28214Re: [SCA-Archery] FLEMISH TWIST BOWSTRING
- Dec 30, 2010I've been making all of my own bowstrings for a while now. My favorite material to use is waxed Irish linen thread. I typically get it from Royalwood (http://www.royalwoodltd.com) although, I'm sure it's available in larger quantities for less money. I use the 4ply thread that they have.
I have also used hemp string. You have to be careful to get the long fiber hemp or your strings will break very easily. That's the reason for the Irish linen, too. It tends to be long fiber flax, rather than chopped up fibers. In general, I try to get a test piece of the string or thread and test break it with my bow scale. Once you know the strength of the thread, you can figure out how many threads it will take to make the string. In general, I try to make the string from 5 to 10 times the draw weight of the bow. If you are shooting a heavier pull bow with lighter arrows, you're going to want to be closer to the 10X side of things because more of the energy of the bow is going to be dissipated in the string. I always keep a spare string or two handy because I like going somewhat lighter on the number of strands (closer to the 5X) and, like any string, they break sometimes.
I find that linen or hemp bowstrings tend to be thicker than B50 strings (go figure) so I tend to not do servings on them. I usually build and shoot straight limbed longbows so I'm not sure if things change a lot with recurves or not. I use a Flemish twist on one end of the string and a bowyer's knot (timber hitch) on the other end. No less than three wraps on the timber hitch or it can come undone. I always keep a spare string or two handy because I like going somewhat lighter on the number of strands (closer to the 5X) and, like any string, they break sometimes. Using the timber hitch (as has already been posted) means that I can make a longer string and string any bow with it.
I tend to prefer natural fiber strings because they just "feel better" but I know that I get somewhat higher arrow speeds with B50...
I am by no means an expert. This is just what's been working for me. If anyone has more information, I'd be glad to hear it. I'm always learning and, unfortunately, my mentor passed on so I learn where I can.
Standard disclaimers apply... your mileage may vary... void where prohibited, licensed or regulated...
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
--Leonardo da Vinci
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