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Thread: Working on your own bow

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Working on your own bow

    I am considering working on my own bow but the thought of it makes me nervous. The problem is there are no good bow technicians around me and the closest is 1.5 hours away so I am considering getting a press and trying to start learning.

    I know it is a process but for those of you that do this what are some tools and articles or books that will help shorten my learning curve? What are some must have items/tools? Also what is a good press for someone like me that would only work on my bow and eventually maybe a few others. I build all of our arrows now and am a meticulous person so I know I can learn just don't have anyone to tech me and am hoping you guys can fill that gap.

    Thanks for any advice in advance.

    "The price of victory is high but so are the rewards" - Paul "Bear" Bryant
    2013 Bowtech Insanity CPX 70# 29.75"/QAD HDX 28" VAP V1 457g
    QAD Exodus 125G/BG Ascent/Vegance Head 3 Pin slider/Paradigm Carbon Shadow stab


  2. #2
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    I just started working on my own this year. I got a portable monster pac-press with fingers from a member on here who sells them, 92safari I believe. I think I paid $325 shipped for it and it will press virtually any bow. The best advice I would give you is always record where/how you started and then experiment and see what does what. I've found it much easier to learn that way than to read and try to understand anything else.
    '13 DNA with Breathn threads
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    I would suggest the ez press,string and arrow levels witch cabelas sellls.a bow vice,string serving for like peeps sights and such,d loop materials.I have learned everything from archery talk forum, google searches, youtube.any question you may have it can be found on the internet if search hard enough. At first I started doing my own bow mechanics so I wouldn't have to go to the shop all the time but then I realized how much I actually enjoy working on my own bow and friends Bows it's a hobby of mine 4 the off season. I hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Minnesota
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    I just went that route myself. I got a EZ Green press and downloaded a copy of the nuts and bolt of archery on my phone (for reference in the garage). Then I got my bow shooting the way I thought it should....good investment!

  5. #5
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    Pictures of the cams including measurements that way you can see how it was before you mess it up
    When changing strings remove and replace one at a time, it's easy to get mixed up on what goes where your first few times at it.
    A Redneck lost in a yuppie town

  6. #6
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    Nov 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by SARASR View Post
    Pictures of the cams including measurements that way you can see how it was before you mess it up
    When changing strings remove and replace one at a time, it's easy to get mixed up on what goes where your first few times at it.
    Exactly as above.
    Camera phone or any digital pics help a ton. I take pics before I work on my bow, car, boat and everything else. I just bought a nighthawk portable press cause I like to have the press with me when I travel. I also carry a spare string with the peep and D loop installed just incase. Down load the "Nuts and Bolts of Archery" sticky here on the site and go to it.
    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Doing your own bow maintenance is the best way to learn more about archery in general. You will become more knowledgeable and more confident in the long run.

    Been doing my own work for years now and I will not allow anyone else to touch my bows.

    There are some learning curves to get around but you will catch on in time. I'm still learning and always will.

    If I had saved all the money from gas and mileage of going to and from shops prior to learning to do my own work, I could have easily paid for a press.

    Skeet.
    I cut my arrows twice and they're still too short.

    You cannot hit what you cannot see.

  8. #8
    When the local shops charge $35.00 to $54.00 per hour labor and they won't broadhead tune and don't have a drawboard, they are kind of painting you into a corner when it comes to bow tuning. On the other hand a good relationship with a pro shop is necessary to obtain many parts and most warranty work. I would suggest picking up a cheap used bow and getting familiar with using your press and setting it up. I use my "mule" bow to try out rests, particularly learnng set-up, and get a deeper understanding of the effects of changing string and cable lengths, mis-timed cams, ect. . Can't emphasize enough taking plenty of digital pictures. Good luck.

