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Re: Strings

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  • The Greys
    I make my own bow strings and have scared my dogs with a few well placed adjectives during the process a time or two. But having said that I ll share what
    Message 1 of 29 , Jun 25, 2013
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      I make my own bow strings and have scared my dogs with a few well placed adjectives during the process a time or two. But having said that I'll share what I've been told/learned about making bow strings.

      First nomenclature. When I say Dacron, I'm referring to Dacron B-50 type string material. When I say Fast Flight I'm referring to the newer low stretch materials.

      My experience is that older bows were not designed for the low stretch of the newer Fast Flight materials. I was told by my favorite bowyer who puts antler limb tips on his bows, that if the antler is deer you can use fast flight. However, he also uses moose which he says is softer thus should use dacron. So I have always followed the rule of old bow, dacron, new bow fast flight.

      I have a Cold Mountain longbow that was designed for fast flight string and it really does make a BIG difference in bow performance between using a dacron or fast flight string.

      A note on bees wax for strings, mix in a little vegetable oil. It makes the wax a bit softer and easier to work into the string.

      cog

      --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, richard johnson <rikjohnson39@...> wrote:
      >
      > My new 45# longbow arrived Saturday from GI Bow for $55. And I
      > bought a couple extra strings for when I wear these out. Am adding
      > nock-supports (I have NO idea of how to add bone or horn tips), dying
      > the wood mahogany & red, wrapping a grip and arrow-shelf... the
      > usual...
      >
      > Then I collected a bunch of Beeswax Candle stubs and melted them in an
      > old crock pot, poured the melted wax into a cheap zip-lock container
      > to cool and while it was still soft, popped it from the mold and cut
      > it into blocks so I'd always have bowstring wax. Note: Beeswax
      > candles, not parrafin!
      >
      > While doing this and examining the new bowstrings I realized that
      > every one of my bowstrings is synthetic! I also discovered that the
      > threads are exactly the same as a large spool of black dacron I have
      > in my sewing kit save for the color.
      >
      > This got me thinking.
      >
      > For those of you who make bowstrings, what do you use and why?
      >
      >
      > --
      > Rick Johnson
      > http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
      > "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined
      > security will soon find that they have neither."
      >
    • Janyn Fletcher
      I agree with what COG said. I have been making my own strings for over 20 years now. You need to make sure that your bow is able to handle the FF string
      Message 2 of 29 , Jun 25, 2013
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        I agree with what COG said. I have been making my own strings for over 20 years now. You need to make sure that your bow is able to handle the FF string materials. Every bow is different and this would be important. I prefer endless loop strings over Flemish twist even though they are more modern than the Flemish. Also I use FF strings over Dacron because it performs better and doesn't stretch as much generally. I use 452+ or TS28 for my crossbow strings. You can make a very simple string jig for less than $100 if you get the pre made posts and under $50 if you do it yourself.
         
        In Service,
         
        Janyn Fletcher, DEM Atlantia

        From: The Greys <cogworks@...>
        To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 10:35 AM
        Subject: [SCA-Archery] Re: Strings
         
        I make my own bow strings and have scared my dogs with a few well placed adjectives during the process a time or two. But having said that I'll share what I've been told/learned about making bow strings.

        First nomenclature. When I say Dacron, I'm referring to Dacron B-50 type string material. When I say Fast Flight I'm referring to the newer low stretch materials.

        My experience is that older bows were not designed for the low stretch of the newer Fast Flight materials. I was told by my favorite bowyer who puts antler limb tips on his bows, that if the antler is deer you can use fast flight. However, he also uses moose which he says is softer thus should use dacron. So I have always followed the rule of old bow, dacron, new bow fast flight.

        I have a Cold Mountain longbow that was designed for fast flight string and it really does make a BIG difference in bow performance between using a dacron or fast flight string.

