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FLEMISH TWIST BOWSTRING

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  • Dearg Ailfredsson
    So out of just plan boredom and Cog was talking about it and from that I decided I wanted one I made a Flemish twist bowstring out of articifial sinew and it
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 29, 2010
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      So out of just plan boredom
      and Cog was talking about it
      and from that I decided I wanted one
      I made a Flemish twist bowstring
      out of articifial sinew
      and it works great
      I really didn't think it would on my 1st try
      if I can get a good picture of it I'll post it

      Dearg.

      Lord Dearg Ailfredsson
      [dare-eg ale-frid-son]
      "Red son of Alfred"
      11th century Gall Gaidhel [gall guy-yell]
      a.k.a. "Irish Northman"
      Leather Craftsman, Archer and Hunter
      Paid SCA member since 2003

    • Fritz
      When Dearg Ailfredsson put fingers to keys it was 12/30/10 12:02 AM... ... Congratulations on making a usable bowstring with your own hands! There s a
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 29, 2010
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        When Dearg Ailfredsson put fingers to keys it was 12/30/10 12:02 AM...

        >
        >
        > So out of just plan boredom
        > and Cog was talking about it
        > and from that I decided I wanted one
        > I made a Flemish twist bowstring
        > out of articifial sinew
        > and it works great
        > I really didn't think it would on my 1st try
        > if I can get a good picture of it I'll post it

        Congratulations on making a usable bowstring with your own hands!
        There's a satisfaction in it that's hard to beat.

        A note though:
        Most artificial sinew is nylon floss with brown wax.
        Nylon is a very stretchy material, not particularly efficient for
        bowstrings. Artificial sinew _looks_ somewhat like real sinew when used
        to bind something together, but it doesn't _act_ like it.

        If you're going to do the work of twining your own strings, you might do
        well to get hold of some dacron bowstring string,
        or,
        go nuts and use a period material like linen or hemp and some beeswax.


        --
        Fritz
        Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.
      • Guy Taylor
        I totally agree with Fritz, nylon artificial sinew looks good but makes a very poor bowstring. However, every once in a while there is a spool of polyester
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 29, 2010
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          I totally agree with Fritz, nylon artificial sinew looks good but makes a very poor bowstring.
          However, every once in a while there is a spool of polyester artificial sinew wandering through our fingers, that will make a better bowstring than the nylon flavor.
          But it's still better to use a specialty fiber made for the purpose to build our bowstrings. Brownell's B-50 and BCY's B-500 and B-55 make great strings and their prices are very reasonable.
          Of course, the natural fiber route is always a good one, too. 
           
          Guy
          Greenman Archery

          --- On Wed, 12/29/10, Fritz <carl.west@...> wrote:

          From: Fritz <carl.west@...>
          Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] FLEMISH TWIST BOWSTRING
          To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2010, 10:22 PM

           
          When Dearg Ailfredsson put fingers to keys it was 12/30/10 12:02 AM...

          >
          >
          > So out of just plan boredom
          > and Cog was talking about it
          > and from that I decided I wanted one
          > I made a Flemish twist bowstring
          > out of articifial sinew
          > and it works great
          > I really didn't think it would on my 1st try
          > if I can get a good picture of it I'll post it

          Congratulations on making a usable bowstring with your own hands!
          There's a satisfaction in it that's hard to beat.

          A note though:
          Most artificial sinew is nylon floss with brown wax.
          Nylon is a very stretchy material, not particularly efficient for
          bowstrings. Artificial sinew _looks_ somewhat like real sinew when used
          to bind something together, but it doesn't _act_ like it.

          If you're going to do the work of twining your own strings, you might do
          well to get hold of some dacron bowstring string,
          or,
          go nuts and use a period material like linen or hemp and some beeswax.

          --
          Fritz
          Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.
        • The Greys
          First and most important to me, and I hope to members of this list, my post of WOW was NOT intended to slam anyone. If anyone felt that then please accept my
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 30, 2010
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            First and most important to me, and I hope to members of this list, my post of WOW was NOT intended to slam anyone. If anyone felt that then please accept my apology for it was not my intent. I love this list for the sharing of knowledge and that was my intent.

            As for making Flemish bow strings, that's the only type of string I make/use. I use the Dacron B-50 material and particularly enjoy the two color ability of a Flemish string. Some day I will try a three color string. Lately, just to add to the mix, I've used two colors with a single strand of a third color. Sort of a signature thing. Fun!

