tips for a new string

ThomVis

Member
Nock fit is more important.
I've tried to serve the minimum amount above and below nock point, but after string fraying where it graces my armguard and not being able to reliably place a bow square on the string to measure nock height I gave up on that. I'm not sacrificing reliability (measuring) and longevity for the few FPS gain it might give me.
 

albatross

Supporter
Supporter
I recently stopped making continuous loop strings for my recurve bow. I now make only flemish twist strings for it using 8125. I find these strings quieter, quicker to make and I can get a more accurate length with 20 twists when I put it on my stretcher. Before I put on the center serving. When the string is on the bow I wrap a length of unwaxed bowstring B55 around the string - pull it tight and run it up and down the length of the string. This tightens the bundles, removes excess wax and makes the string round. I use braided fishing line for the serving - never had a problem with it (NOT monofilliament ), and it costs a lot less than other serving materials.
 

dottorfoggy

Member
How about the nocking point? For the serving we use a 0.22, but for the nocking point is too big for the better #1

A 0.10/0.15 maybe? I didn't try nothing else
 

Bill412

Member
My string jig has rollers on the tops of the posts. Once the string is wound on, I roll the string so it moves like a chain on a bike, and that allows any slack strands a chance to even out with tighter ones.
This sounds like you tie the ends of the string thread together. What are the advantages and disadvantages of tying the ends together vs. relying on the endloop serving to fix the ends?
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Hi Bill412. You are right it does sound as if I tie the ends together, but that is due to an omission in my post.
I should have explained, that I do tie the ends together in order to roll the loops round the posts. Once they all look evenly tight, I bring the knot to one end and serve the opposite end( not the loop). Then I cut off the strand with the knot... having wound on one extra winding than needed for the actual finished string, to allow for that.
Having a knot at the end of the last winding seems to be a waste of time, or possibly worse than that.
I was told that a knot under the serving prevents that strand from moving under its serving. If others move and that one can't, that strand becomes over tight or over loose. That may or may not be true, but having made strings without knots and without loop serving, it seems to me that the fears are unfounded. None of the strings have rubbed through the bow limbs and none of the loops have worn away. Also none of the strands have come loose. There is a huge amount of friction holding the strands in place under a serving. Also, where the strands are folded quite tightly round the limb tips generates even more friction holding the strands in place. We feel this if we try to roll the strands round the posts on the string jig... the reason why I have rollers to allow for a smooth running.
 

Bill412

Member
Ours is but to do or tie

Hi Bill412. You are right it does sound as if I tie the ends together, but that is due to an omission in my post.
I should have explained, that I do tie the ends together in order to roll the loops round the posts. Once they all look evenly tight, I bring the knot to one end and serve the opposite end( not the loop). Then I cut off the strand with the knot... having wound on one extra winding than needed for the actual finished string, to allow for that.
Having a knot at the end of the last winding seems to be a waste of time, or possibly worse than that.
I was told that a knot under the serving prevents that strand from moving under its serving. If others move and that one can't, that strand becomes over tight or over loose. That may or may not be true, but having made strings without knots and without loop serving, it seems to me that the fears are unfounded. None of the strings have rubbed through the bow limbs and none of the loops have worn away. Also none of the strands have come loose. There is a huge amount of friction holding the strands in place under a serving. Also, where the strands are folded quite tightly round the limb tips generates even more friction holding the strands in place. We feel this if we try to roll the strands round the posts on the string jig... the reason why I have rollers to allow for a smooth running.
Hi GeoffRetired,

thanks very much for your explanation. I am informing myself in the run-up to the start of my string building career. Despite the weight of opinion for not tying together the bowstring ends I still have an uneasy feeling about it. Therefore, any positive arguments against tying are most welcome.
I tried your uphill serving technique yesterday on a practice centre serving and it worked well. I used a quite modest gradient, about 10 degrees from the horizontal.
Are your string-jig rollers a DIY solution or can such things be bought?

