Bamboo-backed Birch Bow

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Project by CheyenneB posted 06-18-2009 07:59 AM 5961 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A new bow- long in the making. The most recurve I could get with the bow form I have made. It was made as a gift for a friend.

The core is birch (laminations cut from a board with bandsaw then planed to 3/8”- too thick), backed with bamboo (planed and sanded to 1/8” internode thickness). A 24 inch maple lamination separates this from the handle riser of jatoba with osage orange accents.

Stain is Minwax wood finish (cherry color) which was applied to the birch and bamboo for a weathered look. Then 2 coats of urethane to seal.

Final look is good, but not the perfect bow with regard to tiller. Anyway, every project is a chance to learn!

-- Cheyenne

14 comments so far

View patron's profile


13604 posts in 3341 days

#1 posted 06-18-2009 08:07 AM

nice project , lots of interesting details im sure .
and the learning is good to .
looks real clean,
lucky friend !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3334 days

#2 posted 06-18-2009 11:01 AM

Beautiful result Cheyenne. I would like to make bows with my grandchildren, but what little info I could find on the subject involved materials I didn’t have access to and were mostly kits. Your bow seems more “doable” with birch and bamboo components which are more readily available to me her in Norway. It sure would be nice if you would consider doing a blog on constructing such a bow. Do you make arrows too?

I’ll bet a lot of members would be interested. Thanks for posting this fine project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4246 days

#3 posted 06-18-2009 11:49 AM

Great looking recurve, man I have’nt hunted with one of those in 30 years and I miss it. How many pound draw is it, do you know? m

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2791 posts in 3437 days

#4 posted 06-18-2009 01:59 PM

fantastic… where would one get information on how to correctly build one of these?

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3527 days

#5 posted 06-18-2009 04:06 PM

Fantastic! Would love to see your process. Thanks…...........

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3577 days

#6 posted 06-18-2009 04:13 PM

outstanding bow very well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CheyenneB's profile


10 posts in 3373 days

#7 posted 06-18-2009 06:59 PM

Thanks to everybody. Sorry to say I don’t have a scale, so I don’t know the draw weight of my bow.

Apparently, the best reference is “The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible” available online and at some libraries.

I have learned tons online, just google search and you’ll find stuff. The most helpful is a man named Sam Harper at this website:

Take Care!

-- Cheyenne

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3445 days

#8 posted 06-18-2009 10:43 PM

Very nice looking bow and nice job.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3285 days

#9 posted 06-19-2009 12:06 AM

I know there is a lot more to making a bow then your short statement. You make it sound easy. I have a friend that has made a couple bows and we have talked for hours in what is involved in making one. Great looking bow! That’s one to be proud of.

-- John @

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3722 days

#10 posted 06-19-2009 01:27 AM

Beautifully done. Would you consider using Osage Orange for a bow?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3464 days

#11 posted 06-19-2009 05:12 AM

Beautiful work, being an archer myself, okay it’s been a few years, I think it is fabulous. I learned to shoot on a similar type of bow, except no inset for the rest. This project brings back soooo many memories. Thank you for posting. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View whitewulf's profile


454 posts in 2937 days

#12 posted 05-12-2010 06:39 AM

Your work is impressive. I find it difficult to locate recommended bow material. You have used some more commonly found wood, and that inspired me. as to the pull weight, I do not have a bowscale, so I shoot for distance and or penetration @ given distance, against a measured bow! Twerks, lol

In this photo you used what appears to be, braided or twisted leather, or is it something else? very interested in how that looks and works.

Just recently started making arrows, I can not beleive the cost of new ones! I am looking into appropriate shafting as I write.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View CheyenneB's profile


10 posts in 3373 days

#13 posted 05-13-2010 07:08 AM


I looked at the pictures again, and I think you must be referring to the string, right?

If so, it is dacron D50 waxed string (much cheaper online than at any store I have been to). Then, I twist my strings in a Flemish twist technique that I learned online- just google “Flemish twist bow string” and you’ll get a few step by step instructions.

I have used cedar shafts bought premade from the archery store. There is a woman who sells them online as well- made in Washington state by hand from straight grain spruce. Very nice I’m sure, but all are pricey.

Take Care!

-- Cheyenne

View Anorton's profile


23 posts in 1971 days

#14 posted 01-02-2013 05:45 AM

Awesome bow! I have never made a bow and would like to try, any good suggestions for a beginner? I am an avid hunter and have shot compounds and recurevs most of my life, but never tried to make one.

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