For do it yourself repairs, feel free to review the bow restoration section in our library.
Before and After Project Pictures
Here are some before and after pictures (PDF files) of a few of the bows that I have restored:
Bow Repair and Restoration
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NOTE:: The form below is limited to a single file or pic of up to 10 MB. If you have multiple pictures of your bow, you can put them in a Word, Publisher or PDF document to send. Alternatively, you can send them to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can accept up to 30 MB of picture files, so you may need to save the pics in lower resolution before sending, depending on volume.
Over the years I have repaired and/or reconditioned nearly 650 vintage recurve bows. I do most everything by hand. I can provide the following services:
The costs below do not include shipping. Payment is due after the project has been completed, and before the bow is shipped back to you. When the project is complete, I will send you some pictures along with an invoice (which will include the shipping cost – generally in the $19-$29 range depending on the length and mass weight of the bow. I generally use PayPal for invoicing, but I do have my own merchant credit card account if you want to pay directly with your credit card (VISA, MC, or Discover).
Straighten limbs (remove limb twist)
Many vintage recurves have twisted limbs, either one or both limbs. The twist may be very minor or more severe. This may have incurred from improperly stringing or storage, or leaving the bow in hot sunlight. Most limb twist can be removed and the limb straightened. There are exceptions. Sometimes a limb is so warped, that it won't even hold a string and cannot be straightened. Twist can be towards or away from the sight window. The cost range for straightening limbs is $15-$45 depending on the number of limbs and the degree (and "stubbornness") of the of twist. If I can’t straighten the limb, I won’t charge you, except for return shipping.
Fill screw holes and chips
A majority of vintage bows will have some type of screw/drill holes that were drilled for sights or quivers. There may just be a couple, or several. There may also be a chip in the riser that can be filled. I use dowels and wood glue to fill most of the hole, and then use a variety of techniques and materials to fill the top of the screw hole or chip depending of what might work best. I have used epoxy, kato polyclay, saw dust mixed with epoxy, putty, fiberglass (on limb screw holes), and fill sticks. I have about 60 different shades of filler, but can’t guarantee that the hole or chip will “disappear” after being filled, but will match the fill with the riser color as best I can. The cost range of filling screw holes is $15-$30 depending on the number of holes or chips.
Basic Bow Reconditioning
Reconditioning does not include removing (stripping) the old varnish from the limbs or riser. Reconditioning is a step below restoration. My definition of reconditioning is to clean and lightly sand the riser and limbs as needed, and refinish the bow with an oil based polyurethane or Tru-Oil. You can choose between glossy or satin. Often I will do a glossy riser and satin limbs, especially on hunting bows, to reduce sun glare. The cost range of a basic reconditioning is $99. A reconditioning package that includes straightening any limb twist, filling screw holes, and refinishing would be in the $149 range.
Restoration consists of removing (stripping) the old varnish from the limbs or riser, re-staining as needed, and refinish the bow with an oil based polyurethane or Tru-Oil. You can choose between glossy or satin. Often I will do a glossy riser and satin limbs, especially on hunting bows, to reduce sun glare. The cost range of a basic restoration is $149. A restoration package that includes straightening limb twist, filling stress lines and screw holes and minor chips, and complete refinishing would be in the $199 range.
Repair minor delamination
Repairing delamination can be tricky. Minor delamination can generally be successfully repaired, especially if there is no crack in the core lamination. If the core laminations (i.e. the wood sandwiched between the fiberglass) are cracked, the bow may not be salvageable. I use a bowyer’s epoxy, clamps and heat to repair delamination. The cost range of a minor delamination repair is $49.
Add or replace tip overlays
Tip overlays not only add beauty to the bow but also strengthen and protect the limb tip. It also allows the bow to use more modern string materials other than the traditional Dacron. I have a variety of wood veneers to make single layer tip overlays. I can also do a simple black or white Bo-Tuff overlay. I have done a few multiple layer tip overlays, but do not consider myself expert in that aspect of restoration. The cost for a simple single layer wood tip overlay is $25 per overlay (both tips).
Fix minor stress lines and cracks
Stress lines and cracks are somewhat problematic, but not necessary the bow killer some people think. Lengthy stress cracks that down all the way through the fiberglass down into the wood can render the limb unstable and risky to shoot. The further the stress line gets to the working center part of the limb the more exposure to breakage. Stress cracks can occur because of excess stress, such as repeatedly overdrawing a bow, or a material flaw such as a small void in the fiberglass or a similar issue with the underlying core wooden laminate. Generally, if the stress line does not extend pas the riser fade-out, there is nothing to worry about. Stress lines usually occur early in a bow’s and generally do not tend to “keep growing” over time. Some limbs must be stripped of the varnish in order to fill the stress crack and repair it. Often, the repair can make the stress line “disappear”, but sometimes the line will remain faintly visible. It is much easier to work with black limbs that other colors. It is much more difficult to make stress lines in white glass “disappear”. I would need to look at the stress lines on your bow to give you an estimated repair cost, but the general cost would be in the $29-$49 dollar range, depending on severity and limb color.