Yours,
Bill412
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Hi Bill, I understand the uneasy feelings about not having knots at the end.
Let me try to set your mind at rest. I cut off the strand that had the knots just after serving the ends and before centre serving. I cut the strands at the knot first so I can get hold of that strand and pull it away from the bunch, far enough away to cut just that strand and no others. Then I take each tail in turn and cut it to about 1cm from the serving so there is a little of the end showing as a fluffy bit. If the strand gets pulled into the serving it will disappear, yes? Even on my compound, the tails never get any shorter!!
My jig rollers are home made, yes. They are MK2 MK1 was a simple length of 15mm copper pipe loosely fitted over the posts so they were as tall but free to roll. MK2 was my serious attempt( heehee) I turned a thin end on the posts and made some PTFE parts to slide down the post as far as the shoulder on the post and a rolling fit as opposed to tight or too loose. The rollers have a shoulder at the lower edge to keep the strands form sliding off at the bottom.
When the strands are wound on and the knot made at the ends of the extra strand, I get hold of each half of the loop near the half way point and pull them apart from each other. Then roll the whole bunch a bit and repeat the pulling apart to try to equalise the tensions.
If you make a small string of ten windings or so, about 10cm long, by winding round a stiff piece of card, and knot the ends, you can take the windings carefully off the card former and hang the loop from the index finger of one hand. Then with the other index finger put that into the bottom end of the loop with your fingers pointing in opposite directions. You can roll one finger round the other, keeping the loop under tension all the time and you will see how the knot is rolling all round the system from top to bottom and so on, as you roll. You can also see the looser strands slowly getting pulled into the whole group as they are free to move. Soon, they are all looking equally tight and making a neat loop, with no baggy strands. My rollers try to mimic the way the string moves around as I roll my fingers in that little demonstration model. Each part of the whole string loop gets chance to be free from the extra grip exerted at the posts.
The only part of the rollers that is a bit sensitive is the shoulder shape on the rollers. If that is slightly rough, then the windings can snag and pull out some of the filaments from the strands as they are pulled round the rollers.
If you used bolts with a nut screwed part way down from the top to make a shoulder and then a washer, a small tube over that would make a roller.
The roller could really do with a narrow waist like a Coca Cola bottle, so the strands collect at the narrow section and don't go into the angle where the tube meets the washer. I can make those if you get stuck. It only needs two rollers per jig, as all the rolling is done round two of them not four.
My jig only has two posts as I don't need four, four is for serving loops.
 

Bill412

Member
Hi GeoffRetired,

I can see what you are doing and why.

A question for everybody though. Do any of the widely available string jigs have rollers on the posts as standard?

Thanks, Bill412
 

Rik

Supporter
Supporter
Hi GeoffRetired,

I can see what you are doing and why.

A question for everybody though. Do any of the widely available string jigs have rollers on the posts as standard?

Thanks, Bill412
The sherwood jig does (that's not a recommendation, incidentally - I have one and I don't think it's rigid enough. Better than the Arten, but that's not saying much).
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
The Gas Pro jig has rollers on the top of the posts. It's really robust but also expensive unless you can get it in a sale. It also has the slightly strange design decision that it does not have legs which means that it has to be used in a vice or similar.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
When does rigidity really matter in the string making process? I think it is important during the winding on process, because without it, it is easy to pull too hard on one winding and leave all the previous ones a bit too loose.
If that is the case why not do the winding on at the bottom of the two posts, where rigidity is almost guaranteed. After that, slide the whole lot up to the top and adjust the tension to do any serving. Serving just requires tension.
When I first had rollers on my jig, they were loose fitting 15mm copper pipes slid over the posts. I wound on round the pipes close to the bottom. Tied my knots, rolled the whole loop round and round to even the tensions then moved the loop to the top, adjusted the tension and served.
 

EVC

New member
When does rigidity really matter in the string making process? I think it is important during the winding on process, because without it, it is easy to pull too hard on one winding and leave all the previous ones a bit too loose.
If that is the case why not do the winding on at the bottom of the two posts, where rigidity is almost guaranteed. After that, slide the whole lot up to the top and adjust the tension to do any serving. Serving just requires tension.
When I first had rollers on my jig, they were loose fitting 15mm copper pipes slid over the posts. I wound on round the pipes close to the bottom. Tied my knots, rolled the whole loop round and round to even the tensions then moved the loop to the top, adjusted the tension and served.
Funny, I think the other way round. :) I usually wind the endless loop with as little tension as possible, just enough to keep the strands straight on the jig. This way I can guarantee an even strand length (and tension FTM). When serving, I apply as much a tension as possible - so post rigidity is paramount for me.

Not saying my way is THE right one or the only one.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Hi EVC I can see why you wind on gently. I wind on fairly gently for the same reason you do.
Once I have my loop with its knot, I fit it to the posts and adjust them so the loop is tightly stretched. It seems you do that ,too. I think tension makes it easier to serve onto. But, for a centre serving I often fit the string to the bow. That adds a lot of tension and I can get the serving where it needs to be. BUT I would not describe the bow as rigid. I think perhaps we agree with the exception of the word "rigid".
Anyone who winds on tightly would want a rigid frame I feel.
 

Rik

Supporter
Supporter
I took to winding using a serving tool, to try and keep an even tension. I find that stress on the jig increases as you wind: if you keep an even tension then you have several times as much by the time you finish. Unless the long bar on the jig is really rigid, it bends, slightly shortening the later strands. So you either make the jig very stiff, or reduce tension as you wind to keep the stress down and lengths even (hoping to shake that out when you finish winding).
Geoff, I quite like your idea about winding round the base of the pillars, it might help. Though my current string is a Flemish twist, so none of those problems.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I saw a brilliant jig once. It was pivoted at its centre and spun round slowly in the fashion of a windmill. The strands wound on as the jig spun slowly and the user had the roll on a peg that was free to unwind. She let the strand pass through her hand and I think she used a leather glove. I imagine she was so used to this that she could feel the tension in the strand; plus, she was standing still, so no walking back and forwards to take the strand round the jig.
 
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