How to Repair Hairline Fractures in a Bear Recurve Bow

by Jeremiah Blanchard

Bear Archery produces a variety of bows, most notably traditional wooden recurve bows. A recurve bow is a technological advancement of the longbow design, imparting more kinetic energy on the arrow through the curved limbs than that of a longbow. As with all wooden bows, stress can cause fractures in the wood. These hairline fractures can ruin the bow if left unattended. You can implement a basic process to fill the crack and maintain the structural integrity of the bow.

  1. Clean off the bow using a wood cleaning solvent. Ensure that no dirt or debris is present along the cracked area.

  2. Apply painter's tape or masking tape over the crack. Cut a slit into the tape along the hairline crack.

  3. Fill the crack with fiberglass resin or limb laminate glue. Press the glue into the crack using a flat object such as a Popsicle stick. Allow the glue to dry for 24 hours.

  4. Sand down the glue using fine 400-grit sandpaper. Remove the tape and thumb the surface to ensure that its smooth. Reapply tape and sand more if needed.

Items you will need

  • Limb laminate glue or fiberglass resin
  • Popsicle stick
  • Masking or painter's tape
  • 400-grit sandpaper


  • Most fiberglass resins or limb laminate glues are ideal to use. You can use super glue as well if other materials aren't available.


  • This is a temporary fix for cracked limbs. If the crack begins to spread, have the bow inspected by a competent bow repair technician. If the bow cracks further, this can ruin the bow completely and render it unsafe to use.