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DIY Pipe Clamp Bow Press

jagermeister

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After hours of sifting through the threads over at AT and other sites, I decided to give this simple bow press idea a try. A lot of the threads you'll find claim that it's a 20 or 25 dollar project. I ended up spending closer to 40 bucks, but I bought all my materials at Home Depot instead of Harbor Freight. If HF was closer, I would have made the trip there.

I pretty much followed the instructions on the website linked below, with a couple exceptions... I used 1x3 red oak instead of 2x4; I doubled up the thickness on the fingers; I used carriage bolts instead of wood screws.

http://skinnymoose.com/mostlyarchery/2009/12/08/diy-25-bow-press/

Here are the pictures of my press:









A little bit of electrical tape on the fingers to prevent scuffing the bow limbs...


Bow in press...


And here you can see that with only about 3/4" of travel the string is relaxed enough to be removed...


So far, I am pretty happy with the way this project turned out. I think I'm going to add to the base of the clamps to give it a broader, more stable footprint, but that should be about it. For 40 bucks, you can't hardly beat it.
 

jagermeister

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Do you think this press would work if the didn't have parralell limbs? Great job on the project looks great.

Based on the research that I did, I do think it would work on non-parallel limb bows. This is the only bow that I have so I can't really try it to confirm it, though. The beauty of this press is that it will work on any bow with ATA between 0 and 48 inches.
 

jagermeister

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Whay do you have holding your bow to it? Velcro straps? Does it feel stable?

I've since added small pieces of thin rubber onto the fingers. The only thing holding the bow is the pressure on the limb tips. I did some work to my bow the other night and it seemed to be very stable... at least regarding the bow staying inside the press. The only thing I'd like to add now is a wider base on the bottom of the clamps. The way it is now, the press could possibly tip over if you're not careful. Nothing a couple pieces of wood can't fix, though.
 

camofry

*Supporting Member*
If you have a PSE, I would be careful using a pipe press on it. Less then 1/16 difference from limb to limb gets UGLY.
 
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jagermeister

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lol A bow press not made for the new PSEs.

Dang that sucks, man! From all the reading I'd done, it seemed like the new PSEs were the biggest PITA for guys with bow presses. Just curious, what type of bow press is made just for the PSEs? Or is it just a special set of fingers for the press?
 

bowhunter1023

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FYI JB, a Google search of "diy bow press" brings this thread up as the second result. I'm researching options as I begin to consider bringing the Strothers (see, you like that :smiley_crocodile:) home and thinking out the layout of my garage/workshop. Have you pressed your Strothers in this?
 

jagermeister

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Ohio
FYI JB, a Google search of "diy bow press" brings this thread up as the second result. I'm researching options as I begin to consider bringing the Strothers (see, you like that :smiley_crocodile:) home and thinking out the layout of my garage/workshop. Have you pressed your Strothers in this?

1. Google search results = Awesome!

2. Strothers... hehe... well played, sir. lol

3. Yes, I've pressed my Strother Infinity many many times with this press. I also pressed my Z28 many times. I've also pressed a PSE Nova, a PSE Quantum, a Redhead (reflex/hoyt) XP32, a Mathews DXT, and two Mathews Switchbacks. So, my press has pressed split-limbs bows, past-larallel limb bows, parallel limbs, and old school standard limb bows. IMO, for a cheap easy-to-build press, this pipe clamp press can't be beat. It's very easy to use, and makes quick work of things like installing peeps, serving in dropaway cords, and adjusting string/cable lengths. Best of all, it's a major space saver. You can put this one up on a shelf or under a bed when you're finished using it. It's also easy to throw in the truck and take with you on a trip.

It's all about what you want to do with it. If you're getting into serious tuning, and you expect to bring in a lot of different bows, then yea a "real" dedicated bowpress is the way to go. If you're just doing stuff for yourself, or maybe a few buddies' bows, a pipe clamp press with work just fine for you.

That all being said, you have to realize the limited capabilities of this press. The threads for the pipe clamp are not very long... so you can only press so far, and subsequently unpress so far. This press WILL NOT allow you to relax limbs and take a bow apart. For those tasks, I use a Bowmaster portable press.

One of these days when I get a real house with a real shop or garage, I will definitely be buying or building a real bowpress. But right now, I live in a condo with a one-car garage... Space is extremely limited and I have to be able to put things away when I'm finished. For my situation, this pipe clamp press suits me very well.
 

bowhunter1023

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I need an occasion use press to work on the Strothers and Mathews. Space won't be a huge concern once I finish my garage, but I want simplicity. The Bowmaster is nice, but I bit cumbersome at times. Not sure what route I want to go just yet, but the pipe clamp may be as I can build it cheap and I like how simple it is...
 

jagermeister

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I need an occasion use press to work on the Strothers and Mathews. Space won't be a huge concern once I finish my garage, but I want simplicity. The Bowmaster is nice, but I bit cumbersome at times. Not sure what route I want to go just yet, but the pipe clamp may be as I can build it cheap and I like how simple it is...

Very simple, very easy to build, very affordable.

The only thing I'd change, if building another one, would be to add some sore of wider "foot" to the bottom part of the clamp piece that has the threads. Mine balances ok as it is, but you definitely have to make sure you don't get careless. It's not something I'd want to walk away from with a nice bow pressed in it... for fear of it falling over on its own. Adding something to the base would make it much more stable.
 

jagermeister

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Ohio
And just look how nicely it fits up on a work bench! Nice and compact, out of the way... Leaves plenty of room for doing other things like cutting up goosies, fileting fish, and other things. :)

image.jpg

Oh... Pay no attention to those two mason jars... :smiley_crocodile: