Archery | How To Make an Endless Loop String
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Archery | How To Make an Endless Loop String

August 12, 2019


This is going to be a huge video. Now, I want to begin by saying that there isn’t one ‘correct’ way of making a bowstring. You can look up different tutorials, and videos and each one has something slightly different. Where possible, I’ll cover alternative methods to better cover this topic. And again, I’m not the authority of making bowstrings. This is simply how I make my bowstrings, and, they work. Again, this is an open invitation for you to ask questions and to share your own experiences. If you’ve only tuned in to just this video, check out my other videos on bowstring making to get a better idea of the tools and materials I’m using. Today, I’ll be making a red endless loop recurve string, made from BCY 8125G. First I’m going to rotate the posts on the string jig, so that they are in line. Make sure to tighten both of the arms. I’m making the string for my 68” target recurve. If you already have a string, you can use that to measure out the length of the new string. However, this isn’t particularly accurate. Old strings usually have twists in them, which shortens the length of the string. If you’re using this shortcut, make sure you compensate for the length by making the new one longer. Otherwise, measure the length of the new string yourself. Although each bow has its own optimal string length, based on its size and brace height, you can get a workable length by using the AMO standard. For modern recurves, the string length is 3 inches shorter than the bow length. So for my 68” bow, I’m making a 65 inch string. I’m erring on the longer side, because I can always add twists to the string later to make it shorter, but I can’t make a short string longer. I’m going to start this process by wrapping the end of the string around the screw. There are many different ways to start the string, and this can vary based on the jig you are using. Some people tie it off at the post, some jigs have a separate knob to tie it onto,. I have set up my jig so that I can work in this position, but as long you can anchor the end of the string somewhere, you’re fine. Note that I won’t be tying knots on the string itself. With the string anchored, I’m going to build up the string by wrapping it around the farthest post. The number of times you do this depends of the number of strands you want on your string. This depends on various things, including the material of the bowstring, the draw weight of the bow, and even the desired thickness of the string to suit your nocks. You can find tables to calculate the optimal number of strands, or you can follow the manufacturer recommendations. Generally speaking, heavier bows require more strands for durability, but adding more strands will decrease speed, though with modern materials this isn’t as clear-cut. In my case, I’m making an 18-strand string for my 40 pound bow, so I’m doing nine whole passes around the post. I then tie off the other end of the string and use a knife to cut off the excess. This is what it looks like at this point. Note how the string is fairly taut and there is no slack. If you’ve lost some tension, unwind the anchor and pull the string taut before tying it off again. Now, I’m going to work on the first end loop. Rotate one of the arms, so that the posts are now perpendicular to the string. You need your serving jig for this part. For this string, I’m using BCY 62XS. If you’re having trouble visualizing what we’re making, this is the part we’re working on. Starting the serving can be tricky to explain. Lay a section to the thread so that it lies flat against the string. Keeping this in place, wrap the serving jig several times around the string, overlapping the loose end of the tread. Once you’ve done several spins, the serving should hold itself in place. You can then slide it down the string to the desired length. Pull the loose end to tighten the serving. Use pliers to get an even better grip. For a more specific measure of how far the server should be from the post, you can measure it with a ruler. However, through trial and error, I’ve figured out the length required for the larger, top end loop to be about the size of my thumbs. I’m actually going to offset it slightly, so that when I rotate the posts later, the serving should be correctly positioned around the post. Tighten the serving again if you need to. Then, use a knife to cut the excess thread, so that it doesn’t get it the way later. Now the fun begins! Complete the serving by spinning the jig around the string. This requires a bit of finesse and timing and most people think about their own technique. Some use two hands and go slow. Others are able to get the jig spinning continuously. In fact, you can buy automatic serving jigs that use a power drill to get it done. Regardless of how you do it, focus on a consistent rhythm, rather than doing it quickly and joking around. This ensures that the serving is tight and smooth with no gaps. The string will probably twist as you are doing this. As long as it doesn’t go past the post, it’s fine. If the twists are a problem, loosen the knot on the string on the string jig to give it slack, and the string should unwind. Tighten