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Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up a Howatt Bushmaster for cheap and unless I fall in love with it at first shot, I'm going to hot rod it...

Next Friday, I'm going to take a baseline chrono reading and then I'm going to--

Replace the tips...

Stiffen the riser...

New String...

Possibly trap the limbs...

Then I'm going to take some new chrono readings to see if it was worth the trouble.

Do any of you have any experience with Howatt Bushmasters, I believe the model was M-18...?

I've head some people like 'em, some find they have a little too much handshock and their tips are pretty overbuilt...

Oh, might stick on some of those new Skin eeze vinyl limb coverings because the red elm is pretty plain...

Got it for a less than $135, so I figured it would be a fun project.
 

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Whats the draw weight on it?

Hank
 
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Discussion Starter #3
It's a little light for you, Hank...#[email protected]

I'll tell you, shooting at 40 has really made me reevaluate draw weight...but I couldn't pass the deal up and I figure if I get as far as shaving the limbs I might drop #5 off it...

I'm just hoping with the amount of R/D in those limbs it will be smoother than my "stackmaster" Monarch at "64...
 

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I'm way ahead of You on that project, Atlantis...I got a 60# last summer.....I have worked the tips down , and re-worked the grip....I also plan on trapping the limbs, and working on getting more of the limb to work...These Bushmasters are very over-built....Does Yours have a reverse taper in the limbs??.....Harpman
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Gosh darn it...foiled again (lol)!

Interesting about the reverse tapers...when did they start them? This is a Howatt bow, so I don't think so...

I'd love to pick your brain once I begin since it will be the first time I've trapped limbs...tips I've done before...grip...hmm...

...how did you rework yours?

Just seems with the typical Howatt/Martin quality a Bushmaster is the perfect vechicle to customize. I want a little bit more of a bowyer experience, more hands on experience of the way bows work and are put together...but I really don't have the time to even think about building anything myself...

Next step after this project will probably be one of those 7 Lakes Longbow blanks...
 

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Well show us some good before and after pictures of it.I have never seen one but if overbuilt much you should be able to drop 5lbs or more and not lose any performance if you trim the fat well.I trimmed 4lbs of a Chaparrel bow and gained 4fps when done.
 

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Kodiac magnum rework

I picked up a little 52" Kodiac Magnum off of ebay for $80. to use as a horse bow. it was at #45 but I tend to over draw about 1.5" anyway so it shot plenty fast. The over draw or age may have stressed it out, because I started noticing horizontal cracks developing in both limbs. I cleaned it all up and added .040 linear glass to back it up, reworked the tips and deflexed it just a bit when I clamped it all together. after about a life time of sanding, I came out with one perfectly beautiful little bow. Now the only problem is I can't draw it any more! Darn thing picked up so much strenght now i"m over bowed? Looks like I may have to rethink all my plans..
 

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Atlantis, you're right. The limbs on that bow are way overbuilt. You'll definitely see relatively large performance gains by implementing your plan. Here's something you can do to get about 8# immediate reduction in draw weight and not lose much performance. Take 3/32 off each side of both limbs with a band saw and a fine metal-cutting blade. Then ever-so-slightly trap the limbs back to the belly. If you start the new taper of the limb edge about 2" from the fades you will also get most of the limb working, as Harpman mentioned. That may be the biggest engineering mistake in overbuilding these heavy limbed bows - the bottom halves are so heavy they don't get loaded properly.
 

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Atlantis.....heres what I got planned for the limbs.....I put white masking tape on them.......I will take my Dial Calipers, open them about .125, and lock them.....I'll put the calipers on the edges, and use one point of the jaws to scribe the lines on each side of the limbs.....it should come out better for me to do this, then bandsawthem, as opposed to using a straight-edge.....The calipers will follow the existing limb contours, while keeping everything to be removed the same amount on both side, on both limbs...I planned on trapping the limbs to the back of the bow......A few years back, I shot this 62 or 64 inch, plain-jane longbow that a fella ask me to try....It shot very well, and I asked Who made it.....he said that it was a Martin, ML-14, and that He had cut the limbs off, and narrowed them, and then re-tillered it.....It seemed like He knew what He was doing, it was a HUGE improvement compared to the Martin longbow that I had......L.O.L.....My elbow hurts thinking about that old ML-10.....L.O.L......Good luck, Atlantis.....take care.....Harpman
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Harpman...

Great info...I've got a few tricks I've been thinking about, but I'm very inexperienced with the basics...I'm going to try and do exactly what you described and then go from there...
 

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Exactly how I do it, Harp. You guys will be blown away by what happens when you take a lot of weight off overbuilt limbs in an originally doggy bow. Turns duds into studs overnight! LOL. After lightening, these limbs will be narrow enough to be a bit prone to twist, so I recommend a bowstringer even if you don't normally use one.
 

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I just noticed something, Harpman. You said, "I plan to trap the limbs to the BACK." If you trap to the back, it will be narrower than the belly. Didn't you really mean trap to the belly? Most bows stress-fail on the back because because the stress of stretching is more critical than compression stress. Thus, if you narrow the back more than the belly you're sort of asking for a stress-failure.
 

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Good Morning, OZ...I meant trap to the back...Not by much, just enough to where they will be slightly narrower...I have shot a couple different makes of longbows, that were trapped to the back, and they shot well....It seems to me, that the shock of a longbow travels more to My fingers, than the butt/palm of My hand, so I figured to remove a bit more glass from the front of the bow.....Will this cause limb failure??...Remember, I'm only drawing the bow about 26".....I'm very open to suggestions from Yourself, and anyone else with more experience than I have, wich is very little.....Thanks for the heads up....Take care.....Harpman
 

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I understand what you want, Harp. No, with only a slight edge difference (1/16" or less) and a 26" draw I can't see a problem. Actually, this is a pretty good way to get "smoothness", both in the draw and at the return. Sure can see how this will reduce handshock without having to go to a much heavier handle.
See you at Cloverdale!
 

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I have trapped them both ways.A lot of times I use thinker glass on one side and trap toward that side.On bamboo backed bows I trap toward the back.This seem to help with set as you leave more wood on the belly to handle compression and bamboo it pretty tough stuff..Glass bows I usually use thicker glass on the belly and trap that way.Either seems to work fine as long as you don't get carried away with it.jmo
 

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Roger that, James. The fact that bamboo, or most of its variations anyway, is so much stronger in extension than it is in compression really compounds the issues. Seems to me the two main reasons bamboo composites fail is this extension/compression difference when you use it on both sides, and sanding the nodes off. And I. too, like to put .050 glass on the belly instead of .040 and then trap to it. Makes a balanced, light (and fast) limb.
 
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