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got a few questions. i came across a few bows on craigslist not sure if i got a deal or not but now i have a few bows. maybe someone can let me know if the price was ok? one is a colt huntsman 56" 48# 28" pretty good shape one is a amf redwing 52" 45# does not say the draw? and i forgot what the outer make was but it is a longer 25# at 28" and marked blemished. all the limbs are straight but the redwind does have a slight twist in the one limb be minor. payed $150 for all three. ok so my main question is how do i get started? stringing the bow? does the arrow weight matter like for a compound? do the vanes have to be feathers or can i shoot the plastic? should i get new stings if the others do not show wear? how do i set the nock points on the strings? what is the normal care for wood bows? any info would be great. thanks.
 

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Okay, first, lets get check the limbs for stress crack and the like, then get some new strings. They are relatively inexpensive so you might as well start there. I prefer flemish strings but continuous strings are okay too.

On your Redwing, its a pretty simple task to straighten the limb. Turn on your sink to water just hot enough you can stand to keep your hand under. Place the twisted limb under the water and twist it the opposite direction while running hot water over it. Hold it in that position for around 2 minutes then have someone turn off the hot water and run cold over it for a minute or two, still twisting the limb the opposite direction. Pull the limb out from under the water and check. Repeat as many times as necessary and the limb will straighten.

For arrows, feathers are best because you'll be shooting off of the shelf and the fletch will be contacting the side of the shelf. Feathers give, reducing the archers paradox (the arrow bending around the bow)Vanes may cause some arrow flight problems. If you go to the Easton web site, they have a scale to figure out the proper size aluminum or carbon arrow for your particular draw weight. As far as cedar goes, keep in mind they spine them at 26 inches. If you shoot a 31 inch arrow, add 5 lbs per inch for the spine weight you want. For example, one of your bows is #[email protected]". You'll want to order full length cedar shafts at #60-#70 for a 31" arrow. Also keep in mind, your draw length for a stick bow will be less than with a compound. Recurves are generally more forgiving with spine variation than longbows. Full length shafts at that spine weight should shoot well out of both the Colt and the Redwing. Both bows should shoot the same aluminium arrow as well.

Paper tuning you bow is the best way to determine nock height. I don't have my nock scale handy to check my longbow to give you an idea. I nock my arrow under the nock ring.

Always hang your bows either horizontally across pegs or vertically from a hook. Don't stand them in a corner. That is probably how the limb on the Redwing became twisted. Buy some string wax and keep your strings waxed. They'll last longer. It doesn't hurt a bow to keep it strung, as long as its stored like I described above.

If you are new to this, one of the best things you can do is find a traditional archery club in your area and join. You'll find trad guys are probably the most helpful, fun bunch of people you'll meet. When I got back into bow hunting several years ago, I had a friend make me a longbow. I had always hunted with a recurve as a kid (out of necessity. It was my dad's old bow and farm boys couldn't afford compounds) My buddy who built the bow belonged to a trad club. He talked me into coming to some shoots and I ended up joining the club. I never regretted it. I've made some life-long, true friends at the cost of $10 for a life membership. Pick up a copy of Traditional Bowhunter magazine. They list trad clubs all over the world. They'll have point of contact info for trad clubs in your area. (If you're like me, you'll instantly fall in love with the magazine and get a subscription) One of the best books I have ever read on trad archery is the Traditional Archers Handbook by T.J. Conrads (Editor and chief of Traditional Bow Hunter magazine) Covers Trad archery from A-Z. I highly recomemnd it.

Hope this helped. Feel free to ask any question. There are a good bunch of guys on here that are a whole lot smarter than me.
 

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If you can get to French Creek Outfitters in Kempton, ask for Wayne. He used to shoot trad and I'd bet he'd get you going in the right direction. PA longbow have some shoots in the area also - check the papers.
 
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