Friday, January 7, 2011

Recurve takedown bow made out of cross country skis.

I found a pair of skis at Value Village and thought I could put them to good use.
I want to make a 68" take down bow with these, so from the tip of both I measure 25.5" down and cut. These are the limbs ready bent and ready to be backed.

The riser is made of two 23" long pieces of maple glued together. On this I measure and draw the outline  then cut the shape out using a coping saw for curves and tricky shapes and a hand saw for straight edges.

The riser roughed out and ready for shaping with hand rasp.

The left side of the riser is shaped the right is still rough as you can see i m making a pistol grip of this one.

The riser complete with holes for limbs drilled.  To attach the limbs i use a bolt and wing nut, making me able to disassemble my bow.  

As you can see i've cut arrow rests into both sides of the riser making this bow ambidextrous.

The nearly finished bow, with my tilering string attached. I have sanded the riser with 60grain, 100grain then 220grain sand paper. Making sure all tool marks are removed as much as possible. The limbs are also sanded down on the sides and belly side(do not sand the backing). The left limb which is my top limb has been repaired after a snapping accident.

The bow apart. To minimise twisting at the joints i have added dowels to lock onto holes drilled into the limbs and also a slice of rubber this also serves as a shock absorber.

I went to value village again and found a snake skin skirt. After painting the bow black i measured and cut out the material. With contact cement i attached it to the front of the limbs and a strip to the front of the riser. I also added a patch to the top back of the limbs as string slap protection and to the arrow rests.

The finished bow the pictures don't show the snake skin pattern that well. After the glue was dry and he paint touched up. I spray the whole thing in clear final coat spray. Also i lightly waxed the leather so that it stays supple and does not split when i fire it. Pics and video of the shooting coming soon.                
Tools and Materials i used:
  • 1 pair of cross country skis
  • 3 Clamps 
  • Normal Saw and Coping Saw 
  • Pencil  
  • Surform Rasp
  • Hand Rasp with files
  • Rat Tail file
  • Drill and Drill bits
  • 2 Bolts with wing nuts
  • 60grain, 110grain and 220grain sand paper
  • Snakeskin patterned leather skirt
  • Carpenters glue and contact adhesive
  • Black Matt spray paint and acrylic clear protective coat spray
  • Tilering string
  • Mesh Drywall tape for the backing


  1. very nice bow, do you know what poundage it is and how fast it shoots?

  2. Hey, nice bow you've made there. I've been looking around for some DIY materials to start my own bow making.
    Is it possible for you to share the templates or dimensions you used to design and build your bow? I couldn't find any headway about nowhere dimensions and designs.
    I'd really appreciate your help, in any form rendered.
    You can contact me at
    Thanks in advance!


  4. Very nice bow. I added wedges between my limbs and risers to decrease my angles and increase my draw. I managed to push it to 35# at a 30 " draw. Good luck with your next project I m going to eventually try a fold up bow.


A handy place to buy reasonably priced equipment.

Helpful hints and tips very welcome!!

If anybody has any helpful hints about ways I could improve my work, please send them across. I will have a go at putting together a detailed build along for the next bow i make. Also if anyone has any questions i will do my best to answer or find the answer.

Thanks for reading!!


Ponder this!!