longbow repair/alteration

Falco88

New member
Hey guys i'm new so be gentle! I often find great advice on this forum but cannot find anything for the problem I'm having. So I recently bought a longbow from eBay (I know a dumb thing to do), on paper looks and sounds great hickory, bamboo, Osage [email protected] However it will not string......either the string pops out the nock (usually the bottom) or the string just stretches when I relieve tension from the stringer so the string is flat against the belly. The nocks cannot be deepened anymore and it makes little difference so I was gonna shortern the bow (at 78inches its a little big lol), so any advice would be appreciated, I.e. how to go about shortening the bow And if I really need to retiller it once it is shortened. Sorry for the long message thanks!

Falco88
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
For pities sake... DON'T TOUCH THE BOW!
There is probably nothing wrong with the bow, you just need the right length of string made of a decent quality material.
You may need to use a stringer to get a correctly sized string on it.
Where abouts are you?
Del
 

Falco88

New member
I live in Kent. I have tried numerous materials such b50, b55 and also fastflight plus. At numerous lengths as well. My friend has also tried also tried and could not make a string to suit it, he has experience in bow building and suggested the best option was to take the nocks off and redo them however he won't be able to do this until next summer and I would rather sort it sooner. I was using a double loop stringer and used a longbow string jig to make the correct length string, any advice on what I could try next would be appreciated. Thanks for the reply
 

WillS

New member
That's odd. It won't be the bow length or nocks. It's easy to string a 83" bow (with a stringer!) that has tiny side-nocks if the string is suitable.

Take some pics of the nocks and post them on here, that should clear a few things up.


When you're making the strings (or your friend made a string) were they pre-stretched, or did they go from spool of material straight onto the bow? Also, how many twists did you put in the string? 51# is a pretty lightweight bow so this may not really apply but I recently had a horrendously difficult time getting my 120# yew warbow strung, until I realised my string had too many twists and was stretching more than it would have without them.
 

Falco88

New member
Mine was straight from spool, my friend probably the same, could this be the issue then? I never experienced any problems like this with my previous longbow its just leaving me a bit stumped! I had plenty of twists in the string. I also tried the string that came with the bow and it reacted in the same way. I'm away from home this weekend so I haven't got any pictures, I will post some on Monday, thinking its probably the best bet to wait till u see them, thanks again for your replies.
 

WillS

New member
Bowstring material stretches like crazy when it's brand new, some people hang weights from it once the string is made but before twisting and leave for a day or so. I use my tiller and put about 150# on it and leave it, just to make sure it's well stretched. Dacron/B50 will stretch pretty much forever so is fine up to about 60# (I think - not used it much on heavier bows) but FastFlight Plus should be fine right up to about 100#. It's not as good as original FastFlight but certainly shouldn't be an issue for your bow!
 

Falco88

New member
That is probably the issue then. I am relatively new to string making and now u have pointed that out to me it makes perfect sense. I will try that next week, fingers crossed!
 

Berny

Member
Sounds like a certain bowyer's product I had dealings with a few years ago.
Mine was #[email protected]", hickory/bamboo/osage - & it ultimately broke.

....but the nock grooves were not cut right nor glued on right.

I felt like "flagellating" the bowyer!

Looking foward to your pics including the identifying marks on the bow.

....considering your string though, assuming single-loop laid-in flemish twist with bowyers knot, as long as your loop-to-loop length is 3" less than nock-to-nock you should be starting in approx the right place.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
If you can get to Harlow, I'd string it with an adjustable string to gauge the correct length and make you a string on the spot!
A couple of nice bottles of white wine would cover it ;)
If the string is too long or too stretchy it will be pulling down the length of the bow rather than pulling the back on the limb tips.
Nocks can be adjusted with a round needle file, but like most things you need the right tools and right experience.
I await the pics!
Del
 

Falco88

New member
Interesting i don't know if we can mention names but let's just say the seller was European and his eBay name was a popular wood choice. Does this sound like the same person?

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks Del I will get the pics up asap
 

Berny

Member
Whipping god in osage?

Interesting i don't know if we can mention names but let's just say the seller was European and his eBay name was a popular wood choice. Does this sound like the same person?

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks Del I will get the pics up asap
 

Berny

Member
That is the top nock isn't it? ....with stringing/stringer groove above the actual string groove
 

Falco88

New member
no its the bottom one. has two stringer groves. I have tried the stringer in both the stringer grove and actual string grove both gave same result.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
The inner nock is for the string, the outer for the sringer. Else how do you get the stringer off once the bow is strung, without doing daft things like pulling it through the nock loops?
A little work with a needle file and a shorter sting would fix it.
Those nocks are pretty gruesome.
Have a look at decent nocks here:-
Bowyer's Diary: Yew Stick Longbow Full Draw
Note the difference in finish and the way the grooves help the string to pull into the groove rather than trying to slip out.
The string is still in the bottom nock and you can see the groove is just the right size for it, beyond it is the much bigger more rounded groove for the stringer.
BTW, That bow is made from a skinny stick of churchyard Yew yet it's 70# at 28"
Del
 

WillS

New member
That top nock, while not gonna win any beauty contests isn't going to be causing any problems with stringing/bracing. I'd say it's your string that's causing any issues. There's nothing wrong with the function of the nock.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
That top nock, while not gonna win any beauty contests isn't going to be causing any problems with stringing/bracing. I'd say it's your string that's causing any issues. There's nothing wrong with the function of the nock.
Here's my critique:-
The poor angle of the lower edge of the nock goove may be encouraging the string to slip off at low brace heights (to the right in the pic, rather than being pulled deeper into the groove). The finish of the groove is abysmal.
Nock gooves should be smooth as silk to avoid undue wear especially with unserved strings like Flemish twist.
I despair at the bows I see sold on E-bay which have poor finish, just for the want of about 20 seconds with a needle file!
Even if they are not buffed to a high gloss they should at least be finished smooth.
That nock is fine as 'roughed out' it just hasn't been finished and then checked with the bow strung and finally fettled a process that just needs a little obsevation and care... it doesn't take long, but can make a big difference to how the string tracks and the bow draws, a poorly finished nock can give quite alarming creaks and clicks as the bow is drawn.
If I'm going to be hyper critical, the slope of the goove on the side of the bow will suit the string at brace, but as the bow is drawn the angle will change and the string will chaff on the upper ege of that groove. The groove should flare out to accomodate the changing angle as the bow is drawn.
Other than that it's about as elegant as a pig in frock.

Just to clarify to the OP. The top groove is for the stringer... absolutely no question.
Del
 

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WillS

New member
Everything you say is spot on, but I don't think the op has got that far yet has he? From what I understand he's having an issue with just getting the thing braced, which the nock won't be affecting. When he gets it to brace, and starts to shoot, the appalling workmanship on the nock will be a problem, possibly a catastrophic one!

I do think however that the current issue is purely the string, as according to the original post it keeps stretching onto the belly when he strings it.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
I was under the impression that when he did eventually manage a low brace the string was popping off. But I can't be bothered to read through it all...
Looking closely it also appears as if the horn nock was put on when the tip was substantially larger, leading to an over size, over weight (and over here :) ) nock.
Del
 

WillS

New member
Aye, it's not exactly a prime example of how it's done...! I took the popping off issue as a misunderstanding regarding top/bottom nock. I'm not sure, but it seems the OP wasn't aware the top nock was the top, and may have been trying to put the string in the stringer groove. Which certainly would result in it popping out, especially on a nock like this!
 
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