            I would caution everyone to make sure you match your string material to your bow abilities. Most older bows should not have a Fast Flight string. This new material has very little stretch to it and can actually break older bows. My longbows have moose antler limb tips and the bowyer recommended using Dacron only strings. He told me moose antler is softer than deer antler and a Fast Flight string would damage the bow. I have a very fast Cold Mountain longbow that uses a Fast Flight string with no issues.

            Fast Flight string fibers have a smaller diameter for the same strength as Dacron thus less mass for your bow to move resulting in more limb energy being delivered to the arrow instead of being wasted moving other things, i.e. string, string silencers, nock points, etc. But again, due to the low stretch factor of the Fast Flight material older bows could actually be broken using this type of string.

            cog
          • Taslen
            I ve never made a string but have watched Lord Merlin make one it s a art for sure! Gaelen ________________________________ From: Guy Taylor
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 30, 2010
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              I've never made a string but have watched Lord Merlin make one it's a art for sure!
               
              Gaelen


              From: Guy Taylor <guy.taylor@...>
              To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thu, December 30, 2010 2:10:48 AM
              Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] FLEMISH TWIST BOWSTRING

               

              I totally agree with Fritz, nylon artificial sinew looks good but makes a very poor bowstring.
              However, every once in a while there is a spool of polyester artificial sinew wandering through our fingers, that will make a better bowstring than the nylon flavor.
              But it's still better to use a specialty fiber made for the purpose to build our bowstrings. Brownell's B-50 and BCY's B-500 and B-55 make great strings and their prices are very reasonable.
              Of course, the natural fiber route is always a good one, too. 
               
              Guy
              Greenman Archery

              --- On Wed, 12/29/10, Fritz <carl.west@...> wrote:

              From: Fritz <carl.west@...>
              Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] FLEMISH TWIST BOWSTRING
              To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2010, 10:22 PM

               
              When Dearg Ailfredsson put fingers to keys it was 12/30/10 12:02 AM...

              >
              >
              > So out of just plan boredom
              > and Cog was talking about it
              > and from that I decided I wanted one
              > I made a Flemish twist bowstring
              > out of articifial sinew
              > and it works great
              > I really didn't think it would on my 1st try
              > if I can get a good picture of it I'll post it

              Congratulations on making a usable bowstring with your own hands!
              There's a satisfaction in it that's hard to beat.

              A note though:
              Most artificial sinew is nylon floss with brown wax.
              Nylon is a very stretchy material, not particularly efficient for
              bowstrings. Artificial sinew _looks_ somewhat like real sinew when used
              to bind something together, but it doesn't _act_ like it.

              If you're going to do the work of twining your own strings, you might do
              well to get hold of some dacron bowstring string,
              or,
              go nuts and use a period material like linen or hemp and some beeswax.

              --
              Fritz
              Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.

              I've never tried making a sting but have watched Lord Merlin make one it looks like more of a art form to me

            • James Koch
              Gentlemen and Ladies, ... I have made a crossbow string from craft store hemp cord. I waxed it myself using bees wax which I melted in a cut down steel can.
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 30, 2010
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                Gentlemen and Ladies,
                >
                I have made a crossbow string from craft store hemp cord. I waxed it
                myself using bees wax which I melted in a cut down steel can. Bees
                wax melts at a low enough temperature that I was able to squeeze the
                excess wax out of the string with my bare hands before it cooled. I
                have also made strings for long bows from waxed linen thread. This
                is the heavy stuff available from leather supply stores for sewing
                shoes. These days the linen version is being replaced by nylon and
                is becoming harder to find. My linen bow strings do stretch. It may
                be possible to pre-stretch the thread. I tend to wind up twisting
                the finished string to adjust the brace height. Having a string with
                a loop at one end and a knot at the other would be a plus since it
                could be shortened as necessary.
                >
                Jim Koch "Gladius The Alchemist"
              • Fritz
                When James Koch put fingers to keys it was 12/30/10 2:16 PM... ... A new, hand-twisted string will _always_ stretch . Squeeze all you want, there is still wax
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 30, 2010
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                  When James Koch put fingers to keys it was 12/30/10 2:16 PM...

