To make a bow, select a strong piece of wood and allow it to dry then carve and debark the wood into a bended shape. Taper the wood and carve appropriate grooves for grips and string. Test the bow flexibility with a tiller tree before sanding, staining and sealing the wood to ensure long lasting durability. Finally stringing the bow and secure the string with glue or some other type of durable adhesive.
Weaker pieces of wood are more likely to splinter or crack due to their inflexibility so prioritize stronger woods like oak, hickory or maple. When working with a full tree log, cut the wood so the length is at least six inches longer than the intended length of the bow in case the wood cracks as it dries. Make sure the wood completely dries which typically takes about four weeks.
When fully dried, use a drawknife to debark the wood and carve the arched shape. Then taper the width of the bow so the center is narrower than the ends to fit the arrow. After refining the overall shape of the wood, use the drawknife and chain file to carve the gripped grooves within five inches of the central arrow groove.
Finish the shape then sand the wood smooth, looking for cracks in the wood. If the wood has been cracked in the process of shaping the bow, the entire piece will need to be scrapped and redone. Hunters may prefer a dark stain for their bow as it is easier to camouflage.