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Home > Books > The Flat Bow > The bowstring
The Bowstring
Part 1 of 4


The bowstring plays an important part in archery.

It must withstand strenuous usage and as it is continually pulled and jerked violently, it must be made of material which does not stretch. Irish flax or linen has been found to answer well for this purpose. Barbour's Irish flax sinew (6-cord) is the easiest to obtain and can be bought wherever shoemakers' supplies are sold. As it is obtainable only in a large ball, which at the present time costs about two dollars, and as there are many bowstrings in a ball, it is best for several to club together to buy it. Besides this, some thin flax, such as Barbour's No. 12 or some heavy silk thread or fine linnen fishline, will be required for serving or wrapping. Beeswax also is one of the items needed.

How the String is Made

Start out by driving two nails the length of the bow plus 1 ft. apart. Around these wrap 6 strands of the 6-cord Barbour's flax. Then cut all the loops apart at the finishing nail, as shown in Figure 35.





Since a string of this length is rather awkward to handle, it is well to keep the floor clean while making the bowstring. Sand, dirt, and grit adhering to the waxed string will not improve it.

Tie a loop at the closed end (see Fig. 36). Put a match or a nail in the knot as shown, so that there will be no trouble about opening the knot later on. Place the loop over a nail or hook that will stand quite a pull. Now wax each strand separately, after which open up the loop and cut the strands on that end unevenly, as shown in Figure 37. Next, wax the ends which have been just cut apart.

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