By Ric Anderson

Building a recurve is similar to constructing a longbow, but does require some different techniques. Recurves, due to their design, are more critical in regards to limb alignment. This is especially true of a takedown, where the accuracy of the limb attachment process is extremely important.

The first step in making a recurve is to construct a form. The form pictured is made form laminated plywood, but other materials such as redwood 2 x 10's and gluelams, have been used successfully. Gluelams are a laminated product used mostly as floor joices or structural beams in building construction.

The function of the form is to hold the glued-up laminations in place until the glue has a chance to set. Its vitally important that when the form is finished, that the face of the form be perpendicular to the sides. If this isn't accomplished the limbs will have a built in twist which will make limb alignment extremely difficult if not impossible. Please refer to the section on making forms, located in the longbow chapter for complete instructions of form construction. Please note the small brass pin located on the right edge of the forms face. The butt end of the laminations are placed against this pin, which keeps them from sliding backward during the laminating process. Also note the thin black rubber which has been glued to the form. This serves a couple of purposes. It helps prevent the lams from sliding around and also helps correct any minor flaws in the form.


Pictured below are all the pieces used in a Takedown recurve. They are pretty much the same as what is required for a one piece recurve or a longbow, with a couple of notable exceptions. These exceptions are the attachment hardware and the wedges. The attachment hardware consists of at threaded insert that has a wood thread on the outside and a machine thread on the inside. This insert is set into the riser limb platform. An indexing pin that is also located on the limb platform. The limb is held in place by a either a allen head bolt and bezel system (pictured) or by a knurled knob system.

The other component that is not found in a one piece recurve or a longbow is the wedge. The wedge is basically a stiffener/fadeout that is laminated into the limb. In a longbow or one piece recurve the fadeout is a integral part of the riser. The wedge dimensions will vary depending on design, but is usually from 3/8" to 5/8" thick and from 8" to 10" long. The parallel portion of the wedge is usually around 4" to 5" long with the tapered segment making up the rest. The end must be feathered out to a paper thin edge just like the fadeout in a longbow riser.