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The Riser

If desired, an accent stripe can be laminated into the riser using any combination of hardwood. Its important to note here that the stripe cannot extend into the working part of the fadeout. This is why you see a lot of curved accent stripes is bows. Properly assembled accent stripes, besides adding beauty, also increase the strength of the riser.

After transferring your riser pattern to the riser block, cut out the general riser shape. There is no need to bother shaping the grip or cutting out the sight window until the bow is all glued up. You have to now shape the curved aspects of the riser until they are smooth and taper into a feathered fadeout. A drum sander works well for this project, but a good job can also be accomplished using a scraper and/or sandpaper. Keep the risers limb faces square to the sides of the riser. The fadeout needs to be paper thin, to prevent a weak area where the limb laminations wrap around the riser. Measure up from the end of the riser 1". At this 1" mark, the riser fadeout area should be no more that 1/16" thick; at 2" no more than 1/4" thick. The riser thickness from here on can increase rapidly, but should be an a smooth arc without any high or low spots. The risers back profile should match the profile of the form as close as possible to prevent any air pockets, which will not only be unsightly under clear glass but may also affect the strength of the bow.

Here are the basic steps for the gluing process. It is best to complete a dry run first, before you actually start using glue. This will allow you to make sure that everything needed is in place.

 

1. Make all laminations and the riser, the same width as the form.

2. Bevel the necessary wood laminations

3. Cover the smooth side of the fiberglass with easily removable masking tape. Cut one fiberglass strip in half.

4. The first lamination placed on the form will be the full length fiberglass strip. Take a small triangle file and notch the edge of this strip at its centerline. This will allow you to keep it aligned with the center mark of the form.

5. Clean off all of the wood laminations, fiberglass and riser gluing surfaces with acetone.

6. Lay the laminations out in the order that they will be used.

7. Make sure that the form is free from any debris then cover the profile of the form with thin plastic to prevent the bow from sticking to the form.

8. glue up the full length glass strip and place it on the form, aligning the notch with the centerline of the form


9. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT BOTH FACES OF A GLUE JOINT ARE COVERED WITH GLUE AND THAT THERE ARE NO DRY SPOTS. ALWAYS REMEMBER, WET-TO-WET, OTHERWISE DELAMINATION IS ALMOST SURE TO OCCUR.

10. Glue up and put into place all of the back laminations, remembering to stagger the beveled joints approximately 1" from the centerline of the riser. See the following illustration.

11. Glue up and place the riser into position, making sure that the center of the riser is over the center mark of the fiberglass and of the form.

12.
The belly parallel lam is now glued and put into place, followed by the short fiberglass strips.

13.
Cover the glued up bow with another appropriate sized piece of plastic film and place the pressure strip on top of it.

14. Next goes the air hose.

15. Finally the top of the form is put into place and bolted down.

16. Inflate the air hose with 60-70 psi, while watching to make sure that the hose stays centered on the form and does not slide to one side or the other. Also check to make sure that the side plates aren't adjusted to high.

17. Place the form into you heat box and heat for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally. (Just checking to see it you're alert.)

18. After the heat box turns off, resist the temptation to lift the lid for at least another 6 hours. Go shoot a bow, mow your lawn or take a nap, depending on your spouses wishes and temperament at this stage of your project.

 

BOWBUILDING menu
Glossary of Terms
Bow Forms
Bow Forms 2
Glues
The Heat Box
Riser Woods
Limb Woods
Let's start building
Building the riser
Tricks and tips
Shaping the Bow
Nock design and placement
Shelf Design and Options
Tillering the Bow
Bow Finishes

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