Warfing the Hoyt TD3 for ILF Limbs

Petes way


The photos above show the TD3 after Burl Wood Film Dip by Cobra Imaging.

I will be showing 2 ways I have succesfully converted the Hoyt TD3 risers to accept Modern ILF Limbs.

First Conversion

Many  of us are becoming interested in resurecting the old metal risers that are available and making them into a new bow with minimal costs. Bob Gordon has pioneered this trend and coined the term WARFING, that many of us are familiar with.

I have been toying with the idea for a couple years and just recently decided to take the plunge and do it myself.  The main obstavcle in resurecting the riser I found in Jack Kempf's shop was that I wanted to make the old Hoyt TD3 into a modern ILF recurve,but parts were not available untill recently.

 The ILF system allows us to use any Olympic limb from any manufacturer, which gives us a lot of limb choices. Fitting the ILF dovetail into an old riser like the TD3 seemed to be a big problem without a lot of machine shop tools, and knowledge. When I received the Trad tech ILF bows to review I became even more determined to convert a TD3, as now all I neded to do was fit the limbs from the review bows.

 Lancaster Archery is selling  ILF dovetails at a very reasonable price , under $20.00, and the price for the riser is $30.00 from Jack Kempf. I had to try it at this cost.

When I picked up the TD3 I noticed the riser pocket has a slot from the old Hoyt limb mounting system that needed to be filled with JB weld. Just sand out the paint from the slot and rough up the surface for the JB weld to bond to , tape the slot at the end of the riser pocket to hold the JB in and then we are on to the next step. When it hardens ,sand the JB to make the limb pocket flat and even with the end of the limb pocket.

On these risers there is an 8/32 hole drilled into the pocket where a rocker plate sat for the compound limbs it was fitted with at one time . This hole just happens to be exactly where we need a hole to mount the ILF dovetails. How convenient ! I was a bit leary of screwing the dovetail directly into the Magnesium alloy riser so I drilled the hole all the way thru and purchased 2 new mounting screws and crown nuts at the hardware store for $2.00.

The next item needed is a plate to let the limb pivot on. I had a piece if 3/16 aluminum and cut out the rectangle to fill the limb pocket , and took some measurements of the ILF dovetails to inlet.

The inleting was all done with a hacksaw and a rat-tail file. Simply trace the dovetail onto the plate and cut it out, and file it to have clearence. File and sand the end of the plate to the same lenghth as the original limb pocket.

plate and dovetails {not finished}

You are nearly finished!

Drill the plate to accept an 8/32 counter sink screw and then match drill the screw hole into the riser and tap it . Now mount both the plate you made and the dovetail , make sure the plate and the dovetail are at the same height. if not you can shim either one as needed. Sanding down the plate is also an option.

 The last thing we need is limb bolts,bezles  and a 3/8" bushing to go around the limb bolt. I used a welders round soap stone holder, and cut the end that is threaded for my bushing. {It is the same thread as the limb bolt screw} Brass, Aluminum , copper , or any other tube that is 3/8" OD and a tight fit on the limb bolt will be just fine.

Now you are ready to test fit the limbs. They should snap in easy. If not, make sure the plate is wide enough at the opening for the dovetail.  I left the dovetail a bit loose so it would center itself and strung the bow, then when I was happy with the limb fit I tightened down the crown nut.

 Unstring the bow and set it up again, making sure the limbs are mounting straight.Adjust the Dovetails if needed. The bow is shootable now after the tiller weight is where you want it. Install a set screw into the back of the limb bolt hole to lock the limb bolts in place when you are finished tuning the bow.


Now is the time to make things permenent.

 Remove the plates and smear some epoxy or JB weld on to them and reinstall them.

 If you wish to have the dovetails adjustable for laterat alignment you can drill the plates and tap them to accept a small set screw on each side. You will need to drill a matching hole into the limb pocket slightly larger than the set screw hole for the Allen key to fit. I have not done this step yet, but I will as soon as I pick up the set screws.

There is no reason we can not use a hardwood plate to make the conversion. It will be easier to work with and easier to find for most of you.

 I did some test shooting with several limbs I have on hand and all are shooting shock free, and quiet.The economical LAS wood glass recurve and longbow limbs for the Pinnacle review, the mid range carbon wood , and Titan/Samick extreen BF limbs all shoot very well on TD3 conversion. I gave the riser and plates a coat of Barbecue black quick dry paint and it looks just fine.With the Extreem BF limbs it is a real sleeper.

Above is a basic conversion.

 With the Wood glass limbs it is an economical great shooting recurve.

The total time involved was about 4 hours, however now that I know how I think I can cut the time down easily.

 Second Conversion Method and my favorite.

 This conversion can be done as a basic ,just add dovetails, or a full blown easy to do total revamp.

Most of the hard work in the first conversion was making the plates to go around the brass dovetails. This way is a lot easier. The TD3 risers have a rocker plate on them that just hapens to be exactly the right height for the limbs to rock on. Now that is convenient , so all we do is cut out a slot for the brass dovetail to sit in and slot the mounting screw hole to accept the 6MM  dovetail bolt we will be using.

