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Thread: Backing off limbs.

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    Default Backing off limbs.

    after a previous disaster, I would like to know before I do anything. Can I just back off the limb bolts if I want to do work on my 2011 shadowcat ,like add cat whiskers etc, threaded through string?
    2011 shadowcat
    2006 Razor x
    2001Cougar elte

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    Member 60X's Avatar
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    I've never been a fan of backing the limbs off instead of using a bow press. I cringe every time I read a post about it. I think you're way further ahead and safer to purchase one of the cheap portable presses....and I'm not a big fan of those either.
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    Senior Member elkslayer4x5's Avatar
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    You should be able to back the limb bolts out a few turns at a time ( top and bottom ) until you can see the bolt in the barrel nut.
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    Super Moderator bfisher's Avatar
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    With most Martin bows I've worked on it was possible to back the limb bolts off enough to completely disassemble the bow, so your answer is YES, you can back them off to do the things you are asking about. Some guys recommend backing off each limb bolt a couple turns at a time, but I've done each as much as 5 or 6 turns with no ill effects. About 10 turns should give enough slack. Watch thru the barrel nuts in the riser for some daylight and you should be just fine.

    Contrary to what 60X says, and I do respect his opinion, I don't like pressing a bow any more than necessary as I've seen some sloppy pressing in my day. With today's parallel limbs a person does not need to use a press that puts any pressure on the riser. I've seen some get bent if the person doing the work gets sloppy. I've got a Bowmaster that I use a lot simply because it puts pressure on the limb tips instead of the riser. I also have a bench mounted Apple press, which won't do parallel limbs so I haven't used it in over 8 years.

    Seriously, there is nothing wrong with using one of the portables if care is taken. The pressure needed to give slack in the rigging creates less pressure than the act of shooting the bow.
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    All above are very correct, especially the part of backing the limb bolts off on a Martin. FIRST off..make sure there is no grease or debris in the barrel nut hole to prevent you from seeing through the nut hole. Then back off the limb bolts 7 turns each. Then start at one end then back off the limb bolts until you can see daylight through half of the hole. Then do the other end. When can see half hole of daylight on both ends, you should have enough slack...if not, pry the shooting string off one cam with your fingers. Then do what you need to do, and pry back on and crank it down to the exact draw weight you need. Please do yourself a favor if shooting at near the maximum poundage of your bow, and tighten to the bottom, then back off the limb bolts a half turn. Martin's research showed that most limb failures were not caused by inferior materials, but from cranking the bow down and the limbs being loaded into a slight "U" shape which causes splits up the middle of the limb during firing account excessive loading the middle of the limb.
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    thank you gentlemen, appreciated.
    2011 shadowcat
    2006 Razor x
    2001Cougar elte

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