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    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Tuning a Bow and arrow is part of the process that we must be concerned with for optimum performance from our equipment as Bowhunters. I am sure that some would view it as a task rather than an enjoyable and rewarding process to get to perfect arrow flight. I would submit that the process could be more enjoyable and less of a task if we understand it better and have access to the necessary information to make easier. The web is full of resources and inforamtion on the subject and the basics can be applied to almost any kind of Bow. I have read several threads here that include basic questions on the subject and would encourage anyone to not be embarrassed to ask any question regarding a concern or problem from Bow tuning or shooting form, or for that matter shooting methods. With all this said I have also noticed a lot of very credible fellas here that can answer your questions or will refer it to someone else if they are not sure.
      I will make the first statement regarding Bow tuning basics which is what I believe should be a good general prerequisite statement to the beginning of the process.
      1. Should I tune the arrow to the Bow or the Bow to the arrow?
      Well, assuming that you have chosen the correct arrow by the charts for the correct spine. You have made the initial set up of the Bow which should include the appropriate string and brace height, and have set a nocking point on the Bow string (arrow horizontal)just above 90 degrees, then you have the process at its beginning stages.
      I would say the answer to my first question is Both.
      I believe you start out tuning the Bow to the arrow and end up tuning the arrow to the Bow.
      Come on fellas chime in and start out a thread on Basic Bow tuning and help some of these guys along the process from beginning to end and on to the tweaking stages of tuning.:)

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      This thread is a great idea.

      I often hear or read where people say you can’t paper tune if you don’t use a mechanical release, or that you must have perfectly consistent form to use bare shaft tuning. Both statements are incorrect. People were paper tuning bows well before mechanical releases were the norm, and bare shaft tuning was around long before Allen ever went to the hardware store.

      With either method, the further you are from perfectly consistent in your shot execution, the more shooting you will require during tuning. What you have to do is tune to the average. Let’s take bare shaft tuning for example.

      Shooting bare shafts does two things: it shows you how out of tune you are, and exaggerates inconsistencies in your shooting. Without fletching to correct your arrow flight, what you get with bare shafts is raw data, so to speak. This is a good thing, even though it can be a bit intimidating.

      When I bare shaft tune, I like to use colored golf tees to mark where my fletched and bare shafts impact. By doing this, I can shoot two or three fletched and bare shafts multiple times and still see a large group of shots on my backstop. This makes it much easier to spot patterns in where my bare shafts and fletched arrows impact, and make the necessary changes to bring those groups together.

      For someone with very consistent shot execution, a small number of shots may suffice to detect a pattern. Otherwise, it may take a dozen or more of both fletched and bare shafts to pick out the average and tune accordingly.

      Another thing that’s nice about shooting bare shafts is that it can give you an idea of how much fletching to use on your arrows. If your setup is already tuned, yet your bare shaft groups are a few feet wide at twenty yards, I would highly suggest using large fletching. You may need the extra fletching to overpower the steering tendencies of a broadhead after an inconsistently executed shot.

      If on the other hand your bare shaft groups are tight at twenty yards, you could probably get away with smaller fletching since there will be less imperfection in your shot execution for which to compensate.

      Of course, a lot of practicing with broadheads will also tell you if your fletching is too small. But shooting bare shafts can put you on the right road from the start and save you a lot of time stripping and refletching arrows.

    • Steertalker
      Post count: 83

      If your setup is already tuned, yet your bare shaft groups are a few feet wide at twenty yards, I would highly suggest using large fletching.

      Hmmm…if you’re bare shafts are impactiing a few feet wide at 20 yds then, in my humble opinion, you’re set-up is far from being tuned. Don’t you mean inches?????

      JWesbrook…I like your suggestion of using golf tees. I think this methodology would be especially useful to someone suffering from form or consistancy issues. However, If that is the case I recommend using paper because it takes away the pressure of trying to shoot a group and allows the shooter to concentrate on shooting a good arrow without regard to a target. That way he or she will get definitive data as to how well their set-up is tuned.

      Paper tuning should be done at different distances say….from point blank out to 10-15 yds and at small increments. With time and patience it is possible to get a recurve to shoot bullet holes; don’t know about a LB because I’ve never tried to.

      During the process one should check to see how their BH’s are shooting because it is possible to overtune, thus causing the arrows to shoot stiff with BH’s.

