Warranty and Care
Read before stringing your new bow!
A well-made wooden selfbow is a trustworthy companion; but as with all bows, care must be taken to avoid damage.
Knots, dips, holes and other inconsistencies are common imperfections that add one-of-a-kind character to your bow. Wooden bows with character are very durable and safe if treated properly.
STRINGING YOUR SELFBOW:
Before each shooting session or hunt, take a moment to inspect the working portion of the bow's limbs for splinters.
I prefer to string with the "step-through method" shown below. It's safe, stable, and easy to master.
You can also use the “push-pull method", but your eyes and face are in greater danger when pulling a
bow toward you.
Never bend your bow past the minimum distance needed to brace it (do not brace it with a “slack string”) as this causes unnecessary pressure/twist on the upper limb, which could potentially break your bow.
Listen carefully for audible “ticking” noises while bracing the bow, as this could indicate a splinter lifting from a limb. If you do hear a tick (very unlikely), stop what you’re doing and unstring the bow. Contact me at your earliest convenience and we will discuss how to proceed.
Using a commercial stringer will void your warranty. Stringers place unnecessary stress on a wooden selfbow because of the irregularities/character on the bow's back.
Recommended Brace Height:
Between 5.75" and 6.25". The sweet spot is usually around 6". Using a brace height below 5.75" may cause wrist slap. Using a brace height above 6.25" will result in slower arrow speed because you will have decreased the power stroke of the bow.
MOISTURE MANAGEMENT & STORAGE:
Your bow is sealed with 6 coats of modern sealer and one coat of 100% natural bees wax. I’ve found this combination to be very effective in keeping the wood's internal moisture content down, even on foggy/rainy days. You may notice a “tacky” feel on the exterior of your bow. This is perfectly normal! That’s just the beeswax, and when you see how well the water beads up you’ll be happy it’s there!
Always store your bow either laying horizontally or hanging up off the ground (both horizontal and vertical are fine if hanging). Do not store it leaning upright in a corner or against a wall for an extended period of time. This will weaken whichever limb is resting on the floor and negatively affect the tiller and shooting characteristics of the bow.
Some care must still be taken with an all-wood bow to ensure that the internal moisture content doesn't get too low or too high. Too low (too dry) and the bow could break; too high (too wet) and the bow won’t break but will shoot sluggishly and take more string-follow than normal.
When possible, it is best to store your bow in a room that is temperature controlled on an aboveground level of your home. Do not store your bow in overly damp places or in belowground rooms (basements/cellars/etc.) that do not have a dehumidifier.
DO NOT store your bow in an extremely hot/dry place such as a vehicle with closed windows, direct sunlight on a summer day, near a heat source such as a furnace, vent, or stove, or in the sunlight of a window. An overly hot/dry condition could lead to a catastrophic failure of the limbs.
SHOOTING YOUR BOW:
NEVER dry-fire your bow! Do not, for any reason, draw back a bow that does not have an arrow on the string. Bows store an incredible amount of tension and compression energy and if there’s no arrow to absorb it, the release of this energy could cause an explosive failure of the limbs. This is true with all bows, both modern and primitive.
For the same reason (energy transfer), it is not recommended that you shoot lightweight carbon arrows out of a selfbow. If the arrows you’re using are too light, each shot will be similar to dry-firing your bow. Lightweight arrows cause increased noise and hand-shock, and will significantly decrease the lifespan of your bow.
Do not pull your bow past 28” of draw unless you've custom-ordered a longer draw length or it's been noted in the description/invoice that it can be safely drawn farther. Twenty-eight inches is the AMO Standard for draw length, and even modern glass bows’ warranties are void if overdrawn. It's best if you don't let anyone else shoot your bow (especially your tall friends) unless you know for certain their draw length is shorter than yours.
Feel free to leave your bow strung all day long if you’re hunting or roving, but keep it in the shade when not in use and unstring it when you’re finished for the day. Don't leave your bow strung overnight, and don't leave it strung in the direct sunlight for extended periods of time (this mostly applies to hot days from late spring-early fall). Leaving a strung bow laying in the sun on a hot summer day can cause large amounts of string follow and could potentially lower the bow's performance for the remainder of its life.
WOODEN ARROWS WITH GLUE ON POINTS:
It's worth mentioning one thing when shooting wooden arrows - the glue on points. Every archer that's regularly shooting woodies into stumps and targets has accepted that they're going to lose target points occasionally. Luckily, it's easy to manage and nothing more than a minor inconvenience for anyone who cherishes wooden arrows.
The reason tapered and glued points can pop off the arrows is because wood shrinks and swells with changes in humidity. If your new arrows were crafted in a region/season where the humidity is lower or higher than where you live, the wooden shafts will shrink or swell to reach equilibrium once they arrive at their new home. It's perfectly normal for some of the points to become loose as they travel from my shop in the Midwest to their new home, or as you travel across the country for archery events and hunts.
It's a good idea to test the points on your Organic Archery wooden arrows before you shoot them for the first time. Grab onto each point and give it a strong tug - straight back. If they hold tight, you're good to go! If some of them pop off, apply a generous coat of superglue (I prefer the gel type) to the taper of the arrow shaft, roll the point a little to evenly distribute the glue, and firmly push it back on. That's it! I follow the same method any time one pops off, or when traveling to a different climate with my arrows.
