Hand crafted bows are gorgeous works of art and there is definitely heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears that go into each one of them, I have built this way for years. But while its possible to minimize variation, its impossible to completely eliminate it.
Moving to CNC machining means that grips, sight windows, profiles, etc are perfectly repeatable bow to bow. But the biggest benefit is building bows that are perfectly on plane and in perfect alignment. A few years ago when I started using a laser to ensure limb alignment I saw some properties emerge that greatly benefited shootability, tuneability, draw force curves.
The laser allowed me to see things I could not see with the naked eye. So I figured if I could machine the bows with a machine that is accurate to .0001" I would see even more benefits. And I did.
But none of that matters if the bow does start from a perfect platform. So in my CAD software, I redesigned the forms, risers, limb profiles and entire bow of each model.
The CNC machine perfectly implements what I design in CAD. Risers are perfectly designed in CAD and machined by CNC. Forms were redesigned and cut in solid Phenolic so each model is glued up on a perfect platform. After the bow comes out of the hot box, it goes to several different stations on the CNC machine to create a perfect bow.
As of 1/20/23 all bows leaving the shop will have serial numbers, this will help me to track info about every bow but also differentiate hand made bows from the CNC machined bows.
Here you can see the CNC roughing out an ASL grip and sight window
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St. Patrick Lake Longbows,
29091 Schram Rd, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501