      Brett

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      Steertalker wrote:

      If your setup is already tuned, yet your bare shaft groups are a few feet wide at twenty yards, I would highly suggest using large fletching.

      Hmmm…if you’re bare shafts are impactiing a few feet wide at 20 yds then, in my humble opinion, you’re set-up is far from being tuned. Don’t you mean inches?????

      Brett

      Not at all. If your bare shaft group is, say, three feet across, yet centered with your fletched shafts, it’s not a tuning issue. Even an out-of-tune bow will shoot tight bare shaft groups provided the archer is consistent with his shot execution.

      A lot of things will cause large bare shaft groups: plucking the string, torquing or heeling the grip, inconsistent draw length to name a few. A setup can be perfectly tuned, but the bare shafts will only fly as consistently as the archer can execute his shots. That is why you have to tune for the average.

      The location of bare shaft groups relative to fletched shafts is a result of tuning. The size of those bare shaft groups is a function of the shooter’s consistency, or lack thereof.

    • Steertalker
      Post count: 83

      Your original statement was a bit misleading in that I got the impression that you were saying that the bare shafts were grouping a few feet away from the fletched at 20 yds, not that they were strung out over a few feet. Big difference. My bad. I understand what you’re saying now:wink:

      However, and again in my humble opion, if your bare shaft groups are scattered over a few feet at that distance, I’m not really sure that there can be any meaningful tuning accomplished, albeit your golf tee idea might be away to overcome that issue. In that case I think it might be just a bit easier and less frustrating to paper tune and to shoot through the paper as though it were a blank bale, without regard to aiming, just running your shot through conclusion and then analyzing the results.

      I probably need to qualify what I’m saying above. For the paper tuning method to be useful, it is important to have shafts that are in the correct spine range for your set-up. This is where the bare shaft method using the golf tees could get into the ball park, or correct spine range.

      Brett

    • Rocks
      Post count: 104

      Being new to traditional bowhunting I will be following this thread with great interest. I have a bow ordered and will get it in my hands in about a month. The first thing I’m going to want to do is get it tuned and get some arrows set up, so I can work on my shooting.

      I’ll be starting right from scratch, I think I want to use carbon arrows, and I’m researching broadhead right now.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      The basics of tuning are not very complicated. We can make it complicated by adding more accessories and variables in our equipment which is the very thing we are trying to eliminate in our quest for simplicity. I would start by looking at arrow charts and point weight for the recomended arrow selection. Check out the many spine and arrow Calculators which are availiable to help you figure out the starting point in your arrow selection. Static spine is the initial gauge we are looking at for arrow selection. That is, the spine of the arrow for a given length and draw weight, point weight which can be selected through use of the charts and calculators for dynamic spine which is the actual result of the arrow while being shot. So static spine is the spine of the arrows projected performance and dynamic is the actual spine of the arrow during the shot.I would suggest that you leave your self a little leeway in the tuning of the arrow by leaving it a little longer than your projection of the static spine selection. Variables like Bow design and string material, centershot etc. leave things which are yet to be seen in the actual dynamic spine of the arrow. So, leave them an inch or so longer than you need. The overall length of the arrow should be at least an inch past the front of your riser for safety and conveniance of use, so take that into account while using broadheads for hunting. So if your draw length is 27 to the front of the Bow, you will need a 28 inch arrow. Now a short statement on Draw length. If you are changing from a compound to a one string your draw length may be shorter. Start by keeping your shoulders square and touch the sternum area with a yardstick and extend your arms straight out and extend both hands and fingers along the yardstick till your index fingers touch a measurement on the yardstick. Take this measurement if you intend to anchor in the corner of the mouth and it will be close to your actual draw length. If you anchor past the mouth with a finger your drawlength may be a little longer. Remember that actual draw length is measured tot the throat of the bow plus 1 and 3/4. Confused well do not be cause you can just have someone mark an arrow for you while you draw the bow an inch past the front of the riser (Back) of the bow while you draw it. OK, the back is the front and the(Belly) is the rear.Now that you have the approx length, remember to leave it a little long to finalize your arrow tuning. Start out by making sure your Bow is at the recomended brace height or fistmele. OK, brace height is the distance from the string to the throat of the grip, (deepest part pf the grip) and start there. Place your nocking point (usually a brass ring clamped to the string) and place it 3/8s or so above 90 degrees of parrallel. That means that the bow square you are using is placed on top of the type rest you are using and clamped to the string. Do not have one? Ok, just use the arrow and measure the thickness of the shafting material and using a square, place the nock above the string nock on the arrow at 3/8s above 90 degrees. Now you have a starting place for your nock and brace heighth. (to be continued)

