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Thread: Confused about string twists and serving direction.

  1. #19
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    When we first start serving a string, as in the video, the tag end is placed along the string ahead of the windings that will cover it. Then we wind on some serving for a distance we consider, "enough" and then pull the tag end to take up the slack. If you watch closely when you do this for yourself, as the tag end is pulled, the first thing to happen is the slack is reduced, as expected, until all the slack is taken up. If, however, you keep on pulling the tag end, with pliers for example, you will see that pulling further causes more of the serving thread to be pulled inside the windings. Keep pulling and you will see that the first wrap of serving slowly seems to unwind and disappear inside the rest of the serving.
    At least, that is what happens if the first few windings that are done by hand (before using the serving tool) are a bit loose. What can happen is, the pulling in of the tag end gets rid of the slack, first. Then the tag end seems to resist further pulling, so we stop. The resistance felt on the tag end is mainly caused by the later windings, that are easier to keep the tension on. The first few windings, which are a bit of a fiddle, can be looser than the rest. If those few windings are loose, the serving can be unwound fairly easily. After that, the others can gradually become loose.
    Some string makers pass the tag end between the strands of the actual bow string before serving over it. That makes it easier to keep a good tension on the serving right from the start. The slack can be pulled in after just a few windings, and that creates enough friction to prevent any loosening. More serving over the tag end just improves things even more.

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