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ziplomacy
What kind of a finish do you guys like to use on glass bows? I have tried a spray on poly and it does okay but doesn't look as good as other finishes I have seen. What do you guys use? What do the pros use? Thanks!
Osage Selfbow #55@28"
NM Baraga #50@28"
Pronghorn Takedown #42@28"
Ben Pearson Cougar #37@28"

Knoxville, TN
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lignaphile
I like 2 component finishes. Conversion varnish is my first choice, then automotive clear coat. I use dewaxed shellac for a sealer/guide coat.
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longcruise
Here's what I have used with my ratings for bow finish.

1.  High temp automotive clear wheel paint.  Both VHT and duplicolor.
Comes in a spray can in both matte and gloss.  When you are careful it's run free.  1 hour and you are done.  Very tough finish. Don't do this indoors unless you have a finishing enclosure.

2.  Min Wax wipe on oil based poly.  Makes for a nice finish but takes longer.  If you live with tolerant family, it is fine indoors.  I apply it in a basement work room and have had no complaints....yet. 😉

3. Spray can Oil based poly.  It's okay, but I never seem to get it just right.  Can't use it indoors at my house.

4. Brush on Oil based poly.  An outdoor thing but a good finish with it seems to be beyond my skill set.

5. Tru Oil.  This should be number three but goes to last place because it takes a long time to do it right.  I've done it with as few as four coats over three or four days but six to ten is better.  Also, it's not as weather resistant as the other ones.

A lot of guys use the Thunderbird and other similar products but I don't really want to invest in the equipment and product especially since I don't have a spray booth and nowhere to put one.

If you decide to use the wheel finish, follow the directions to the letter.

Hope that helps.

Longcruise
Colorado PUBLIC LAND HUNTER
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chuckc
I tried that wheel paint ( high gloss clear) on the last couple bows and I am liking it.  So far at least.  I have used several things and so far that one gets the nod from me.   Slow, thin layers.  It dries really quick and can be resprayed, like, every half hour or so ( maybe quicker) to develop a thicker coat.  Do it outside if you can.
ChuckC

Charter Member Traditional Archery Society

I did too !

Madison, Wisconsin.   Public land hunter
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aromakr
Ok; what is wheel paint. I'll be finishing #3 in a week or so and not real pleased with what I've used, previous.

Bob
Life Member PBS - Member TBM -Life Member Calif. Big game club - Sponsor Traditional Archery Society
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longcruise
It's this stuff, Bob.  At the parts store.

http://www.vhtpaint.com/high-heat/vht-wheel-paint
Longcruise
Colorado PUBLIC LAND HUNTER
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Hud
Howard Hill used Marine Varnish on bows he made.  It has several advantage, it can be applied by hand or brush, and multiple coats will enhance the finished product.  Birchwood Casey's Tru-oil can be applied by hand and 4-6 coats look good.  Both are easy to repair scratches etc.  Stir the product, do not shake as it will cause bubbles.  Sand lightly between coats and remove all dust.  If you use it inside, I would block any heat registers that might put dust into the air, and even use water in a spray bottle to catch dust while it dries.
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aromakr
Thanks; Mike

Bob
Life Member PBS - Member TBM -Life Member Calif. Big game club - Sponsor Traditional Archery Society
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ziplomacy
Thanks all for the feed back!
Osage Selfbow #55@28"
NM Baraga #50@28"
Pronghorn Takedown #42@28"
Ben Pearson Cougar #37@28"

Knoxville, TN
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longcruise
Would like to hear what you use with your impression.
Longcruise
Colorado PUBLIC LAND HUNTER
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ziplomacy
I have been Minwax satin poly in a spray can. I think it does a good job on glass bows, not sure about the durability. For a satin it looks okay, I have not tried the gloss but will soon. I use a wipe on for wood bows they just eat the spray can up really fast with the absorption. I don't think it looks professional but maybe I just need to but more coats on.
Osage Selfbow #55@28"
NM Baraga #50@28"
Pronghorn Takedown #42@28"
Ben Pearson Cougar #37@28"

Knoxville, TN
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aromakr
Mike:
 normally like to use an oil base material, Daly's Pro fin. I've used this on arrows for 25 years, however if I use a oily wood in the riser or on arrow footings like Bacote, it takes forever to dry. So then I have to resort to several coats of a clear lacquer undercoat before using the oil base material. Just trying to eliminate some steps.