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      A few thoughts on Brace heighth. The brace height may be changed during the tuning process to achieve several things. The Power stroke of the Bow can be made shorter or longer by either raising or lowering the height respectively. The initial height will be determined by how you install the proper string length on your Bow. Assuming AMO standards the string should be correct for the length of the Bow. Lets say it is a 62 inch recurve and you install a 58 inch string. You may be too short and notice the brace is higher than it should be by looking at the tracks in the recurve ends on the belly side.You may have to use a string which is 59 inchs to give you the proper spanse of adjustment needed to either twist the string to raise the brace height or untwist to lower it. Custom Bows may have a string length which is not AMO standard. Back to Power stroke. The lower the height the longer the arrow is on the string and the higher the less time the arrow is on the string when the shot is made and the arrow releases from the string. Longer time on the string means you have a longer power stroke. Same thing with Ford vs. Chevy LOL. So to achieve the brace height and get the Bow close, we have established that you twist to raise and de-twist to lower. The lower the brace the more stroke, which translates into more power, which translates into making the arrow weaker. To be continued.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Nock height and how it effects tuning. I mentioned in the process by progression that we had installed a nock on the string or “Nocking point”. The location of the nocking point is a major part of the process of correct flight. Variables include several things like how you grasp the string with your fingers. The split finger usually need a positive tiller built into their Bow. The three under guys usually benefit from a even tillered Bow. First split finger is the index above the nocking point, and three under is all three under. Positive tiller is the top limb weaker than the bottom to compensate for the index exerting more pressure on the top limb. Three under usually creates a closer balance in the balance of both limbs. Rarely would an archer need negative tiller. So you can see that the nocking point has some impact on the balance of the Bow (LIMBS) as it pushes the arrow forward. That is all it is, Balancing the up and down force equally upon the arrow as the bow is shot. Too much pressure on top, Bare shaft nock high. Too much on Bottom, bare shaft nock low. So you can see how nocking point correlates with the balance and tillerof tuning. To be cont.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Tiller is the amount of distance the limbs are from the top of the riser or fade outs, or the equal distances measured at two equal points on the top limb and the bottom limb from the position of the string. The Bow must be strung of course LOL. Tiller just represents the balance the top and bottom limbs have in relationship with each other. I usually just use an arrow and stick the point inward at the top of the riser and stick my thumb nail in the center of the bowstring were it is even with the center of the arrow. I then careful not to move my thumb, check it with the bottom limb. If it is further away or longer on the top limb than the bottom we have a positive tiller. If both are equal distance, then we have even tiller. Lower limb distance longer than the top, we have negative tiller. To be cont.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      OK I will get to the rest in a little while but first lets talk about grip and how it effects the nocking point. The centerpoint of the Bow (Middle) may dictate what you can get by with on the amount of pressure you exert on the Bow. Recurves usually have the center located around the deepest part of the grip (throat) and need to have most of the rearward pressure balanced on the web of the hand (bowhand) as you draw the Bow and shoot it. Some longbows will have the center a little lower in the grip area which allows a lower or (low wrist) grip on the bow. If you place your hand on the bow handle and draw the Bow, you can rotate the wrist upward or downward and exert more or less force on the top or bottom limb. Too much on the bottom, high arrow and in the reverse by forceing the wrist downward (rotating forward) a low arrow. I would recomend that whatever system you decide on whether high grip or low, that you let the most rearward pressure be exerted on the web area of your hand. This will help balance the bow and retard a little of the handshock (recoil of the bow after the shot) and make consistancy a little easier. To be cont.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      OK the rest (arrow rest) is the resting point of the arrow on the Bow, The front portion that is of the arrow.There are several rest types and many different variants of the rest being manued for Trad Bows. I will stay with three basic descriptions for our tuning one strings purpose. The shelf rest is simply a bit of material on a shelf of the riser for the arrow to rest on. This may be leather or hide with animal hair or simply nothing but the shelf itself. This type of rest is the most basic and also the most reliable. I would recomend that the focul point of the arrow resting point on a shelf rest be raised slightly and just over the throat of the grip. Why? well if a simple match stick under some leather is used or its approximate you will have the balance point both horizontal and vertically balanced. The slight rise in the shelf will also eliminate too much contact with the arrow as it is released and the balance point of the grip will be a little more forgiving by having the rest focal point just above the throat and help eliminate (hand torque) torque pressures on the bow by the hand. The second kind is the elevated rest which comes in many forms from stick on to bolt on type rests. The third kind is just no rest on the Bow but off the knuckle of the Bow hand for those Bows which do not utilize a shelf built into the Bow. This is usually on a more primitive type Bow or self Bow which is all natural wood (One tree) and is not laminated but may have the back supported by rawhide or the variuos other backing material to strenthen the Bow. The elevated rests may be the flipper type rests or just a stick on plastic or hair, feather rest which simply uses a protrusion for the arrow to rest on above the shelf. TBC

