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help a neighbor out?

Old 08-25-2006, 07:19 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Greg / MO's Avatar
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Default help a neighbor out?

Hey guys, I've got a neighbor who approached me a couple days ago with an old stickbow he'd acquired... It has no string on it, and he asked me if I knew anything about them.

I was honest and told him "not a thing." He said he'd heard where you should soak an old bow like that in kerosene or something before attempting to re-string it, so that the limbs wouldn't break. I told him I had no idea, but I'd post a thread in here for him and see if we could get some help or ideas...

Here's what the bow looks like:

It's basically a short, old bow which I assumeis pretty cheaply made; at least it doesn't look like anything special. I mean, you can probably tell from the pics that the handle is pretty much just electrical tape.

But... he wants to put a string on it, and had these concerns... so I told him I'd at least ask what the experts say.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-26-2006, 09:18 AM
Boone & Crockett
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Default RE: help a neighbor out?

I wouldn't soak it in anything--my guess all that would do is cause the glue to turn loose.

As best I can tell, that bow has no glass or any other backing (selfbow). Stringing it wil be a coin toss--it might hold, it might not. If he does, and wants to shoot it, start by drawing it back a little at a time and listen for cracks and creaks. If it makes a noise, stop and unstring it--it's a wall hanger, and not worth a possible knot on the noggin.

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Old 08-26-2006, 09:50 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Default RE: help a neighbor out?

KEROSENE!??![:-][:'(]NOOOOO! Never use petroleum products of any kind on wood. Or leather. Or any other natural material. It'll ruin it.

If the wood looks dried out, you can rub it down with natural oils - vegetable, canola or tung oil. Murphy's is also good.Giving it multiple rubdown's over several days time with an oily clothwill let the wood soak up what it needs. A little TLCat this point might make it a shooter again.The deal is to get some life back into the wood and reduce the brittleness.

If an old, all wood bow hasn't been shot in a long time, and if it appears to still be sound (no dry rot), again, it will likely be stiff and brittle. You can't just string it and rip it back to 30" draw in one go. It'll break. The bow willneed to to be retrained to bend, very similar to the way it was originally tillered.

Start bending it slightly, not even enough to string it, about 20 times before you even try stringing it up. Then draw the string a few inches another 20 times. Then a few more inches another 20 times. Keep on like that until you hit full draw - which for most old bows like that is NEVER more than 28".

Of course, like Chad said, if you hear the slightest tick anywhere in that process, stop and hang it on the wall.

By the way... Who said sights ain't traditional? [8D]

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Old 08-26-2006, 11:04 PM
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Default RE: help a neighbor out?

Thanks guys; I printed off your replies and took them over to him tonight. He was most appreciative.
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