I am a big fan of archery. I have been since first taking up a bow during a P.E. class way back in high school (arguably the best part of my high school experience, P.E. or otherwise), feeling the tautness of the string as I drew the arrow back, and the sweet satisfaction of nailing the target upon release.
But as there was no known nearby location where I could legally practice during that time in my life, I fell out of touch with the dream of becoming a world-class-billionaire-vigilante-archer in my free time.
Fast-forward to 2012 in Phoenix, when a friend told me about a public archery range less than ten minutes from my house! I went with him a few times to make sure the passion was still alive (it was), and my wife and I made the decision to get some gear.
As a Christmas gift to ourselves that year, we purchased a 45lb draw Sammick Sage bow, 6 arrows, and a foam target. It was great fun, but as my wife is not as strong as I… and a southpaw, she was having some difficulty getting into the sport as much as I.
A few months later, I found an Instructable by user Yoshinok on how to build your own takedown recurve bow using skis for the arms, and decided that would be my birthday gift to her.
For the most part, I followed Yoshinok’s instructions to the letter. Got skis off of a guy on Craigslist for pretty cheap, purchased some nice wood from Home Depot and laminated the pieces together, and cut the riser to the shape and size I needed.
My deviations came in the form of certain hardware. I like to keep things pretty clean and didn’t want to drill all the way through the riser, so to mount the limbs, I used four 1/4-20 x 1-1/2″ Thumbscrews, 1/4″ washers, and threaded inserts (I think that’s the right link).
Shaping the riser to the most comfortable and utilitarian design was probably the most difficult part. Many hours cutting a little here and there, sanding, and wielding it to get an idea of the feel/balance/etc.
Once that was complete, I added all the aforementioned hardware and mounted the limbs to see how it looked.
Satisfied with the look and feel of the bow, I made the string from paracord, added a little flair, and polyurethaned the riser.
Birthday gift was a success!