        A note on bees wax for strings, mix in a little vegetable oil. It makes the wax a bit softer and easier to work into the string.

        cog

        --- In mailto:SCA-Archery%40yahoogroups.com, richard johnson <rikjohnson39@...> wrote:
        >
        > My new 45# longbow arrived Saturday from GI Bow for $55. And I
        > bought a couple extra strings for when I wear these out. Am adding
        > nock-supports (I have NO idea of how to add bone or horn tips), dying
        > the wood mahogany & red, wrapping a grip and arrow-shelf... the
        > usual...
        >
        > Then I collected a bunch of Beeswax Candle stubs and melted them in an
        > old crock pot, poured the melted wax into a cheap zip-lock container
        > to cool and while it was still soft, popped it from the mold and cut
        > it into blocks so I'd always have bowstring wax. Note: Beeswax
        > candles, not parrafin!
        >
        > While doing this and examining the new bowstrings I realized that
        > every one of my bowstrings is synthetic! I also discovered that the
        > threads are exactly the same as a large spool of black dacron I have
        > in my sewing kit save for the color.
        >
        > This got me thinking.
        >
        > For those of you who make bowstrings, what do you use and why?
        >
        >
        > --
        > Rick Johnson
        > http://rick-johnson.webs.com/
        > "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined
        > security will soon find that they have neither."
        >

      • lekervere
        For twisting the string, there are many tutorials online, with video. You will notice not all of them use the same methods. You can pick and choose, and find
        Message 3 of 29 , Jun 25, 2013
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          For twisting the string, there are many tutorials online, with video. You will notice not all of them use the same methods. You can pick and choose, and find what works for you. Some people swear by two-strand strings. I prefer three strands.
          My own experience has shown me a few things, which I will offer here. Lightweight strings shoot faster. Most string tutorials show overbuilt strings, usually meant to achieve a particular diameter, to allow the arrow nock to clip onto the string. With proper shooting form the arrow does not have to grip the string, mostly. Thumb shooters may prefer it. Anyway, the rule of thumb for safety is that a bow string should test at four times the draw poundage of the bow. You don't need to build a whole string and test it to failure. Just take a thread of whatever you want to use for string, tie it to a secure dowel or peg, wrap it around a few times and attach a fish scale to the tail. Now pull it until it breaks. You can repeat this several times to be certain, but it is likely you will come up with a consistent breaking strength. Take your bow weight, multiply by four and divide by the breaking strength, and you will have the minimum number of threads for a bow string. You can add a bit for more safety. The breaking strength of B-50 is 33 pounds. Now you see what I mean by overbuilt. For roundness I make most of my strings from three stands of three threads each. With a center serving, these will catch a nock clip, barely. Natural fiber threads, like linen, will figure out to a lot more threads, but bear in mind these fibers are lighter in weight than dacron, so the overall weight of a linen string may be similar to a synthetic string.
          Concerning wax, when building flemish strings, you want the string to stay twisted and neatly laid while working. I use a mixture of beeswax and brewers pitch on the ends of the string that form the loop and the tapered tail. This mixture is called palm. Its stickier than beeswax, though once everything is laid up, it doesn't seem to attract more dirt than plain wax. It really keeps those errant treads in line.
          I use a bowyer's knot at one end of the bow. Some string makers will call this unacceptable, but I've never had one fail. For heavier bows, up in the 60 and 70 pound range it may be better to lay in the two loops.

          Edward le Kervere

          --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Taslen <taslen2000@...> wrote:
          >
          > As the newest string maker here (my lady made me a string jig for our anniversary) where do I start looking for how to articles I shoot a 35pound pull ELB that I had made for me.
          >
          > Gaelen
          >
          >
          >
          > ________________________________
          >
        • richard johnson
          now THIS single post was extremely informative!!!! Brewers pitch? Is this common pine sap that can be melted down to make glue? I gather that it can also be
          Message 4 of 29 , Jun 25, 2013
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            now THIS single post was extremely informative!!!!


            Brewers pitch?
            Is this common pine sap that can be melted down to make glue?
            I gather that it can also be used to coat the inside of leather or
            horn drinking vessels?
            What is the mixture with beeswax.. how much pitch to how much beeswax
            for archery?


