Making a Rattan Bow
Making a Rattan Bow

Using rattan or a combination of rattan and wood, a variety of interesting bow designs can be made. Rattan is a very light material consisting of a soft, flexible core and a protective hard circumference, which makes it an excellent choice for bow making. Its elastic properties allow the back part of the bow to handle its tensile strength while the belly of the bow is better able to resist its compression forces. This book guides you through the making of seven bow designs with illustrated, step-by-step instructions. Sections include creating the bow profile, tillering, leather grips, shaping the handle, making wood overlays for the tips, and much more. This book is perfect for archers, woodworkers, and crafters of all skill level.

Table of Contents

Information about Rattan

cross-section rattan stave
Cross-section of rattan pole showing the structure of the vascular bundles

Rattan Short Bow with Recurves

  • Dimensions and Sawing-Out the Bow Profile (detailed)
  • Preparing the Side Profile (detailed)
  • Bending the Recurves
  • The Tillering (detailed)
  • Handle Variations
Rattan Short Bow with Recurves
Rattan Short Bow with Recurves

Rattan Short Bow with Recurves and Rosewood Belly

  • Preparing the Bow Stave
  • Tillering the Bow
  • Leather Grip (detailed)
Rattan Short Bow with Recurves and Rosewood Belly
Rattan Short Bow with Recurves and Rosewood Belly

Pyramid Bow of Ashwood and Rattan Backing

  • Top view
  • Backing of Rattan
  • Gluing Belly of Bow and Backing Together
  • Preparing the Laminated Bow Stave for Tillering
  • Tillering
  • Wood Overlays for the Tips (detailed)
Pyramid Bow of Ashwood and Rattan Backing
Pyramid Bow of Ashwood and Rattan Backing

Short Bow of Pearwood and Rattan

  • Cutting the Rattan Pole
  • Outlining the Bow Profile (detailed)
  • Gluing-on the Belly of the Bow
  • Developing an Even Bending
  • Finishing
Short Bow of Pearwood and Rattan
Short Bow of Pearwood and Rattan

Rattan Recurve Bow with a Walnut Handle

  • Splicing Limbs to the Handle (detailed)
  • Shaping the Limbs (string alignment detailed)
  • Tillering
  • Bending the Recurves and Re-tillering
  • Shaping the Handle and Finishing
Rattan Recurve Bow with a Walnut Handle
Rattan Recurve Bow with a Walnut Handle

Rattan Bow with Padouk Ends and Walnut Handle

  • Making the V-splices
  • Shaping and Tillering
Rattan Bow with Padouk Ends and Walnut Handle
Rattan Bow with Padouk Ends and Walnut Handle

Rattan Recurve Bow with Pearwood Handle and Laminated Recurves

  • V-Slice for the Handle
  • Laminating and Splicing the Recurves (detailed)
  • Shaping the Recurves (detailed)
  • Tillering and Shaping the Handle
Rattan Recurve Bow with Pearwood Handle and Laminated Recurves
Rattan Recurve Bow with Pearwood Handle and Laminated Recurves

Appendix

  • Tools
  • Glossary
  • Bow String, Flemish Splice
  • Bowyer’s Knot
  • Making a Bow stringer