  9. #9
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    Press is a must, scale is a must. For me draw board is a must. Draw board and scale are also perfect for blue printing strings , also must IMO. Paper tuning rack is a must have for me as well. Bow vise will make your life a lot easier as well. As far as info goes, there really isn't anything you can't learn from this site . Nuts and Bolts tuning guide has a lot of great information. The search feature used in this and the timing section is highly valuable.
    “Those who act like sheep, will be eaten by Wolves”

    DNA

  10. #10
    Just go and get it tuned i've spend countless hours with set up and mods it will create a monster that changes rest changes arrow size change this and that you will be better off hitting xx's with a good tune job by the local shops if not just keep taking it back mybe the shop will hire you if you to fix it there tools make it fool proof i know i worked in one for a year to learn and understand ! Also the correct tools /jigs are needed!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddB View Post
    Press is a must, scale is a must. For me draw board is a must. Draw board and scale are also perfect for blue printing strings , also must IMO. Paper tuning rack is a must have for me as well. Bow vise will make your life a lot easier as well. As far as info goes, there really isn't anything you can't learn from this site . Nuts and Bolts tuning guide has a lot of great information. The search feature used in this and the timing section is highly valuable.
    X2!!!!!!!!
    Exactly what I would say!!!
    Jump into it, you'll be glad you did!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hydro0309 View Post
    Just go and get it tuned i've spend countless hours with set up and mods it will create a monster that changes rest changes arrow size change this and that you will be better off hitting xx's with a good tune job by the local shops if not just keep taking it back mybe the shop will hire you if you to fix it there tools make it fool proof i know i worked in one for a year to learn and understand ! Also the correct tools /jigs are needed!
    That's part of the point isn't it? I have gone and gotten it tuned and the guy I go to is very good. However since he is very good he stays slammed so he can never get to it right away and that means two trips back and fourth 1.5 hours each way (6 total hours of driving) and I am without my bow for a day or so.

    So I am to the point of small stuff I want to learn to do on my own and work my way up to be able to fully service my bow. For instance right now I have done a lot of shooting with my new bow and my string has stretched a little (even though it is custom) and my cam timing is off. So I have to drive up there and drop it off and be without it for a few days then go back and get it. That is about $75-$100 worth of gas at least. I would like to eventually be able to handle this myself.
    "The price of victory is high but so are the rewards" - Paul "Bear" Bryant
    2013 Bowtech Insanity CPX 70# 29.75"/QAD HDX 28" VAP V1 457g
    QAD Exodus 125G/BG Ascent/Vegance Head 3 Pin slider/Paradigm Carbon Shadow stab

  13. #13
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    One fun thing to do is find a $50.00 special bow in craigslist and practice on it a bit. Take it all the way down, lube everything and put it all back together. It's just good practice. When you get up to speed and are comfortable working on your own bow, put the beater bow back on craigslist.
    I shoot bows. All kinds of bows.

    My opinions are MY OPINIONS. Take them for what they are worth.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by SHPoet View Post
    One fun thing to do is find a $50.00 special bow in craigslist and practice on it a bit. Take it all the way down, lube everything and put it all back together. It's just good practice. When you get up to speed and are comfortable working on your own bow, put the beater bow back on craigslist.
    This is a great idea. The only issue with the beater bows on craigslist is that people fail to realize that bows don't hold their value like land. Sometimes ya just gotta shake your head and laugh when you read people's ads and asking price. Great idea though. I like it.

  15. #15
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    Does it matter about make and model? I shoot Hoyt and am currently looking for a backup bow in the $200 range. Once I find it I may just start out working on that one.
    "The price of victory is high but so are the rewards" - Paul "Bear" Bryant
    2013 Bowtech Insanity CPX 70# 29.75"/QAD HDX 28" VAP V1 457g
    QAD Exodus 125G/BG Ascent/Vegance Head 3 Pin slider/Paradigm Carbon Shadow stab

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    NE Oklahoma
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    Just take your time. Read as much info as possible. Youtube and
    nuts and bolts use a camera as stated above.
    Press, scale, and measureing tape
    Draw board

  17. #17
    IMO I think everyone should be able to work on their own bow. It is one thing to send it off for a super tune by someone that really knows the business - but I hear about guys that need to go to their shop to install a rest. Or put a peep sight in and all that. I just find that mind boggling. The only thing I've ever used a proshop for was a warranty assistance. I'm still pretty green to archery in the modern compound world - shot a lot as a kid - but have done everything on my bows myself since getting back into it about 6-7 years ago.

    You'll enjoy it a lot more if you understand how your equipment works and it will help you know if something isn't right should something start to go out of spec or something happen with your bow - you'll know how to fix it.
    2014 Martin Lithium :: 2007 Martin Cheetah :: Jaguar Take-Down
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  18. #18
    Congrats on your decision to work on your own gear! I can tell you that there is nothing more satisfying than doing it right yourself. I can also tell you there's no substitute for a seasoned honest bow tech pro. Good luck in your quest for knowledge

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