Handcrafted Wooden Recurve Bow Made by a 14 Year Old




Introduction: Handcrafted Wooden Recurve Bow Made by a 14 Year Old

About: I am a 14 year old with a passion for building, woodworking, crafting, and pretty much everything that has to do with creation. I hope you all enjoy the projects I build and are inspired to build them yourself!

Hello, I am a 14-year-old kid woodworker with a passion for building different things. This is my journey through building this one of a kind wooden recurve bow. It was so much fun to build and I hope you really enjoy it too! This will be a descriptive instructable that takes you all the way from a regular piece of wood to a beautiful work of art!

What You Will Need:

  • Wood (I used a 2x8 but a 2x4 works just as well)
  • PVC Pipe
  • Paracord
  • Wood Stain
  • Spray Paint


  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Chisel

With just these few things, you will also be able to create a beautiful recurve bow to call your own!

Step 1: Designing the Riser (the Handle)

Before I could start anything, I had to plan out the design of the riser (the handle). I decided to sketch it out on graph paper. It was too large to fit on just one piece of paper so I stacked two papers on top of each other and then started to draw. To get an idea for the design I looked up images of recurve bows. I designed a riser that would fit my hand, so the one you would design will be slightly different.

Step 2: Cutting the Riser

This was one of the simpler steps of this process. I traced the template of the riser I designed on to a piece of wood. I decided to cut it with a jigsaw to get a pretty clean cut. This would be much easier with a bandsaw but a jigsaw works just fine.

Step 3: Shaping the Riser

Out of every step, this was by far the longest and most painstaking. I started out by cutting a line where the arrow would rest. I then proceeded to chisel out that exact same area which can be seen in the pictures. If you want this to turn out great and not have to spend too much time sanding then you need to spend a lot of time on this. I basically sanded the rest which took a lot of time. To make it fit my hand perfectly, I sanded certain edges to make it smooth. When I was finished it looked pretty good.

Step 4: Staining the Wood

This step is pretty straight forward. First, you have to find the exact wood stain you want. I went with a "Colonial Maple" from Home Depot. I put about 3 layers of the stain to give it a nice finish.

Step 5: Creating the Limbs

I used a heat gun to hand shape the curve of the PVC pipe. I then flattened the very end of the PVC pipe so it would be easier to screw it onto the riser. You have to make sure you apply the heat evenly so it doesn't bend more in certain areas. Also, don't forget to wear mittens.

Step 6: Painting the Limbs

I put on a layer of primer so that the layers to follow would go on more efficiently. Make sure to wait for this to dry before proceeding. The next layer was white. After this dried, I had one more layer to go. The last layer was a dark walnut that I only put on the second half of each limb. When I pulled the painters tape off it looked great.

Step 7: Attaching the Limbs

Before starting this, make sure you have the right length of screws. I found a bunch of random screws lying around and they worked out perfectly. I had my dad hold it steady as I screwed four screws into each side of the riser.

Step 8: Your Done!

After stringing it up you are completely done! This has been extremely fun to build and I will continue to make projects like this in the future. I hope you all enjoyed this project as much as I did. It would mean so much for you to vote for and support this instructable. I am so glad to be a part of the instructable community and I especially hope all of you at Instructables had a great time with me in this process.



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    28 Discussions

    Question for you. Have you tried making the limbs of the bow out of wood, or is there a specific reason behind the limbs being made out of pvc? Excellent work, by the way...

    Love the design

    I'm having a go at building it and it's coming along great


    1 reply

    Sorry I didn't see this sooner but good luck! You should post it so I can see the finished product!

    This is AWESOME! I love the mix of PVC with the wood, it looks great!

    By the way, if you love making different things, you should check out this website with a bunch of cool vintage plans for bows, boats, Miscellaneous toys, even tractors! Once again, great job! Definitely have my vote!


    Awesome build!! Most apprentice electricians learn to bend conduit and it is not as easy as it looks so well done. When bending conduit instead of wearing mittens you can wet a rag and use that, what it does is cools the PVC pipe as you are running your hands along it. You can also reshape the PVC pipe with the wet rag as it cools down... Really impressed :-)

    1 reply

    Thank you so much for the suggestion I will definately try it!

    Looks Great. I have numerous bows and have been toying with the idea of building one. Do you know what the draw weight is?

    3 replies

    I wish I could answer that but I honestly have no idea sorry.

    Of you have a luggage scale with the hook use that to test the draw weight.

    How are you so talented? This bow is absolutely gorgeous! Great exacution!

    1 reply

    I am very impressed with this re-curve bow! I my self am only 15 and also have a passion for wood working! Great idea I will try it some time.