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Chapter II

Making the Bowstring

Part 2 of 5
Figures 14 to 16. Details for making the string board and winding the bowstring
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Now proceed to the actual making of the bowstring. First, lay the string board on a bench, or clamp it in a vise, with the nail or screw heads up. Next, find the end of the thread on the inside of the ball of thread and tie it to the projection at point A. (Put the ball of thread in a small box and pull the end you work with through a small hole in the lid. This will keep the thread from becoming tangled as you lay out the different strands of the bowstring.) Bring the thread from point A to B, passing around B, then to C1, around both nails at this point and back to B (keeping outside of B), then to A, around A and retrace this same route but lengthening the process each turn to nails C2, C3, C4, C5. End up with the thread at point A after lapping each set of two nails to C5. (See Fig. 15.) Reasoning out just what has been done makes the process seem extremely simple. The distance from A to B is one half the total length of the bowstring, and the distance from B to C1, where the taper begins, is the other half of the total length plus enough allowance for twisting (which comes later) and the timber hitch.

The next step is to cut the thread on the center line from D to E which gives ten thread ends of varying lengths. Then cut all threads at point A. Now pick up all the threads at point B and stroke them together toward each end from B. This makes one strand of ten threads, with one end tapered, the other plain. It is now necessary to make two more strands exactly like this. Lay each strand, as it is completed, by itself. When these three strands are completed, make short, tapered strands for reenforcement at the loop. (See Fig. 16.) To make these short strands, tie the thread as before at point A; go around D this time and around the first set of points at C1, back around D (do not return to A this time), and retrace the same route, lengthening each turn one set of nails to C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, and cut these strands on the center line from D to E, Then cut the single thread at A. Pick up this group of threads at D and stroke, carefully, toward each end until the strands lie together. This gives us a strand of sixteen threads tapering from the center, which was at D, toward each end, 18 inches long from end to end. This short, tapered strand will be used to reenforce the bowstring at the loop. Lay this first short strand aside and make two more exactly like it. Lay each strand by itself so that they do not become tangled.