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Chains for Bows
Part 3 of 3

"Now the problem of applying these long elastic chains to the back of a bow or to a stave is more difficult to tell and for those who are not endowed with mechanical skill, find it rather difficult to do. If used without further pretension, it may be applied in the same manner as fibre or calf skin, except, it must not be soaked. It may be glued with hot glue, casein or best grades of cold glue. When using hot glue be sure that the temperature of the glue does not exceed 16 degrees F. Keep the glue between the temperature of 140 and 160 degrees F. Hot glue is the best and easiest glue to use once you get the knack of handling it."

"If the silk is to be further stretched at the time it is applied, a strong stretching jig is required. This jig should be capable of withstanding forces up to 1000 pounds. The clamps for holding the silk should be provided with emery cloth grips and will hold better if the silk turns 90 degrees as it leaves the clamp. Where the silk turns over the clamp, the edge over which it turns, should be rounded to prevent the stresses from reaching the breaking point of the silk. Without the assistance of sketches or pictures It would be difficult to describe how to make a jig. I would recommend a base of wood 4" x 4" with metal clamps. A thick piece of felt or soft rubber should be placed beneath the silk with a piece of white cloth between the silk and the felt or rubber. Glue may be applied to both bow back and silk strip and the bow clamped down on the silk with large clamps. The bow should be left in the jig for at least 24 hours for hot glue to set and 48 hours for casein glue. After the bow is removed from the jig, the silk may be worked like wood, provided the cutting is always with the grain. A heavy coat of varnish or lacquer should be used to protect the silk from rain.

"Now a word about using long elastic chains for bow string. I have been experimenting with Nylon for strings and find that for light bows it is remarkable. I have never broken a string and have shot hundreds of American Rounds with the same string. I have worn out several servings and the string is still in good condition. Now you may ask why I do not recommend silk for a string. The answer is simple, you have to work a string too near the breaking point to use silk. You will remember that I explained that silk would stretch 10% before it breaks, but that it takes a set if stretched more than 3%, If you made a silk string strong enough to keep within the 3% elongation it would be too heavy. Now Nylon can be used up to the breaking point with no permanent set. The fact that it stretches when the forces become large, means that the dynamic forces never are as high as when using a linen string The linen string has to stop the limbs of the bow very quickly for it does not stretch. The force required to stop the limbs quickly is much higher than in the case of the Nylon string where the limbs may be stopped slower, due to the stretch of the string. The only objection that I have found to the use of Nylon is the difficulty In bracing the bow. It stretches so much that you have to bend the bow a great deal In order to brace it. Girls can hardly brace a 20 pound bow using a Nylon string. I have no difficulty with bows up to 35 pounds, but I can hardly brace a 45 pound bow and it is useless for me to try to brace one weighing over 50 pounds. This may be appreciated if you figure that you want a factor of 50% safety in your string. I mean by that, the tension when braced is one half what it may be when the limbs are being stopped so that the string when braced will be stretched 6%. This means that the string will be about four inches shorter than a linen string. In some cases it means that the bow must be bent more for bracing than it will be for full draw. However for 25 to 35 bows it is a wonderful string and I use it on all my bows weighing up to 35 pounds. I have the Nylon put up in about 11 ends of 50 denier. Since it does not seem possible to find a wax or adhesive to bond the material, I whip that portion of the string that hits the arm guard in order to prevent it from fraying. Now, will long chains be used on bows? Well, at this time there are over 1000 bows in America with silk backing and It looks as if there would be more. This Is my hobby and while I have been selling the silk backing I have not yet made any money out of It. I placed the price low so that it would be available to all archers and got Russ Hoogerhyde to agree to retail the backing at a small profit and have offered it to all manufacturers in 12" x 72" sheets for their use only. Time will tell whether it is just a fad or not. I only know that in my own case I have placed it on all my bows (some which have taken terrible sets and were very weak) so that today I do not have any bows left that I can command. The weights and cast have been increased so much that were I to give figures, it would only be believed by those who have fully investigated the material. The only bows that I have that have a set, are an old lemonwood bow that has a broken handle which still has fiber backing and a yew bow with silk backing which was applied without pretension. The latter weighs 32 pounds for a 25 inch draw and has a point on the target at 100 yards using an arrow weighing something over 300 grains. If we can get a better material for the belly of the bow and a substitute for the feathers, archery will become a sport that will never die as it has in the past. The present popularity of archery could never exist without the improvement in tackle which has taken place in the past ten years. Girls are now shooting bows with more cast than men used to get from their 55 to 70 pound bows. Archery is my hobby and while I sell silk backing it is more in the interest of archery than for profit. There are hundreds of others in America like myself who shoot rotten but still give lots to foster archery. Even most of our tackle makers are so interested in the sport that they get a bigger kick out of making good tackle than making money. May the sport ever remain in the hands of individuals of this type. The same goes for the editors of our archery magazines. They get more kick out of publishing than they do out of collecting subscriptions."