the jig again before proceding. Continue the serving and stop when you’ve reached the marked gap. Again, for me, I’m using the length of my thumbs as a guideline. And since I offset the starting position, it’s going to be about this far out. Here, we can briefly examine what the serving looks like. Now, you rotate the posts 90 degrees to their original position. Note how the serving ends at closed position due to the offset starting point. Since the serving is holding the string together, I can take the opportunity to cut the anchoring strings. I now need to complete the loop. This has some variations. Some people prefer to continue the serving down the string, while others prefer to work towards the end loop. I’ll be doing the latter method. Give your self some extra slack on the thread and start wrapping it further down the string, working towards the end loop. There should be enough to cover the string where it contacts the limb groove, and I’ve estimated it to be about this long. Keep on spinning and overlap the serving at the end a few times. Now to tying off the serving. Give yourself a long length of thread and cut it from the spool. Make a big loop with this thread, then continue wrapping it around the string, this time working backwards. Do this about ten times. Hold the loose end in place and then start wrapping the loop around the string. As one side continues the serving, the other will unwind. Once you’ve reached the end, pull the loose thread trough and this will tighten the end of the serving. After that, cut the excess length and use a lighter to burn of the end of the string, to prevent it from becoming frayed and unraveling. Your first loop is done! Take a moment to admire your handy work. Now to work on the other end. If your jig has two rotating arms, do the same thing as the first one. If your jig only has one rotating arm, you need to take the string off and reverse it. I’m measuring using my thumbs again. This time, since this is the smaller loop, it’s going to be a slightly shorter length. Start the serving the same way as the previous loop. Do the same thing until you’ve reached the desired length. As of last time, rotate the arm back to its original position. See here that I’ve mismeasured and made it too long. This isn’t a problem. You can overlap the excess. Like last time, I’m going to be serving towards the end loop. Finish the end loop using the same method as the provious one. Remove the string from the jig and you now have a nearly finished bowstring with two loops. We now need to work on the center serving. This can be done on the jig, but it may be easier to do it on the bow itself. Remember, the center serving needs to cover the nock point and the fore arm. A rough guideline is to start a couple of inches above the arrow rest and continue to the bottom of the grip. Note that there’s a difference between left and righthanded strings. Remember that it’s best to wrap the serving in the same direction that tightens it when shooting with fingers. Start the center serving the same way as you did with the loops. Then, begin spinning. Now, you can do this the normal way, but there is a faster method. Pinch the string on either side, give the serving jig a flick and keep it spinning by rapidly making small, circular motions with the string. Finish the serving the same way as the end loops. You’re nearly done. The string is practically complete, but I still need to put on nocking points. I can’t really do this until I make sure my brace height is correct, first, so I’m going to twist the string to get it right. If you know the correct position of the nocks, you can put it on rightaway. Otherwise, you should put on a loose nock set, do some tuning with the bow, then put on a permanent nock set when you’re satisfied with the alignment. Many strings start out with a brass nock set. But due to the extra weight, this is unpopular with more experienced archers, who will use serving thread instead. There are several ways to do this. My method is to basically create a mini serving on either side of the nock. The nock set is complete! To seal the deal, it’s a good idea to give the string a nice coat of wax. Get the string warmed up by rubbing it. You can use your fingers or a piece of leather. Once it’s heated up, get your wax and rub the string down generously. The heat helps the wax to get into the strands. Give it another thorough rub. To get the excess wax off, and to give the string a nice round shape, I use a bit of thread, loop it once around the string and slide it down all the way. Your string is complete. It’s advisable to leave the bow strung overnight to stretch the string out. Otherwise, admire your own, personally made string, and start sending arrows downrange. I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you found this helpful, please give this video a huge thumbs up! This is NUSensei, thank you for watching and I’ll see you next time!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I have a 65" string on a 68" bow and it seems like I had to twist it too many times to get a decent brace height. Some people suggest going 4" shorter for a recurve and 3" shorter for a longbow. Based on my experience, I might agree. (Defintely shorter if using Dacron because that stuff keeps growing!)

