Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Limb twist old bow

Messages posted to thread:
Patrick 10-May-22
2 bears 10-May-22
Pdiddly2 10-May-22
EZ Archer 11-May-22
George D. Stout 11-May-22
Yellah Nocks 11-May-22
RonP 11-May-22
Skyhawk 11-May-22
2 bears 11-May-22
Patrick 11-May-22
zog 25-May-23
From: Patrick
Date: 10-May-22

I have a Ben Pearson 954 recurve with a slight twist in the bottom limb. I have sorted other twisted bows with warm water or hair dryer but am a bit reluctant as to what to do with a bow from 1957 as this one. Also, the limbs are much narrower, with a deeper core than other recurves I've fixed.

Please let me know if I can treat this bow the same way or recommend something else I could try.

Thank you!

From: 2 bears
Date: 10-May-22

I use heat only as a last resort & never water on older bows. Just twist and hold a little harder & a little longer each time until you get it straight. Then leave strung at least overnight to help set it. >>>----> Ken

From: Pdiddly2
Date: 10-May-22

Pdiddly2's embedded Photo

No heat and no hot water...ever.

All there is in a bow limb is glass, wood and glue...the only thing heat is going to soften is the glue, and that is not a good idea at all as you will permanently affect the bond strength.

The limb will straighten through mechanical twisting as Ken describes above and as outlined in the attached brochure.

From: EZ Archer
Date: 11-May-22

I’ve had the best luck with those situations by tightly wrapping a heating pad around the twist area for about 10 minutes at a time and then twisting it until it’s right- has worked every time

From: George D. Stout
Date: 11-May-22

I've used hot tap water on many with no issues, but that is totally up to the archer. I didn't use it if there was missing finish in the bend area, and when I did use it, I just ran the water over the area to be fixed, I didn't soak the limb. Mostly though, you can get it back just by twisting in reverse, like has been said here about a thousand times. That's usually how it got twisted anyway...through improper stringing.

The 954 has relatively narrow limbs so you may need to work longer with it, but otherwise, the same as any twisted limb.

From: Yellah Nocks
Date: 11-May-22

Maybe heat is the last resort...try this: put handle of bow in a wooden vise or padded vise, clamp firmly but dont overdo it. You want the recurve tip facing UP. Wrap a soft cloth on the affected limb. Take an adjustable crescent wrench and place it on the limb and close the smooth jaws on the limb/rag. The handle shoul face the direction you want to twist the limb towards. That little hole in the handle? That is where the toolmaker knew you would be doing this. Bend a coat hanger so you can hang a two pound weight on the wrench. If not enough, use five lbs. And you wait..... Check every four hours or so remove weight recheck etc.Shorten time as the limb gets closer.

From: RonP
Date: 11-May-22

i've straightened a few and never used a hair dryer or hot water. i'd be very reluctant to use water, especially on an old bow.

with the bow strung, i just twist a bit at a time. i make sure to leave the bow strung and every day just twist again until it is gone. it usually takes a few days depending on the twist.

From: Skyhawk
Date: 11-May-22

Bob Lee once straightened the limb on a Ben Pearson for me at his shop when I was getting a new bow from him. I showed him the twist in my limb and only asked for his advice on it. He asked me for the bow and began to rub the twisted limb with his big bear paw hands. He would get the limb warm by rubbing it with his hands first and then twist the limb in the opposite direction. He would then restring the bow and check its straightness. He repeated this process over a 20 to 30 minute period before he had the bow perfectly straight. I offered him money for helping me on the bow but he wouldn't except any payment. That bow stayed straight from then on.

I have had bows that I have worked on for two to three weeks straightening one or both limbs. With enought time and patience, I've found you can be successful.

From: 2 bears
Date: 11-May-22

I remove twists quite often with nothing more that these 80 year old arthritic hands. If you have to use more than your hands you are probably rushing it too much and risk breaking something. Water or heat could weaken glue joints. If there are any chips in finish, water is bad for springy wood & a lot of older glues. Heat only as a last resort then use heat very cautiously. Call it warm like a hair dryer or heating pad, not a heat gun or flame. >>>-----> Ken

From: Patrick
Date: 11-May-22

All this has been very helpful! Thank you all very much! I know I could have searched this subject and tons of info would have come up, I was just lazy and did it after I posted, so again, thanks for taking the time to help anyway.

From: zog
Date: 25-May-23

zog's embedded Photo

This thread saved my bow - thanks! I did not know this could be done/ I had thought my bow was headed for the dump but before trashing it I did a keyword search for "bow twist" and found this.

I left it this way with 5 lbs overnight and it's nearly there. I reduced the weight to 2 lbs and will leave it today.

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