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GEAR REVIEW: Spikepress Bow Press

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Cindy Lavender

Every year bow manufacturers are raising the bar.  A weapon that originated in medieval and primitive times has now become more technologically-advanced for hunting, recreation, and competition.  As we all are aware, innovation is on the “literal” drawing board every year.

Designers are continually challenging the limits of limb technology with limb angle configuration, limb deflection, and we’ve seen parallel limbs and beyond parallel limbs.  Riser materials have changed as well with the use of carbon fiber, which provides high tensile strength, has low thermal expansion and high temperature tolerance; all of these qualities and still has a high strength-to-weight ratio.

Cam technology has evolved into solo cams with idler wheels, offering simplicity and forgiveness in performance and design; dual cams with hard draw stops for the archer who demands a rock-solid wall at full draw.  I have even seen a bow with a range finder built right into the riser.  Of course, not every innovation ends up being a success, but we always want to see more ideas!

Every year in January, at the Archery Trade Association Convention and Trade Show, members of the ATA, along with industry manufacturers and buyers, can get a sneak peek at what new innovation is going to be available to consumers in the upcoming months.  Over the past two decades, I have seen a quantum leap in the hunting industry, especially in the bow hunting market.  We are flooded with gadgets, doohickeys, thingamajigs, contraptions, apparatuses and gimmicks; and yes of course, things which all of us “need” in our quest for bow hunting or tournament success.  And, the anticipation of being able to attend the annual ATA show to get a sneak preview is exciting enough to cause you to lose sleep, days before the show starts!

I’m going to cut right to the chase this year.  I’ve seen some clever new things, and once in a while someone comes along and changes the industry.  This year, a man from a new company, called Archery Tooling Corp. attended the 2013 ATA show for his first time and presented his new product.  It’s called, the Spikepress™.

In an industry where two other major bow press companies dominate the entire archery and bow hunting business, after seeing what the Spikepress™ can do, you might say, it’s time to replace old technology with the new.  That’s a very confident statement.  But let me ask you something?  Let’s start at the top-down in the archery industry with who I am asking this question to.  Bow manufacturers, archery pro-shops, arrow rest manufacturers, bow string makers, bow technicians, crossbow companies, crossbow technicians and any entity, person, or organization which currently uses a bow press to make adjustments or repairs on a bow or crossbow.

AS BOWS BECOME MORE ADVANCED, IS YOUR BOWPRESS ABLE TO KEEP UP?

Before I made the decision to change this important piece of equipment, I needed to test what Spikepress™ was claiming.  This was the picture that locked my interest and made me want to get more familiar with all of the other features. Take a look at the position where the press arms (grippers) is holding the bow and tell me that doesn’t look stable?

With the other bow press, we all know the contact point with the bow is at the limb tips, very near the cams, with 2 slim arms on each side, putting unequal pressure on a very high tension system, at its weakest points.  As you begin to relax the string, you know this isn’t right but this is all that you have known, and it’s all that you have to work with, so if you’re an experienced bow technician, you better keep checking all 4 points of contact at the limb tips and making sure that first, the arms are initially positioned correctly and, second, as you begin to relax the string while pressing the bow, you might cringe at the cam(s) starting to turn and twist.

Your next step would be to back out the press and re-adjust your arms a little bit more and try again, coming in for a straighter approach, and adjusting from there.  This has worked for many years, what other choice did we have?  Well, we didn’t, until now.  There are other common problems.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH EXISTING BOW PRESSES

Let’s take a look at the common problems with existing bow presses in the industry today.

  • Jumpers – Bows that jump either upwards or downwards out of a press due to the fact that the press was unable to properly secure the bow.
  • Point of Contact – The contact between the bow and press and the constant necessity to protect the bow from damage by maintaining the coating between.
  • Accidental Drop of Bow – Existing popular presses hold the bow strictly by pressure or friction. Releasing pressure results in the bow dropping to the ground and possible damage can occur.
  • Constant Search for Adapters – The new bows and old technology presses require adapters in order for the two to work together, and that includes custom-made FINGERS/ALTERING FINGERS/STRAPS and many other different gadgets to overcome the fact that the press used is not adequate to accommodate high-tech bows.
  • Cam Area Interference - All fingers and adapters bring up another issue which is the crowding of the cam area, blocking them interfering with adjustments and the maintenance required.

MEET THE SOLUTION, THE SPIKEPRESS

  • The Spikepress™ is a true universal bow press capable of pressing any brand bow with any design, of any size and any shape – securely.

  

  • The main frame is constructed of professionally welded steel and is proficiently powder-coated for a durable finish. The “V” shaped telescopic construction ensures smooth and solid movement of the arm.

  • The press consists of a screwing mechanism that has been constructed and tested to withstand pressures way above limits that are used to compress any high-tension bow.

  • The press also consists of four pin retainers which are pivoted and have two sets of holes at different angles in order to accommodate any width and shape of limbs on the bow. They are made of steel and plated for rust prevention.

  • The four pins are made of ½” diameter 304 stainless steel. The “SPIKE” pins are machined with a reverse angle to allow the pivoting of the bow when it is being compressed. The four pins are also engaged with four grippers, holding the bow in place before and after the compression.

 

  • Spikepress™ comes with four spike pins, four grippers, four “L”-shaped pins (to aide in the transition from the older bows to the newer parallel and beyond parallel bows) and a ball-point hex driver.

  • Spikepress™ consists of a unique “pin system” which allows you to convert your bow press to a crossbow press just by using the crossbow attachments.

  • The Crossbow Package consists of four 12 3/4″ long spike pins, which can be used with the grippers, four Delrin booties and four 3” long adapter pins.