 When we cut out the slot leave the plate intact and just remove the rounded rocker. A file works good. The aluminium cuts easy. I like to take a hacksaw and make the end cuts then file out the center, or grind out the center. Be careful grinding aluminum. It grabs the stone or disc.


Limb pocket with factory rocker plate.


Brass dovetail from Lancaster Archery and Rocker plate cut out for mounting dovetails.


 Dovetail mounted in pocket with a rocker installed.

When we mount the Dovetail we need to slide the rocker ahead so the limb will not rock on the sharp edges of the dovetail. This is why we slot the mounting hole. Mount both the rocker and brass dovetail. You need to drill out the 8/32 rocker hole to accept the 6MM bolt. Replace the bolt that comes with the dovetail with a longer bolt 3/4" works good. When these are set in place and the fit looks right grind or file the end of the rocker plate flush with the end of the limb pocket.

The Limb pocket also has the old Hoyt slot under the rocker plate that I like to fill with JB weld at this time. This also secures the plate and keeps it from making any noise.

 If you don't want to tap the magnesium riser you can drill all the way thru and use a crown nut on the back side like I did in the first conversion. With thee rocker plate slid forward you will notice the dovetail wants to sit uneven. Cut a 1/4" flat washer in half and slide it under the back side of the dovetail  and up against the rocker plate. A toutch of JB on the edge will hold this shim in place. Do not glue the Dovetail.

First conversion on top second on bottom.

Note the reduction on the belly side of the sight window and slim low grip.

You can see the diference in where I am going on the next step . In the first conversion the riser was left mostly as is. This time I decided to dress it up a bit by rounding off the sharp edges and removing the unnecessary things that were sticking out all over.Just rounding the sharp edges made a big diference.

The limb bolt inserts were sticking out , so I cut them flush with the back of the riserand sanded them smooth.. They still have full contact and will not pull thru, but removing them cleans up the riser dramaticly.

Now you have choices on how far to take this .

 I ground off the mount for the stabilizer, and filled the hole with JB weld. Bondo will aslo work. You may want to leavt the stab mount . It is your project.

You can leave the Plunger insert or remove it and fill in the hole.

The sight window seemed to have a lot of excess material on the belly side , so I reduced it to a smoother look.I felt safe  doing this because I am only using 45# limbs. You may want to leave this if you are using heavy limbs. It is your decision.

 After taking these photos I did a couple other risers and made them all like this is the first riser I had already converted in the first project at the top of this page. On 2 of the risers I built up the shelf to the bottom of the plunger hole with body filler, and will be using the plunger to shoot off the shelf. On the third riser i just built up the shelf enough to bring the arrow contact point above the low part of the grip.You could do this with felt furniture coaster pads also.

The next thing I did after mounting  the dovetails and test fitting the limbs was to fill the limb pocket with silicone caulking to reduce noise. It helps. I have also used Plasti dip, for coating tool handles in the limb pockets.



Silicone Filled pocket


Completed bow

 Completed bow

Completed riser

Another change you can see in the photo is the grip. I wanted a lower grip so I ground down the factory grip to my satisfaction.

Brian Test drawing the finished bow.

The size for the brass sleeve on the limb bolts for the TD3 done this way is 3145" X .378" X .1"long.

These are brass bushings that are available from any bearing supply house for about 3 dollars each.

Shorter sleevs will allow the limb bolts to be tightened to far ,over stressing the limbs and causing failures!

This size works good on a TD3 20" riser and screwed all the way in the limbs do not stack out to 30". The limbs were rated at 45# on a 17" riser. I am getting 46# on a 20" riser and feel this is the Max that they should be set to.On other risers you will need to experiment with sleeve lengths .

 You will need to talk to a paint store to get a suitable primer for bare  Aluminum/Magnesium before painting it. Another choice is to have it Film Diped. I am having some issues with the paint on the bare metal,but I will resolve it.

 I used very few tools. A belt grinder was most usefull with a coarse grit belt for rounding the edges, and grinding down the stab mount and limb bolt inserts.

 A hacksaw for cutting the limb bolt insert. a palm sander made it easier than hand sanding. A drill press for the dovetail bolt holes, but a hand drill will do if that is what you have.

 And last was a couple of flat files and a chain saw file to slot the rocker plate screw hole.

 This project can be done in a very short time with minimal tools. How far you go with it is up to you. The end result for me truned out very good I think. If you want to go even further you can drill the rocker and install set screws for lateral adjustment like the LAS Titan has.

 There are many popular old compound risers that are suitable for converting to Modern ILF limbs.I don't see why the way I converted the TD3 will not work on them with a bit of thought on your part.

 Here are some risers that are popular for conversions.I have only done the TD3.

Bear Black Bear (by far most popular) the rest are in no particular order...
Gamegetter (old compound)
Hoyt Rambo
Hoyt Spectra
Ram Hunter (Hoyt/Easton)
Hoyt Pro Vantage
Jennings Black Lightning,
Proline Typhoon,
Hoyt Gamegetter II (old compound)
Hoyt TD3

Pete Ward

"Welcome to my outdoor world"