                  > Gentlemen and Ladies,
                  > >
                  > I have made a crossbow string from craft store hemp cord. I waxed it
                  > myself using bees wax which I melted in a cut down steel can. Bees
                  > wax melts at a low enough temperature that I was able to squeeze the
                  > excess wax out of the string with my bare hands before it cooled. I
                  > have also made strings for long bows from waxed linen thread. This
                  > is the heavy stuff available from leather supply stores for sewing
                  > shoes. These days the linen version is being replaced by nylon and
                  > is becoming harder to find. My linen bow strings do stretch. It may
                  > be possible to pre-stretch the thread. I tend to wind up twisting
                  > the finished string to adjust the brace height. Having a string with
                  > a loop at one end and a knot at the other would be a plus since it
                  > could be shortened as necessary.
                  > >
                  > Jim Koch "Gladius The Alchemist"
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >

                  A new, hand-twisted string will _always_ 'stretch'.
                  Squeeze all you want, there is still wax that will be displaced,
                  allowing the fibers to get closer together, thus lengthening the string.

                  You should always have a spare string ready to go.
                  If you're competing, that spare should already have been shot 50 or so
                  times _in_the_heat_of_the_day_ so that it will have done its settling in.

                  I got burned by this once in the Pensic Champions shoot; my second
                  string had only been shot in the mornings, my first string failed, I put
                  on the second one, and in the heat of the day it settled further, I lost
                  two inches of brace height, whacked myself, AND lost miserably in the
                  head-to-head slot shoot. Very educational.


                  --
                  Fritz
                  Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.
                • Dearg Ailfredsson
                  Last night I was just looking for something to do with my hands I m trying to quit smoking and I have 3 kids there is no sleeping in my house but I think I
                  Message 8 of 10 , Dec 30, 2010
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                    Last night I was just looking for something to do with my hands
                    "I'm trying to quit smoking and I have 3 kids there is no sleeping in my house"
                    but I think I would like to start making my own bowstrings
                    because I had a lot of fun with the one I made and there is a lot of pride in it
                    and I know I do want to use only all natural fibers I think I want to try hemp next

                    Dearg.

                    Lord Dearg Ailfredsson
                    [dare-eg ale-frid-son]
                    "Red son of Alfred"
                    11th century Gall Gaidhel [gall guy-yell]
                    a.k.a. "Irish Northman"
                    Leather Craftsman, Archer and Hunter
                    Paid SCA member since 2003

                    --- On Wed, 12/29/10, Fritz <carl.west@...> wrote:

                    From: Fritz <carl.west@...>
                    Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] FLEMISH TWIST BOWSTRING
                    To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2010, 10:22 PM

                     

                    When Dearg Ailfredsson put fingers to keys it was 12/30/10 12:02 AM...

                    >
                    >
                    > So out of just plan boredom
                    > and Cog was talking about it
                    > and from that I decided I wanted one
                    > I made a Flemish twist bowstring
                    > out of articifial sinew
                    > and it works great
                    > I really didn't think it would on my 1st try
                    > if I can get a good picture of it I'll post it

                    Congratulations on making a usable bowstring with your own hands!
                    There's a satisfaction in it that's hard to beat.

                    A note though:
                    Most artificial sinew is nylon floss with brown wax.
                    Nylon is a very stretchy material, not particularly efficient for
                    bowstrings. Artificial sinew _looks_ somewhat like real sinew when used
                    to bind something together, but it doesn't _act_ like it.

                    If you're going to do the work of twining your own strings, you might do
                    well to get hold of some dacron bowstring string,
                    or,
                    go nuts and use a period material like linen or hemp and some beeswax.

                    --
                    Fritz
                    Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.


                  • i_griffen
                    Good Lord May I offer a suggestion to assist you in quiting smoking. First go to Home Depot Purchase one of the following 96 x 4 x 4 or 96 x 6 x6 or 96
                    Message 9 of 10 , Dec 30, 2010
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                      Good Lord

                      May I offer a suggestion to assist you in quiting smoking. First go to Home Depot Purchase one of the following 96" x 4" x 4" or 96" x 6" x6" or 96" x 8" x 8" then also purchase 10 lbs 16p nails. Take them home, once you get there find your favorite hammer, then reduce the above timber into 12" lenghts, once this is done sit back and relax.

                      Now for the stress relief, when you feel the desire for a smoke grab a couple of nails and drive them into the wood. This exercise will also serve to annoy the children they will steer clear.


