Recurve: Damaged limb tips - repairable?

Hi,

I've managed to damage the tip of one of my recurve limbs (see attached) - I slipped whilst stringing bow .....

To me, it looks like the black, 'plastic', layer has cracked and come adrift.
I couldn't see any damage to the laminations underneath.

Does this look repairable? If so, how?

Thanks for any help.

Darron
 

Attachments

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Yes!
It's just the overlay popped off by the look of it, the actual limb looks ok.
Basically take off the remaining bit of the black overlay, using chisel, rasp, file whatever.
Glue on a new piece of suitable material, waterbuffalo horn, ebony, walnut etc with the surfaces suitably prepared. Bind it in place with rubber strapping (half inch strip cut from old bike innertube etc) file carefully to suit.
Trick to polishing the grooves is an old bootlace loaded with polishing compound pulled back and forth diablo style.
The tricky bit is cleaning up the area to which it will be glued without damaging the actual fibres of the glass bow backing.
A steady hand and attention to detail are key. Use either a good quality epoxy or a high viscosity superglue. To get a polished finish you will need to buff it up ideally on a wheel. They are virtually the same as the tip overlays I do on my primitive bows.
If you don't have Waterbuffalo horn I can send you a few offcuts as I have loads of the stuff (PM me).
You should be able to make a perfectly serviceable repair, even if it doesn't look perfect.
Del
 

albatross

Supporter
Supporter
That's what I like about this forum. Always positive friendly advice and offers to help as well.

Dennis
 
Yes!
It's just the overlay popped off by the look of it, the actual limb looks ok.
Basically take off the remaining bit of the black overlay, using chisel, rasp, file whatever.
Glue on a new piece of suitable material, waterbuffalo horn, ebony, walnut etc with the surfaces suitably prepared. Bind it in place with rubber strapping (half inch strip cut from old bike innertube etc) file carefully to suit.
Trick to polishing the grooves is an old bootlace loaded with polishing compound pulled back and forth diablo style.
The tricky bit is cleaning up the area to which it will be glued without damaging the actual fibres of the glass bow backing.
A steady hand and attention to detail are key. Use either a good quality epoxy or a high viscosity superglue. To get a polished finish you will need to buff it up ideally on a wheel. They are virtually the same as the tip overlays I do on my primitive bows.
If you don't have Waterbuffalo horn I can send you a few offcuts as I have loads of the stuff (PM me).
You should be able to make a perfectly serviceable repair, even if it doesn't look perfect.
Del
Wow! Thanks Del!

That's an extremely helpful explanation and a very kind offer - I'll send a PM soon.

Do you have any recommendations for the epoxy/super glue (or ones to avoid)?

I haven't attempted any work like this before, so whilst it seems a little daunting at the moment, I'm sure it'll do me some good.

There might even be a market for replacement overlays judging by some recent postings...

Thanks again!

Darron
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
Araldite precision is good but pricey. Toolstation have some good superglues. Avoid Araldite Rapid, it's pants, also anything from Poundland (mind their big tubes of UHU glue are great for fletching)
BTW. When making longbows I glue on temporary nock overlays with high viscosity superglue and it does the job, even on 100# Warbows.
Del
PS. Dunno if my original post was clear, the rubber strapping is to hold the overlay in place as the glue cures... even superglue is best strapped up for a good time. The cure time for most quick set glues is twice what they recommend! The rubber also helps exclude air which assists in curing the superglue (I think that right?)
PPS ;) Avoid plastic for overlays... most plastics are a pig to glue. If you polish up Waterbuffalo horn it looks just like black plastic! You wouldn't believe the number of people who will look at a lovingly hand crafted Yew longbow and then ask if the nocks are plastic :(
 
Well, I've finally found time to have a go at repairing this limb.
It's far from perfect and hasn't been polished, but here it is (it's the one on the right this time .....):
Limb_Repair.jpg

I'll string the bow with these limbs next weekend and see if it all holds together .....

Del, thank you so much for the encouragement and water buffalo horn. Without those, these limbs would have been left to gather dust!

The water buffalo horn was a joy to work with!

Cheers

Darron
 

ThomVis

Member
Looks like a good job!
On the photo it looks a tad wider than the original, so check your brace height and nock point height, they might be a tad off.
 
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