            On 6/25/13, lekervere <edwoodguy@...> wrote:
            > For twisting the string, there are many tutorials online, with video. You
            > will notice not all of them use the same methods. You can pick and choose,
            > and find what works for you. Some people swear by two-strand strings. I
            > prefer three strands.
            > My own experience has shown me a few things, which I will offer here.
            > Lightweight strings shoot faster. Most string tutorials show overbuilt
            > strings, usually meant to achieve a particular diameter, to allow the arrow
            > nock to clip onto the string. With proper shooting form the arrow does not
            > have to grip the string, mostly. Thumb shooters may prefer it. Anyway, the
            > rule of thumb for safety is that a bow string should test at four times the
            > draw poundage of the bow. You don't need to build a whole string and test it
            > to failure. Just take a thread of whatever you want to use for string, tie
            > it to a secure dowel or peg, wrap it around a few times and attach a fish
            > scale to the tail. Now pull it until it breaks. You can repeat this several
            > times to be certain, but it is likely you will come up with a consistent
            > breaking strength. Take your bow weight, multiply by four and divide by the
            > breaking strength, and you will have the minimum number of threads for a bow
            > string. You can add a bit for more safety. The breaking strength of B-50 is
            > 33 pounds. Now you see what I mean by overbuilt. For roundness I make most
            > of my strings from three stands of three threads each. With a center
            > serving, these will catch a nock clip, barely. Natural fiber threads, like
            > linen, will figure out to a lot more threads, but bear in mind these fibers
            > are lighter in weight than dacron, so the overall weight of a linen string
            > may be similar to a synthetic string.
            > Concerning wax, when building flemish strings, you want the string to stay
            > twisted and neatly laid while working. I use a mixture of beeswax and
            > brewers pitch on the ends of the string that form the loop and the tapered
            > tail. This mixture is called palm. Its stickier than beeswax, though once
            > everything is laid up, it doesn't seem to attract more dirt than plain wax.
            > It really keeps those errant treads in line.
            > I use a bowyer's knot at one end of the bow. Some string makers will call
            > this unacceptable, but I've never had one fail. For heavier bows, up in the
            > 60 and 70 pound range it may be better to lay in the two loops.
            >
            > Edward le Kervere
            >
            > --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Taslen <taslen2000@...> wrote:
            >>
            >> As the newest string maker here (my lady made me a string jig for our
            >> anniversary) where do I start looking for how to articles I shoot a
            >> 35pound pull ELB that I had made for me.
            >>
            >> Gaelen
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >> ________________________________
            >>
            >
            >
            >


            --
            Rick Johnson
            http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
            "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined
            security will soon find that they have neither."
          • lekervere
            I m glad you liked my post. Yes, brewer s pitch is pine sap, and I do also use it to seal leather vessels. I think its a mixture of pine sap and mineral oil,
            Message 5 of 29 , Jun 25, 2013
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              I'm glad you liked my post.
              Yes, brewer's pitch is pine sap, and I do also use it to seal leather vessels. I think its a mixture of pine sap and mineral oil, mostly pine sap. For the palm, you could use plain pine sap. I think the mixture is one part pitch to four parts beeswax. Its been a while and I didn't take notes. One thumb size lump has done for maybe two dozen bow strings, and is still two thirds unused.
              I buy brewer's pitch by the pound from the James Townsend and Sons Catalog online. For those working on more period kits, and who have some skill with leather, look up bottels and leather jacks online. You can buy them made up, but some use an epoxy product to seal the inside. The trouble with this is, once its cracked, you can't fix it. When the brewer's pitch develops a leak, you warm it by the fire until the pitch flows and it reseals.

