Setting up your new bow.


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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    San Diego, California

    Setting up your new bow.

    Setting up your new bow.
    by psearcher22

    Determining draw-length and draw-weight
    Once you have found a bow that fits you and your needs you will need to outfit it with some accessories. First of all, you have to make sure the draw-length fits you and the poundage is right. Find your wingspan (finger tip to finger tip) and divide that by 2.5. This will give you a close measurement of your ideal draw-length.

    Next you will need to determine your ideal draw-weight. For this, sit in a chair with your feet out in front of you. Hold your feet in the air and draw the bow. If you struggle you need to turn the poundage down.

    Some of the accessories you may need:

    • Sight
    • Rest
    • Arrows
    • Stabilizer
    • Wrist sling
    • Peep/kisser or both
    • Release or finger tab
    • New custom strings if necessary. (Often, factory strings will stretch and cause peep rotation)

    Ok, now that you have purchased your accessories you are going to have to get the bow set up with them. We will need a few tools for this.
    They consist of:
    • Hex key (Allen wrench) set
    • Bow square
    • Nock crimping tool (not needed if you use a string loop)
    • Brass Nocks (not needed when using a string loop)
    • String D-loop material (not needed if using brass nocks or if you don't have a drop-away rest)
    • Nock/peep tying thread or serving material
    • Utility knife
    • Lighter
    • BLUE loctite
    • A hanging bow scale
    • A tape measure that is at least 4 feet long
    • Bow square
    • crimping tool
    • Poundage scale: Nice to have but not necessary.

    A few other optional tools would be a bow vise (makes setting up a rest and other things easier), and a bow press. There are 2 different kinds of bow presses either a portable or a bench top.
    Bench top:
    Bow vise:

    Bow Assembly
    Let’s start with the arrow rest. There are various kinds ranging from full-capture, prongs, blades and drop-aways. Put a small amount of Blue Locktite on the bolt of the rest and thread it into the riser using your Allen wrench. Snug it up good but not too tight as it may need to be adjusted later. Once you have done that lets adjust it to get the correct height. I recommend setting it up where an arrow resting on it will be level or slightly above the hole in which you threaded the bolt into. Once you have this completed, you can lock-down your elevation (height) and snug-up the bolt that holds the rest on.

    Now on to center shot.
    There are a few ways to do this. You can use a laser such as this one, but it's not necessary.

    Picture of the laser:
    There are a few other ways. One method is to “eyeball” it by using an arrow and using this method:
    Or you can ask the manufacturer of the bow what the recommended center-shot is and measure it like this:

    The center-shot measure can sometimes be found in your owner's manual.
    After you have determined your correct center shot you can tighten down your windage (left to right) but not too tight, as you might have to change it later.

    Now that your rest is installed you may have to do one more thing if you have a drop-away rest and that is install the pull cord. There are a few ways to do this. Here is a link that shows step by step how to install one:

    When installing your drop-away, make sure it is attached to the cable that has the "Y" in it and check to see that it is the one that moves downward when you draw your bow.

    Now in order to set the rest up correctly, you will want it to raise your arrow upward within the last 2 inches of the draw. This will insure you will have good arrow guidance and still have it drop in time to avoid contact with your fletching. Once you get it set up so it comes up within the last 2 inches you can serve it in using you serving material.

    Nock Point
    Now that your rest is set up we will have a go at setting up your nock point. This is where you will need either your brass nocks or crimpers or a string loop (D-Loop), serving material, knife, and lighter. Once you get all of this together, attach your bow square to the string like shown:
    Set your nock height at 1/8 inch above level. This picture will show you what it should look like when an arrow is attached:

    Once completed crimp down your brass nocks and/or serve in a nock with the serving material if you are using a string loop. This link will provide you with the information on how to set up various string loop styles:

    Once you have installed your loop or nocks it is time to go out and break-in the bow and strings. It's recommended by custom string makers to shoot an average of 50 to 100 shots.

    Factory Specifications
    Once you have done this you will need to set the bow to its factory specs and install the peep. This is where you will need your bow press. If you don't want to spend the money for a bench top, a portable press is a good alternative. When pressing a bow you must follow the instructions the manufacturer provides. Remember to back out the limb bolts when pressing the recommended number of times by the bow manufacturer. This can range from 2-7 turns on each limb. When measuring the number of turns you must do this from the point at which the limbs are tightened down as far as they can go. Ok now that you have your press lets check the factory specs.
    You need to measure the brace height:

    And the axle to axle length, remember that you must do this from the center of both axles: You will need to see how far off these are. You will also need to measure the draw-length.

    The next step is to press the limbs in a bow press. With the bow pressed, you can make adjustments to cables and strings to affect cam timing, draw-length and peep alignment.

    This link will show you more about this and also explain how to time the cams on a bow.

    Now that you have your specs set as far as timing, brace height, draw length, and axle to axle, let’s put your bow on your scale and see what the poundage is. If it is within 1 or 2 lbs of the maximum that is perfect most companies make their bows so they are anywhere from 2-5 lbs heavier than advertised max draw weight. If it is close then you are good to go. But what if you don't want to shoot it that heavy, then you will need to back out the limb bolts equally. Once you get it to desired poundage you can measure your tiller. That is done by either measuring like this:

    Or stretching a piece of fishing line between the 2 axles and measuring to that instead of the string. This eliminates any issues of the cams being different sizes. You will need to adjust the top and bottom limbs so that both the top tiller and bottom tiller measurements are the same.

    Ok now that you are all set with the basic set-up tuning lets get back to the peep. You will need to come to full-draw and close your eyes, relax, then open them. You should be looking directly through the peep not above or below it. You will need to adjust it so once anchored you look through it naturally. Once you have found that perfect alignment, you can use either one of these techniques to serve it in using your serving material.
    This is a step-by-step link on how to do it. Or you can use the picture seen here.

    Ok, now that your peep is where you want it you may have trouble with it rotating when you draw your bow. Some solutions are to move your D-loop into a position that will align the peep when drawing. Some peeps allow for a rubber tube to be attached, which will bring your peep into alignment. We do not recommend rubber tubes for peeps. The best option is to purchase high quality after-market strings from Winner’s Choice or Vapor Trail. With these strings your peep will not rotate. Remember to clean and wax your strings regularly.

    Arrow Selection
    We recommend that you refer to the various manufacturers’ arrow charts for proper arrow selection. Your local shop can assemble them for you or you can order them direct from online retailers. Also, consider learning to build your own arrows.

    Paper tuning
    There are differing opinions regarding the value of paper tuning your arrow flight. You can read more about this process at this link

    Walk back tuning
    Once you have paper tuned your bow you will need to walk back tune your bow.

    This will aid in adjusting your center-shot and sight settings. Just remember when adjusting sights to move your sight towards the arrows impact.

    You are done. Almost.
    Record all measurements of your bow. You will need them for future reference and returning your bow to optimum specifications.

    Your bow should now shoot to its maximum accuracy so go have some fun and shoot some arrows and always check your equipment and follow all safety precautions.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    San Diego, California

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