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strings and backing

1521 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  jkhunter
Well...I got started on my first long bow project. One of you guys set the plan in motion with the red oak thread.

I looked into making my own strings, but I just can't do it. I probably could if somebody showed me how, but I think I will just buy one for this build. Where is a good place to buy one? What am I looking for? There are so many choices out there. If someone wants to make me one I would pay for it.

Backing. I definately plan on backing this bow. I saw what the guy on did, but that drywall tape is just too ugly for me. I'm thinking on trying to find some silk or lenin. I have an older pair of black jeans I thought about sacrificing, but not sure it would be a decent choice. I don't really want something that will cause poor performance. Would it cause that much loss?

So far I got the shape roughed out, and the riser glued on. Any advise would be helpfull.
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I guess I'm the one to blame for you getting started.

For a string, I got mine at . I got the one with a flemish loop on one end and a timber hitch on the other. I think they say it's adjustable to fit a bow with the length of 68"-72".

For a backing: I just got done making another long bow out of a red oak board. This one is 62". When it was close to full draw, it pulled a splinter along the edge of the back, so I backed it with some black linen. It turned out pretty well I think. I've read about using jeans, but I hear that it does stretch a little, so maybe it's not the best choice. I'm just a rookie though, so maybe it's good enough... what do I know...

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I decided to learn how to make a flemish string. I figured if I was going to start making bows it's probably a good idea to learn. I did some searching and found some instructions. It took a few tries to get it right but I finally got it. This is the link to the one I used. The untwisting part is key.

String making

As for backing I bought a piece of silk from a fabric store that I am using on my board bow and I am going to use sinew on my hickory bow.
Rain Man,

Your cranking them out, looks good I like the looks of the backing you used.
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Thanks for the tips guys. Couple questions on the string.

Where do yo get the string? I would prefer to go buy it instead of mail order.

How long do you make them? In this case the bow will be 70" nock to nock. I seen a couple places now on the string board, but have no idea the actual dimensions to use.

I know you can fine tune the string length to get the desired brace height by twisting the string, but is there some rule of thumb to use for string length compared to bow length?

One last thing. Draw length and weight....Everywhere I look it always seems like everybody has a 28" draw length. Mine is 31". That is one of the reasons I started with such a long bow. I'm thinking it would be easier to get the draw lenght that I need.
I bought my string on line from 3 rivers archery I am sure there are archery shops that sell it though.

Eveything I've read says a good rule to follow for string length is 3" shorter from your nock to nock measurement for a long bow and 4" shorter for a recurve.

As far as draw length and weight I didn't get that far yet. There is no set standard as far as draw length or weight though, its pretty much what works for you.

All that said I am pretty new at this also, But I have done a lot of research and reading. There is a ton of info on this stuff though. has a ton of info and alot of build-a-longs and some good people. You may want to go there and ask some questions or just search the forums.
Well, I picked up some black linen, and backed the bow. I finished the tillering tree, and might go look for some pulleys.

I got a string that will work to tiller it until I can get full brace height. I'm going to do some more research on my string situation. Might just buy the one rain man used, but I now have tools and other materials.......The link jkhunter posted gave a really good step by step instruction on how to make the string. Just gotta find some material.

If this turns out OK, I think I may do another. Probably will be a bit shorter. As I was looking around I was getting a bunch of cool ideas. I'm chaulking this one up as a leaning experience.
I got it mostly done now. Just some final finishing to do. It turned out a tiny bit lighter than I wanted, but that's OK.

Kinda funny. I've been shooting a 70# compound with a release for the past several years. Just twisting your shooting hand to shoot with your fingers and the no let off makes pulling a 41# long bow feel really hard to draw. I might just practice with that for a little while while I build a slightly heavier bow.

I'll have to shoot a couple arrows to see how it does tomorrow. Wish me luck.
It works just fine. I will have to adjust the brace height as it slaps my wrist no matter what. Eventhough it's braced so the string is at mid arm it still gets me where my wrist meets my hand. Another inch or so and it should be good.

The shooting was interesting. I shot it 9 shots until the wrist was on fire from being hit, and I got better with each shot. The first 3 were all over the place. The second 3 were near the bull. The final 3 were all in there. I just couldn't keep shooting with the wrist slap. I know it will get better. I fully intend on shooting a deer this year with a bow that I made. I've just commited myself to it.

I just got to do a final finish on the ends and give it some poly.
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