              Edward le Kervere

              --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, richard johnson <rikjohnson39@...> wrote:
              >
              > now THIS single post was extremely informative!!!!
              >
              >
              > Brewers pitch?
              > Is this common pine sap that can be melted down to make glue?
              > I gather that it can also be used to coat the inside of leather or
              > horn drinking vessels?
              > What is the mixture with beeswax.. how much pitch to how much beeswax
              > for archery?
              >
              >
              > On 6/25/13, lekervere <edwoodguy@...> wrote:
              > > For twisting the string, there are many tutorials online, with video. You
              > > will notice not all of them use the same methods. You can pick and choose,
              > > and find what works for you. Some people swear by two-strand strings. I
              > > prefer three strands.
              > > My own experience has shown me a few things, which I will offer here.
              > > Lightweight strings shoot faster. Most string tutorials show overbuilt
              > > strings, usually meant to achieve a particular diameter, to allow the arrow
              > > nock to clip onto the string. With proper shooting form the arrow does not
              > > have to grip the string, mostly. Thumb shooters may prefer it. Anyway, the
              > > rule of thumb for safety is that a bow string should test at four times the
              > > draw poundage of the bow. You don't need to build a whole string and test it
              > > to failure. Just take a thread of whatever you want to use for string, tie
              > > it to a secure dowel or peg, wrap it around a few times and attach a fish
              > > scale to the tail. Now pull it until it breaks. You can repeat this several
              > > times to be certain, but it is likely you will come up with a consistent
              > > breaking strength. Take your bow weight, multiply by four and divide by the
              > > breaking strength, and you will have the minimum number of threads for a bow
              > > string. You can add a bit for more safety. The breaking strength of B-50 is
              > > 33 pounds. Now you see what I mean by overbuilt. For roundness I make most
              > > of my strings from three stands of three threads each. With a center
              > > serving, these will catch a nock clip, barely. Natural fiber threads, like
              > > linen, will figure out to a lot more threads, but bear in mind these fibers
              > > are lighter in weight than dacron, so the overall weight of a linen string
              > > may be similar to a synthetic string.
              > > Concerning wax, when building flemish strings, you want the string to stay
              > > twisted and neatly laid while working. I use a mixture of beeswax and
              > > brewers pitch on the ends of the string that form the loop and the tapered
              > > tail. This mixture is called palm. Its stickier than beeswax, though once
              > > everything is laid up, it doesn't seem to attract more dirt than plain wax.
              > > It really keeps those errant treads in line.
              > > I use a bowyer's knot at one end of the bow. Some string makers will call
              > > this unacceptable, but I've never had one fail. For heavier bows, up in the
              > > 60 and 70 pound range it may be better to lay in the two loops.
              > >
              > > Edward le Kervere
              > >
              > > --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Taslen <taslen2000@> wrote:
              > >>
              > >> As the newest string maker here (my lady made me a string jig for our
              > >> anniversary) where do I start looking for how to articles I shoot a
              > >> 35pound pull ELB that I had made for me.
              > >>
              > >> Gaelen
              > >>
              > >>
              > >>
              > >> ________________________________
              > >>
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              > --
              > Rick Johnson
              > http://Rick-Johnson.webs.com
              > "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined
              > security will soon find that they have neither."
              >
            • Taslen
              thanks for the information I will be starting soon Gaelen ________________________________ From: lekervere To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
              Message 6 of 29 , Jun 26, 2013
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                thanks for the information I will be starting soon

                Gaelen


                From: lekervere <edwoodguy@...>
                To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 2:06 PM
                Subject: [SCA-Archery] Re: Strings newbie help?

                 
                For twisting the string, there are many tutorials online, with video. You will notice not all of them use the same methods. You can pick and choose, and find what works for you. Some people swear by two-strand strings. I prefer three strands.
                My own experience has shown me a few things, which I will offer here. Lightweight strings shoot faster. Most string tutorials show overbuilt strings, usually meant to achieve a particular diameter, to allow the arrow nock to clip onto the string. With proper shooting form the arrow does not have to grip the string, mostly. Thumb shooters may prefer it. Anyway, the rule of thumb for safety is that a bow string should test at four times the draw poundage of the bow. You don't need to build a whole string and test it to failure. Just take a thread of whatever you want to use for string, tie it to a secure dowel or peg, wrap it around a few times and attach a fish scale to the tail. Now pull it until it breaks. You can repeat this several times to be certain, but it is likely you will come up with a consistent breaking strength. Take your bow weight, multiply by four and divide by the breaking strength, and you will have the minimum number of threads for a bow string. You can add a bit for more safety. The breaking strength of B-50 is 33 pounds. Now you see what I mean by overbuilt. For roundness I make most of my strings from three stands of three threads each. With a center serving, these will catch a nock clip, barely. Natural fiber threads, like linen, will figure out to a lot more threads, but bear in mind these fibers are lighter in weight than dacron, so the overall weight of a linen string may be similar to a synthetic string.
                Concerning wax, when building flemish strings, you want the string to stay twisted and neatly laid while working. I use a mixture of beeswax and brewers pitch on the ends of the string that form the loop and the tapered tail. This mixture is called palm. Its stickier than beeswax, though once everything is laid up, it doesn't seem to attract more dirt than plain wax. It really keeps those errant treads in line.
                I use a bowyer's knot at one end of the bow. Some string makers will call this unacceptable, but I've never had one fail. For heavier bows, up in the 60 and 70 pound range it may be better to lay in the two loops.

