more than men in tights…

Tuning my bow – to the tune of Teddy Bears Picnic

Tonight saw stage 2 of my bow tuning – stage 1 can be read here.

But before I could start that I had to do something about my bow limbs. I noticed the other week during stage 1 that the tip of the bottom limb wasn’t truly in-line with the centre of the bow. Despite people telling me it was close enough that it probably didn’t matter, it was preying on my mind. So I decided to do something about it while I had the toolbox with me.

Out came the limb alignment guages, allen key set and off I went. The older style beiter limb guages were installed on the limbs close to the riser, the newer style limb tip guages at the tips. With these on it was obvious that the string was several mm out at the tip of the bottom limb.

I undid the three grub screws that locked the alignment mechanism, turned the limb bolt clockwise…that was the wrong way, so turned it anti-clockwise, drew the bow and let down, better but not quite…rinse and repeat etc. This changed the alignment on the top limb slightly so the whole process was repeated until satisfaction was reached. Then everything was locked down tight.

My big worry was that the bottom limb was twisted, fortunately this doesn’t appear to be the case!

Now of course with all this faffing around with limb alignment, the centreshot was out, so this was re-adjusted a fraction of a turn on the button nut resolved this ( the new button nut referred to in other posts).

Then came button tuning…as described in this document.

Out came the button spring and in went a broken match. The button was now rock solid, no play in the plunger at all.

Centreshow was double checked and I waddled up to the line. I’d left my scorebook at home so no 20yd sightmark, just a roughly recalled number.

My first six arrows gave me a 5″ diameter group in the red at 11 O’clock. It was then that I realised that I’d set up the centreshot without my sight on the bow. So back I went to the stand, adjusted the sightpin ’til it was more or less central to the string, collected my arrows and started again. Little or no difference was noticable.

Adjusted the sight again…it wasn’t until the pin had moved 3/4 of the travel on the windage unit that I got a few in the gold at 20yds.

I then moved the windage unit back the other new ‘zero’ position and added another fraction of a turn on the button nut. Nope…no difference.

By this time the light was starting to fade, so I just shot, accepting that at 20yds there was an inaccuracy of several inches.

Shooting my arrows along with two bareshafts indicated that the arrows are a little stiff, which may go some way to explaining the difficulty in getting the arrows into the centre. On the plus side, the nocking point is about right :) .

The match is still in the button, all adjustment screws are locked down. I will have another go the next time I am able to shoot.

Then of course I need to do something about the noise the bow makes. The bracing height is currently 9 1/4″, a few experiments with adjusted bracing height should go some way to resolving that.

On the way home I was wondering what to title this entry, I found myself wondering what note the bow was tuned to. I wondered how sad it would be to use my guitar tuner to find out. Probably VERY.

I’ll stfu now.

Cry “havoc!” and let slip the bareshaft of unpredictability!

Rest01Today my new arrow rest arrived, a Beiter self adhesive ‘micro-adjustable’ jobbie (AKA £24 worth of plastic). I headed up to the field as soon as I could after work, only stopping at home to pick up a bottle of water, my Beiter ‘Plunger’ button and the ‘toolbox of tinkering’.

On the field were 3 brave souls, braving the strong breeze, though not as strong as yesterday, but far from perfect for tuning a bow.

beiter buttonOut came the old button, off came the temporary rest and in went the new button. Erm, it was a tad long. I adjusted out the lock-nut as far as I could, it was still long. Aha! With each Beiter button come spare nylon plungers in two different sizes, I prayed to Diana that the default one installed was the longer of the two, lo and behold it was by 1/8″ or so. I took the button apart, replaced the plunger and screwed it all back together. Tada! Still to long, but not by much – a range of plungers in shorter sizes are available, I’ll look into those, along with packing it with nylon washer(s).

At this point the new rest was adhered to the riser, centreshot re-checked, sight pin centred and zeroed and I then set down the tools and prepared to take my first shots.

