THE BOW-BOLT—Installation Instructions for New Construction


Please Read First


The Bow-Bolt has been tightened to the stop as you receive it.  Please examine it before you loosen it or install it. 

There is an “index” mark near the “half hole” in the edge of the flange.  When the Bow-Bolt is tightened all the way to the stop, the marks on each half of the Bow-Bolt are lined up across the flange.  It will take considerable force to loosen the Bow-Bolt to separate it while it is not installed in the bow, but it can easily be separated by hand when installed. 

If you loosen it (to see how it works) before you install it, you will need two pair of large pliers or Vise Grips to do so, but BE SURE TO RETIGHTEN IT TO THE STOP BEFORE INSTALLING.  Otherwise, the two halves of the bow will not line up properly when twisted together.  Also, when using the vise grips on the female part of the Bow Bolt, clamp near the end away from the flange to avoid distorting it.


Be sure to clean all surfaces thoroughly with Acetone before installing.  This includes the outer surface of the Bow-Bolt, the surfaces of the holes drilled in the riser and the surfaces that receive the micarta.    Be sure that all surfaces have had time to dry thoroughly before applying the epoxy, and when you apply the epoxy (Smooth-on or MT-13 Recommended), be absolutely certain that all surfaces are thoroughly coated.  It is a good idea to use your finger (with latex gloves on) and force the epoxy into the knurling on the Bow Bolt and against the walls of the holes. 


The male half of the Bow Bolt is the one with the “half hole” in the edge of the flange.  It is best to orient the Bow Bolt with the male end in the bottom half of the bow and with the “half hole toward the back of the riser.  Functionally, there is no difference, but with this orientation, the two parts of the bow will be closer to equal in length when the bow is separated, thus making it easier to pack for a trip. 


One last note:  The thickness of the wood “filler pieces” and the micarta shipped with your Bow Bolt may need to be reduced for a proper fit, but probably not by more than a few thousandths of an inch. A few strokes with 120# sandpaper is usually all that is needed, but at least be sure to lightly sand the surface of the micarta that will receive the epoxy before installing


Good luck, have fun, and please call if you have questions. (207-926-4133)












1.       Determine location and angle of cut and cut riser.  See photo #7.

2.       For the ¾” Bow Bolt, Drill ¾” X 1 ¼” deep holes in each piece of the riser opposite and directly in line with each other.  They must be drilled perpendicular to the cut surface.  Or drill 5/8” X 1 11/32” holes for the 5/8” bow Bolt.

3.       Tighten the joint to the stop and clean thoroughly. (Soaking in Acetone is recommended)

4.       Coat surfaces in hole and on joint with MT-13 or Smooth on EA 40 and put some excess in bottom of hole. Be sure to use FRESH  epoxy.

5.       Insert joint into holes, line up riser and clamp squarely to a rigid straight edge being sure the flanges are in tight contact with the surface of the riser cut. 

6.       Clean excess epoxy (that has squeezed out of the hole around the flanges) after clamping.  An oversize “pipe cleaner” works well.  Let the epoxy cure for 24 hours before continuing. Low heat (under 120 degrees) may be used to accelerate the cure time.

7.       After epoxy has cured, separate riser by turning ¼ turn counter clockwise and pull apart.  Check to be sure that all excess epoxy (now cured) is removed from the surfaces around the flanges.  Use a small scraper or sand paper, but be careful not to remove any riser material.


NOTE:  Orient the Bow Bolt closer to the back of the riser than the belly when possible, and leave 1/8” or more of riser material at the closest point to the Bow Bolt.





When the riser is reassembled and tightened to the stop with the flanges tight together, there will be a gap of .120” around the flanges, which equals the thickness of the two flanges. This gap will be filled with two pieces of micarta, each about .060” thick and each with a 7/8” or ¾” hole in it depending on the size of the Bow Bolt.  But for now, the gap must be filled with “scrap” wood to keep the excess epoxy from the laminating process from filling it.  The gap should be filled with two pieces of wood that have been thicknessed to .060” each.  They are provided with the Bow Bolt.  This will provide a snug fit when the two halves of the riser are joined and should keep most of the excess epoxy out. 


