My bows are built to last a life time of shooting. I take great pride in my bows and stand by their craftsmanship. I guarantee my bows for one year against breakage with the understanding that they are handled and shot properly. Improper stringing, shooting, overdrawing, and damage caused by mishandling will void the guarantee. If you are not familiar with the care and handling needed for a wooden bow then I will give you all of the information necessary to make your bow last for decades. Wooden bows are durable, rugged and long lasting but they require a certain amount of knowledge and care to last.
Basics of a Wooden Bow
· Each bow is specifically designed and made to be pulled to a specific draw length and NEVER farther. I strongly recommend that you don’t let other people shoot your bow. Even if you think you’ve explained everything you just don’t know what they are going to do when they pull it back.
· Always be sure that there is an appropriate arrow nocked on your string if you fire your bow. NEVER draw and loose your string without an arrow, this is called “dry firing” and it can permanently damage or break your bow and possibly injure you.
· How you string your bow is important. The safest and recommended way is with an appropriate stringer. There are other methods that people use to string their bows without a stringer but they require practice and strength and are difficult to describe with words alone. Unless you’re familiar with them I recommend using a stringer. If you use a method other than the stringer then you do so at your own risk. Be sure to check your string carefully for nicks or frays each time before you string it.
· Your bow should be unstrung immediately after you’re finished using it. It should NEVER be left strung when not in use. Your bow can handle being strung for hours on end if need be but it cannot be treated like a modern fiberglass bow and be left strung at all times. The brace height can be adjusted by twisting the string in one direction or the other depending whether you’d like the brace lower or higher. The brace height should be high enough to clear the fletching of the arrow and to avoid excess wrist slap but if it is too high then the limbs will be under unnecessary stress and the arrow speed will suffer. Each bow will have a slightly different optimal brace height. This information will be given upon receipt of the bow.
· Your bow should be stored in a place where the temperature and humidity are reasonable and relatively stable. It should be out of direct sunlight and either laid flat horizontally or hung vertically by its string but it should not be propped in a corner or standing on end. This can affect the tiller of the bow over time. When you are transporting your bow be sure that it is protected from being crushed, scratched, etc. Avoid digging the bottom tip into the ground. The dirt and rocks can damage the wood and string.
· If the bow is damaged in any way DO NOT string it, draw it or shoot it. Please contact me and I will do my best to advise you on the best course of action.
Care and Maintenance
The Finish – The finish is Birchwood Casey’s Tru-oil. It is boiled linseed oil based. There will be numerous coats of tru-oil applied by hand on to your bow, rubbed with steel wool and lightly sanded between coats. It will protect your bow from weather and dirt and minor wear. Should the finish become compromised or unsightly due to damage or wear it can be easily repaired with some light sanding (200 to 400 grit) and the application of a fresh coat of tru-oil. (or perhaps more if the damage is deep or extensive.) You can send the bow back to me to repair the finish for a fee or you can do it yourself. (I would be happy to advise you via phone or email if you choose to do it yourself)
The Handle Wrap – If your bow has a leather hand wrap it is treated with several coats of Fiebing’s Acrylic Resolene. This will help to protect the leather from dirt and weather. It does not make the leather completely water-proof so care must be taken to protect the leather from lengthy exposure to water. This treatment should be periodically maintained to keep the leather in top condition. The frequency of maintenance will depend on the frequency and type of use. This product should be easy to find at a local leather supply or craft store and online as well. I recommend diluting it a bit with water and applying it with a damp sponge.
The String – The string is done in a Flemish twist and made from Fastflight. It is served with nylon serving thread. It is already liberally coated in beeswax. It is important to maintain the coating of beeswax as you use your bow. If you did it every few weeks of use it wouldn’t be too much. EchoArchery.com sells a blend of beeswax and pine pitch that works very well for this purpose. This is what I use but straight beeswax will work as well.