Tools of the Trade By: Tracy Breen
If you are into working on your own bow, you have already learned you can never have enough gizmos and gadgets. Below are a few gadgets that make working on a bow easier. If you are in the market for a bow press, check out the article I did for Hunting.net a month or so ago. SCALES When I was a kid, most pro shops had some type of scale that was used to check the draw weight of a bow. Many of them were similar to game scales. Things have changed. Most bow shops now use digital bow scales. They are extremely small, accurate, and easy and safe to operate. An example is the Easton Digital Scale that can be purchased alone or in the Bow Force Mapping Kit. It is a great scale that gives the peak weight and holding weight of the bow. LASER DEVICES The BowPlane by Double Take Archery is a great laser device for checking center shot and other bow issues. This state-of-the art laser device projects a laser 360 degrees around the bow, allowing you to tune a sight, rest, cams, and wheels at the same time. The device is actually an 11-inch arrow that is nocked onto the string like other arrows. Simply turn it on and go to work. It doesn’t get much simpler than that! Apple Archery has a unique laser device that makes sighting in a bow simple. Simply screw the laser unit to the end of the arrow, nock the arrow, draw the bow, and your arrow will hit where the laser is pointing. According to Apple, a straight arrow and spin tester must be used for the device to be pinpoint accurate. Bohning is offering a laser tool called the Accu-Laser. This laser device can check the alignment of your cams, sight, rest, and bowstrings without removing the sight from the bow. The device can be rotated 360 degrees, has third degree adjustment capabilities, and is spring-loaded. The dovetail-mounting bracket makes set up easy and ensures an accurate reading every time. ARROW CUTOFF SAW If you are going to build arrows, you will need an arrow cutoff saw. Apple Archery has the perfect saw to get the job done right. They have two models to choose from: the A-1 saw, which operates at 5,000 rpm and the Pro-Saw, which operates at 8,000 rpm and is available with a dust collector. Both saws can be used on any workbench or screwed onto the Apple Work Station. ARROW FLETCHING JIG One of the most popular arrow jigs on the market is the Bitzenburger. The large dial on the Bitzenburger allows for easy angle adjustment. The self-centering arrow cradle aligns the shaft perfectly. The jig is made out of durable, long-lasting die-cast alloy. A variety of clamps are available for the Bitzenburger so arrows can be fletched straight or helical. SPIN TESTER A simple arrow spin tester is another good tool to have in the shop. Pine Ridge Archery makes the Arrow Inspector which is a great tool that helps determine how arrows will fly with broadheads and if a nock or insert was glued in incorrectly. ALLEN WRENCH Pine Ridge Archery also makes a great Allen wrench for archers who have every popular archery size in one wrench. If you are at all like me, buy three so you will have spares if you lose them! BOW VISE A bow vise is a necessity. The Infinity Adjustable Bow Vise from Apple Archery can be secured to any work bench or directly onto the Apple Archery Stand. This handy vise has plastic-coated jaws that eliminate the chance of scratching bows. It securely holds the limb of any bow, allowing for 360 degrees of adjustment so a bow can be set in any position necessary while working on a bow. VELOCITIP SYSTEM The Velocitip is a field point that records all the data from the bow as it is being shot into a target. It is an electronic bow tuning device. Some of the information it records includes Arrow Drag to precisely measure launch and impact speed and energy retained for use in comparing bow performance and arrow spine. The unit precisely records time-of-flight in milliseconds. It is completely portable for indoor and outdoor use (not for use in rain or snow). It is available in U.S. or Metric units: this can be selected by the user. If you are a techno junkie or own a pro shop, this is the perfect product for you. The handheld device plugs into a computer so you can check all the data. www.velocitip.com.
About the Author: Tracy Breen makes his living as a Wild Game Dinner Speaker and outdoor writer. Each year Tracy travels the country speaking at Beast Feasts, men retreats and fundraisers telling his unique life story and sharing hunting techniques and the gospel. In the past several years, he has been blessed to hunt, fish and speak all over North America. www.tracybreen.com