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Thread: Is your recurve setup "on plane" ???

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  1. #1
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    Is your recurve setup "on plane" ???

    Most all recurve target archers know about limb alignment systems, what they do and why. Most everyone has figured out how to use their limb alignment system to make sure their limbs are lined up with one another. And that's great.

    But I've discovered after working on countless bows for friends and students that a very small percentage of these archers understand the second step in the process of getting your bow "lined up" properly. That is - getting the string path ON PLANE with the riser.

    More often than not, I see bows that have the limbs lined up with one another, but the string path is not on plane with the riser, so that the arrow is being shot off plane. This makes a bow difficult to tune, and unforgiving to shoot. I believe this is the cause of many so-called "untunable" setups, and it most certainly has contributed to the problems that led people to come see me to "fix" and tune their equipment.



    When I show folks how to check to see if a bowstring is on plane with the riser, I see light bulbs go off over their heads again and again. Not sure where the disconnect is, but there is one. Maybe the instruction manuals just aren't covering this. I'm not sure.

    Anyway, there are a few ways to check this, but here's what I do:

    Find a part of the riser that is perfectly and equally flat on both sides of the riser. With a strung bow, lay a bowsquare on edge against this surface and run it back to the bowstring. Measure the bowstring position on the square from both sides of the riser to see if the distance is equal. If not, make a note of which direction the string needs to be moved to get "on plane" with the centerline of the riser. I note the direction as either "toward" the sight window, or "away" from the sight window. This eliminates confusion with right or left when the riser is flipped to access the alignment screws.

    bowsquare on riser.jpgbowsquare right side.jpgbowsquare left side.jpg

    Then adjust the alignment screws or washers equally on both limbs in the direction the system needs to go to get on plane, and recheck with the bowsquare until the distances are equal on both sides of the riser.

    Some folks have used the stabilizer to "line up" the plane of the string when they check limb alingment. This is not a good idea, unless you first know if your stabilizer is straight. How do you check this? Simple. Just lay a straight arrow flat along the surface of the sight window and look down on that arrow to compare it to the line of the stabilizer. If the stabilier is straight, the arrow and the stabilizer will be perfectly parallel. Very few stabilizers and/or stabilizer bushings or tapped holes are perfectly straight. So if yours isn't, just make a mental note of which side it points to, and how much. That way, when you line up a set of limbs on that handle in the future, you can then use the stabilier to give you an idea of whether the string is on plane or not.

    checking stabilizer straightness.jpgstabilizer not straight.jpg

    Even though the string is not lined up with the stabilizer on this particular bow, the string is still on plane with the centerline of the riser and in proper position to set plunger centershot and begin tuning.

    lookingdownstabilizer.jpg

    A bow with properly aligned limbs that are on plane with the centerline of the handle is a real pleasure to shoot and will be a more accurate and forgiving bow. Don't underestimate the value of this adjustment. In the past few months, I've made this adjustment to several very accomplished archer's bows, and they immediately noticed the difference in the feel and tune, and left with a new sense of confidence in their equipment. And that's always nice on competition day!

    John.
    Renegade Archer


  2. #2
    Thank you for taking the time to post this

    Matt

  3. #3
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    Matt, you're welcome. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

    This has always been one of my little "nuggets" that I enjoyed showing my students and friends, while pointing out to them that most of their competitors were shooting bows that were off plane and didn't even know it...

    An "ace" up the sleeve as it were. But it's high time that everyone knows this stuff because life is just too short to shoot a poorly tuned bow...

    John.
    Renegade Archer

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    Quote Originally Posted by limbwalker View Post
    Matt, you're welcome. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

    This has always been one of my little "nuggets" that I enjoyed showing my students and friends, while pointing out to them that most of their competitors were shooting bows that were off plane and didn't even know it...

    An "ace" up the sleeve as it were. But it's high time that everyone knows this stuff because life is just too short to shoot a poorly tuned bow...

    John.
    Yep. Great stuff and glad that you bought it up again. I have a sneaking suspicion that this setup is covered in "The art of Repetition" by Simon Needham, but it's definitely covered in his "Art of Archery" DVD.
    15,306 miles around the USA in 3.5 months. I drove past your house!

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    Excellent tutorial. Thanks!

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    John, Thanks for setting up Alyssa's bow today. Big thanks for posting this since I was manning my cubicle all day and missed being there. Have I said "WoW" for your 30 "tens" at state that your tuned bow helped you to shoot. Now to check my setup....

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    My pleasure. She's a great young lady and one heck of a shot! We wrapped up the session with her pounding out a nine and two baby "x's" and she left with a big smile on her face. At least now she has confidence that her gear is up to the task and will do whatever she's capable of doing.

    John
    Renegade Archer

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    I use something similar to your method, John. My Matrix grip is suited for aligning two arrows as shown. Simply remove grip and use bare riser. Of course if you use all that ergly tape it wouldn't be as easy I've always assumed recurve grips are centered and parallel this way. Is the latest generation this way?

    I rubber banded the arrows here to take pics, but normally just hold them for visual check. This way you can check both the orientation of the stab and the string alignment. As you can see here, both are nicely centered between the arrows.

    bowalignment 002.JPGbowalignment 008.JPGbowalignment 010.JPG


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  9. #9
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    what riser face do you use, to square up the bow, when the surfaces are linished, and can be out of plane themselves.
    Not all risers are cut square, just like long rod bushes are square?

    really good thread, this is just one question ive always had when looking to true up a bow.
    i supppose you just have to do your best with what you have eh?

    My question is that some risers have the pockets rotationally out. So like an Aircraft you have Yaw Pitch and roll. Yaw is the dovetail left/right movement, Pitch is the limb bolt movement, and roll is something you cant adjust.
    Inno CXT Shims are suppose to address this.
    BUT if the riser is out of Plane limb face to riser sides, then you will have to adjust with yaw to pull the limb tips inline with the bows centre. which is just simply wrong, the limb just wont track right.
    this is my problem with adjustable setups. It accomodates sloppy manufacturing, and only accounts for 2/3rd of the concerns.

    if bow pockets are milled at 95 degress to the face, since some swarf got in thier, rather than a clean 90 degrees then this check is simply out of sync.
    as the arrows or bow square will sit 5 deg out to square. if you see hwat i mean, but the limbs will track fine as they are in plane with eachother, and in plane to the line of the pocket faces.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borderbows View Post
    My question is that some risers have the pockets rotationally out. So like an Aircraft you have Yaw Pitch and roll. Yaw is the dovetail left/right movement, Pitch is the limb bolt movement, and roll is something you cant adjust.
    Inno CXT Shims are suppose to address this.
    pic5-1.gif
    http://www.allstar.fiu.edu/aero/fltmidcont.htm

    From the terms, with the bow in your hand facing a target, it seems:

    Limb bolt: Pitch
    Lateral adjustment (with limb bolt as fulcrum): Roll

    Yaw: NA.

    I guess you'd have to shim the limb or the pocket.
    <evidence><
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    on the Hoyt Formula RX, don't try to remove the dowel without first loosening the little hex screw in the hole where the limb alignment nib seats. The manual makes no mention of it at all.
    L K S
    Laus Deo

  12. #12
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    id sooner take a riser where the pockets were 100% true to eachother, and put up with a face being out than limbs tracking badly. the reason for this is the bows launch point is a dot, a single loaction that doesnt care about the squareness of the faces. your button doesnt care, its just your limb alignment that cares since you dont want your limbs tracking oddly as that puts a bit of a fight between them. i suppose its kinda like karma between your limbs. and thats dictated by the risers limb pockets and not the riser sides.
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    thanks for posting this, i'm going to check right away! I've been having weird problems with my bow for a while. These how to topics are much appreciated.
    I'm a guy, just so you know

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    It's amazing how after 40 plus years of archery there is still new tricks to learn. Thanks John!

    TAO
    USA Archery Level 3-NTS Coach

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    Seattlepop, that's what I used to do with some risers, but I'm to lazy to take off the grip, esp. when I have grip tape wrapped on it. But what you're doing there works perfectly.

    Sid, don't get all technical on me now... ha, ha

    Yes, some risers make it difficult (like my Bernardini Luxor) to find a matching flat surface on both sides, but I've managed to find one on every riser I've worked on. If for some reason you couldn't, then I suppose you could calculate the centershot of the sight window and measure from there. The sight window is almost always flat on most bows. Measuring centershot is a lot of trouble though, and you have to remember that distance every time and add or subtract it. Much easier to just measure equally from both sides of the bow.

