How to Make a Reflex Deflex Bow

Written by brittiany cahoon
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How to Make a Reflex Deflex Bow
Wooden bows are still common in archery today. (lady archer image by Paul Moore from

Wooden recurve and long bows are still common in the world of competitive and recreational archery. Whether you're using your reflex deflex bow for hunting or for competition, your own bow is something you can be proud of. Make your bow for your personal use or sell your handcrafted designs for a little extra cash. Kits available on the Internet make it easier than ever to design your own bow.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Reflex deflex raw-tapered parts only kit
  • Clamps
  • Jigsaw blade
  • Wood glue
  • Stretch wrap
  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Purchase a reflex deflex bow kit from a website such as Rudder that includes a pre-tapered stave, a long, flat bamboo handle, smaller anti-splitting wood strips, rounded shaping blocks, a reflex deflex form and a riser block. Clamp your jigsaw blade to the edge of a table or workbench so the blade faces out.

  2. 2

    Position your bamboo perpendicular to the blade. Move the bamboo gently across the blade to create a small groove in the wood. Don't scratch too hard, or the bamboo will break. Create a series of grooves along the bamboo about an inch apart so the glue has something to hold onto. Repeat the process with the stave.

  3. 3

    Dab the back of the bamboo and the stave with glue and place the bamboo on the flat backing of the stave. Wrap both pieces with stretch wrap and ensure that there are no bare spots on the wood. Remove the anti-splitting strips from the belly of the stave and wrap stretch wrap around them as tightly as possible and reattach them.

  4. 4

    Place the shaping blocks on the flat side at each end of the stave, 5 inches away from the tip, with the curved part touching the stave. Wrap the shaping blocks to the stave, making sure the stretch wrap is tight.

  5. 5

    Place the stave on the reflex deflex form with the flat side facing up. Put a clamp on each shaping block and tighten the clamp slowly until the wood on the stave begins to curve.

  6. 6

    Place the bow in an oven at anywhere from 71.1 to 82.2 degrees C. to cure the glue quickly. Glue the riser block to the thick chunk of wood in the middle of the stave to complete the bow. Cut grooves into the tips of the stave and attach your string. Curve the bow with the string to make the curves about 6 to 7 inches high.

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