                Edward le Kervere

                --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Taslen <taslen2000@...> wrote:
                >
                > As the newest string maker here (my lady made me a string jig for our anniversary) where do I start looking for how to articles I shoot a 35pound pull ELB that I had made for me.
                >
                > Gaelen
                >
                >
                >
                > ________________________________
                >



              • Caterina Fortuna
                My lord has experimented some with modern materials, like certain types of fishing line, dacron, fast flight,... What this means it s some of his strings are
                Message 7 of 29 , Jul 2, 2013
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                  My lord has experimented some with modern materials, like certain types of fishing line, dacron, fast flight,...
                  What this means it's some of his strings are very thin. So thin that I requested a thicker serving to keep my fingers from hurting. The thicker the bowstring the slower it responds. We check our arrow velocity at our local archery shop. This is helpful when tuning your bow...
                  Serving (thread) comes in different thicknesses. You can also add an extra layer or two in the area where your fingers pull.
                  We compromised by making a thin string with a thicker serving where my fingers pull.
                  Cat

                • Bill Tait
                  There is also a risk of making the string too thin, resulting in what is called a critical string. If it is too thin, it will not react the same from shot to
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jul 3, 2013
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                    There is also a risk of making the string too thin, resulting in what is called a "critical" string. If it is too thin, it will not react the same from shot to shot. I played once with different string thicknesses and brace heights. The guideline for B-50 (Dacron) is 3-4 lbs (bow poundage) per strand. My 30# should have had 8 as a "thin" string. 6 was far too few :) It lasted 13 shots before letting go. Thankfully it didn't fail catastrophically, but rather the brace height dropped to just a few inches.

                    PS: A good finger tab will keep your fingers from hurting, and will improve your consistency.

                    William Arwemakere



                    On Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 11:52 PM, Caterina Fortuna <cat4tuna@...> wrote:
                     

                    My lord has experimented some with modern materials, like certain types of fishing line, dacron, fast flight,...
                    What this means it's some of his strings are very thin. So thin that I requested a thicker serving to keep my fingers from hurting. The thicker the bowstring the slower it responds. We check our arrow velocity at our local archery shop. This is helpful when tuning your bow...
                    Serving (thread) comes in different thicknesses. You can also add an extra layer or two in the area where your fingers pull.
                    We compromised by making a thin string with a thicker serving where my fingers pull.
                    Cat


                  • The Greys
                    Considering the bow is an ancient weapon it is truly amazing how much physics goes into it s functioning. How many on this list have ever wondered how far
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jul 3, 2013
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                      Considering the bow is an ancient weapon it is truly amazing how much physics goes into it's functioning. How many on this list have ever wondered how far they could throw an arrow? I know I couldn't throw one even 20 yards much less with any degree of accuracy. Thus when a bow is drawn the energy of the bent limbs is stored. Upon release of the string that energy is transferred to the arrow causing it to fly to the bulls eye - or at least that's what we hope! :-) ANYTHING added to the string or bow limbs takes away from the energy going to the arrow. Thus thicker strings, nock points, string silencers, servings all detract from the energy transferred to the arrow. Even things like end caps some folks put on their limb tips detracts. Again, basic physics, it takes energy to move these things, energy that does not go into the arrow.

                      Personally I like string silencers and nock points. I use Dacron B-50 on most of my bows as that is what's recommended by their maker. I have one Cold Mountain longbow that I use FastFlight strings on because, again, that's what the maker recommends. However, I will say one day shooting, I rather stupidly pulled the arrow nock off the string during the draw without knowing it, and fired the bow. Fortunately it did not break but it snapped off a sliver of the limb tip veneer. So "Don't dry fire your bow" means a great deal to me these days!

                      cog

                      --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Caterina Fortuna <cat4tuna@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > My lord has experimented some with modern materials, like certain types of
                      > fishing line, dacron, fast flight,...
                      > What this means it's some of his strings are very thin. So thin that I
                      > requested a thicker serving to keep my fingers from hurting. The thicker
                      > the bowstring the slower it responds. We check our arrow velocity at our
                      > local archery shop. This is helpful when tuning your bow...
                      > Serving (thread) comes in different thicknesses. You can also add an extra
                      > layer or two in the area where your fingers pull.
                      > We compromised by making a thin string with a thicker serving where my
                      > fingers pull.
                      > Cat
                      >
                    • Siegfried
                      Your rule is simpler than mine. Mine has always been walking through the following mention formula: 1. B-50 is rated at 50 lbs 2.1 However on an endless loop
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jul 3, 2013
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                        Your rule is simpler than mine. Mine has always been walking through
                        the following mention formula:

                        1. B-50 is rated at 50 lbs

                        2.1 However on an endless loop string, you have half as many at the ends
                        2.2 On a Flemish string, the 'weave' is only 50% as strong.

