How to Make a Takedown Bow – A Step by Step Guide

How to Make a Takedown Bow

Are you an enthusiast with a passion for archery? Have you ever wondered how to make a takedown bow?

Think I am joking, right?

But, I am not. The satisfaction and results you get with a homemade takedown bow are not the same with even the most expensive one on the market.

Moreover, it is economical on the pocket.

Do you know what I am tired of hearing?

My bow is not shooting straight, it is shooting all over the place, it has a loose practice tip, etc. Small issues like this exist in every bow.


Reason being the fact that they are not customized and made for people at large. Hence, they cannot be perfect for everyone.

The solution:

Get your construction cap on and get down to work.

How to Make a Takedown Bow – Materials Required

First, let’s get directly down to understanding how to make a takedown bow easily and quickly.

Before we do that, let’s take a look at the materials and tools required to make a customized takedown bow:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Jigsaw
  • Clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Rasp for wood
  • 3 inch by 24 inches by 2 ¼ inch pieces of hardwood or any wood you want
  • Paintbrush
  • Epoxy resin (self-mixing)
  • Belt sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Round wooden file
  • Arrows
  • Bowstrings
  • Target material
  • Fine toothed saw
  • 4 pieces of wood
  • Measuring tape
  • Cross country skis (if you want to use them as arms)

Step 1 – Constructing the Riser:

First things first:

The riser is the base of your takedown bow. Additionally, it is the center part of the takedown bow. Not only does it give a good look to the bow, but is very important for the functionality of it.

Undoubtedly, it is very easy to make. There are three essential things to keep in mind:

  • Length of the riser: Firstly, you need to decide how long should it be? That depends totally on how long the arms will be. Generally, it can be anywhere from 16” to 24”.
  • Where to place the arrow? Should it be more to the left or right? WRONG. It should be placed EXACTLY in the center of the riser.
  • Where to place the handle? It should be directly below where you will place the arrow. Hence, it is also in the middle of the riser, but on the opposite side.
  • The angle of the arms: What should be the ideal angle of the arms? Usually, arrows have angles between 15 to 20 degrees. But, if you are using skis instead of arms, the perfect angle is 10 degrees.

Step 2 – Choose the Wood:

Of course, you must be familiar with the number of different types of wood that can be used here.

The catch:

The wood needs to be HARD.

Surprisingly, that is the only requirement.

So, go ahead and get the wood of your choice.

Over here, I opted for Zebrawood to give it a more polished and expensive look.

If you are using different blocks of wood to give your takedown boy a glamorous look, you will need to stick them together with wood glue.

Tip: Make sure you let the glue sit for AT LEAST 24 hours.

Moreover, if different pieces of wood are being used, laminate them together.

Yes, yes, I know about the small gaps created in the dried glue.

All you need to do is to fill those gaps with epoxy resin.

Step 3 – Make the Cut:

Do you have a design in mind?

Well, now is the time to put it down on a piece of wood and see it come to life.

Draw the design exactly to scale and trace it with a pencil.

YAY! You have an outline

But, be sure to go over it with a marker to make it darker.

Take out your band saw or jigsaw to cut.

Don’t worry if the woodblock has saw marks all over it. This bad boy will undergo serious sanding.

Step 4 – Sand and Shape It to Perfection:

Now, sand the riser to give it a perfect shape. With the help of a belt sander, keep going until you reach where the sander can go no more.

Here, use a belt sander to give it the final touches.

Tips and tricks

Follow these tips and tricks to get perfect sanding:

  • Don’t stop moving the rise. If you do so, you will chip off the extra material.
  • Don’t overdo it.
  • Take breaks.
  • Wear all safety equipment throughout the process.
  • Wear proper ear protection gear as things can get loud.
  • Keep sanding till you achieve your perfect cut.

Step 5 – Make the Arms:

The best way is to take an old pair of skis and use them in place of the arms. They are the perfect shape, weight and size.

Want to get them cheap?

Go to your local re-use shop and get them for cheap.

Cut it down to anything between 20” to 26”. I will go for 23.5” as it will be perfect with my riser.

On the other hand, if you want to make the arms from scratch, that is also easy.

You can use a drum sander to make the limbs/arms. Use fiberglass to make the limbs stronger.

Now, put everything together to see how it will look.


Step 6 – Attach Those Arms:

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Not so fast:

This is the easiest and most critical step of the entire process. If even one arm is half a cm off measurement, your takedown bow will be of no use.

The material needed for the attachment is as follows:

  • 2 – 3 “ bolts.
  • 2 – 2” bolts.
  • 4- wing nuts.
  • 4 washers.

Now, the following few steps are required:

  • First, measure where the riser stops on your ski. This measurement should be taken from the bottom. Draw the line on top of the ski or arms.
  • Secondly, mark where the arms will be attached to the ski/arms. It should be in the EXACT middle.
  • Thirdly, with the help of masking tape, attach the arms/ski to the wood.
  • Next, use clamps to join the wood and arms together at this point.
  • Now, start drilling from the back of the riser. You should drill deep enough.

Once you are done with drilling all the holes, make them snug.

Use a nail set to do so. Moreover, using a nail set will make the arms tight enough.

Do you want to have more security?

You can tighten the bolts down with a washer. Furthermore, use a wing nut to make it secure.

Lastly, use a round file to make space for the string.

You have forgotten all about it, haven’t you?

Also, you need to angle the notches in a way that they face away from the bow. Consequently, they will not fall out.

Step 7 – Test Out the Takedown Bow:

Testing Takedown Bow

Finally, you have made it!

Sure, the bow is functioning, but we need to see if it functions properly or not.

So, let’s test it out, should we?

Keep in mind to pull it back only 50-75% for the first shot. This will help you be safe from injury if it does not work.

Next, go for a full shot.

Step 8 – Finishing touches:

Time to fancy up that bad boy!

Arms fixed: CHECK

Works properly: CHECK

Looks Amazing: LOADING!

Now that it works perfect, let’s get down to make it fancy.

Here, let’s add some stain to make it look good.

Let it all sit for at least 36 hours.

Step 9 – Paint:

Doesn’t it look nice?

Let’s spice things up a little more.

Using multiple layers of paint is a good idea. On the other hand, it looks good!

Tip: The best thing is to use paint which has some flexing agents. Hence, the paint will not come off easily.

Step 10 – Final Testing:


The takedown bow is now complete.

Isn’t that a beauty?

Last but not least:

Test it again.


Takedown Bow

Finally, you should be knowing how to make a takedown bow. With the right material and correct placement, it can be made easily and quickly.

Advice for the wise:

While putting it all together, just be sure to tweak it smoothly. The first one I made broke an arm while I was tweaking it harshly.

Hence, be sure to go smooth and easy. As slow and easy does the trick here.

What are you waiting for?

Let’s get going with our construction.