TRG/SOS - Made my own...TADA!
I hinted in a couple other threads I was working on this. Finally finished...or nearly so...with pictures.
To recap, my 20yo Cougar is down, for this season, anyway. I've had an '06 Orion Magnum tucked away for a few years...it was a package bow, with hard case, carbon arrows, release, the whole works, but the case took a hard hit in shipping, so I got it for cheap. Oh-oh-OH!
Originally planned on selling it, but wound up forgetting about it until a few weeks ago when I realized the Coug needs new limbs. So I decided I might as well give the wayward orphan a shot at the title. Only problem was, with the DynaCam, and cable guide rod, the string offset was causing major cam lean! I discovered this because after the first time I brought the bow to full draw, I noticed some slight abrasion on the string. Thinking, "This can't be right!", I started cruising the Interweb, and soon found out it was a pretty common problem, with only a few half-arsed solutions.
In my search, I happened upon the Tilt Tamer website...this was before I knew anything about Martin's TRG/SOS (yes, I've been out of the loop for awhile). The theory seemed sound, but the execution was lacking...I didn't like the way it looked. So I cranked up the old "Think-O-Later 9000" in preparation for some heavy pondering...but didn't want to put too hard strain on it off the line, so I let it start warming up to normal operating temperature while I went looking for some arrows.
As luck would have it, a visit to one of the big, online, archery tackle purveyors would lead me to discover the String Tamer. Now, since I was about to embark on a mission to tame my tilt, taming my string at the same time seemed like a worthwhile pursuit. But the Orion doesn't have an accesory mounting hole in the rear. What to do?
Right at that moment the TOL9000 backfired, which at first I attributed to a microwaved burrito I'd had for lunch, but the gears started grinding, and the twizzers began twizzing, and the whirlygig started...um...whirling, and I began to formulate an plan! Yes, I was on to something! So I reved'er up to about six grand on the tach, dumped the clutch, and in a cloud of smoke that strangely smelled of bacon...I got to work!
Here's what I had to start with:
Ok, I was sure I had a couple pictures of "the process", but apparently I was wrong. Not the first time. Besides, explaining it would require the use of some highly technical terms, "Kentucky Windage", "Angle of the Dangle", etc., and I don't want to bore anyone.
Basically, what I wanted was a device much like Martin's TRG, or the Tilt Tamer...something that would allow my cables to lay close to the path of the arrow at full draw to reduce cam lean while the limbs were loaded, that would also gradually move the cables out of the way of the arrow fletching when the string was released. I also wanted a string stopper, or what Martin calls their SOS, String Ocilation Stopper, so I could remove the string leeches. What I had to work with was the original cable guide rod, my imagination, and whatever parts I could dig up for cheap on theBay. And what I got was pretty near just what the old TOL9000 had devised, and projected onto the virtual reality display behind my eyeballs!
The original guide rod is a 3/8"OD, stainless steel tube, as described in a previos thread titled; "Cable guide rod material from 2006?" For the SOS part, I purchased a Saunders "Deadly Quiet", http://www.sausa.com/product.php?product_pk1=26. Originally I was just going to use a rubber stopper on the end of the rod, but the cable slide moves nearly all the way to the end of the rod on the draw, so there was no room. Putting a stopper in front of the cable slide required a significant offset, and length, because of the angle bent into the rod that allows the TRG part to function. This Saunders unit worked just right for my purposes.
Next, I purchased a roller slide made by Browning. This wasn't so much for the roller, all though this is a benefit as I will explain later. The reason I chose this unit was because the cables cut through a teflon slide too fast, and this roller slide has a hardened, steel pin that the cables slide over. It's very smooth, and as long as I keep the cables waxed, there should be no more wear than with the factory slide.
To make this all work together, I had to increase the angle of two, original bends in the guide rod from the gentle "S", to a more drastic, almost "Z" pattern, athough the bends themselves turned out quite smooth, as the tubing didn't kink like I thought it might. This gave me the needed offset for the string stopper, and for the back angled bend necessary for the cable slide. Making that bend was a little more tricky.
I made these bends by heating the stainless tubing with a propane torch, holding on to it with leather gloves, while the tubing was wrapped in a wet paper towel; the thick, blue, kind for shop use. When the tubing was properly heated, I jammed one end into a convenient hole in my truck bed...a flat bed dually, that often serves as my work table...and carefully applied pressure to make the bend. There was a dunk bucket at my feet for when it got a little too warm.
Now I know at this point I probably seem like some kind of real genius, and a few of you are probably considering nominating me for one or more awards. I can't blame you for thinking so, for I have been mistaken as such on many other occasions. But in all honesty, it usually doesn't take me long to do something stupid, and prove otherwise. In this case, for instance, I discovered that when you dunk red-hot tubing in a bucket of water, the tubing instantly turns some of the water to steam, creating pressure in the tube, which blasts the rest of the scalding hot water from the end of said tubing with the force of Old Faithful! Luckily I was saved from a mad dash to the house searching for the bottle of Aloe Vera hidden somewhere in my bathroom by the aforementioned paper towel, and leather gloves. Always wear saftey glasses, kids!
I also discovered how to reheat a previously made bend in stainless steel tubing, and make the tubing perfectly straight again, having the need to do so, twice. Fabricating parts by "eye-balling it" does work...eventually...sometimes. In this case I was able to correct multiple misjudgements, and finally create just the right shape. Only took me three days.
Lastly, I was going to parkerize the rod, make it look real nice when it was all set up. But to parkerize, one must first create a uniform layer of iron oxide..."rust". This is how I learned beyond a shadow of a doubt my guide rod was indeed stainless steel.
With parkerizing off the table, my next choice was to refinish the rod with Duracoat, in multiple earth-tones, making a snake-skin pattern! Would have looked really awesome, too! Unfortunately, I discovered each of the three bottles of Duracoat hardener I had safely tucked away inside a plastic baggy in my fridge had long since passed their expiration date. Hardner the consitency of cold honey, which remains so even at room temperature, will NOT mix with the base color, no matter how hard, or how fast you stir! But it will clog up an airbrush quick, fast, and in a hurry!
So, for now, I'm going with a sandblasted, satin finish on my cleverly bent, stainless steel cable guide rod. This is where the roller guide comes in, as sandblasted metal is really quite abrasive, and would have eaten up a standard, friction-type slide. Here are pictures of the final product:
Last picture. All I need to do now is serve the string where it contacts the rubber stopper, and put the rubber cap on the end of the guide rod. And install the sight. And add the string loop. And screw in the ol' Doinker. And finish cutting and fletching my spiffy new arrow shafts. And...well, ok, I've got a lot to do, so I'm going to get to it. Hope this helps somebody else that might be thinking about doing something similar. Good luck!
P.S. Did I already mention how important it is to wear saftey glass?
P.P.S. And gloves, too! Thick, leather gloves!