Thursday, February 11, 2016

Old Dog...New Tricks

In the interest of keeping myself from succumbing to the old age doldrums finding new activities keep me from wasting away. First it was learning how to completely disassemble a firearm, tune it up, make adjustments and assemble it back to a better functioning tool. Properly mounting scopes on rifles and bore sighting them is another recent hobby/skill to interest me.

Last October one customer trusted me to mount and bore sight his new Zeiss Conquest scope on his new Weatherby Vanguard chambered in .308. That one made me nervous. The scope cost as much as the rifle. He returned later to show me photos of the results of his hunt. 

What else could I learn to do so late in life?

When applying for my current position my new employer required me to service archery equipment, something I previously knew nothing about. They offered to train me. Training went well. Making adjustments, adding or changing components as well as providing tune ups for customer compound bows is rewarding. And it's not difficult at all if you have a few essential tools as well as a dedicated service room at work to apply my new knowledge and skills.

One comment customers have made to us in the store is they are very pleased there is a now new and local archery pro shop they can go to for service or tune up or to buy a new bow. My job is to build customer relationships, deliver work worthy of repeat business and help our store earn the reputation as a go-to place for archery needs. After six months it's going very well.

So far I have performed bow services such as installing peep sights, kisser buttons, mounted rests and sights as well as adjusting the draw length and weight on new and used customer bows many times. So far not one customer has been back to complain. Just the opposite, it has brought repeat business through referrals.

Last week a gentleman phoned in to confirm he heard we are servicing archery equipment. He asked if we were able to replace servings on bow strings. The serving is where a braided thread wraps around the center of the string where and archer grips and pulls the string back with the fingers. When done properly it has a flawless appearance of factory quality. I invited him to drop by.

When he arrived he brought a Genesis compound youth bow that was showing serving wear. A serving is the thread that wraps the main string where the archer pulls a string back with the fingers. The threads were frayed, coming loose and the nock point had moved off center. He further explained he was an archery instructor at a local Christian youth center and possessed over a dozen of these bows that would be in need of service soon.

Since his bows were being used by beginners they experience a lot of wear and tear. Do a good job and he would not only be bringing me more business as well as refer others to us.

Replacing the serving string requires a few specialized tools. A bow press helps to compress the limbs and relax the string for a smooth separation where the serving thread will be inserted for installing the first few loops of the serving. A string spreader allows the string to be divided in half without splitting the string fibers. This can be tricky and takes a good eye.

The next day after installing a new serving he arrived to pick up the bow and was impressed with my new found craftsmanship. This is rewarding to me having anyone pleased with work I have been performing for only six months. A string serving demo is here and this is exactly how I do it.

Servicing archery equipment is another late life skill I totally enjoy. In addition to my armorer certification and the ability to mount and bore sight rifle scopes at work it gives me the warm feeling of usefulness.

I have heard for years about the feeling of uselessness and depression so many full time retirees find out sooner or later. Consider this my preventive medicine.

1 comment:

Dan from Madison said...

Awesome! A great use of your time!