By Jerry Long, July 13, 2010  

Is it really necessary to spend $75 or $175 on a TV antenna, GPS, marriage counseling, toast making stabilizer?

Back around 2002 I started looking for a new stabilizer.  I was always a fan of the old Saunder’s Torque Tamer, but boy was that thing heavy and mine had weathered a lot.  I noticed that most of the stabilizers combined a space ship steering wheel with some mounting threads.  I didn’t need a space ship control, just something with a little weight on the end that would “roll” the bow forward after the shot.  Sure, vibration reduction was great, but I wanted my stabilizer to actually stabilize.

I contacted my archery mentor and friend, Rhonda, who suggested a Quiet Tune.  They’d just been bought out by Cobra.  I think I paid $16 for their hunter model which had a light weight 6″ aluminum extension bar and a heavy steel dampening assembly on the end.  It worked great for years, but I wanted something longer for greater stability and that “roll”.  Unfortunately, Cobra killed the Quiet Tune line.  In Overhauling A Hunting Bow I switched to the Sims Xpress Stabilizer, but that still wasn’t what I was looking for; not weight forward enough.  Then, I stumbled onto some stabilizer posts in Archery Talk’s DIY section – a bunch of them.  Maybe I could make what I was looking for. 

Parts

I went to the store and gathered some parts:

(1) 5′ section of 1/2″ copper pipe, $5.97

(2) 1 ¼ inch, ¼ x 24 hex headed bolt, $0.98

(5) ¼ x 24 nuts, $0.55 (.11 cents each)

(1) 1/4 x 24 connector nut, $3.40 (ouch)

(1) An end weight of some kind.  In this case I used the Quiet Tune weight.  Archery Talk forum users utilized gear shift knobs (skulls, 8-balls), odd things hanging around in tool boxes, etc.

(1) marine epoxy, had it laying around…

Assembly

Here’s the steps:

1)  Decide how long you want your stabilizer to be.  I looked at a number of “high end” hunting model stabilizers and determined 8″ was the right number for the extension bar.  Cut the pipe to length.  The table saw with a carbide tipped blade works fine for copper and aluminum.  Be sure to wear safety glasses.

Cut the copper pipe on a tablesaw using a carbide tipped blade.

 2)  Configure the bolt, nuts and washers as shown in the picture.  Besides the end weight I wanted to add a little more weight forward so did so with the extra long bolt and nuts.

Configure the bolts, nuts and washers as shown below. 

3)  Grind the corners off the nuts so they fit the inside the pipe.

4)  Epoxy the bolt/nut configurations in place and allow to dry.

Marine epoxy and a close-up of the coupler nut.

5)  Prepare the pipe and forward weight for painting utilizing sandpaper from 150 grit up to 400 grit.  Degrease with denatured alcohol or acetone.

6)  Insert the weight into the extension bar.

7)  For paint I went with 3 coats of flat black and then followed that up with 3 coats of matte clear for protection.  So far this finish has with stood both normal use and bug repellant.

Flat black paint and a clear coat.

The finished stabilizer.

Note:  Many AT forum users were filling their extension bars with various dampening items including chopped up rubber fishing lures, rubber pellets, oil, etc.  I chose not to do that as I wanted all weight up forward.  Also, a number of forum users drilled holes in patterns in the extension bar.  I wanted to do that, but after two attempts it became obvious I didn’t have the right tools to produce a quality product, even after the assembly of a drilling jig.  Since I’m picky about my stuff I threw that idea out the window (well, not literally).  Pictures of these failures can be seen in step 2, above.  Also, carbon extension bars can be had by salvaging the shaft from a golf club – check your local thrift store (or put on your camouflage and test your stalking skills at a local golf course…). 

So, for about $12 I built the stabilizer I wanted and obtained the performance I wanted.  I used it for our last 3D league and am quite satisfied.  I also have enough material left over to make some more.

happy hunting, dv 

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