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    STRINGS, How to?

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    STRINGS, How to?

    Post by savatreatabvr on Sun May 31, 2015 10:32 pm

    I'm in the middle of modifying a Barnett Commando, you may have seen my other threads on this forum. The prod I made is going to require a custom string and I've read some other members post about what material to use but haven't read anything about actually "making a string". Can someone point my in the right direction?
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by kenh on Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:48 am

    I usually have one of the Ebay or other stringmakers build my strings.  I tell them it's for a crossbow, and specify the nock to nock length, and more than the measured draw weight.

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by c sitas on Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:53 am

    i make my own, it's not hard. Just google make bow string or something similar. I would try to tell you but it would be lengthy.Pictures are better than words. If you try, and get stuck ,then maybe I could try to help you.Dacron would be the material of choice.It be bought on Ebay quite cheap. Like Kenh says you can also buy them premade. There again google could be your friend , shop around ,and ask questions.

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    String material

    Post by manuel salazar on Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:18 pm

    I would like to know why is the string weight so important (6, 8 15, or 25 grams), when we are talking on crossbows with 100, or 300 pound draw weights, I may be missing something but the small weight of a string shall not affect the function of a crossbow, or, am I wrong?

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by hullutiedemies on Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:25 am

    String is fastest part of the dead weight in a bow.
    In a normal modern long drawing fiberglass bow the average mass particle of the string is moving about 75% of bolt speed. So kinetic energy of a 10 gram string slows the bow about as much as 6 grams of extra bolt mass.

    In a compound or old-school short drawing bow the upper ends of string are not accelerated as much , so the total string mass is bit less critical. But the middle serving is of course moving with bolt speed and wasting energy equally.

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    Strings, how to?

    Post by manuel salazar on Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:59 am

    Great answer, thanks a lot

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by Hermit on Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:24 am

    To make a string,you will need a spool of Dacron B,a spool of serving thread,a serving tool(As used in fly tying)and a string making jig.The string making jig can be easily made,and consists of a board with 2 pins or dowels,one fixed,and one adjustable for string length.The string is made from one length of Dacron thread wound around the pins.Dacron thread has a breaking strain of 50lbs.You need your string to be able to handle the stress of shooting so you build in a safety factor.To obtain the safety factor,multiply the bow's draw weight by 4,so on a prod with a draw weight of 150lbs.,you need at least 12 Dacron threads(600 divided by 50=12) the string needs to be served at both nock ends and in the middle.When the string is finished,it should be coated with beeswax,and then rubbed with a piece of leather to melt the wax into the string.Serving the string can be done by hand,You tube and internet should give you any further info. you require.
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by c sitas on Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:55 pm

    To start with for a string, I always go on the side of OVER KILL. I wouldn't ever build a string say, less than 24  or 26  strands. Then I'll serve on thick side, UNLESS, I am shooting a nock off the string .I know this method is not medival,but I also shoot for accurately placed arrows."Not bolts though".Bolts are a different story, and I can't say about them , not trained there. The bolts are what demand the thicker string though.

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by Hermit on Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:40 am

    Overkill is never a bad thing,extreme overkill,in the case of a string can cause problems,The thicker the string,the deeper the notch in the nut has to be in order to properly hold the string when the bow is cocked.If the string is too thick,premature discharge and excessive string wear could result.
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by c sitas on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:29 pm

    Very good points.  I don't understand this myself. If the bolt is held tight to the string with a spring finger, and also held down to the track,  what happens to let the string" jump the arrow"
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by OrienM on Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:32 am

    c sitas wrote:If the bolt is held tight to the string with a spring finger, and also held down to the track,  what happens to let the string" jump the arrow"?

    If the string is very thick, or the claws of the nut too short relatively, then the string can "climb the claws" and dryfire over the top of the bolt. The bolt clip tension is nothing compared to the force of the moving string, and just flexes out of the way.

    Happened to me while finishing up my first Xbow build...the weapon wasn't even in my hand, but (luckily!) sitting on the ground. I turned away to set the wippe down, when suddenly...BAM! Very startling indeed. A new, thinner string fixed the problem.

    EDIT: I'm not 100%, but I suspect this problem is limited to rolling-nut type locks...I can't see how it could occur with a more modern, overclaw-type (like the Barnett) lock.

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by c sitas on Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:13 pm

    You know ,the more I think about this, the more I have to disagree about the thick string.I lean more towards a bad cut angle on the roller fingers.My reasoning here looks at the medieval bows. The stuff they used looked more like a rope than a string.I never read about them having a problem with this.It would stand to reason ,if the roller fingers were positioned just a tad forward of vertical, this could and most likely would happen.If the thick string was not served tightly it would be a little on the rolley polley side,and not solid. I have mismade servings for regular bows and had this problem. The serving will roll on the string .I remember a while back Geezer made mention of this roller position. I'm just thinking out load here.

