Making a flemish twist bowstring.

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Making a flemish twist bowstring.

Mahto Sapa Numpa
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Mahto Sapa Numpa
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Joined: 24 Apr 2006, 05:01

31 Jul 2006, 04:11 #1

Here is a tutorial on making a flemish bowstring.

I don't own a jig so I use my workbench. I put two nails in the bench as pegs, 6 to 8 inches longer at each end of the bow than the bow knocks I am going to make the string for.



I then choose 2 different colors of B50 Dacron string material to use in the string. for this example we are using green and yellow. I use 12 strands for any bow up to 70lbs, 16 strands for 70-80lbs and I haven't made any strings for higher poundages.

I tie the first material (starting with green for this example.) off to one nail. I then make a loop around the other nail and back to the first. That makes 2 green strands of the string. Since we are making a 12 strand string, I need 3 wraps (or 6 strands) of each color. After making the 3rd wrap of green I tie it off with a couple of half hitches and then push the strands down the nails to be out of the way for the yellow string. I tie off the yellow and make 3 loops with it and tie it off again. Cut the spools of string loose and put them away.

Now cut all the strands loose from one nail. Keeping the green separate from the yellow, twist each group of strands clockwise until they are well twisted. they will be about 4-6 inches shorter than they were when you started at this point. You can twist one group at a time and then when twisted hold it in place by setting a weight on the end of it while you twist the second group.



Once they are both twisted up, take one group in each hand and pulling against the nail they are still attached to, twist the two groups together counter clockwise. This is the time consuming part. As you twist you can spread the two group ends apart then let them come back together which will help the twists even out as they tighten up. Work the string until you are satisfied with the twist up to about 3 inches from the end.
Now make a loop with the twisted part of the string just the size you need for your bow nock by doubling the string back on itself. Put this loop over your nail so you can pull against it.



Now untwist the portion of the string back from the loop until you can align up the untwisted ends. Just as you did before, twist all the green strands together and yellow strands together, clockwise in their individual groups. (there are now 12 strands of each color as you have them doubled.) Twist the two groups counter clockwise together. As you do this the main body of the string will be untwisting itself. Do this until you get past the ends of your doubled up strings. then let go and twist up the main sting. If all worked out correctly the whole string will now twist and tighten on itself.

Cut the other end of the string loose from the nail. leave your bow loop around the nail and use it to pull against. You may have to twist the individual groups a little and then twist up the pair to tighten up the strings overall twist. Remember it is the twist that keeps the bowstring together.

Make your next bow loop about equal to,or slightly shorter than the length of the two nocks on your bow. We can always shorten the string by twisting it later.



Make your loop the size you want and then wrap it around the nail again. Untwist the string enough to be able to match the colors up and twist them together. Once again twist up the 12 green and 12 yellow strands clockwise and then twist the two groups together counter clockwise. This process will be untwisting the main string as you go. Twist past the ends of your doubled up groups then let go and allow the string to twist itself up naturally.
Now put the sting on your bow. remove one end and twist it up tighter as needed to reach your desired brace height.
Rule of thumb is that it should be about as high or as with most of my bows, about 1/2" higher than my fist with my thumb up.

When you have it to your brace height then it is time to serve the string. I use a string server tool and braided serving string.
lay the end of the string along your new bowstring at about the lower end of your handle. start wrapping the serving back down over the end of the string keeping the serving tight. In this example we are working left to right.



This can take some time to. serve the string up past your knocking point by several inches. when you are about 1/2 inch from where you intend to stop, do two half hitches and then pull out about 1ft of string. cut it loose from the serving tool and then wrap it as shown.



Holding a loop up with your left hand, wrap the serving accross the string then around the string under the right side of the loop, wraping from the right side back twoards the left where your half hitches are until you have just an inch or two left of your serving string. Lay that last little bit up on your eariler serving then using the left side of the loop, continue your original serving. It will unwind the right side as you wind up the left side tightly. When you reach the end of the right side winding, pull the end of the string (which is now coming out from under your new twists) tight and your serving is now tied off cleanly. Trim the tail of the thread. Trim any tails that are now protruding from the string just below each knock loop and you are ready to go!
You can now put a knocking point on your bowstring. I am sure somebody here can tell us how to tie one on. but i don't know that yet. I use a commercial metal knocking point clamped on with pliers.

Anybody who can add to this description feel free to do so.
hope this is of use for some of you.
Kirby
When the white man came to America, it was a mans job to hunt and fish. . . . . .
And we thought we could improve on that?

Location: North Eastern Oregon, US
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PaleoAleo
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PaleoAleo
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Joined: 14 Apr 2003, 21:09

31 Jul 2006, 14:45 #2

Very nice description and photos Kirby! Thanks bro.

Tom

P.S., I'd like to put a copy of this over on the bowmaking forums. More specifically I'd like to put this into the Archery Reference Center under the archery forums. This would be perfect there.
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Mahto Sapa Numpa
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Mahto Sapa Numpa
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Joined: 24 Apr 2006, 05:01

31 Jul 2006, 18:06 #3

Tom,
Put it where you think it should go. I just posted it here as some of the people in live chat had said they could use the information.
Kirby
When the white man came to America, it was a mans job to hunt and fish. . . . . .
And we thought we could improve on that?

Location: North Eastern Oregon, US
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strider
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strider
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Joined: 02 Apr 2006, 03:38

31 Jul 2006, 19:56 #4

Thanks Kirby, great job.

Does anyone know when this string type came into general use in Northern Europe, as opposed to the simple loop on top, timber hitch on bottom thing?

James
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PaleoAleo
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PaleoAleo
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Joined: 14 Apr 2003, 21:09

31 Jul 2006, 21:20 #5

Kirby, I'll leave it here, but will copy it to the Archery Reference area. Thanks again!

Tom
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snowboardmoose
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snowboardmoose
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Joined: 20 Mar 2008, 04:03

20 Mar 2008, 04:03 #6

awsome man this worked and I have my bowstring now
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