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Hey All,

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts with Aron Snyder and John Dudley and they speak on being a student of archery. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about how to work on my bow and build arrows without actually performing the tasks yet. Two reasons for that:

1. I don't have the equipment yet
2. I live in NYC so each time I would tweak something its not like I can walk outside and shoot a group of arrows to see how my adjustments impacted the shot.

I've been trying to listen and read up as much as possible so when I do get my own equipment I can give it a go. Does everyone here who works on their own bows and build their own arrows just royally mess up in the beginning and then figured it out little by little? I am trying to understand what impacts what, but I am more confused each time I read something without actually doing it and seeing the results in real life. Any advise is appreciated.

BK
 

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No reason to mess up at all if you do your home work, the info is out there. No reason you can't shoot in the living room and down the hall.
Better yet, find a job somewhere better than NYC (hard to find anywhere worst IMO) and pack your stuff and roll! Some where with green trees and wild acres, and animals to look at and shoot and eat! Somewhere that you can shoot outside. Somewhere they don't pile the garbage on the sidewalk and speak english! You are being taxed to death and can't afford to buy a house. I live in the mountains of NC and can shoot bows and guns in the yard and trout fish about 60 yards behind my house that I own (paid cash) I have a garage fully set up to work on cars, guns, reload, and a complete archery shop. Get in your car (if you have one, NY you know) and go someplace nice!
 

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I've never really, really messed up such that equipment was ruined so I'd say go for it. It's doubtful that a person who has the will to learn will not be able to get proficient at working on their own gear and building arrows pretty quickly. My two biggest goofs were (1) I backed out the limb bolts on a BowTech Guardian one time before I had a bow press and had to take it in for repair and (2) I drew back an Elite Answer after working on it and forgetting to replace the draw stops! Not fun, but I had a press and got it unlocked pretty easily.

Just be careful regardless what press you end up buying. I personally think that the only way to go is buy a press that works by compressing limb tips. If you do that, you still need to make sure that every bow you put in that press is properly positioned and always ensure the string and cables are in the proper position prior to letting the bow down.

Indeed, YouTube is a wealth of info on how to perform most bow work and tuning. I hear your pain about living in the city in a place you can't "test your work". I doubt NYC police would be too thrilled with a neighbor's call that Robin Hood was on the porch launching arrows!
 

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I live in San Francisco, so have a close analogy. You can work on your bow and build your own arrows for under $400 all in:

-Synunym portable bow press ($100) -- don't let this fool you, this thing works amazing, this is my primary bow press and I've used it to completely build 3 bows
-Draw board -- build your own (<$50) or buy the nice one from lancaster on sale ($150-$200)
-Arrow saw -- for low volume (aka you and me, not a shop) any of the $100 models work. Or just buy arrows from somewhere that will cut them for a buck or two if you're really desperate
-A nice quality solid foam target (square) ($100ish) -- If you shoot a bareshaft and fletched next to each other it functions the exact same as paper tuning.

I do all my work on the kitchen counter and shoot my arrows about 10 feet into the target (set on top a dresser). If you get a bareshaft deadnuts parallel with a fletched (a la ontarget7's method for tuning) at that distance you are doing very well. You'll be able to spot differences in even the most minute adjustments this way.

The beauty of this setup is you throw it in your car and drive to an archery range (or put "press" in your backpack) and you can finalize any tuning on the spot. I actually save time that way compared to most guys here in suburbia with a full room and a "shop style" press, they have to go home to make changes.

Screwing up stuff? It's pretty darn straightforward. Almost everything you do (other than cutting arrows, or maybe epoxy if you don't use super glue/hot melt) is easily reversible if you track what you did (e.g. this many twists here, tied that way, cut off d-loop, change rest height, etc etc). Get in there man! It's a blast. GUARANTEED your setup will be better than what you get at a "pro shop" at a bare minimum. I also order all my own stuff online now which saves me the dreaded slog all the way to the pro shop for the tiniest thing (unless it's hoyt or matthews I have to drive 1+ hour from SF)
 
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