Skip to content

Make a Continuous Loop Bowstring – Part 3

June 29, 2015

So now that we have our string jig and our serving dispenser together, we can make a bowstring. You can use many different things for the actual string. You can buy some B-50 Dacron that is specifically made for bowstrings, but I prefer to use the waxed Dacron that is sometimes referred to as artificial sinew. It’s easy to find at craft stores and relatively inexpensive. It also has the advantage of already being waxed. If you use B-50 you will also need beeswax to rub on the string.

Before we start wrapping our string onto the jig I want to give you a little diagram of what we are doing. Since my string jig is over five feet long it makes it hard to show it all in a photo. I thought a diagram might help.

1

Now let’s get started. My two starter dowels are glued permanently in place. I’m going to make a 60 inch bowstring, so I set my two movable dowels with the tall one at 60 and the short one at 62.

001

To start the wrapping I tie the end of my Dacron string below the cross pin of the permanent short dowel and then I bring the string over the cross pin on the permanent tall dowel. You can start on either side of the tall dowel.

002

Now I run the string down and loop it around the tall movable dowel. You should be on the same side of this dowel as you were on the permanent dowel. You don’t want your string criss-crossing in the middle.

003

Keep a little tension on the string and run it back to the permanent tall dowel and around. You continue this until you have as many strands as you want in your bowstring. If you want to make a bowstring with a total of six strands you will continue looping the string until you have five strands on the side that is tied to an end post and four strands on the side that is not tied to an end post. The reason for this will become clear in a moment.

004

When you tie the end of your string off at the finish, it must be tied to the opposite end from where you started.

005

You now have two runs of Dacron that are separated by about a ½ inch of space. It is time to apply the serving to what will become the loops of our bowstring.

006

Measure to the center of the bowstring. Since we are making a 60 inch string, the center will be 30 inches. Mark the center and the measure out four inches to each side of center and make a mark. We are going to apply serving to each of these eight inch sections of bowstring.

007

To make it easier to work on each strand, place your string spreaders in between the strands to hold them apart.

008

Being right-handed I always serve from right to left, so that’s how the pictures show the process. I start at the mark on the right side of the closest strand and loop my serving around it. I leave an inch or two of tail on the serving and wrap my loops over the top of it. It is important to lay your serving loops right next to each other and to keep the serving tight.

009

010

Your serving dispenser should be adjusted so that a firm pull will feed more serving out, but if you let the dispenser hang, it will not let serving come out on its own.

011

When you have covered up about ¾ inch of the tail, you can snip the remainder off. The wrappings will not let the tail come loose.

012

Keep wrapping the serving around and around until you are about ¾ inch from the far left mark.

013

At this point you want to take a scrap of Dacron about two feet long. Fold it into a loop and hold it along the bowstring as shown.

014

Now continue your wrapping, only now you are also wrapping on top of the loop.

015

Keep wrapping until you go about a ¼ inch past your mark; and then you can stop, reel out about six inches of serving and snip the serving off with scissors. Be sure and keep tension on the serving so that it doesn’t un-spool when you cut it.

016

Now take the end of the serving and stick it through your loop of Dacron.

017

Pull on the loose ends of the loop, and the end of your serving will be pulled back under the wraps. Snip any excess off, and the wraps will hold the, now hidden, end in place. You have to pull pretty hard on the loop ends, and it will probably compress the loops of serving back up the string. This is why you go about ¼ inch past your mark before ending the serving.

018

019

So now you have one section of serving done. Turn your jig around so that you are working from right to left again and do the same thing to the other strand.

020

Now it’s time to cut the ties loose from the short dowels with a pair of scissors.

021

When you have snipped the string loose, lift it up so that it exposed all the way back to the serving. Now take your scissors and cut off the string right at the edge of the serving. Be careful not to cut the serving or any other strings. Do the same thing to the other tied off string.

022

Now you can slip the bowstring around on the dowels so that the served area is around the dowels on each end. Off-set the ends of the serving about an inch or so as shown in the photo.

023

Now we can form the loops. All that you have to do to make the loops is squeeze the two strands together and apply a layer of serving over them as show below.

024

Run the serving down about six inches and finish it off just like you did before. Voila, you have a loop.

025

Now do the same thing to the other end. I usually make one small loop to stay in place on the bow, and one larger loop that will slide down onto the limb when I unstring the bow.

026

It is customary to apply serving to the string in the area where the arrow is nocked. This helps to prevent wear on the string. To locate where to put this serving, just string the bow, nock an arrow, and make a mark on the bowstring.

027

028

Apply serving to this area using the same method. I usually make my serving about four inches long with the nocking point in the center of the serving.

029

If you made your string a little too long, or if it stretches out, all you have to do is twist the string a little to shorten it. I always make my string a little long because it is easy to make it shorter; not so easy to make it longer. In fact, if it is too short you are going to have to start from the beginning and make a longer string.

From → Archery, Modern

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: