When/how do you decide to replace a string?

jonUK76

Member
Just interested in what you guys who've been shooting a long time do.

My string is I'm sure mostly perfectly fine. It's been used for about 8 months, probably a bit heavier than some (club shoots and frequent practice). The only issue that I'm now seeing is some serving seperation on the end loops. I don't have a jig and presumably you cant re-serve the end loops without one. Would you replace as a precaution?

Just to add this is a recurve bow.
 


ash

New member
Yes I would replace your string as when the end loops starts to go the limbs can start to cut into the string and Snap. It'll make you jump when it goes bang and its not good for the limbs.

strings are like toothbrushes really, your supposed to swap them every 6 months depending on how much you use them. Its best to develop a habbit of checking the end loops, centre serving, Brace height and overall string at the start and end of every session looking out for wear. It can be quite normal for the string below your nock to look a little hairy and this is normally caused by the string coming into contact with cloths.
 


ben tarrow

Well-known member
Yes I would replace your string as when the end loops starts to go the limbs can start to cut into the string and Snap. It'll make you jump when it goes bang and its not good for the limbs.

strings are like toothbrushes really, your supposed to swap them every 6 months depending on how much you use them. Its best to develop a habbit of checking the end loops, centre serving, Brace height and overall string at the start and end of every session looking out for wear. It can be quite normal for the string below your nock to look a little hairy and this is normally caused by the string coming into contact with cloths.
I've always had the good habit of having at least 2 "current" strings which I swap between regularly so that I know, should anything untoward ever happen to one string, the other can be immediately brought into use.
Of my 2 current strings, I replace each one every 12 months but try to replace them 6 months apart, if you get what I mean, so I'll be changing string A in March and string B in September.
 


ash

New member
^good advice. I try to do the same but i'm not always consistent about swapping my strings.
 


Rik

Supporter
Supporter
Modern string materials can last more or less indefinitely, if the string is well made and maintained. So what tends to drive replacement is: cosmetics (looking shabby) or an observed change in behaviour (like the serving separating, which may imply string creeping or serving slipping).

Note: the loops themselves don't actually need to be served, but slipping there suggests some looseness in the end servings which hold the whole thing together... I sometimes serve the loops and ends separately, in which case a gap in the loop would not bother me much.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Serving separation on the end loops is common , and more so with soft twist serving material as it is soft and can compact more easily leaving some parts bare.
IF a strand has snapped under any serving, there is often a tell tale spiral appears under the serving or a strand looks loose in the exposed string.
If the serving looks cut at any point, it would be worth checking the limb nocks. If you wind a piece of string or thread round each nock in turn ( like putting a towel round you neck and not crossing the ends over) Then use the string like drying your back with the a towel. As you pull back and forth, keeping some tension on all the time, any sharp edges will snag on the string. If the nocks are sound the string will run smoothly in both directions.
If there are any rough bit shown up, the string can be used to smooth them out. I rub into the string, some abrasive paste and use it like a very fine file to rub away the roughness.
 


dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
Funnily enough I just made two new strings today (well three but the first one was too short :( ).

This was because in my opinion it was getting a bit 'hairy' under the centre serving. I don't replace to a schedule but if anything concerns me about strings then they go in the bin. I'll replace a centre serving but other than that it's a new string. In my opinion it's easier to replace a string than to repair it.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
When strings are made, sometimes there are no knots in the bowstring strands to keep the string to length. That is all done by the servings and the friction generated by the serving and between the strands. The serving therefore is very important. It isn't just to place a nocking point on, or to protect it from wear and tear. If the serving isn't doing a proper job, sometimes that's because we served the string without bearing in mind how important it is. I have made many strings, and I have served many of those strings without really considering just how important it is to the finished job. I have been lucky that the strings lasted. I paid attention to the neatness and equal tension of the serving and that produced a serving that worked; a sort of accidental success.
The loose ends of the bow string , I arrange to come under the serving at one end or other, and leave little tails of bow string showing afterwards . If they disappear it means the strands are moving( so far none have disappeared and they are on my compound). If the centre serving comes loose it is worth re serving it. If the end servings come loose( not the end loops themselves, but the straight lengths that fit in the grooves in the centres of the limb tips.) then I have to wonder why that should be?? What else might be going wrong?
Some of the strings that beginners have on their new bows, seem to be made in a bit of a hurry.
 