At this point, lightly resurface the profile of your riser and use it as if it were a one- piece riser in the construction of your bow.


When the bow comes out of the press, continue as you would normally, including overlays, tillering, shaping and bringing the bow to weight, but do not finish sand at this point. 














Using a hacksaw carefully cut through the belly and back of the riser so that the blade cuts into the center of the scrap “filler pieces.” Cut nearly all the way to the metal part of the joint, but be careful not to cut into the Bow-Bolt itself.

Do this on the sides as well to remove as much of the filler pieces as possible.  Be careful not to cut into the riser, just the scrap filler piece.

Cut on this line.



When enough of the filler piece has been removed, you will be able to twist the bow apart. Twist counter clockwise.


Pick out the rest of the filler piece and grind the protruding overlay materials flush with the surface of the gap being careful not to “round over” the edges of the gap.




An alternative method for installation is to laminate the bow as you normally would for a one-piece, but when removed from the press, leave the riser section with at least the belly and one side flat and square to each other.  These squared surfaces will be needed for reference when marking and drilling for the Bow Bolt, and for aligning the two halves when gluing in the bow bolt.  Put on all overlays and then cut the bow as in step one above.  Now, CAREFULLY mark and drill for the Bow Bolt.

This process saves a considerable amount of time because the previous step of removing the filler piece and grinding the overlay protrusion to the cut line is eliminated.  The drawback, however is that there is NO ROOM FOR ERROR when drilling for the Bow Bolt, because even a slight miss-alignment of the holes will result in the same miss-alignment of the laminations when the bow is reassembled.   I have used this method successfully in retrofitting bows and will probably use it in new construction from this point on and I would recommend it if you make a lot of bows.  If you were only going to make one or two bows with the Bow Bolt, I would recommend using the first method described.






Picking out the filler piece


















Grind or file the overlapping overlay material flush with the original cut line.




Now dry fit the micarta pieces to check the fit.  Closing the joint by twisting clockwise will act as a clamp against the micarta pieces.  Be sure that the holes in the pieces of micarta are centered around the flanges as you twist the joint together.

Dry fitting the two pieces of micarta with their shiny surfaces together.


When the joint is twisted all the way to the stop, the micarta should be snug, but not tight as there must be room for the epoxy.


When satisfied with the fit, take the bow apart and reassemble after applying epoxy to the rough surfaces of the micarta and on the wood around the flanges.


The micarta pieces have been epoxied in place.


Use extra care not to get epoxy on the surfaces of the flanges or on the shiny surfaces of the micarta or you will risk the possibility of gluing the bow back together again.


When the epoxy has cured, grind away the excess micarta and epoxy to the surface of the handle and finish shaping and sanding.  Spray the finish coats with the bow together as if a one piece.


Congratulations, you have just finished the best takedown longbow available.





The Bow Bolt should be positioned in the riser block at a point where there will be the most riser material left around the joint when the riser is shaped.  Refer to the picture below to see where I position the Bow Bolt in my style of riser:


The angle of the cut line to the riser block is determined by the position of the Bow-Bolt in the riser block.  In this case it is a little less than 90 degrees from the belly side of the riser block.

The most critical part of the installation is in drilling the holes that accept the Bow Bolt.  They MUST be drilled perpendicular to the cut line, and directly in line with each other.


I have found that, for me, the best way to do this is by turning the drill press table vertically so that its surface is parallel to the drill bit and then clamping the riser block to the table with the cut surface square to the drill bit.  By attaching a straight edge to the table that is square to the bit, the riser block will automatically align itself square to the drill bit.  Be sure to clamp the riser block firmly to the table because drilling in end grain may take considerable pressure.  See picture of set-up on next page. The hole depth should be about 1/32” more than the distance from the bottom of the flange to the end of the Bow Bolt.


This picture shows a jig that accomplishes the procedure described on the previous page.  It allows for drilling both holes simply by sliding the fixture over to the second hole and re clamping, but simply clamping the piece to the table at the proper alignment will work as well.