How to Make Strings for a Compound Bow

Written by joe kelly
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How to Make Strings for a Compound Bow
Make a continuous loop bowstring for your bow. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Making a bowstring for a compound bow could be a challenge an archer would like to undertake. There are a number of ways to make a bowstring. However, one of the most common techniques is referred to as a continuous loop bowstring. A continuous loop bowstring is made of a single, larger loop of string material looped around a jig to create the multiple strands needed to form a bowstring strong enough to use on a compound bow.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Bowstring material
  • String jig
  • Serving material
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Bow square
  • Bowstring wax

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Instructions

    Winding the Strands

  1. 1

    Determine the bowstring length. Bowstrings lengths can be stamped on a bow limb, found in the owner's manual or determined by examining an old string.

  2. 2

    Calculate the number of strands needed. The strand count is based on the bow's draw-weight and the material's breaking strain. Multiply your bow's draw-weight by four, then divide that number by the breaking weight of the string material. For example, for an 36.3kg. draw-weight, using material with 4.54kg. breaking weight, you need 32 strands.

  3. 3

    Set the string jig. Adjust the jig so the winding posts form a straight line, and secure the locking bolt. The string length is measured from post A to post D.

  4. 4

    Tie the end of the string material to post A. Wind the material down around post D and back to post A. Continue winding until you have wound the number of strands needed. Count the strands on both sides of the jig. For example, if you need 32 strands, there should be 16 strands on each side of the jig.

  5. 5

    Loosen the end tied to post A, being careful to keep the strands taught on the jig. Cut the string off the spool and tie both ends together.

    Making the End Loops

  1. 1

    Measure the bowstrings end loops, use an old bowstring for measuring. End loops are typically between 2-1/2 inches to 3-1/2 inches.

  2. 2

    Move the string jig into the serving position. Pull posts B and C down and lock them into place below posts A and D. The string jig should forrm a rectangle with the posts forming the corners.

  3. 3

    Mark the centre of the string between posts A and B. Mark the loop position. If the loops on the string are 3-1/2 inches around, mark the string 1-3/4 inches on either side of the centre mark.

    Reinforce the Loop

  1. 1

    Bind the serve to the loop area. Lay about 1 inch of serving thread alongside the string material between post A and B. Wind about 10 turns of serving thread around the loop area string and the inch of serving thread, binding the serving thread to the string material, leaving a bit of the end serving thread unbound. Start the serving about 1/4-inch past one end of the loop area to a 1/4-inch past the other end.

  2. 2

    Pull the free end of the serving thread to tighten the serving around the strands. Attach the free end of the serving to the strands with a drop of glue and allow to dry.

  3. 3

    Wind more serving over the glued end of the thread and cover the entire loop area with serving thread.

  4. 4

    Adjust post B so it lines up with the centre of the string jig. Slide the string around post A so that the serving is now on either side of post A. One side of the serving should be approximately 1/4-inch longer than the other.

  5. 5

    Create the loop by wrapping serving at the bottom of the loop area about 3-1/2 to 4 inches. Wrap the string on either side of post A together with serving thread to form the loop. Cut the serving thread from the spool, leaving about 2 inches of extra serving thread. Loop the free end of the service under a binding loop and pull tight. Secure with glue and allow to dry. Cut off the excess. Repeat sections 2 and 3 on the opposite side of the string.

    Serve the Nock

  1. 1

    Remove the string from the jig and twist the string several times to adjust it for any extra length. String you bow.

  2. 2

    Set the nocking point. Attach a bow square to the string and place the opposite end on the arrow shelf. Mark the nocking point.

  3. 3

    Determine the nock serving area. Mark the ends of the serving area, the top about 2 inches above the nocking point and the bottom about 3 inches lower than the nocking point.

  4. 4

    Wrap the nocking area. Lay about 1 inch length of serving thread beside the bowstring at the bottom of the nocking area. Wind 10 turns of the serving thread around both the bowstring and the serving thread, binding the serving thread to the string, leaving a bit of the end of the serving thread uncovered. Pull the end of the serving thread to tighten the binding. Secure the free end to the string material with a drop of glue and allow to dry. Wrap the rest of the nocking area and cut the serving and tie it to the bowstring and secure it with glue and let dry.

  5. 5

    Apply wax to the string areas not covered by serving thread.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a serving jig to keep the serving taught while wrapping the string.
  • Many bowstring material spools have a simple chart that tells you the number of strands needed on the side of the packaging.

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