Ok Folks some of you are gonna say hey there, I saw that somewhere else and in fact I admit I did not write the original article but I did make some significant changes, improved the text and redesigned the jig. So to avoid anybody claiming I committed some heinous thingy, here is the link to the original article which I co-opted. You will note that mine is better. :)
Mr. Harris, if you come across this, let me know please, I have tried to contact you for permission but to no avail.
The techniques I use to make a Flemish Twist bowstring are not necessarily the only way to do it, but it works for me. Making a Flemish Twist string is relatively simple. It's sort of like tying your shoes--easy to do, but difficult to describe and a whole lot easier if someone shows you how.
The first thing you will need is a string making jig. For this you will need the following materials:
Lay out the board dimensions as shown on Figure 1. Your measurements don't have to be precise, but try to follow them as closely as possible. I suggest that you start with a well defined center line down the long axis of the board. This will allow you to set the dimensions off of the centerline and helps to maintain accuracy.
Go ahead and drive a finishing nail about halfway into the board at each nail location shown but make sure that it is in securely. Pine is rather soft and you could pull the nail out halfway through a wind if it is to tight.
Next, use a permanent marker or ball point pen and mark the board as shown on Figure 2. You don't have to mark the string path I've shown, but I do just in case I forget which way to wind the strands on the jig.
Now you're ready to make the bowstring. For this you'll need the following materials:
These supplies can be ordered from most archery supply mail order companies or purchased at your local dealers. In Canada I recommend Heights archery supply
Next, you'll need to decide if you want to make a two ply or three ply string. A two ply string is made from two bundles of twisted strands while a three ply string uses three bundles. A two ply string is easier to make and for this article I have chosen to illustrate the two ply process.
How many strands do you need for your B50 bowstring.
Ok Now say you have a 50 pound bow, you will need 12 strands of b-50. I will suggest 2 bundles of 6 strands in colors that work well together and allow for easy identification.
There is of course the choice to make your bowstring with more than 2 bundles and it is just as easy to do but for now we will stick to 2. If you want a quick explanation of how to do more than 2 bundles then read here.
Be forewarned; some of the dark colors in b50 run so white and red for instance will become a red and pink string or black and white makes a grey and black string.
to figure out how long to make the strands, take the amo length of your bow, say my recurve at 64 inches, subtract 3 inches for a longbow or 4 inches for a recurve. I am left with 60 inches, then you figure in the length of the extra for braids. I started doing this with 8 inches extra but I have found it insufficient so I doubled it. 16 inches will give you about 8 inches of tail on each end to braid in to the loops.
Now, Grab your jig and tie the end of the string to the top left-hand nail ( Position A ) as shown in Figure 2. If your desired string is, as it is for me, 60 inches long, find the 60 inch position marked on the board and start winding the strands onto the jig until you have 6 strands of string on the jig. when you have done that, run the spool to the next pin as if to wind another strand and carry it across to the other pin. You're not going to wind another but when you cut the string it keeps all the strands at the correct length.
Now cut the strands with a sharp knife or razor blade right down the center line between the top nails.
Wax both ends of each string bundle for about 10 inches. You may have to warm the wax so that it will stick to the strings. Use a candle or alcohol burner. Thoroughly work the wax into the bundles.
Lay both bundles side by side so that the longest strand in each bundle is aligned with the other then lay the two bundles on the ruler you marked on your jig. Grasp both bundles about 8 inches back from the ends. Hold the bundles between your thumb and forefinger as shown in Figure 4.
Using your other hand, twist the top bundle six or seven times in a counterclockwise direction (twist away from your body). Now take the twisted bundle and rotate it over the top of the bottom bundle (towards your body). The bottom bundle is now on top and vice versa. See Figure 5. Keep repeating this twisting and rotating process until you have braided enough to form the loop for the top limb on your bow. The width of this loop will vary as does width of different bow limbs. The loop should be wide enough so that it will slide down the bow limb 5 or 6 inches when the bow is unstrung.
Form the loop as shown in Figure 6. Make sure you align the bundles as shown (same color over same color). Grasp the bundles at the bottom of the loop and twist the two bundles of same color together. Figure 6 shows white twisted onto white forming one large white bundle and yellow twisted onto yellow forming one large yellow bundle.
Holding these two bundles between the thumb and forefinger, perform the same twisting and rotating process until the last tag end of the strings have been braided into the bow- string. Your finished loop should look like that shown in Figure 7.
After finishing the top loop, separate both bundles all the way down to the bottom. Take your 8 inch measurement at the bottom of the bundles and repeat the whole process again just as you did when forming the top loop. When braiding the bottom loop you may have to stop occasionally to separate the bundles. The bottom loop has to be just wide enough to fit over the nocks on your bottom bow limb.
More don't make my mistake advice.
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