Intro: Re-curve Bow From Skis
During my most recent skiing outing and I flexed my skis in such an extreme manner that Glenn Plake himself would have gone white as snow,my brain retained this idea that skis must be unbreakable.
So without much ado,I dug out the old vokle skis from the shed and got stuck in with a grinder and.............. that's pretty much the only tool you need.
I've made various types of bows over the years and this has been the simplest and most powerful by far and can also be dismantled for ease of storage or transport.
length and width of finished bow is personal preference and I imagine different eras or skis and models could be stronger or more flex.You could probably use a snowboard as would have benefit of having both ends re- curved or a freestyle ski ( but could be too long)
Like most sports you can set yourself up fro the whole sport at a garage sale for about 20 bucks, but whats the fun in that?
Step 1: Selecting Ski
Use any skis you can get your hands on,Dump shops,op shops, garage sales ( yard sales) ski shops, you see all the old 80s and 90s skis all over the place.
Angle grinder plus cutting disc and burnishing disk G cramps x 2
rule nylon cord ( venetion blind string is ideal for bow string)
marker pen or some sort Arrows
Step 2: Cutting Skis Into Staves
If you can get skis without bindings great,if not you will have to remove them.possie drive screwdriver and a flat head should be enough.You can always grind them off if you have trouble.
Once bindings are off find centre of ski I( used protractor) then strike a line full length of ski.strike another line 15 mil either side so you end up with 3 lines ( marker pen,chalk line up to you)
I chose 30 mil as my width but there could be advantages in having 50 mil or tapering to much wider at the top. A quick google on bow design will give you an idea but it's mostly trial and error.
cut the strips from both skis as marked so you end up with 2 lengths both 30 mil wide.
I initially made the bow too long so after a bit of trail and error I found 650mil per stave optimum for my draw length.
Step 3: Finishing Strips
You must ensure strips are a uniform length and width to ensure the draw is 100% equal.
Make 2 notches each side of tips for bow string.
Cut 2 pieces 150 ml long out of the off cuts off each stave,you could use 2 pieces of heavy wood,steel or whatever you have lying around.These off-cuts are for cramping either side of join to hold bow together.
Step 4: Clamp Together
Clamp the four pieces together,you could use big hose type clamps or anything you can think of.I just used two woodworking cramps I had lying around.
Ensure the two 150 mil pieces are dead centre, i measured from string notch to piece to be cramped.
Notice how one of the pieces is a bit crudely cut, this isn't really ideal but it is a 15 min project.
Step 5: String Up
e.g if your bow is 120 cm long then bowline loop to bowline loop will be about 100 cm give or take. You can easily change it if it is to curvy or too flat.
You want the bowlines to be big enough loops to unstring the bow without undoing any knots.
It is a good idea to do a few test draws (pulls) to check for any weak points.Bow making can be dangerous,I have had one of these snap when I tried to use epoxy instead of using cramps and got a face full of ski and a blood eye brow to show for it.
Bows are not toys ( unless it's a toy bow) they were man's most lethal weapon until the femme fatal.