                        3. Therefore, you need to at least double it.

                        4. Now, multiply by 4 for a safety factor. Because, ummm, yeah. BE SAFE.

                        ;)

                        So that meant to me: 30# bow? means I need at least 2 strands, so I
                        make an 8 strand string.

                        80# combat crossbow? I'd need 4 strands. So I make a 16 strand string.

                        130# crossbow? I'd need 6 strands, so I make a 24 strand string.

                        ... It's a lot more rough of math, and if I'm close to a limit (50, 100,
                        150), I'll add an extra bundle of 4. So a 50# bow gets 12 strand, 100#
                        crossbow gets 20 strand, and 150# crossbow gets 28.

                        Siegfried


                        On 7/3/13 3:06 AM, Bill Tait wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > There is also a risk of making the string too thin, resulting in what is
                        > called a "critical" string. If it is too thin, it will not react the
                        > same from shot to shot. I played once with different string thicknesses
                        > and brace heights. The guideline for B-50 (Dacron) is 3-4 lbs (bow
                        > poundage) per strand. My 30# should have had 8 as a "thin" string. 6 was
                        > far too few :) It lasted 13 shots before letting go. Thankfully it
                        > didn't fail catastrophically, but rather the brace height dropped to
                        > just a few inches.
                        >
                        > PS: A good finger tab will keep your fingers from hurting, and will
                        > improve your consistency.
                        >
                        > William Arwemakere
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > On Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 11:52 PM, Caterina Fortuna <cat4tuna@...
                        > <mailto:cat4tuna@...>> wrote:
                        >
                        > __
                        >
                        >
                        > My lord has experimented some with modern materials, like certain
                        > types of fishing line, dacron, fast flight,...
                        > What this means it's some of his strings are very thin. So thin that
                        > I requested a thicker serving to keep my fingers from hurting. The
                        > thicker the bowstring the slower it responds. We check our arrow
                        > velocity at our local archery shop. This is helpful when tuning your
                        > bow...
                        > Serving (thread) comes in different thicknesses. You can also add an
                        > extra layer or two in the area where your fingers pull.
                        > We compromised by making a thin string with a thicker serving where
                        > my fingers pull.
                        > Cat
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >

                        --
                        Barun Siegfried Sebastian Faust, OP - Baron Highland Foorde - Atlantia
                        http://hf.atlantia.sca.org/ - http://crossbows.biz/ - http://eliw.com/
                      • Fritz
                        ... Argh! The dreaded string jig! OK _I_ dread it. I have enough STUFF already and this bulky item only does _one_ thing. BTW, the infinitive of the verb for
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jul 3, 2013
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                          > Flemish Twist is at
                          > http://www.stickbow.com/stickbow/features/flemishstring/flemishstring.html

                          Argh! The dreaded string jig!
                          OK _I_ dread it.
                          I have enough STUFF already and this bulky item only does _one_ thing.

                          BTW, the infinitive of the verb for the twisting we do to make one of
                          these strings is "to twine".

                          -----------------

                          "FLEMISH" BOWSTRINGS - WITHOUT THE JIG

                          All you need to make a bowstring is the string material, some beeswax,
                          the bow, a sharp knife (scissors will do if you aren't safe with a
                          knife), and two hands (though I know a kid who I bet can do this with
                          his only hand.)

                          Cut all your strands the same length; about a hand-span longer than the bow.

                          Cut enough strands for their total strength to equal four times the
                          poundage of the bow. This number is X. Make sure it's an even number,
                          have an extra instead of going short.

                          Make two bundles with equal numbers of strands.

                          Shift the strands in each bundle relative to each other, 1/8", 3/16",
                          even 1/4".
                          It depends on the size and number of the strands and the sort of taper
                          you want.

                          Draw the strands over the wax in a group until you have wax enough on
                          them to keep them in order.

                          Add X/4 10" strands at one end of each bundle, these will strengthen the
                          loop.

