Recurve bow (2) – Limb forms

Previous articles: part 1.

After a lot of research, I finally decided on how to make the limbs for my recurve bow. I think I managed to find a good curve shape and length, so it is time to make the forms. I made 2 of them even though I could have just made both limbs on the same form back to back. The reasoning behind this is quite simple. I might try and make a 1-piece recurve later down the road which will need 2 identical forms anyway So I’d rather make both now while I can easily copy the shape.

The forms were made from some scrap plywood sheets sandwiched together to reach the desired thickness of about 5 cm. I was originally planning on doing everything on the cnc, but it would have taken too long. So I ended up CNC-ing one template, slightly overcutting the rest with a jigsaw and doing the final shaping with a flush trim bit on my router table.

A lot of bowyers use a 2-part form with a fire hose in between. Personally, I wanted to keep things much more simple, so I chose to use rubberbands to apply pressure upon glueing.

Drilling the holes and inserting dowels was without issues. Most were press-fit tight but I hammered in a nail just to be sure they remained centered.

To make sure the curve was as straight and smooth as possible, I then screwed an extra aluminium profile to the top surface. In hindsight this may haven been overdoing it. But they are on now so I’ll let bygones be bygones. All screws were obviously countersunk.

So here’s where I’m at. Two beautiful and more importantly identical limb forms.

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