How to repair hairline fractures in a bear recurve bow

Written by jeremiah blanchard
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Bear Archery produces a variety of bows, most notably traditional wooden recurve bows. A recurve bow is a technological advancement of the longbow design, imparting more kinetic energy on the arrow through the curved limbs than that of a longbow. As with all wooden bows, stress can cause fractures in the wood. These hairline fractures can ruin the bow if left unattended. You can implement a basic process to fill the crack and maintain the structural integrity of the bow.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Limb laminate glue or fibreglass resin
  • Popsicle stick
  • Masking or painter's tape
  • 400-grit sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Clean off the bow using a wood cleaning solvent. Ensure that no dirt or debris is present along the cracked area.

  2. 2

    Apply painter's tape or masking tape over the crack. Cut a slit into the tape along the hairline crack.

  3. 3

    Fill the crack with fibreglass resin or limb laminate glue. Press the glue into the crack using a flat object such as a Popsicle stick. Allow the glue to dry for 24 hours.

  4. 4

    Sand down the glue using fine 400-grit sandpaper. Remove the tape and thumb the surface to ensure that its smooth. Reapply tape and sand more if needed.

Tips and warnings

  • Most fibreglass resins or limb laminate glues are ideal to use. You can use super glue as well if other materials aren't available.
  • This is a temporary fix for cracked limbs. If the crack begins to spread, have the bow inspected by a competent bow repair technician. If the bow cracks further, this can ruin the bow completely and render it unsafe to use.

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