                      Lots of luck
                      Iain Griffen

                      --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Dearg Ailfredsson <deargailfredsson@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Last night I was just looking for something to do with my hands
                      > "I'm trying to quit smoking and I have 3 kids there is no sleeping in my house"
                      > but I think I would like to start making my own bowstrings
                      > because I had a lot of fun with the one I made and there is a lot of pride in it
                      > and I know I do want to use only all natural fibers I think I want to try hemp next
                      >
                      > Dearg.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Lord Dearg Ailfredsson
                      >
                      > [dare-eg ale-frid-son]
                      >
                      > "Red son of Alfred"
                      >
                      > 11th century Gall Gaidhel [gall guy-yell]
                      >
                      > a.k.a. "Irish Northman"
                      >
                      > Leather Craftsman, Archer and Hunter
                      >
                      > Paid SCA member since 2003
                      >
                      > --- On Wed, 12/29/10, Fritz <carl.west@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > From: Fritz <carl.west@...>
                      > Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] FLEMISH TWIST BOWSTRING
                      > To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                      > Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2010, 10:22 PM
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >  
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > When Dearg Ailfredsson put fingers to keys it was 12/30/10 12:02 AM...
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > >
                      >
                      > > So out of just plan boredom
                      >
                      > > and Cog was talking about it
                      >
                      > > and from that I decided I wanted one
                      >
                      > > I made a Flemish twist bowstring
                      >
                      > > out of articifial sinew
                      >
                      > > and it works great
                      >
                      > > I really didn't think it would on my 1st try
                      >
                      > > if I can get a good picture of it I'll post it
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Congratulations on making a usable bowstring with your own hands!
                      >
                      > There's a satisfaction in it that's hard to beat.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > A note though:
                      >
                      > Most artificial sinew is nylon floss with brown wax.
                      >
                      > Nylon is a very stretchy material, not particularly efficient for
                      >
                      > bowstrings. Artificial sinew _looks_ somewhat like real sinew when used
                      >
                      > to bind something together, but it doesn't _act_ like it.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > If you're going to do the work of twining your own strings, you might do
                      >
                      > well to get hold of some dacron bowstring string,
                      >
                      > or,
                      >
                      > go nuts and use a period material like linen or hemp and some beeswax.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      >
                      > Fritz
                      >
                      > Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.
                      >
                    • Robert Meyer
                      I 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
                      Message 10 of 10 , Dec 30, 2010
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                        I'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...

                        Cheers!
                         
                        --
                        "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



                        From: Dearg Ailfredsson <deargailfredsson@...>
                        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thu, December 30, 2010 5:16:37 PM
                        Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] FLEMISH TWIST BOWSTRING



                        Last night I was just looking for something to do with my hands
                        "I'm trying to quit smoking and I have 3 kids there is no sleeping in my house"
                        but I think I would like to start making my own bowstrings
                        because I had a lot of fun with the one I made and there is a lot of pride in it
                        and I know I do want to use only all natural fibers I think I want to try hemp next

                        Dearg.

                        Lord Dearg Ailfredsson
                        [dare-eg ale-frid-son]
                        "Red son of Alfred"
                        11th century Gall Gaidhel [gall guy-yell]
                        a.k.a. "Irish Northman"
                        Leather Craftsman, Archer and Hunter
                        Paid SCA member since 2003

                        --- On Wed, 12/29/10, Fritz <carl.west@...> wrote:

                        From: Fritz <carl.west@...>
                        Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] FLEMISH TWIST BOWSTRING
                        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2010, 10:22 PM

                         

                        When Dearg Ailfredsson put fingers to keys it was 12/30/10 12:02 AM...

                        >
                        >
                        > So out of just plan boredom
                        > and Cog was talking about it
                        > and from that I decided I wanted one
                        > I made a Flemish twist bowstring
                        > out of articifial sinew
                        > and it works great
                        > I really didn't think it would on my 1st try
                        > if I can get a good picture of it I'll post it

                        Congratulations on making a usable bowstring with your own hands!
                        There's a satisfaction in it that's hard to beat.

                        A note though:
                        Most artificial sinew is nylon floss with brown wax.
                        Nylon is a very stretchy material, not particularly efficient for
                        bowstrings. Artificial sinew _looks_ somewhat like real sinew when used
                        to bind something together, but it doesn't _act_ like it.

                        If you're going to do the work of twining your own strings, you might do
                        well to get hold of some dacron bowstring string,
                        or,
                        go nuts and use a period material like linen or hemp and some beeswax.

                        --
                        Fritz
                        Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.





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