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      The string. Yes is of major consideration in the tuning process due its ability to bend the limbs and impart the energy which is stored in the limbs to the arrow. String material comes in many materials which are available either to the the individual which makes his own or to the manus of strings. I will not get into the variuos material compositions other than the basic names of the materials and how it relates to what the archer needs to know in a basic description of the string materials, The first type of string material may be of a vegetable substance weaved from plants such as linen or animal parts. Even Squirell hides were used by Native Americans etc. The second kind is Dacron which is a fairly modern string material still widely used today and very popular up until the early 90s or so. The third kind id Fast flight or non-stretch which may not stretch or give any at all when the Bow is shot. FF is easily the most popular modern bow string used today and Bow makers are beefing up the limbs and tips to accomadate the stress that it may impart to the limbs as the bow is shot. A few feet per second is gained by FF material and will effectively weaken an arrow over Dacron string material which has some stretch when shot. Many still prefer Dacron over FF material and use it with success even on Bows designed to handle FF materials. Dacron does also have the tendency to be a little more quiet than FF when shot under hunting encounters at close range where a more silent ‘SHOT” can be a factor in the animals reaction. Some names of FF materials are 450 plus, 8125, 452, and TS-1 just to name a few with D-97 being a very much used FF material on Traditional Bows today. TBC

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      I will get to the arrow a little further down the road but for now a little on the type of finger protection from the string when shooting a Bow. Again three types exist and all used in Trad gear today. The glove is widely used and comes in variuos forms of design. The basic configuration is that which covers the three fingers which draw the bow string and is secured to the hand by a wrist strap. The materials are usually constructed of leather which may be Cordovan or other slicker leathers which help let the string slip away with out as much friction on the bow string giving a smoother release and reducing string oscillations generated by the release. The second kind is called a Tab or mitt which usually is secured by a string or leather material to the middle finger of the drawing hand. They are made in variuos shapes and sizes like the gloves I mentioned earlier and usually just cover the fingers on the string side. Some prefer these over gloves for the “extra feel” they get from having the finger tips bare enabling a finger touch to the side of the face. They are also reputed to give a better release and are the predominate release aid used by Olympic archers. If I were starting out again the Tab would be a “Best reccomendation” from me for the beginner. The third of course is the Mechanical release which is mainly utilized by Compound shooters today but it variants go back hundreds of years to the “Thumb ring” which many still use today. Finger releases are the norm though and would be my first choice for Trad Bows. Unless of course you mash or cut your fingers to the extent you could not draw your Bow and was faced with needing to use a mechanical release. I have practiced with one “just in case” but usually detest it and prefer my fingers for the better control and anchor point consistancy. TBC.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Anybody here?:)Am I wasting my time?

    • Bert
      Post count: 164

      Hiram wrote: Anybody here?:)Am I wasting my time?

      Hiram-Don’t ask why I’m up at this wee hour- coast-to coast was too weird! Anyhoo an excellent primer of basic equipment setup and explanation of various options for the trad archer- thank God you don’t have to attempt the portable-nautilus-machine(compound) set-up! I shoot glove but am going to make the medieval two-finger tab just to give her a try- it worked 500 yrs. and I can see some advantages during cold weather. Keep up the good work!
      Bert

    • Daniel
      Post count: 247

      Hiram, any ideas on tuning them tapered Carbon Tech Panther shafts? Just a thought 🙂

      SB

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Thanks guys, will get to the arrow in a little while.:)

    • Konrad
      Post count: 62

      If I may make a suggestion?
      The steps should be distilled (as much as possible) and listed steps i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc.