                          Stagger their ends too.

                          Wax them in.

                          Lay the reinforced ends of the bundles next to each other with the
                          remaining strands headed in opposite directions.
                          (This is more awkward than having the bundles heading in the same
                          direction, but I'm more comfortable with the idea of the actual bundles
                          pulling _against_ each other. Same direction may be fine, but I don't
                          know it.)

                          Twine the center until you have enough for the loop to slide partway
                          down the top of the bow.

                          Join the legs together, long with short, and twine about an inch past
                          the end of the last reinforcing strand.

                          Leave the strands straight (and _equally_ tensioned) until about four
                          inches above your expected nocking point. (Everything's going to
                          stretch, you may even have to re-twine this string once it has. It's a
                          learning experience.)

                          Twine the bundles for an inch.

                          Add in a 12" or 14" strand by its center. Adding half of it to each bundle.

                          Twine about 1/4".

                          Add another such strand by its center.

                          Continue adding strands in this manner until you have achieved the
                          thickness required to fit the nocks of your arrows.
                          (Do a test beforehand so you know how many to cut.)

                          Twine about an inch past the end of the last reinforcing strand.

                          About 11" from the ends of the bundles, twine the bundles for an inch.

                          As with the nocking area, add in X/4 20" strands by their centers. These
                          will reinforce the area that will become the bowyer's knot or timber
                          hitch, your choice.

                          Twine until there's nothing left.

                          I often finish with the smallest figure-8 knot I can manage at the very tip.

                          Ta da! Bowstring!
                          One that you need not worry about untwisting.

                          -----------------

                          I leave the straight parts as long as I can, a string that is entirely
                          twined is springy and less efficient than otherwise. And it's faster to
                          make.

                          Make your major brace-height adjustments by altering the knot. When the
                          string has stretched (in the heat of the day (can we not talk about how
                          I know this)) you can make fine adjustments by twisting the string
                          tighter. And if need be, looser.

                          I have made strings in this manner _on_the_range_ at Pensic for myself
                          and for others. No jigs, just wax, string, and a knife. 30 to 45 minutes.
                          You can do it too.
                          Amaze your friends.


                          Fritz, Sagg, OL, etc.


                          P.S. I once watch Edward the Grey make a quick string in about 3
                          minutes. Two colors at that! It was heavy, but it worked.
                        • ladyjohannatrewpeny
                          Share some Pictures next time you make one that way Fritz. It sounds interesting! I have forgotten my jig when I was running an archery repair night but
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jul 4, 2013
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                            Share some Pictures next time you make one that way Fritz. It sounds interesting!


                            I have forgotten my jig when I was running an 'archery repair' night but found that one can make twisted loop flemish strings without it. We wrapped the strings around two chair backs to get the proper length (bow length + about 10 inches per end) and used scissors to nip 1/2 inches off creating that frayed end which allows the bundle to fade into the string rather than leave a clump.
                            It worked better than I thought and we had several loaner bows up and ready by that evening.

                            When teaching new string makers I give them a mnemonic that helps me remember which way I'm going. "Twist away, fold back."

                            I do advise new stringmakers to use two different colors. It's much easier to match which bundle is which when weaving the ends back in to form the loop and this is one thing that can make your string fail if you get it wrong......and they're pretty! Baronial or Kingdom colors if you're using the Dacron make a nice touch to your loaner gear. Black stays looking nicer than white due to the dust and stuff the wax picks up, but a red/white striped 'candycane' string is almost worth remaking occasionally for the kids.



                            Ladies can also use this twist for their hair with a long scarf. Split hair in half, drape scarf on neck, lean forward. Starting at the nape of the neck and working toward the temple on each side fold hair around scarf until the temple is reached. Now separate scarf from hair and 'Flemish Twist'. Twist the other side of the hair in reverse. Cross the two, Making sure the 'rope' is laid on the downhill side of the roll that's attached to your head. Wrap the finished 'ropes' around and tie them in the back. No pins are needed, if done properly it will last all day. It's great for keeping that lovely hair out of the way of your bow's string, is cool for summmer, makes a good foundation for a hat or something to pin your veil to without killing your scalp. Gentlemen need not wait for your maid to braid your locks for 3 hours as it can be done in 3 minutes or less with practice!

                            Brightly,
                            Lady Johanna
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