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Cleaning up a old recurve
I just picked up a 1968 best grizzly recurve, overall it is in good shape but there are some scratches and the finish is really dull. Any helpful tips on ways to bring the shine back out without damaging the bow?
Go over to Leatherwall. Do a search for refinishing and you'll get a ton of info/tips
You can try an automotive polishing compound, I've used Mequires. It can't remove deep scratches or chips of course, but with some elbow grease, will work out scuffs and bring the finish back to life. After that, hit it with a paste wax and buff it some more by hand. If it's mostly crusty, weathered, and dull, you may be quite happy with it after that.
Some of the best refinish guys visit here. Ask questions and show pics! Its really a boatload of fun and satisfaction!
I second Jeff's comment about the automotive Polishing compound, though I have a can of rather ancient (1960s era) Dupont polishing compound that works well enough for me to not get anything newer until this is gone. And the wax I use is liquid Turtle Wax in the green container. Patience and elbow grease is the key in bringing an older bow back from hiding, but once the layers are off, the real beauty of the bow shines through. How's 'bout some pictures of your process and progress?
There are many choices in auto polishes. Sometimes, depending on the condition of the bow, I use a rubbing compound first followed by a clear coat swirl remover. Mequiars products are among the best for the money. If you prefer a satin finish you can stop after the rubbing compound. Satin finishes hide imperfections better than a high gloss finish.
If you want a nice and easy high gloss finish try lightly sanding the bow with 400 or 600 grit and apply several coats of Tru Oil. Let the finish dry overnight between coats. You'll only have total of less than one hour of time in the work but it will be a few minutes each day.
I agree with Phil on the rubbing compound, in fact, that's probably what I'd use because I prefer a less glossy finish.
On a semi-related note.... rubbing compound and then polishing compound can make cloudy plastic headlight lenses look like new again too.
Thanks, Phil and Jeff, for some pointers I'll be trying out...
Hoyter2804, you are getting info from some of the best sources "out there"! Hope your true bow shines through!
Do a little wet-sanding with 2000 grit sandpaper, then polish it up w/o the any of the above polishes.
2000 works great to polish to a high gloss but it works best on a new finish. On old finishes you need to remove the imperfections. For best results you should work into it by starting with 800, then 1500 then 2000. Then polish with swirl remover and the bow will look like glass.
Thankyou everyone for the info, I will get some before pictures up and start working on trying to polish her up some. I want to get shooting it asap
Well the bow ended up having a twisted limb, it was real apparent when strung. My search continues for a nice left handed bear recurve
You can take the twist our fairly easily.
Adam as Phil said it can be removed easily! Dont give up! Twist it the opposite way just past center or a bit more and hold it there. You can use warm bath water, a hair dryer or heat gun but dont go hot... JUST WARM it up. Heck you dont even need heat. Twist it past center and hold.....
Then once you get it straight, string it up and leave it strung for a while. It may take a couple of attempts but removing twist is possible in most cases.
I have straightened recurves that were so twisted they would unstring themselves. I use a heat gun, but don't use one unless you're fairly adept with them. If you get it too hot, it can come apart. Whatever you use, do like Dale said, just get it good and warm, not hot. Move it, overcorrecting slightly, and leave it there until it cools.
I went over to Phils house today and we worked in the bow a little as well as tested different arrows and points with another bow I just purchased. I'm going to work on twisting the limb some more and if it doesn't work Phil is going to put some heat to it. Thank you so much Phil for your help advice and tips. I had a great time talking and shooting with you
I had a great time too Andy. You shoot well especially considering you use the wrong hand. :) It’s nice to see someone so excited about a stick and string. Maybe we can get out together for a hunt sometime this season. And hopefully you can get to. Shoot or two next year.