    TAO, I think I just saw a couple more light bulbs go off...

    Fun stuff.

    John
    Renegade Archer

  16. #16
    John would you mind posting a pic (or just explaining) where you measured your Luxor from - the only spot that looks like it will work is right below the grip.

    Matt

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    John, are you saying you can use beiter limb gauges and get your string tracking thru them perfectly, but still not have the bow on plane? Im having a hard time understanding how that is possible? Also what do guys do that shoot non adustable risers, like the Best Moon or others?
    Thinking more about this, you are aligning the limbs thru their centers and then laying them both over evenly until the string is tracking thru the center of the riser, not the center of the limbs. You have found this to be more accurate/forgiving then leaving them "in line" and adjusting the plunger in/out? Hard to argue with your success, just hard to get my head around.
    Last edited by kenn1320; February 25th, 2012 at 11:21 AM. Reason: more thought

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenn1320 View Post
    John, are you saying you can use beiter limb gauges and get your string tracking thru them perfectly, but still not have the bow on plane? Im having a hard time understanding how that is possible? Also what do guys do that shoot non adustable risers, like the Best Moon or others?
    Thinking more about this, you are aligning the limbs thru their centers and then laying them both over evenly until the string is tracking thru the center of the riser, not the center of the limbs. You have found this to be more accurate/forgiving then leaving them "in line" and adjusting the plunger in/out? Hard to argue with your success, just hard to get my head around.
    This pic shows the Beiter gauges aligned, but the bow is out of plane. In this case, both limbs are canted to the left. I use the gauges and then check to see if that alignment is "on plane" with the riser.



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    I mean eccentric bolt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattlepop View Post
    This pic shows the Beiter gauges aligned, but the bow is out of plane. In this case, both limbs are canted to the left. I use the gauges and then check to see if that alignment is "on plane" with the riser.

    So when you put the limbs in plane, they are no longer running thru the center of the beiter gauges right? The main bolts dont move, just the dove tail slot, so to align with the riser, you must tilt the limbs to the right, taking them out of alignment to align the string to the riser.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenn1320 View Post
    So when you put the limbs in plane, they are no longer running thru the center of the beiter gauges right? The main bolts dont move, just the dove tail slot, so to align with the riser, you must tilt the limbs to the right, taking them out of alignment to align the string to the riser.
    You are correct that I can't move the main limb bolts other than in/out, no affect on alignment. For this test I simply loosened the dowel bolts that hold the dove tail and moved both limbs to the left (looking from rear POV). If you moved the limbs back toward the center they would align "in plane" again.

    Look at the example in question and imagine moving your head to the right(which is all I did with the camera for this next pic). You would then see this:



    Now you can see that your POV is in plane with the riser/stabilizer, but the limbs are canted to the left and the string is not aligned w/ the gauges. Now visualize moving the limbs back to center and you can see how the Beiters/limbs would be back "on plane", ie aligned with the riser, string centered.


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    Quote Originally Posted by kenn1320 View Post
    ......... what do guys do that shoot non adustable risers, like the Best Moon or others?
    No lateral alignment system in a Best Moon........................ pray!

    Thanks John, very useful post.

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    this is Hell, getting the limbs to to track true is easy but making them traight with the riser is almost impossible, at least with the centrifugal bolt that is on my bow. Been at it for over an hour and every time i have the string running trough the middle of the riser the limbs are of, when i then adjust them to to run straight its all back to zero again. I i think i"ll be staying at the club all night....... :|
    I'm a guy, just so you know

  24. #24
    Thanks a lot for this, great way to check where is the middle instead of eyeballing....

    Immediately went down to the garage after reading this to check my bow, never thought that factory set up GMX would be off from center to the right with about 2 mm.
    Adjusted now to center (after needed to adjust plunger and sight too....), groups tightened vertically a lot!

    Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo888 View Post
    never thought that factory set up GMX would be off from center to the right with about 2 mm.
    Where on the GMX did you use for measuring off of? The best place I found was the rounded section around the main stabilizer bushing, but that seems unreliable.

    As far as I could measure, my GMX seems spot on from its factory settings, but I'm not sure that that means I'm doing it correctly.

    -T

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