The Bows of Cliff Coe

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Wade Phillips
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The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Wade Phillips » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:37 pm

Cliff Coe of Otter Lake, Michigan produced bows of many different designs in his day.

Post Photographs of your Cifff Coe bows and their names if you know them.

This is the most unusual Cliff Coe bow that I own.

On page 48 of his book "44 Years Behind the Bow", Cliff stated "Experimental. Yes, it can be made to work. Good conversation piece." He referred to this unique design as a...

"Coe Double Action Recurve"
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Cliff Coe Double Action Recurve.JPG
Last edited by Wade Phillips on Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wade Phillips
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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Wade Phillips » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:48 pm

This is a real piece of multi-laminated lumber for a left hand target shooter. It is signed by Cliff in below the grip...
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Cliff Coe Bows 008.jpg
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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Wade Phillips » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:54 pm

This is a "Wolverine Super", another one of Cliff's left hand multi-laminated recurves. Previously contained in the collection of John Grumley. Sanded down ready to be refinished.
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Cliff Coe Bows 012.jpg
Last edited by Wade Phillips on Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Wade Phillips » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:06 pm

This is the earliest Cliff Coe bow that I have. It is a Bush Bow made of yew with a hickory back and fortisan backing and laminated brush nocks, mid 1940s.
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Cliff Coe Bows 013.jpg
Cliff Coe Bows 015.jpg
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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Seneca Archer » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:48 pm

Here's a Wolverine:
coe bows 001a.gif
coe bows 004.JPG
coe bows 009.JPG

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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Seneca Archer » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:00 pm

Also believe this to be a '50's Coe
coe bows 011.JPG
coe bows 020.JPG

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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by TimberlineX » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:37 pm

I've trying to imagine what the glue-up press/form looked like for the Coe Double Action Recurve?!? Wow!
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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by TradRag » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:31 pm

TimberlineX wrote:I've trying to imagine what the glue-up press/form looked like for the Coe Double Action Recurve?!? Wow!
No kidding. What about brace height? 12" ???

Wade, I definitely understand that it would promote some conversation. Almost immediate upon seeing it. wow.
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Wade Phillips
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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Wade Phillips » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:06 pm

Yule - Nice bows. I haven't seen one like the bottom bow, but sure looks like Cliff's laminations and basic style. He did some unusual things in making bows.

Bill - I'm sure the form for the "Double Action Recurve" was as unique as the bow itself. Probably one outer piece as the form, then clamped from the handle outward using C-clamps.

Bryan - Yes, is it a conversation piece for sure. The brace height would probably be about 10-1/2" to 11" and actual string length a bit over 30". One limb is cracked so have never made a sting for it or tried to sting it. If you could hit anything with it, at well under three feet, it might make a great bow for hunting from a blind.

Here are two photographs from Cliff's book "44 Years Behind the Bow" shown on page 56. The caption for the two photographs is

"Stress tests on the Coe Super 57".

Sort of gives you a real appreciation for flexibility of the limbs on his bows...

Anyone here ever done this to one of their bows, and taken a photograph of it? If so please post the image. I'm certain we would all like to see it....
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Cliff Coe Bows 016.jpg
Cliff Coe Bows 017.jpg
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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Seneca Archer » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:53 pm

WOW -now I call that a stress test.

Wade-Thanks. Any possibility the 2nd bow could have been one of Cliff's "finish-it-yourself" jobs? There is nothing on the bow to ID it other than someones painted-on (I think) initials.

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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Wade Phillips » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:42 pm

Are you talking about the big target bow. If so it actually has Cliff's signature on it but it's sort of faded.
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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Seneca Archer » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:47 am

Wade Phillips wrote:Are you talking about the big target bow. If so it actually has Cliff's signature on it but it's sort of faded.
Wade--I meant the 2nd bow I posted. It has no "Coe" decals or other IDing marks.

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Re: The Bows of Cliff Coe

Post by Wade Phillips » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:26 am

Jim - I don't really know about that bow, but it does have some Coe characteristics.
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