  • The unique “pin system” of the Spikepress™ and the quick interchangeability system leaves room for innovation, such as making custom pins for bows such as the BowTech Insanity and Experience, which are bows that may be damaged outside of warranty if manufacturer recommendations are not properly followed when being compressed for adjustments or repairs.  The Spikepress™ also has optional convenience adapters for Mathew’s solid-limb bows.

As bows may become more technologically advanced, the Spikepress™ system allows for future adaptability as well.

THE SPIKEPRESSSPECIFICATIONS

The main frame consists of two parts made from square steel tubing.  There are two holes on the main frame close to the hand wheel, one lubricates the screw-bearing housing and the other lubricates the screw nut.  The screwing mechanism consists of a 7/8-6 threads / inch powerful acme thread screw, accompanied with a solid bronze acme thread nut.  The screw housing has a combination of a bronze bushing and a thrust-bearing mechanism for a smooth rotation under pressure.  Also included, is an 8” diameter hand wheel with a revolving handle.

There are four pin retainers (two left and two right) made out of steel and are ZINC plated.  Each retainer has two holes ½” diameter to accept the pins (spikes).  The one hole is horizontal which is used for extreme parallel limbs.  The other hole is 20 degrees above the horizontal position to be used for non-parallel limbs.   The pins have a slip fit in the retainer so they can be relocated according to the type of bow you are pressing.

There are a set of four pins which are made of 304 stainless steel.  They have a ball joint configuration to allow pivoting when a pin engages with a gripper.  It also has an o-ring at the opposite end for friction when inserted into the retainer.  There is also a fine adjustment screw on the retainer to fine adjust the pin.

There are two sets of Grippers.  The Grippers are made of aluminum, and the clamping insert is made of Delrin material.

The press is also capable of accommodating crossbows simply by using a different pin length to compensate for axle to axle distance.  By looking at this device, you can see that it can be used with any type and shape of bow limbs, safely and securely.

THE MAN BEHIND THE INNOVATION

George Gouramanis made his first trip to ATA in Louisville, Kentucky this year.  Little did he know, his small corner of the convention center floor would create such a stir at the ATA show.  Particularly with certain notable persons who were affiliated with the top bow manufacturers, such as Bowtech, PSE, Bear Archery, and other bow manufacturers.  The Spikepress was also demonstrated to and impressed some key people from different corners of the archery industry such as Olympic coaches, archery clubs, and archery shop owners.

Here is a short video demo with the Spikepress™ showing the custom tooling for Bowtech Insanity and Experience bows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqQHAx1cx7I

I asked George about his first experience at the Archery Trade show.

“My personal experience at the 2013 ATA show was an incredible one.  From the time I decided to exhibit, to the day we left the show, everyone and everything fell into place. Everyone on the staff at the ATA, especially Maria Lewis, was extremely helpful with the preparation for the exhibit.  When we arrived, the facility was easily accessible to unload and set-up.  On Monday morning everything was ready to go!”

“I had the opportunity to make a lot of important contacts for my business and the opportunity to demonstrate my product, Spikepress™, over 200 times.  Some of the visitors at our booth included John Hernandez and Todd Levings from BowTech, David Kronengold from PSE, Bear Archery, Steve VanZile of George Chapman Archery,”

There aren’t that many bow presses available in the archery industry, which ultimately limits the choices for bow technicians, and bow manufacturers.  The Spikepress is quite simply, safer for the person who is working on the bow, and protects the longevity of the bow itself.  No piece of equipment, particularly the bow press, should have ever put stress on the weakest points of a bow or crossbow under any circumstance, but no one in the industry realized this until now.

My final thoughts are that there are that there are, in life, there are things that you wished you had done, and things that you wished you had known – maybe these things would have changed the course of the way you do things, or at the very least, help you get over some current issues or frustrations you are already dealing with.  Hindsight is 20/20.

At the Archery Trade show this year, the Spikepress caused jaw-dropping reactions and over-impressed some of the top names at bow designers and manufacturers– perhaps you should take a look.  The Spikepress is seriously worth a look and a demonstration. Contact George Gouramanis, the owner of Archery Tooling Corp at spikepress@optimum.net or call 631-838-2190 to find out more or request a demonstration.

Cindy Lavender’s Summary

There aren’t that many bow presses available in the archery industry, which ultimately limits the choices for bow technicians, and bow manufacturers.  The Spikepress is quite simply, safer for the person who is working on the bow, and protects the longevity of the bow itself.  No piece of equipment, particularly the bow press, should have ever put stress on the weakest points of a bow or crossbow under any circumstance, but no one in the industry realized this until now. 

My final thoughts are that there are that there are, in life, there are things that you wished you had done, and things that you wished you had known – maybe these things would have changed the course of the way you do things, or at the very least, help you get over some current issues or frustrations you are already dealing with.  Hindsight is 20/20.

At the Archery Trade show this year, the Spikepress caused jaw-dropping reactions and over-impressed some of the top names at bow designers and manufacturers– perhaps you should take a look.  The Spikepress is seriously worth a look and a demonstration. Contact George Gouramanis, the owner of Archery Tooling Corp at spikepress@optimum.net or call 631-838-2190 to find out more or request a demonstration.

To more Articles by Cindy Lavender.

 

 


Share Your Comments or Opinion Below, Thanks
  • Kurt Weber

    Great article and a very creative solution for pressing a bow. While I completely get the solution for pressing the bow to replace strings and cables, I dont see how this press would work if you needed to completely relax the bow to replace a damaged limb.

  • Cindy Lavender

    Kurt,
    Please give George a call at the number above, or send him an email. He will describe how that situation will work and also maybe be at an upcoming show near your area to give you a demonstration. Please contact him. The press is really worth a look. It’s very safe for replacing a damaged limb.


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