All you need to know about Recurve bow alignment !!!

buzz lite beer

Well-known member
For a lot of recurve archers who use modern adjustable risers the alignment is usually deemed to be correct as soon as getting the string to run centrally down the middle of both top and bottom limbs is achieved as seen below:-



Now this is just a start and is not proof your alignment is correct or your riser or limbs aren't twisted.
To test for a twist in your riser the best way is to use a CMM but for those who aren't fortunate to have access to such an instrument the use of a couple of straight parallel shaft arrows will be ideal, all you need do is rest the strung bow between two chairs and place each arrow across each limb just above the limb pocket and at right angles to the string as shown below:-



by lowering your angle of view you will eventually be able to align the arrows





Now as can be seen in the following image when both arrows are at eye level that each arrow is in the same plane, if you find your arrows don't line up in this way and the arrows are askew your riser will most likely be twisted



If you do have signs of a twist in your riser you can easily shim the edge of one of your limb pockets by attaching a section of metal taken from a feeler gauge of the required thickness to get your riser back into "true"
Now moving on, to further ensure that your riser is set correctly, you need to view each limb looking down from the tip and by sighting along the bowstring and lining up the end loop serving and the centre serving you can see where the tip lies in relation to the centre of the lower part of the limb, ideally they will be central as seen in the following image



If either of the limb tips are showing to be more to the left or right of the centre of the lower part of the limb then further adjustments need to be made. You'll be pleased to hear that your nearly done, however one final test is to draw the bow back 15-25" to get the bowstring from out of the limb grooves, the best way to do this is to put a towel or riser bag over the grip of your bow and stand astride your bow and step on each side of the bag (and don't what ever you do let the riser bag slip from under your feet :scared:)



Now when you draw the bow ideally you would want the string to remain central down each of the limbs and line up with the limb markers (Bieters/tape or limb bolts) as shown below (string drawn to about 25") :-



If when you do this and there is a disproportionate part of the limb on one side of the string while the string is still lined up with the limb markers this would give indication of a twist within the limb or imprecise limb adjustment (this can also lead to the string "snapping" back into the groove when the bow is let down), sometimes and with a brave heart regarding limb twist this can be addressed by making adjustments to the string nocks heights at the limb tips by careful filing or sanding, a process best done by someone with the knowledge and experience.

Also longrod alignment is usually deemed a critical part of bow alignment set up, it shouldn't be, if you follow the above procedure and the long rod is off to one side it is showing that the longrod is not straight or the longrod bushing is not square to the limb pockets. So in short, setting alignment using the longrod is just crazy!

Now with everything lined up accurate arrow centering can be achieved, and with correct arrow selection, a general good bow tune even the sight will be in-line and central for all distances.
and if you are fortunate to have a well made riser the longrod will be central too.
 

Darryl

New member
Alan, some top tips here. As with the longrod, I think mine was out by about 5mm using a similar method to Simon Needham but replaced long arrow with a laser. All I did was align everything to this 5mm offset from center. Haven't tried the pulling back by 15-20", seems a bit scary :)
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Nice post Buzz, I can see that being useful to lots of archers on here. It's a topic often mentioned, and misunderstood. No need for misunderstanding now!
 

Old Bloke

New member
The only bit I didn't approve of was SOMEONE standing on my hand crafted riser cover!!!! Use a PLASTIC BAG next time O.K. pal? Sheeeesh!!
 

Big.Dave

New member
Good post buzz. I have always wondered why people talk about lining up with the long rod when it was clear that most of the risers I have picked up had their log rods pointing in all directions most from being dropped.
 

EVC

New member
Pictures links appear broken here. Just like in the other thread. Is it just me or bit.ly or imageshack use biodegradable links?
 

ssoanes

New member
Great Post, thanks. A question I have is that it must be possible to have everything lined up as you say, but possibly the limb alignment is out left or right, but the string picture still looks fine. I know a technique used on Hoyt bows is to use a 2314 shaft laid in the sight window back to the string and there should be a paper thin gap between shaft and string. I have win win, but still use a similar method. This is also suggested in Simons Book I think, or something similar.

Do you think all of this works together?
 

joetapley

New member
Very nice post Buzz with clear presentation.
Couple of comments.
Pulling a bow up between your legs does have a certain associated risk :). Beiter make quite a nice tool which allows you to do the same think with the bow mounted in a stand, much safer, easier to use and removes possible errors from the finger grip on the string.
Additional suggested methods re limb twist are to put a centre line mark on the limb to align the bow tip to (the logo on your limb in the photo above does the same job). An alternative approach used is similar to the riser twist check - an arrow placed at 90 deg across each limb tip held in place by string friction.
 

saxonbow

New member
thanks buzz.
this will help me knowend iam getting on it right now a gold 10 post in my eyes g8 picks is that a cxt you lucky devil.

saxonbow.
 

buzz lite beer

Well-known member
With a different image host for those who have had problems viewing photo's

if moderators could swap posts it would be appreciated

For a lot of recurve archers who use modern adjustable risers the alignment is usually deemed to be correct as soon as getting the string to run centrally down the middle of both top and bottom limbs is achieved as seen below:-



Now this is just a start and is not proof your alignment is correct or your riser or limbs aren't twisted.
To test for a twist in your riser the best way is to use a CMM but for those who aren't fortunate to have access to such an instrument the use of a couple of straight parallel shaft arrows will be ideal, all you need do is rest the strung bow between two chairs and place each arrow across each limb just above the limb pocket and at right angles to the string as shown below:-



by lowering your angle of view you will eventually be able to align the arrows





Now as can be seen in the following image when both arrows are at eye level that each arrow is in the same plane, if you find your arrows don't line up in this way and the arrows are askew your riser will most likely be twisted



If you do have signs of a twist in your riser you can easily shim the edge of one of your limb pockets by attaching a section of metal taken from a feeler gauge of the required thickness to get your riser back into "true"
Now moving on, to further ensure that your riser is set correctly, you need to view each limb looking down from the tip and by sighting along the bowstring and lining up the end loop serving and the centre serving you can see where the tip lies in relation to the centre of the lower part of the limb, ideally they will be central as seen in the following image



If either of the limb tips are showing to be more to the left or right of the centre of the lower part of the limb then further adjustments need to be made. You'll be pleased to hear that your nearly done, however one final test is to draw the bow back 15-25" to get the bowstring from out of the limb grooves, the best way to do this is to put a towel or riser bag over the grip of your bow and stand astride your bow and step on each side of the bag (and don't what ever you do let the riser bag slip from under your feet :scared:)



Now when you draw the bow ideally you would want the string to remain central down each of the limbs and line up with the limb markers (Bieters/tape or limb bolts) as shown below (string drawn to about 25") :-



If when you do this and there is a disproportionate part of the limb on one side of the string while the string is still lined up with the limb markers this would give indication of a twist within the limb or imprecise limb adjustment (this can also lead to the string "snapping" back into the groove when the bow is let down), sometimes and with a brave heart regarding limb twist this can be addressed by making adjustments to the string nocks heights at the limb tips by careful filing or sanding, a process best done by someone with the knowledge and experience.

Also longrod alignment is usually deemed a critical part of bow alignment set up, it shouldn't be, if you follow the above procedure and the long rod is off to one side it is showing that the longrod is not straight or the longrod bushing is not square to the limb pockets. So in short, setting alignment using the longrod is just crazy!

Now with everything lined up accurate arrow centering can be achieved, and with correct arrow selection, a general good bow tune even the sight will be in-line and central for all distances.
and if you are fortunate to have a well made riser the longrod will be central too.
 

mk1

It's an X
Supporter
Great Post, thanks. A question I have is that it must be possible to have everything lined up as you say, but possibly the limb alignment is out left or right, but the string picture still looks fine. I know a technique used on Hoyt bows is to use a 2314 shaft laid in the sight window back to the string and there should be a paper thin gap between shaft and string. I have win win, but still use a similar method. This is also suggested in Simons Book I think, or something similar.

Do you think all of this works together?
THe 2314 shaft was a the particular spine that matched the depth of the original Avalon riser sight window. I still have my 2314 arrow but I can't remember what it was specifically used for in realation to setting up the Avalon.

What Simon recommends is using a straight parallel arrow of any spine held against the riser in various places to assess whether the longrod and bushing is sitting straight in the bow and can therefore be used for setting up the true centershot.
 

joetapley

New member
What Simon recommends is using a straight parallel arrow of any spine held against the riser in various places to assess whether the longrod and bushing is sitting straight in the bow and can therefore be used for setting up the true centershot.
This is comparing one "don't know" with another "don't know" - so not to be generally recommended. It assumes the riser face is flat and in line - so, for example, don't try this method with a KG1 :)
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I think Buzz's explanation and pictures builds up from the centre line of the bow as seen from behind.His method can be used on bows with no longrod bushings and KG1's. If another bow shows up as being not in line, then that will be the next stage; getting it in line.When that is done,IF the long rod lines up too, then there seems little point in using something else to check for centreshot settings.If the long rod isn't in line, then the arrow on the rest can be compared to the string line when viewed as in the pictures. As few archers set their arrow on dead centre, what is wrong with seeing a little more arrow on the outside of the string? It will be checked on later if the archer goes into more tuning/setting up.
 
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