1. Here's what you need to get
the job done: 2 snake skins, coarse grit sandpaper, 1
pair scissors, 1 sharp hobby knife or scalpel, Elmer's
Carpenter's Glue, 1 spray can of gloss
varathane. We recommend Flecto brand in the
Professional grade (black can).
2. Gently rough up the
backs of the limbs of your bow with the coarse grit
sandpaper. I use a light circular motion. This
roughs up the surface so the glue will hold to the
limb. I do it light enough, so that if I ever want to
go back to original, the limb can be fine sanded back to
3. Get everything ready by
having a bucket of water standing by. You are going to
put your snake skin in the bucket while you apply glue
to one of your bow limbs. Let the skin soak until it is
nice and wet and pliable.
4. Using fingers, or small
brush, I lightly coat the glue on the limbs, making sure
I get complete coverage. Don't get it on too thick.
Try not to let it dribble down the sides. It's not a
big deal if it does, but makes for more clean up work.
5. Remove the snake skin from
water and shake off excess water. Lay the snake skin on
the limb. It does not matter whether the head end of
the snake is at the tip of the limb or at the riser.
The choice is yours, as long as you do it the same on
the other limb. I usually have the head end at the
riser. Now start smoothing the skin on. start at
the head end of the skin and work it on with your
6. Keep working any air and
glue bubbles out to the sides of the skin, or up to one
end. I keep rubbing and smoothing the skin for a couple
7. Now you will begin removing
the outer scales. This must be done, or your finish
will not stick to the skins. Once the skin is beginning
to stay in place, I begin using a pocket knife blade
(held at 90 degrees to the limb) to remove scales and
work out remaining glue and air. YOU MUST GO FROM HEAD
TO TAIL WHEN DOING THIS. If you go the wrong way, you
will rip the skin. Get as many scales off as you can,
but don't expect to get them all off. If you go for all
of them, you'll probably damage the skin, although
sometimes they come off completely and easily.
8. When I'm through rubbing
the skin on, I carefully take a hobby knife or
razor blade and trim the excess skin on the sides. I
make sure the skin is really sticking in place before I
do this. I might move on to the other limb before I
trim the first one. Don't try to trim super close at
this time, but you don't want a half inch of skin
overhanging or it will curl when it dries and lift off
9. I let the skin dry on the
limb for at least 24 hours, then take my hobby knife,
which must be razor sharp, and carefully check to
make sure the trimming job is perfect...right flush with
the bevel on the edge.