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Thread: Questions on re-curve bows

  1. #1
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Default Questions on re-curve bows

    OK my wife just took me too buy a solstice present and I am now the proud owner of a 50lbs laminated wood bow! This is the first bow I've owned in more than 20 years and I'm completely jazzed about getting back into archery, but my memory is a little foggy so I have a really dumb question.

    1) What do you guys use on the rest (bench?) and face of your bow? It seems like the bow I had as a kid had lamb skin on the rest and felt on the face, the guy at the shop said he likes bear skin and a buddy of mine uses caribou fur.(I think)

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    I think you are talking about what material to use on the shelf.....the rest material where the arrow actually "rests"? I like to use either sticky backed velcro (cheapest option) or sealskin. You will have to apply the glue on the sealskin on yourself, but it is quiet and wears well. You can get it from Alaskan Bowhunting Supply....just do a search for it with google. Some guys like to cover the "arrow side" of their riser with moleskin to keep things quiet when nocking an arrow, but it doesn't last very long as shelf material. If you go with the sealskin, be sure to apply the material to run the same way that the hair/fur runs. There should be instructions for application with the sealskin material, at least there is with the stuff you buy from Alaskan Bowhunting Supply. Good Luck-Mike
    ps. by the way, there are several traditional bowhunting sites out there on the web-tradgang.com and stickbow.com are are couple you might want to look at!

  3. #3
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike I already have stickbow earmarked. Seal skin hmm sounds good to me!

  4. #4

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    I also use the soft side of velcro. Works well. If the bow allows it, add a pressure point on the shelf and site window under it, leaving a little gap for the lower hen feather to run through. I use pieces of older arrows, but a tooth pick cut in ahlf works well. Also helps minimize torque and will help with accuracy in the long run.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help Tradbow but ya lost me bud! Remember I haven't been around bows and archery in many years.

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    I too use Velcro. It's easy to find & works great.
    By pressure points Tradbow means areas that stick up higher than the surrounding area. The idea is to have the least contact possible between the arrow & the bow. That way the arrow is less effected if your hand twists the bow at the shot. You would run the toothe pich accross the ditection of the arrows travel under the rest material. Many bows have an arrow shelf that is rounded with only a small high point that the arrow contacts.
    Tradbow, if I got your meaning wrong correct me.

    Have fun with that new bow Rick!!!

    Here's another site you might look at. The folks are great & there are several from Alaska on there.
    http://www.newoutdoorcore.com/forum/
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Default Arrow shelf questions

    I use leather on the riser side of the site window with a paper match stick (match head removed) under it. The match stick is positioned opposite the high spot in the crown of the arrow shelf. This reduces the contact patch that the arrow shaft rides on.

    For the arrow shelf itself I either use Bear hide (shelf material made by Bear archery) or seal skin with the smae match stem under it at the highest point in the shelf crown. By using the match stems you minamize the contact area on both the riser and the shelf.

    I do not leave a gap where these two materials meet like some do. I'm a right handed shooter and use a left helical feathers on my arrows. The left helical spins the arrow away from the bow riser. The arrows you use need to be spined to flex away from the riser (arrow paradox) and I feel this is what keeps arrows from contacting the bow. Unlike a compound bow you will not find a traditional bow that is a true center shot. There are several resources on the net that will help you pick the correct arrow shaft stiffness, Easton being one of them.

  8. #8

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    Vance is right.

    The pressure point for a lack of a better way of putting it, is nothing more then a tooth pick under the velcro or leather for your arrow to ride on.

    it minimizes torque, which moves your arrow less incase you twist, and a host of other issues that arrise. Also will minimize bow tuning flaws, or shooter flaws.

    Now I prefer to use a part of an arrow, with the rounded portion up, I cut out the other three sides so basically it's a three sided log in home building construction. Shave it thin, dont need to be proud, just enough that the arrow doesnt ride on the shelf or site window, but on that peg, tooth pic hunk of something narrow.

    For a recurve.

    Place the tooth pick over the deepest part of the grip. Leave a space in the crotch of the shelf where the shelf and site window meet. This allows the hen feather to clear. No apply your velcro over the peg on the shelf. The site window is the portion that is horizontal. You'll do the same here. Apply the peg just up from the crotch and lay over it the velcro you plan on using.

