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Author Topic: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long  (Read 3537 times)

Offline Jason R. Wesbrock

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Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« on: April 23, 2006, 08:21:00 PM »
Anatomy of a Carp Bow

Since I was in need of a new recurve for bowfishing, which is as good a reason as any when you’re justifying a new bow, I decided to grab my camera and try my hand at a build-a-long. I’m sure some of the more seasoned bowyers here have better ways of doing thing than what I’ve shown here, so please feel free to speak up. I’m always looking for a better way to do things.

You’ll notice that I’m not wearing eye, ear or breathing protection in any of the photos. Those things were removed for the photos only, since working a camera with all that stuff on is a royal pain in the rear. Always wear proper protection when doing woodworking. Now then…

We’ll start with the limbs. I want this bow 62” long and pulling just short of 60# at my 32” draw length. For that combination of length and weight I’ll use .040 clear fiberglass and a core consisting of two actionboo laminations, one .060 parallel and a .100 thick .002/inch taper. And since I don’t like the light color of natural actionboo, I stain my laminations with Minwax.

All limb materials are properly cleaned and laid out in the order they’ll be glued together. From bottom to top…glass, taper, wedge, parallel, glass.

 

Once the pieces are glued and stacked on top of each other, they’re put in the form.

 

The top of the form is bolted down and the fire hose is inflated to 70 psi. After 8 hours in the hotbox at 180 degrees, the limb will be properly cured.

 

Once the limb has cooled to room temperature, it’s removed from the press. The glue that’s squeezed out during the lamination process is very sharp. Be careless here and you’ll get cut quick and deep (been there, done that, ruined the t-shirt). Thick leather gloves are a must

The limb profile is traced from a template. A beltsander is used to reduce the limbs to proper dimensions.

 

 

Offline Jason R. Wesbrock

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2006, 08:22:00 PM »
Now we’ll move on to the riser block. For this bow I decided to use a combination of cocobolo and bubinga with purpleheart and maple accent stripes.

Grinding accent stripes isn’t too difficult with a drill press, sanding drum and a simple jig. I also thin down my pieces for overlays with this grinding system.

 

Riser pieces are rough cut on a bandsaw.

 

After that, they’re clamped to a template and a sanding drum with a roller guide is used to get gluing surfaces to exact specifications. If the curves are inconsistent, not only will the glue lines look horrible, but they stand a good chance of failing. A course grit sanding sleeve leaves the surfaces rough enough to glue up properly.

 

Always do a dry run before glue-up. After you’ve slathered Smooth-On all over everything is a poor time to realize you’ve made a mistake (done that too). I usually clamp everything together and use a spotlight to check for gaps. If everything looks good, I’ll glue the riser block together and put it in the hotbox for 8 hours at 180 degrees to cure.

 

Once the riser block is cured and cooled to room temperature the excess glue is sanded off and the block is squared up. Then it’s cut to accept the limbs, and those surfaces are squared and flattened up on a jointer.

 

A drill press comes in handy for attaching the limbs to the riser block. This part always makes me nervous. Right here is were your limb alignment will be dead on or a total mess.

 

A tap is used for installing the bolt inserts.

 

The limbs are bolted down, rough string nocks are filed in and the bow is strung. After a few minor adjustments, the tiller seems straight.

 

Offline Jason R. Wesbrock

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2006, 08:22:00 PM »
For tip overlays I’m using black linen phenolic sandwiched between pieces of cocobolo. Small c-clamps and CA glue set them up quickly.

 

Now it’s time to rough shape the riser. After cutting to rough dimentions on a bandsaw, I go to a a drill press with one-, two-, and thee-inch diameter sanding drums.

 

Once the rough shape is where I want it, it’s time to move on to hand tools—rasps, files, scrapers, sandpaper and emery cloth.

 

Riser inserts are installed, the wood grain is filled with CA glue and several coats of Thunderbird are sprayed with an airbrush. After that cures, it’s just a matter of buffing everything out, bolting it together and going through the tuning process.

 

When it was all said and done, I hit weight—58# @ 32”. And since no bow is truly finished until it serves its intended purpose, it’s time to take this recurve out for a little pre-spawn carp action on the Fox River. The water’s a little cool, but the sun’s bright today and the breeze is mild. If I’m slow and quiet, and my aim is true, maybe the fish will cooperate and I’ll break this bow in properly.

 

Offline rabbitman

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2006, 08:29:00 PM »
Jason...great build along and pics.  Beautiful bow.  Good job.

Offline Luke Vander Vennen

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2006, 08:30:00 PM »
great buildalong! Thanks  :)  

And that's an awesome looking bow too  :thumbsup:
Dances with Turtles

Offline WildmanSC

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2006, 08:35:00 PM »
Jason,

That's a gorgeous bow.  And you have "blooded" it properly!  Congratulations!

Bill
TGMM Family of the Bow

-----------------------------------
Groves Flame Recurve 62", 45#@28"


Praise the Lord Jesus Christ, He is Worthy

Online Al Dente

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2006, 08:35:00 PM »
Way 2 Go Jason.  Bow looks great, you proved it shoots great by that carp ya got, and thanks for sharing it all with us.  I still tell people about the conduit deer cart that I made from your prototype several years ago.  Keep 'em coming.
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Offline sticshooter

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2006, 08:46:00 PM »
Well Jason now that ya killed some carp with my new bow when ya gonna send it to me?  "[tunglaff]"  Outstanding my friend.<><<><
The Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.

"Walk softly..and carry a sharp   Stic."
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Offline wakolbinger

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2006, 09:05:00 PM »
Very nice!

I fish that same river.....

danny

Offline Dano

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2006, 09:14:00 PM »
Great build-a-long and bow Jason  :thumbsup:
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy" Red Green

Offline Aeronut

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2006, 09:32:00 PM »
Beautiful bow Jason!  Really like the riser wood combination.

Dennis

Offline GEREP

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2006, 09:37:00 PM »
Man I wish I could do that...NICE job Jason.

   :thumbsup:  

KPC
To the best of my knowledge, no man, on his death bed, ever said "I wish I had spent more time at the office..."

Offline digicon

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2006, 09:44:00 PM »
That was a fantastic build-along.  Very nicely done.  I'm sure it's a lot of work to photograph and document the process from start to finish but I for one, appreciate the effort.  Thanks again, Mike.

Online wislnwings

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2006, 10:04:00 PM »
Really cool build-a-long.  Thanks for sharing with those of us who are kicking around the idea of trying to build our own.

Offline Rich Baker

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2006, 12:03:00 AM »
WOW thats awsome I wish I could do that man !!!

Offline cjones

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2006, 02:13:00 AM »
Awesome job Jason!  :thumbsup:
Chad Jones

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Online Crooked Stic

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2006, 05:30:00 AM »
A lot of talent around these parts. Very Nice.
High on Archery.

Offline James Wrenn

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2006, 06:25:00 AM »
Nice looking bow! well done   :thumbsup:
....Quality deer management means shooting them before they get tough....

Offline John Scifres

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2006, 07:11:00 AM »
Excellent. Beautiful bow!
Take a kid hunting!

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Online Huntrdfk

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Re: Takedown Recurve Build-a-long
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2006, 08:03:00 AM »
Wow, that's a nice looking bow Jason.  Thanks for sharing that with us.

David
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