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I have managed to carve a pretty decent longbow from some coppice beech. I have strung it with a commercial bow string and would like to make a natural string from gut or sinew etc. Anyone got any tips on this? As well as preparing the material for the string I'm interested to know if there are any special knotting techniques.
A traditional bow string would have been made from linen or nettle cordage. gut and sinew tend to be fairly stretchy and suffer from the dampness of britain :) The top end of the bow string is usually a laid-in loop or flemish twist loop and the bottom loop is tied as a bowyers knot also called a timber hitch. HTH
Recently made a string from unretted innerbark of wild rose. Very strong fibres in that bark. Can you make cordage? Anyway I would recommend very tight twisting when making a bowstring. It is also very important to keep the two plies equally strong and equally twisted (If one is ply is wrapped around another in a point, the string will have only half the strength there).
I have also used sinew once. Works in the Norwegian climate.
When it comes to knots, I use a double hitch on the lower limb and a loop in the upper limb. If the nocks are small you will probably have to use some sort of slip-knot on the upper limb.
This probably isn't much use, but I will post it anyway.
As I understand it, after being strung for a bit, animal fibre strings stretch as far as they will, then no more, so that isn't as big a problem as I used to think it would be. More of a problem, certaily with rawhide, is the thickness of the string. I think that indian arrows meant for use with such strings were held to the string with a pinch grip and didn't use deep nocks.
I learned a lot about cordage making from the Bowyers Bible, Vol 2. It shows flax being spun into single ply cord using a rather neat lash up and a power drill :D It also discussed the advantages of multiply cord and the strengths of different materials.
How strong is the bow you need to string? Usually modern strings have quite a big safety margin, primitive strings will have a lot less. If it was me, I would probably do a lot of testing and practice of cordage making before I trusted any of my bows with any of my nettle cord :rolleyes: :eek: In the mean time I would happily make a string from cobblers linnen thread heavily waxed with bees wax.
Hello...Bow Strings would be made from linen thread that is produced by spinning flax . Nettles can be used as well.
This is the place to get your supa cheap linen thread http://www.texere.co.uk/
Link about strings http://huntingsociety.org/BowStringMaking.html
And how to make one
Get any problems I will swop u something for making one cheers John