contact recurve

Interview with Ken Rohloff of WhippenStick Custom Bows

Ken RohloffKen Rohloff is the founder of WhippenStick Custom Bows. Ken is a custom bowyer and creator of the bow he calls the “Whippen Stick” custom bow. I first met Ken at the Leatherwall traditional archery forum probably in the early 2000s when he posted a few longbow pics. Immediately, I noticed how his bows stood out from the rest, not just because of the beautiful wood choices, but because of their refined, balanced design features, and obvious superior craftsmanship he had used in their construction. I later got to know Ken better at the Pirates of Archery traditional archery forum where we both posted a lot and had a lot of interesting discussions about making bows. Continue reading

Interview with Bill Howland of Brackenbury Custom Bows

Bill HowlandThis is the first of what I hope will be a series of interviews with custom bowyers. There is so much to learn from these bowyers who work full time doing the craft. I hope you find this information useful in your bow making!

Bill Howland is the owner and bowyer of Brackenbury Custom Bows, Nine Mile Falls, Washington. He has owned and operated the company since August, 2001. The company was started by the late Jim Brackenbury who died in 1991. Bill continues the production of several Continue reading

Brent scores big with his Classic Take-down Recurve

Brent's buckMy friend Brent scored big on this nice 10 point buck this weekend (November 3) with a bow that I made for him. One of his Facebook friends said that “Brent scored on a nice buck with is “old school bow”…lol. As you and I both know, there is nothing old school about a fiberglass recurve, but in this age of high-tech metal compounds I guess that a traditional bow seems like something from the past. There is something really cool about “building your own bow” and killing a deer with it. It is even cooler when it is someone else kills a deer with a bow that you made. Continue reading

How a recurve bow works

recurveWhat is a recurve?

A recurve is simply a curved portion of the tip of the bow limb. Recurves can either be static (rigid) or working (bending). Many sizes and shapes of recurves have been tried throughout archery history, and are still very popular on modern bows. Most modern recurves can be called “contact recurves,” because the string “contacts” the recurved portion of the belly surface of the limb. On some contact recurves, the string will stay in contact with the belly surface of the limb all of the way from brace height until full draw. Continue reading

A footed take-down recurve and woodies for my friend Brent

Brent's bowMy friend Brent is new to traditional archery and asked me to build him a take-down recurve. I built this one using my blueprints for a 21″ riser and “C” limbs. These combine to make a 64″ AMO bow. This one turned out at 70#@28″. The riser is the “footed” riser design. The reddish wood with black streaks is cocobolo and the brown wood with black streaks is shedua. The curvy stripe is maple and walnut. The limbs are clear fiberglass over flat grain red elm veneers, and tapered bamboo cores. The limb wedges are cocobolo as well. Continue reading to see many more photos, a force draw curve, and Brent’s arrows. Continue reading

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