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by drawknife on Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:50 am

    Hi, I have made crossbow strings from 120 to 150 strands of brown linen sewing thread. They look very realistic on medieval crossbows especially when half cockscomb served at the loops in white with a white centre serving of linen thread. I have had no problem with string jump when using a delrin rolling nut.

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by c sitas on Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:38 pm

    Mr Drawknife; could you please tell me what you mean by cockscomb served. I a make a lot of bow strings but, I am not familiar with that term. I do agree it looks very sharp indeed.

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    Half Cockscombing

    Post by drawknife on Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:34 am

    Hi Mr Sitas,
    It is a little difficult to explain how to do it, however, the nearest way is to think of cockscombing as a series of clove hitch knots running around the end loop with the ridge on the outside. I got the info from The Society of Archer-Antiquaries journal. (I wish I could post a picture which would make it clearer).

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by c sitas on Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:54 am

    Thank you Drawknife; I'll try to chase this article down. I think I've seen this done on some regular archery strings, only not so extent.

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by Hermit on Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:51 am

    For homemade crossbow strings,go to you tube and type in" homemade crossbow string".Look for tutorial on"replacement 80lb pistol crossbow strings" in a collection of videos under "the art of weapons" heading.The video is made by a boy in his early teens,but all his methodology is sound.He uses some different materials for his strings which seems to work.The usual material used by members of this forum,which is considered to be the best,is called Dacron B,and is available thru' the usual channels,e bay,etc
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by Hermit on Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:58 am

    I should add that as Dacron B is rated at 50lbs per strand,the number of strands in the string should equal at least 4 times the draw weight of the bow.
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by c sitas on Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:16 pm

    This thread is older but I would like to add to it. Dacron is mentioned a lot and I would like to try to tell why. They have modern string making fiber much stronger than dacron, but not better for this job. Dacron has a built in ability that other fibers do not have. That is a limited amount of stretch. The stretch will help you keep from blowing your bow up ,should you dry fire. The other modern materails  will not . They are more akin to metal . No stretch at all, so to speak. The stretch will make for a small safety cushion, sometimes that might be enough for  ONE more chance. Also when in doubt---add a few more turns of thread, if it does slow your bow down ,you'll never know it,--without a chrony.The reason damage is mentioned a lot  at first is because , newer shooters can do this without even thinking. I was one once and that is what prommted me to try to write this.It's easy done.
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by Onager Lovac on Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:14 pm

    In "The book of the Crossbow by Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey" he says that for bows the string should stand 4 to 6 times the draw weight and for Crossbows 20 times the draw weight.

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by c sitas on Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:51 pm

    Mr. Lovac, Well observed. I do think at the time this was offered they didn't have access to the better material we enjoy now.But I still use it. On average ,for a 200#bow, I would use a 26 strand string. That figures right in with what you offered.
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by twedzel on Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:44 am

    Does anyone know why Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey recommended string for crossbows to be 20 times the draw weight? Is this for strings without serving that are exposed to friction? What comes to mind is under his advice a modern Excalibur with a 270lbs draw weight would need a dacron string that is 108 strands. That seems like overkill whereas 20-26 would seem much more in line with what is actually on the bows.
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by Geezer on Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:28 pm

    Yes, it seems like overkill to me too, but of course he was talking about flax twine, not modern materials.  Also, as knowledgeable as PG was, I've always suspected he was a bit of a duffer in the shop.  If you read his text carefully, it looks like he came out to the shop occasionally to putter around while his professional workmen actually did the hard stuff... particularly the stuff on catapults reads this way.  This isn't to rob him of the credit he deserves from all of us for Showing The Way, still he was an Edwardian aristocrat, rather than a real professional craftsman. We can grant him the right to an occasional over-statement at times.  Geezer.

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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by c sitas on Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:56 pm

    I like Mr. Gallwey's method. He swayed toward overkill also,and has stood the test of time.Never hurts to err on the side of safer. The Lord only gave us two eyes and two hands,and they don't grow back.
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    Re: STRINGS, How to?

    Post by twedzel on Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:09 am

    High quality linen (flax) strings made from excellent long fibers is roughly equivalent in strength for weight to Dacron B-50 (I am not sure about either materials abrasion resistance). This quality of flax fiber is rare now but would have been the norm for bow string makers before the days of artificial fibers. The only real difference is that the linen will be much more vulnerable to rotting over time.

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