Compound Bows photo

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Check cam timing, draw length, and draw weight on you compound bow by building this device in your basement for $40.


1. Get a 6-foot-long 2×6 ($4 at any big-box hardware store). If you have synthetic decking material like Trex ( lying around, or want to spend more money for it, all the better. It won’t warp if left in a damp basement.

2. Screw a 3⁄4-inch threaded floor flange ($5) 6 inches from the end of your 2×6. Thread a 31⁄2-inch pipe ($3) into the flange. Place a piece of old rubber hose over the pipe as a cushion, or wrap it with sports tape.

3. Bolt down a small trailer winch ($24) 45 to 50 inches from the flange. Go longer if you plan to add a bow scale or shorter if you have a tight draw length. Leave an extra 6 inches of board behind the winch for a bench clamp.

4. Attach a spring snap or load-bearing carabiner ($4) to your winch. Clip the ‘biner through your string loop. Draw the bow by cranking the winch back. Be careful! It’s not hard to rip your bow apart by overdrawing the winch.

Optional: To check draw length, add a $1 yardstick to your 2×6. Draw length is measured from the front of the riser, so you’ll have to cut a few inches from the yardstick before mounting. A bow scale ($20; can easily be added to the winch line to check draw weight.