Red Oak Bow

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Project by CheyenneB posted 1948 days ago 7789 views 7 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first reflex/deflex bow. After making half a dozen board bows and a flatbow, I wanted to make one that took my skills to a new level and would perform better and be a stronger bow.

The body is a red oak board from the lumber store, and the backing is bamboo. The handle piece is a maple block with cedar. The tips are water buffalo horn from Asia. It is finished with a polyurethane.

My mistakes were to sand the nodes off the front of the bamboo backing, which I did to make it flatter and easier to glue. This was the first time I used bamboo, so I did not know that this would cut the front fibers and defeat the whole purpose of a backing. When I was tillering it, fibers began to lift at one of the nodes in front that took a lot of stress, so in the end I backed the backing with silk fabric. Not ideal, but it worked and the bow shoots well.

Also, cedar is too soft and shows any and all marks. The bow now has a leather handle wrap and a leather piece on the arrow rest.

Any comments are welcome.

-- Cheyenne

6 comments so far

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

401 posts in 2318 days

#1 posted 1948 days ago

great work

-- Joe, Ga

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2419 posts in 2224 days

#2 posted 1948 days ago

Very nice!!! That looks like it would be fun to make, then to go and shoot some arrows. It’s like two hobbies in one. Thanks for posting

-- Dennis Zongker

View a1Jim's profile


112015 posts in 2209 days

#3 posted 1948 days ago

another winner

-- Custom furniture

View JDL's profile


15 posts in 2168 days

#4 posted 1948 days ago

I am planning on trying to build a flatbow here in a few months. Any idea where should I look for some good/reliable information?

-- Jay

View bowyer's profile


340 posts in 2028 days

#5 posted 1948 days ago

Nice work, whats the draw wieght? I’ve made a few self bows from vine maple and ocean spray before I started on Recurves. Never got around to building a board bow yet!!
Jay try for info. It’s a decent place to start. Also see if there’s a Traditional bow club in your area, There will be a few bowyers who will be willing to help you out.

-- If at first you don't succeed...Don't try skydiving

View CheyenneB's profile


10 posts in 2005 days

#6 posted 1948 days ago


Sam Harper knows and can teach alot about making bows with a minimum of tools/equipment. I have read and reread many of his projects on this website:

I have also studied the pictures of flatbows of this traditional bowyer in BC- they are amazing:

Hope that helps.

-- Cheyenne

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