Bob
Life Member PBS - Member TBM -Life Member Calif. Big game club - Sponsor Traditional Archery Society
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Sjrbows
The vast majority of bowyers use Thunderbird Epoxy for many reasons. Just to name a few. Black Widow, Toelke, Zipper, Centaur, Javaman, Leon Stewart, and the list goes on 

https://tbirdarchery.com/p/testimonials
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ziplomacy
How is the thunderbird epoxy applied? 
Osage Selfbow #55@28"
NM Baraga #50@28"
Pronghorn Takedown #42@28"
Ben Pearson Cougar #37@28"

Knoxville, TN
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Sjrbows
ziplomacy wrote:
How is the thunderbird epoxy applied? 


Sprayed is the best, but it can be brushed.
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ziplomacy
Thank you!
Osage Selfbow #55@28"
NM Baraga #50@28"
Pronghorn Takedown #42@28"
Ben Pearson Cougar #37@28"

Knoxville, TN
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Steve Graf
I've spent all my time trying to make a decent bow.  When it came to finishing, I just sort of winged it with whatever was available.  I burned all my energy and thought just trying to make the bow work well.  Over the last couple years, I've transitioned my efforts to making a bow look pretty good on a budget and with the tools available to a hobbyist.  I think I am making progress, here are some thoughts...

I like the VHT wheel paint mentioned by others too.  Good stuff.  My only complaint about it is that it needs to cure for at least 2 weeks before buffing.  Otherwise, the buffing wheels will tear it off.  I apply 7 coats within 1 hour (as the can specifies), cure for 2 weeks, buff.

As a committed hobbyist, I can't justify the cost of a good spray gun for catalyzed finishes.  Additionally, I make so few bows a year that the finish would probably go bad in the can before I used it all up.  That said, there is a really nice 2K finish that works really well and it can be had for less than $20.00 a can.  This stuff works better than anything else I have tried:
https://repaintsupply.com/spraymax-2-part-2k-urethane-aerosol-clear-coat-p3685.html

It can be had from Amazon and others as well.  Available in Gloss (wear your shades crazy good gloss), Semi-gloss, and Satin.  I apply 5 coats at 15 minute intervals, cure for 2 days, buff.

The trick to a good finish is no trick at all.  Keep the temperature above 70 deg, and the humidity below 50%.
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steelflight
A spray can of poly and shellac work great.
You may think before you act the question is do you listen to your own counsel.
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Yehwa
How do I get rid of haze under the finish . Just got a new to me bow and the riser has a milky haze under it .
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charles lamb
Zip... brush on the minwax carefully and before it dries very lightly mist with Minwax spray. The chemicals in the spray will cause the brush marks to level out and improve the finish.
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longcruise
A great tip right there.  Thanks, Charles.
Longcruise
Colorado PUBLIC LAND HUNTER
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longbow
I just refinished an old Strunk longbow  that I took weight off of.  Gonna do it again cause the tiller isn't right on the bottom limb, lucky me right.  Anyways I am using a Varathane water based poly in crystal clear satin that is the nuts if you ask me.  It dries very quickly, gives the bow a very nice look  and after you add the number of coats you want to put on the bow, wipe it lightly with acetone and you get to me what reminds me of the old fullerplast finishes that Harry Elburg and others used to put on there bows.  No real stink either and dries nice and hard.  You can also get a splatter finish look too by mistying over the limbs and bow.  
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