly straight.
  • Secondly, draw a recurve bow design on the stave and cut your wood with a saw and give it the shape of a recurve bow.
  • It will take a lot of time, but in the end, when you will see your stave in a recurved bow shape, it will give you immense pleasure.
  • At this point, reduce the thickness of your recurve bow at both ends. Now your recurve bow is thicker in the middle as compared to both ends.
  • Now your recurve bow is in good shape, and it’s time to make recurves.
  • Heat up a pot of water; when the water is fully heated up, put one end of the recurve bow in the pot and cover it with aluminum foil.
  • After some time, put it in the jig for some hours. Do the same process with both ends. Now you can see a beautiful recurve bow with bent ends.
  • In addition, you can use the black wood pieces to make the ends of the recurve bow attractive.
  • Cut small rectangles and attach them with glue at both ends and then shape them with a saw.
  • Furthermore, smooth the edges of your recurve bow and make it more smooth.
  • After that, take a heat gun and heat up your recurve bow. This process is called heat treating.
  • Now it is time for thrillering.
  • Attach a string and check the draw of the bow. Check it on measuring tape if it is less than 40 to 45 lbs. So it means your recurve bow needs more work.
  • Search the different working spots of the recurve bow and try to make it more smooth and improve its shape.

making wooden recurve bows

  • Check again to draw if it is 40 to 45 lbs now; it is fine.
  • After that, rub linseed oil with the help of a cloth piece on the recurve bow.
  • It will increase the shine of the bow and enhance its beauty.
  • If you want to make it more attractive, you can use a leather piece. Cut a piece of leather into a rectangle.
  • Punch all the sides of the leather piece and make small holes, just like holes on the shoe. Now use white string-like shoe laces and tie the leather piece in the middle of the bow.

making recurve bows with wood

Tips to Make Recurve Bow String


The end thing is to string your recurve bow. You can take a parachute cord for this purpose. Cut the parachute according to the size of your recurve bow. Make loops on both ends of the string, then attach your string at both ends and secure it with a cover. Also, we have methods for making other types of recurve bow, like you can read how to make a Mongolian recurve bow.

Firstly, an important thing that you should keep in mind is to select a wood that is long-lasting and flexible as well as should be inexpensive too; otherwise, recurve bow making can be worth a fortune.
Here is a list of wood ideal for recurve bow making; you can choose these types of wood without any confusion. You will get all the information about how to make a homemade recurve bow out of wood which will enhance the excitement of your deer hunting adventure.


So, here are some tips about how to make a hickory recurve bow? Hickory is a really inexpensive and cheap wood if you want to make a hunting recurve bow, as we all know that this wood is easily available at the market. Because this wood is easy to handle, if you are planning to make your first recurve bow for deer hunting, hickory should be your utmost choice. This is really flexible, so it is easy to handle.

best materials for making recurve bows



Maple is the best choice for deer hunters to make a recurve bow. Because this wood has more potential energy and is hard, it also has more flexibility, so it is really famous among deer hunters.
If you want to choose a wood that is easily available, oak should be your first choice because you can find it anywhere. It is a heavier wood, but the only thing you should keep in mind is choosing a wood with fewer earlier growth rings.


Are you in search of inexpensive and affordable wood for bow making? Then ash wood is the best choice for you. Its durability is a great advantage of this wood. The only problem with this bow is that it requires a lot of maintenance.


If you are living in America and you want hard and strong wood for bow making, then hazelnut wood should be your first choice because of its hard and strong qualities, as well as it is really durable. This type of wood has so much elasticity, but the only drawback is that it is not easily available in the market, and if you want your hand on this, then you’ll have to make some extra effort.


People have been making recurve bows from yew for many years. It is a hard wood with a lot of elasticity, so you can easily make a recurve bow with this type of wood. The only disadvantage of this bow is that it is really costly.

Osage Orange Wood

If we talk about Osage orange wood, then we can say that it has a lot of strength, it is easy to bend this bow wood, and it is inexpensive. The only problem that this wood has is that it can catch fire easily.
Which Type of Wood is Not Good for Recurve Bow?
As we know, we should select hard, sturdy, and durable wood, so soft wood and less elasticity are not suitable for recurve bow making like pine, spruce, fir, and cedar.

How to Make a Recurve Bow Out of Bamboo?

It is the most common question that deer hunters ask on any forum: can bamboo be used for recurve bow? And is it easy to craft and give a shape to bamboo wood for recurve bow making? So here is your answer: Yes, bamboo is really good for recurve bow-making because it is a strong wood with durable quality. The main quality that bamboo has is it is affordable and not heavy on your pocket.
It has only one problem. It needs a lot of effort to shape it.

best recurve bow making tips

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which wood is good for making the best recurve bow?

All the woods that have more elasticity and are easy to bend and carve are good options, like yew, hickory, hazelnut, oak, maple, etc.

Which wood is not good for making a recurve bow?

Wood like spruce and fir are not good for making a recurve bow because this type of wood is soft and when you try to bend it. It can break easily.

Is bamboo good for a recurve bow?

These are common questions that are bamboo good for recurve bow, and how to make a bamboo recurve bow? So, the answers are yes; you can make recurve bow from bamboo because it is hardwood and durable too, but it is hard to carve it and takes a lot of effort to carve.

Which materials can we use for a string?

You can use linen, parachute, silk, and natural fibers too.
Is a homemade recurve bow a good option for deer hunting?
Yes, it is a good option, and you can save money as well, as it is great fun to make your own recurve bow.




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