Red Oak Bow

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Project by CheyenneB posted 04-27-2009 09:37 PM 12550 views 8 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

518 posts in 3928 days

#1 posted 04-27-2009 09:55 PM

great work

-- Joe, Ga

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2780 posts in 3834 days

#2 posted 04-27-2009 10:57 PM

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


117423 posts in 3819 days

#3 posted 04-28-2009 03:11 AM

another winner

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View JDL's profile


15 posts in 3778 days

#4 posted 04-28-2009 03:24 AM

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 3637 days

#5 posted 04-28-2009 03:34 AM

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 3615 days

#6 posted 04-28-2009 04:09 AM


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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