Third hand needed in stringmaking?

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carl7

New member
The jig is ready to make strings but I haven't made a real string yet. Been practicing with a ball of string (nylon cord).

It seems to me there are instances where something like a couple of bungee's or strong rubber bands with hooks attached to the ceiling or some other object nearby might be handy to keep tension on the string and free the other hand like when doing the backserving when you make the big loop or any instance where you have to maintain tension in the string while winding the serving.

Do you think something like the bungee can be handy or necessary?

Carl
 

lbp121

Member
Depending on the jig, you will find a way to get the string tight when serving the loops. Bungee probably not tight enough but if it is for a bow you have in front of you, the centre serving can be done with the string fitted to the bow.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Carl, I'm not clear what you are thinking.
When the string has been wound round the posts to get the right length, I tie the ends together, so the tension can't be lost.If it isn't tight enough to serve over it, I move the posts further apart and tighten the moving one while pulling it away from the other one applying tension to the string.At the winding stage I wind on an extra winding so the part with the knot can be cut off after serving the ends and before serving the centre.
When I made a stretching jig ,recently, I moved the whole thing from the string making jig and fitted it to the stretcher. On there I can stretch and twist and serve all at the same time. I serve end loops on a two post jig, with actual bow string material, and only serve the bits that fit in the limb grooves with serving thread.
 

carl7

New member
There I go complicating things again. I guess I meant to say in my pre-begin stage, it seemed like a second person would be handy to hold a loose string end or something. It's just that I need to develop the tried and true techniques.

In learning from the Internet vids, one thing that causes some confusion is there are a few different ways of doing the same thing depending on the stringmaker. One example is in making the end loops, one guy simply cuts the back served string ends off just like in making a center serving. Another leaves it long and ties the final serving over the long loose end so it's under the limb groove serving. Yet another begins the final end loop serving from the opposite end and works up towards the end loop. Each seems to have some advantage.

I just have to find the method that works for me and makes the most sense.

One last thing I have to make is a stretching jig. I went and looked at a length of Unistrut but wondered if it's substantial enough (didn't seem so) being made of only 12ga. steel so, didn't buy it. Instead I'll use a length of 2" x 12" well seasoned fir board and maybe use some of the heavy clamps and gizmos laying around here. Or even weld up the end fixtures from heavy scrap steel pieces. Hey, after 25 years there's still 2000 lbs of gas in the welding cylinders and the regulators and blowpipes works great.

Again thanks for the tips guys!

Carl
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Hi Carl, Yes, there are times when another pair of hands would be useful.Usually it is when a loose end needs holding in place for a while.I think some string makers use a clothes peg or similar, just to hold things together for a while.Others have a small piece of sticky tape they wrap round in the appropriate place. I sometimes poke a lose end between the strands ahead of the serving, just to hold it till the serving is going smoothly. You will find your own simplest methods once you have been through the process a couple of times.
Fastening shoe laces requires a knowledge of what goes where and how to hold all the bits in the right places so the knots can be made under enough tension to stay in place afterwards. Try explaining that over the phone, for example. It's complicated; but we can do it without looking once we get a feel for it.Making strings is far simpler than fastening shoe laces.
Enjoy the learning and the end results... I'm sure you are going to.
 

albatross

Supporter
Supporter
One last thing I have to make is a stretching jig. I went and looked at a length of Unistrut but wondered if it's substantial enough (didn't seem so) being made of only 12ga. steel so, didn't buy it. Instead I'll use a length of 2" x 12" well seasoned fir board and maybe use some of the heavy clamps and gizmos laying around here. Or even weld up the end fixtures from heavy scrap steel pieces. Hey, after 25 years there's still 2000 lbs of gas in the welding cylinders and the regulators and blowpipes works great.

Again thanks for the tips guys!

Carl
Carl. It's not the material thickness, it is the profile of the Unistrut that gives it the rigidity to withstand longitudinal distortion (bending). I made mine from it and its does the job well. It's also lighter to move around than a length of timber. I cut mine in half for storage and simply bolt the two pieces together when I want to use it.

Dennis
 

carl7

New member
Carl. It's not the material thickness, it is the profile of the Unistrut that gives it the rigidity to withstand longitudinal distortion (bending). I made mine from it and its does the job well. It's also lighter to move around than a length of timber. I cut mine in half for storage and simply bolt the two pieces together when I want to use it.

Dennis
Yes I'm sure Unistrut's rigid profile works, there's enough of them around as string and stretching jigs. I like to overbuild things if I had a choice, my main motive at this early stage is to quickly put together something that works as a trial because as things progress, there will always be improvements that can be made and by actually working with it in a temporary setup, it can be easily altered.

I'll never be moving my jigs, they will always be in the basement and I already have tons of materials both wood and metal in the basement so on second thought, I figured instead of buying the Unistrut and adding to the existing collection, just to make use of what I have.

Given time and experience, all these things will work out and something permanent will result, one may be to indeed use Unistrut but not yet.

Carl
 

albatross

Supporter
Supporter
I figured instead of buying the Unistrut and adding to the existing collection, just to make use of what I have.

Given time and experience, all these things will work out and something permanent will result, one may be to indeed use Unistrut but not yet.

Carl
I agree. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to say. " I designed and made that".

Dennis
 

buzz lite beer

Well-known member
Just like most string makers I only have two hands and I can make pretty fine bowstrings, you will find a way with practice :) + there is always your mouth to hold stuff that'll free at least one hand up.
 

EVC

New member
I hope you can grasp the idea from the pictures bellow:






I loosen and tighten the tension the jig applies to the string as required at each step.

HTH
 

carl7

New member
I agree. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to say. " I designed and made that".

Dennis
Yeah Dennis, I have so much stuff in the basement, I dream of a day when I can walk without moving things out of the way. I always have to remind myself, to use what I have and don't bring anymore home.

Carl
 

carl7

New member
Nice photos EVC, nice and neat. With me, I'm liable to leave it set up that way for a month or two, :rotfl:

Carl
 
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