      I believe step one begins at bow style. Explanations of design types and theories behind the technologies should be sub-groups.
      Step two would be draw weieght selection and the rational.

      Who is going to write this book???

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Konrad, you should contribute these sections you mention. Participation is what we need in this thread. All subject matter is hard to cover by one guy. I could be wrong on something and desire input from others. Get in here and get your hands dirty and help others who need the knowlege passed on. Start Posting!:D

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      The arrow is the projectile cast from the Bow. Simple statement that everyone can understand but as most who have a little basic understanding of tuning we know it is more than that. Yes the arrow SHOULD be the correct one for the Bow it was shot from enhance the accuracy potential of the Archers ability to hit the mark that is relative to his expectancy. My expectancy is to milk all the performance capability I can from the arrow for my purpose which is to hunt and kill game. The size of my target changes from the size of the animal I am shooting at from the size of the area I can see to the anatomical size of the kill zone. Yes what I can see limits my range from that of shooting at a the silouette of the animal to the actual tuffs of hair in the area that contains the vital organs(kill zone)that I must pierce and cut from the outside inward with a sharp broadhead.

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      With this explanation you can see that all the rangefinders and gadgets that some use are for the ranges unknown further than the vision capabilty of the eye to see how the hair is laying on the animal. Yes a very close range thing (Bowhunting)that is actually enhanced by the use of a good one string Bow. Ha, yes a little subjectivity but from my experience very true. The static spine of the arrow or how it bends with a weight in the middle of the arrow when laying horizontal from two points will give a measurement to predict the static spine of an arrow. This is how the initial measurement is taken from a basic starting point to tell us how the arrow will perform from a general perspective. The Dynamic spine will be the actual performance understanding of the arrow from having shot it and examined how it is flying whether left or right or up and down when it strikes the target. This process is called Bareshafting the arrow to check the amount of bending while leaving the Bow and reading this by how it strikes the target. The force of the stored energy in the Bow limbs when drawn by the Archer and transferred to the arrow by the string through the nock of the arrow upon release dictates how stiff or weak the arrow reacted to the force of the shot to the arrow. The arrow will need to bend more during Archers Paradox (the effect of the arrow bending while passing by the fingers) if the amount of center shot is further from the center of the arrow rest outward (away from the Bows center point of the riser)when shot.Ok, what I mean is the more your rest is adjusted or built out from the riser, the weaker the spine of the arrow will be needed to pass cleanly by and not deflect off the riser. Several reasons but simply put that if it does not bend enough and is too stiff, it will not bend and will deflect off the riser. This is why centershot Bows will shoot a stiffer arrow pretty good. So, if your arrow is slightly weak, you can move it away from the Bow a little and strengthen the spine. Too stiff, you can move it towards the riser and cause it to weaken a little. Why? well because the more inline with the string the entire arrow is from left to right, more force is imparted along the entire column of the arrow. Move it out, stengthen, Move it in weaken.

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      I think bow tuning is one of many situations these days that seems prone to overcomplicating. I don’t need to know how a mechanical clock works to wind it, set the time and regulate it—crank the key, move the hands, turn the nut on the bottom of the pendulum.

      The Easton Tuning Guide is a simple step-by-step manual that can be downloaded for free here: http://www.eastonarchery.com/pdf/tuning_guide.pdf

      Bow tuning shouldn’t be a complicated procedure.

      1. If it’s nock high, lower the nock point.
      2. If it’s nock low, raise the nock point.
      3. If you can’t tune out nock high, try a double nock set.
      4. If it’s weak, use a lighter point or shorten the shaft.
      5. If it’s stiff, use a heavier point.
      6. If you can’t get consistent arrow flight no matter what you do, check the loose nut behind the bow. 😉

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Hey Jason why ain’t you in bed? Ha, ask me the same LOL. 😀 Perfect timing for that post! Please explain the bare shafting process (basic) so readers know how to do it from the start.

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      Hiram,

      It’s simple. Click the link I posted above for the Easton Tuning Guide. Bare shaft tuning is on page 5. 😉

    • Hiram
      Post count: 484

      Ok, Thanks Jason. I will end my replies and refer to Easton.:)Jason, you have effectively killed this thread.

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