    I like to shave my velcro as thin as possible with a pair of sharp scissors. On a longbow you dont want to push it out too far, or the booger will fall of, depending on the style of bow. A older hill style this would happen on, and you may not be able to add these pressure points to it, or even velcro. In this case thin leather will work.

    The pressure point can also be used in the tuning department. How? Think of it this way, arrows paradox. Too stiff, too weak how do you fix it on a stickbow? Well if you're close and your arrow is too weak you can increase the stick on the site window (horizontal portion), which will force the arrow into more paradox being it's pushing the center of the arrow farther from the center of travel of the string........or....center of the bow. In a longbow, that is cut short of center, you usually need a arrow that is weaker then you'd think. As it gets cut to center or past center, you can get away with a wider range of arrows as the arrow is forced into less and less paradox. With a longbow it's not something you can get away with unless the bowyer sands the site window down to OR past center. With a recurve it's something you can tweak more and more. If you are stiff, the only way to change it is to lower the braceheigth and try and get that arrow as clos to center as possible which means removing the side pressure point wich in my opinion is not worth it. I'd spend the money on different arrows before I did this!

    Experiment, take your time and enjoy the ride! And dont be afraid to ask!

  9. #9
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Hey Tradbow and others
    Thanks for the clarification I get it now. So I've been doing a little research and was wondering if you were building a re-curve/long bow what style shelf would you choice ? To me a flat shelf makes no sense but the potential stabilizing effect of a rounded shelf with a fur rest(I think I'm using that correctly) Makes sense. Also wouldn't a ridged shelf eliminate the need for placing match sticks? And would you ridge the shelf towards the back of the bow to improve strength or towards the belly of the bow for stability and I think a potential overdraw? Like I said I'm a complete neophyte this might just be a dumb one.

  10. #10

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    boy, getting techincal.

    I'll do my best to give my opinion and not confuse you on it.

    First, what kind of shelf. a radiused of some kind. Even with a radiused you'll still benefit by minimizing the contact that arrow has........

    That said, there was a longbow builder, Bill Kerner, Allegany longbows. His custom longbow was very very nice. His Mt bows, to short for my taste has this very shelf, cut with a point. It still could benefit from a match stick I think, but it of all the bows I've shot or handled had the least amount of arrow contact. It was raised in the belly side, with a short ableit quick taper to the handle.

    I've attempted to build some all wood stuff which wouldnt benefit you any. I have though shot quite a few bows. And atleast for now, I'd recommend sticking to a radiused front to back high in the middle longbow. A lower raidus allows you to do things a high radius wont. Take a look at Byron Fergusons book "become the arrow" in regards to this "pressure point" placement. By putting that stick, or high spot if you incorperate it into a bow, in different places you can essentially increase or decrease the dynamic spine of the shaft. If it's built into a bow, it wont allow you to fine tune it using this method, which means buying, building, and tuning more sets of shafts to find the right one and really tweaking it by other means. For me I'd opt to leave it slightly radiused.

    Take it with a grain of salt....I've never built a glass bow. That is coming, soon! As is some all wood stuff. I have to many projects on the table right now to open this one up. I do however have a ton of plans mostly given to me by fellow bow builders and contacts to help, including one of them who is a professional bowyer, and another bowhunting buddy who did build bows professionally for awhile, though I have yet to get a buddy bow from it cough cough. Ok he doesnt view these forums so I'll stop whining now about it .

    Bow design is like a vehicle. They all are good at what they were ment to be good at, very few are good at everything. Everything is the end goal. Stable, quiet, quick, smooth, and accurate. Reinventing the wheel sorta speaking right out of the gate might not be the best bet. Stick with it long enough and you'll be trying to build a better bow. I have the hankerings of building everything, and something is never good enough. Always has to be a 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th shew. Hopefully I dont build that many canoes. They are fun but this one has taken way to long.

    Good luck, keep us posted and I'd love to see it, if not get a chance to shoot it! But, if you havent noticed, I'm pretty upfront and honest with my opinions, good bad or ugly. My delivery sucks so hopefully it's good

  11. #11

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    ps,

    If you dont know the name already I suggest you find him and hook up with him.

    Jack Harrison, he's in the valley there, Wasilla I believe. He has a bow building book out as of a year or so now. I have a copy of it, good stuff!

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