There were two targets out, one at 30yds the other at 60. I stepped up to the line and placed my first six arrows all over the boss, some high, some low and all to the left. A quick twiddle of the windage unit, after collecting moved them closer to the centre and before the third end it occurred to me to check the pressure on the old button against that of the new one.

The new button was considerably slacker than that which had come off. So my tried and tested method of matching button pressures came into play. It’s quite simple really, take button one and button two and place the plunger of each in face to face contact and gently push together. Adjust the spring pressure on the new one so that when pressed together both plungers move by the same amount at the same speed. Alright, it’s not perfect, but it’s quicker and cheaper than buying the tool that does much the same thing, and considering I will do this once every few years, I’m not willing to pay £30 for a tool I’d lose.

I digress a little. Back to the line I went, shot my six, five in a nice group in the gold, the sixth over on the left somewhere – one of those shots that I knew was going wrong as soon as my fingers let the string roll off them.

The next end I shot six and a bareshaft, I got a group about the size of a saucer in the red/gold and the bareshaft was 12 o’clock in the black. My nocking point was too low, after collection I shot the same, but with another two bareshafts with similar results with the exception that I now had two groups, one of fletched arrows, one of bareshafts.

At this point I should point out that I only shot the one bareshaft the first time so if all was horribly wrong I’d only have to search the field for one arrow with no fletchings to slow it down as it skidded across the parched earth.

While those at 60 were scouring the field and the burn for their arrows that had gone walkabout I moved my nocking point up 1/8″ and was ready to continue as they stepped back behind the shooting line. To my dismay I got the same results the next end too. A nice group of fletched arrow – a little higher up the red/gold border, and another group – not as tight, on the blue/black border. The nocking point went up another 1/8″ and when my first bareshaft impacted very low I thought “bugger too much”, the next two were mixed in the group – which by now had expanded a bit, but still quite tight.

I repeated the experiment the next end with similar results, except the wayward bareshaft joined its companions.

It was time to pack up, put away the tools and clear up the field. I had installed a new rest, a new button and moved my nocking points about 1/4″. This resulted in my getting tighter groups, in fact, tighter groups I could replicate. I didn’t worry overly about the point of impact in relation to the point of aim, as this can be adjusted using the sight.

Before packing away the new button I locked down the adjustment screws, deciding to just shoot some before fiddling any more. Anyway, there is no point fine tuning until I get the plunger length properly sorted out – as I’d end up repeating the process when the part arrives.

It occurred to me this evening that my bow appears to be a temple to Beiter, god of plastic bow accessories. I have a clicker, button, rest, longrod, extender, V-bar and two short-rods. The other components are Win&Win riser & limbs and a Spigarelli sight. Oh and a Beiter sight pin.

You can call me BeiterBoi. 😉

Images shamelessly ‘borrowed’ from the Werner Beiter website. I will remove these if requested by a representative of Werner Beiter.

<edit> I have since discovered that I am using the shortest available plunger pin, but there is a thicker diameter lock nut available, so I might have to end up getting one of these…</edit>

Another evening on the line

Tonight I turned down the offer of drinks with the office babes and instead went shooting…The sky had a high canopy of grey cloud with little to no breeze…great conditions in which to shoot.

We had the largest turnout I can recall…17 archers were drawing up at each end. We had three coaches, our two and one from WAMDSAD. He was tending to our collection of noobs while our two got to shoot for themself.

After the ribbing re: the pile etc I settled down to shoot some arrows.

Image 00070After a couple of dozen or so several people suggested that my bow might be a tad on the noisy side, one suggested that my bracing height was low…so I set on a road of adjusting, shooting, adjusting. Until it sounded ok…and then put everything back together, and continued.

Overall I only really shot 4-5 dozen of any worth, but (weather permitting) there’s tomorrow afternoon/evening. After which I have the Hereford to contend with….*shudder*.