jonUK76

Member
Thanks for all the advice. I've read all your comments. Looking at the string, the separation on the loops seems to have occurred in two points where I've pulled the the top loop down the limb to string the bow, and I guess has just happened over time. The serving doesn't seem loose at all. Luckily I have a second identical string to replace it with :)
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Ahhh, yes stringing the bow. IF the top end loop is too small it needs a lot of effort to drag the loop down far enough to get the bottom loop in place. That is forcing the serving apart at each side of the limb. It can happen in the same way if the bow string is too short, but you get a high bracing height if that is the case.
Another reason could be that the bigger of the two loops is at the bottom of your string; the centre serving may have been put on while the string was on the bow upside down. IF that is what has happened, you could string the bow from the bottom limb instead of the top.So, slide on the bottom loop over the bottom limb. Fit the top loop into its nocks and string the bow from the opposite end from normal. You should find that sliding on the bottom loop is easy as it is large enough.
 


jonUK76

Member
Thanks Geoff. I'm using it the right way round but the larger loop for the top limb is not much bigger than the small one, on this particular string. Is it worth trying to close up gaps using a serving shifter (or similar)?
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
When gaps appear in servings it is helpful to find a cause because it can set your mind at rest to some extent when you know why it has happened.
Once the gaps appear and you know why, it might help to close them up. It looks better; and in this case I guess the gaps are left where the corner of the limb is going to rub against the bowstring beneath, when you string the bow. (or where the string will rub the corner of the limb)
Once the bow is strung I suspect the gaps are at a position where they are not in danger of having string rubbed away by part of the limbs.
One aspect of closing up the gaps is that there tends to be some slackness put into the serving, leaving it slightly more likely to move in future.
I have, in the past,wound some serving round that area by hand. It is possible to get the new strand of serving to lie between the wraps of original serving ( like plumbers wrapping hemp round a threaded connector) and so the gaps are closed and things look much better. The gaps tend not to re appear as there is now more serving in the same space, so it is more compacted. You will then be left with the two ends of serving thread. If you start and finish where the loop separates from the end serving, it is possible to whip the ends in so they are secure and well hidden.
I suspect some would say, BIN it! but I am the sort who mends socks with holes in!!!1 heehee.
 


EVC

New member
I have an issue with Uukha VX1000 as the tips are too small what makes the edge somewhat sharp (not cutting sharp). I served the loops tight and still the threads separated where the loops leave the tips. The two last strings were served extremely tightly and thus the loops threads are not separating.

That said, unless there are edges cutting the string strands, you just inspect the string before stringing making sure it is still fair. For what is worth I know some archers that used NOT to serve the loops. The next time I meet them in a competition I will take a look to see if they still do it.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I haven't served end loops for the last 30 years. If a string is going to break in that area it is good to see it well in advance. One drawback of no serving is the strands sometimes separate and the loops start to get tangled. That can't happen while on the bow, so it is a good idea to have some way of storing the string so the loops are supported.A clothes peg works.
Not serving end loops cuts down string making time significantly and a two post jig is all that is needed; very easy to make.
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I was worried about that when I first made a string with no serving on the loops. I imagined the thinner loop cutting its way through the limb tip. It never happened.
 


EVC

New member
I think you are right (with high end limbs at least) but... You know... I don't have the guts. :) Better safe than sorry.

FWIW I remember seeing a recipe to make loops using a string strand instead of serving material. It was for compound yokes (small loops) but it must work for recurve as well. And one can do it with two posts jigs.

One picture I retrieved via google:
HPIM1005.jpg
 


geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
The Friskney Bowmen site had pictures of the method. It is my favourite method. After winding the bowstring round the two posts the two tails of bowtring are wrapped round the loop ends as seen in your pic. They end far enough down the string for the end serving to cover them. The bow string wrap can also be used to tie the end loop together, which helps to stop the loop opening up at the closed end. A great advantage is that the end serving does not become over thick by having to wrap over two lots of serving where the loop is formed. The end serving is very slim and neat and fits well into the groove down the limbs.
 


jonUK76

Member
I was worried about that when I first made a string with no serving on the loops. I imagined the thinner loop cutting its way through the limb tip. It never happened.
My personal worry about it would have been friction where the limb meets the string over the course of hundreds or thousands of shots eventually cutting into the string. Anyway, glad to hear this is not the case in reality :)
 


messyhead

New member
Well after 5 years, I've just replaced my firat string that I bought with my bow.

The end loops and serving are in good condition, but I noticed that the string was starting to have small fibres coming from it. It's not been waxed recently, so it was more noticeable.

I decided to get a reign string.

And, now when fitting the new string, I've just realised I've been using the string upside down all this time! I was always putting the larger loop over the bottom limb when stringing! Doh! Not really sure what difference it makes though.

Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk
 


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