I highly recommend picking up some spare target points. They're inexpensive, and you'll definitely have one from time to time that gets stuck too deep in the target/terrain to recover. I carry some spares and superglue with me any time I'm shooting away from home.
Organic Archery arrows are equipped with "145 grain glue on field points". At the time of writing this, field points are about $8 per dozen on eBay and 3 Rivers Archery. You can also replace them with 125 grain points, but don't go any lighter than 125 grains.
IF YOU WISH TO USE CARBON ARROWS:
Choose a heavy shaft meant for hunting. Aim for a finished arrow weight of at least 9 grains per pound - preferably 10 grains per pound - of draw weight.
Example : For a 50# bow -- 450 grains is 9 gpp and 500 grains is 10 gpp.
Shooting arrows with a finished weight under 8 grains per pound will void your warranty.
Modern carbon arrow shafts have the weight - in grains per inch (gpi) - written on them. You can calculate the finished arrow weight by multiplying the number on the shaft by the length of the arrow; then add the weight of the point, feathers, and insert.
Here is an example using Easton Traditional Only Carbon Shafts with a weight of 10.0 grains per inch, an imaginary length of 30.5 inches, and 125g field points. The same method can be applied to all carbon arrows.
Length 30.5 (inches)
Shaft weight 305 (grains)
Point weight 125 (grains)
Feathers 10 (grains)
Insert 15 (grains)
Finished weight 455 grains
You can also find different point/broadhead weights and weighted inserts for increasing total finished weight at archery shops or online. However, adding too much weight to the front of an arrow that isn't spined appropriately will make it fly poorly.
LONG TERM CARE:
Wooden selfbows require very little maintenance. Besides the previously mentioned care information, a periodic coat of wax is the only thing needed to keep your bow in top shape. A polishing cloth and a 1 oz. block of 100% natural beeswax are included in every bow purchase for convenience.
Once every 3 months, or before any hunting outing where inclement weather is a possibility, put a fresh coat of beeswax on your bow. The beeswax can be applied cold and goes on much like a crayon. You can rub it in with good old-fashioned friction heat, but the process is made easier by gently warming the wax with an external heat source such as a hair dryer, heat gun, bed of coals, etc. Be very careful not to get the wood hot. Apply just enough heat to soften the wax prior to polishing.
Beeswax seals your bow up excellently against the elements, and can also be used to wax your string anytime it starts looking fuzzy.
QUICK REFERENCE DO’S and DON’TS
-String with the step-through method
-Wax your bowstring when it’s looking fuzzy
-Wax your entire bow every 3 months or before a hunting trip
-Keep your bow in the shade on warm days
-Unstring your bow when you’re done for the day
-Store your bow hanging (both vertically and horizontally is ok)
-If placing on a surface or the ground, lay the bow down horizontally
-String your bow with a commercial stringer
-Pull your bow's limbs farther than necessary when stringing
-Pull your bow back for any reason without an arrow on the string
-Shoot arrows under 8 grains per pound of draw weight
-Leave your bow laying strung in direct sunlight for extended time
-Let your friends shoot your bow unsupervised
-Store your bow in a hot car, window, attic, or near a heat source
-Store your bow in a belowground room without a dehumidifier
-Store your bow in a damp place such as a bathroom or shed
-Lean your bow upright in a corner
It’s very rare for a properly tillered and shot-in selfbow to break after delivery, but there's always that small chance with natural materials. Your bow wood was seasoned indoors and under controlled conditions, but the living tree itself could have hidden internal imperfections or fungi.
From the Date of Completion:
2-YEAR REPLACEMENT WARRANTY against irreparable breakage related to craftsmanship.
LIFETIME REPAIRS of nonfatal scratches and gouges in wood for original owner.
LIFETIME TILLER ADJUSTMENTS for original owner. Sometimes a wooden bow can fall slightly out of tiller over time. This is perfectly natural and nothing to worry about. If it happens, just send it in and I'll tune it up!
WARRANTY REPLACEMENTS TO DATE : 0
Fatal cracks, splinters, and catastrophic limb failures are covered UNDER PROPER USE.
If your bow breaks due to a defect in the wood under normal hunting/shooting conditions (and inside the warranty period), it will be repaired or replaced hassle-free with a bow of the same species and similar draw-weight as quickly as I am able.
Negligent use and breakage caused by another person are not covered. If you follow this care guide, it’s nearly impossible for a negligent break to happen.
Bows crafted by students in 3-Day Workshops are not warranted.
Quivers are covered by a 1-year warranty.
Wooden arrows are not warranted.
Bow strings are not warranted.
I put my heart and soul into every aspect of your new bow’s production; from carefully selecting the tree, to splitting the staves, seasoning the wood, and uncovering the beauty that lies beneath the bark. Each piece of wood has its own challenges, character and aesthetic. Your longbow is truly one-of-a-kind.
The shape of the Organic Archery longbow is inspired by the Meare Heath bow, a Neolithic artifact uncovered in Somerset and carbon dated to 4,600 years old. There are few connections to our past as hunter-gatherers and to the woods we cherish that are deeper than going afield with a wooden bow and arrows. Your new weapon was once a living, breathing thing. May it serve you well and strengthen your bond to this beautiful Earth and all its creatures.