  2. The Thumb doesn't get any bigger 😉  but I gave you a thumbs up.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise. 

  3. Good video,
    But i want to make you some suggestions.

    First I would use the jig post grooves, they help keep the strands tighter together specially when serving.

    Also it has its advantages to do the end loop serving in two steps. This way when finished the simple serving you can stretch to recover the loose strands if any. I like to start the closing of the loop from the loop side down.

    Also, it helps a lot to tie the starting of each serving. It wont move so much and it will be longer alowing for a tighter pull.

    Best regards

  4. loved the music change when you showed your method of the center serving quick. The vid is awesome.

    Question: Would you redo the endloop serving if it wears out?

  5. Nice videos. I have an idea for you. Make a video about brace height. I know there are the manufacturer recommended heights but I have quite an old bow (samic sabe) and I can't find any info on that bow. As a noob some theory about the proper brace height might be nice too. How does wrong brace height affect shooting? Just an idea. Keep up the good work.

  6. This was a great and easy to follow tutorial. I usually make flemish twist strings, but this seems a lot easier. Though, I would need to make a jig to do this.

  7. Hello Nusensei. Congratulations on the great video – actually, this is the clearest, most comprehensive and straightforward video on making endless loop strings I've watched. I just started making my own strings using a very simple jig I also built myself (you can find pics of the jig on my instagram timeline – https://instagram.com/chicorasia/). Keep up the great work!

  8. On the Decut string Jig you use are the two post on the main bar (to tie off the loose end) standard – as they don't seem to appear the Decut string Jig products shots elsewhere?

  9. Thank you for sharing. Your video is really easy to follow and very informative making it no more myth in string making. Appreciate!

  10. During my first attempt at making a bowstring, I ended up having a lot of twists between all the different threads of each strand. Should this be happening? If not, how do I make sure that when I finish putting serving for the two end loops, that my strands of the rest of the string are still separate and my threads have not twisted with one another?

  11. looks sloppy as hell for me..so many bumps and uneven places…tension on the serving jig is too low…can't even look at it… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMKS4lL8sG0 that's one pro string.

  12. Very good video! I've always used a Flemish-twist string simply because I wan't sure how to do the endless loop. I'm going to give this a try in the coming weeks.

  13. This makes me want to make my own strings now. Not because I'd need to, but because it looks oddly relaxing. Cheers for the very helpful video!

  14. Sensei! Your video library is invaluable to me. I can't thank you enough.

    YOU > backyard bob, survival steve, apocalypse alan put together.

    Thanks again. (seriously, Bro, is this a good bow?)

  15. hahaha I love the change in background music when you said that there is a faster way to thread the serving in the middle

  16. Just finished my second string! Thank you!! I made my jig, very basic, and with your easy going way mixed with great close ups I succeeded. The feeling that you get when finished is priceless. Cheers!

  17. is it normal to have your first string come out bad? the end loop serving got loose and one of the strands got loose and broke. any ideas on how to fix this on my next string?

  18. would it be a good idea to put a piece of heat shrink tubing over the area where you burn off the rest of the string? or maybe use some kind of glue?

  19. I've been looking through string jigs and can't really find any that aren't too expensive. Do you happen to know of any DIY designs for an endless loop jig that someone could make?

  20. Off Topic >
    NUSensei does a great job of mixing audio levels well. It is the right strike of balance between the background music level &
    the foreground narration level. Even the 'fast paced' electric guitar music accompanying the 'fast paced' spin – to – win sequence
    is to the identical level as the 'casually paced' easy listening style background music throughout the rest of the show. 🙂

  21. There's a Centre Serving video which graphically shows [directionally] how to correctly serve in .E.N.L.A.R.G.E.D. detail with Paracord & PCV Pipe. . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hwQiKAWl2k [How To Start & Finish a Bowstring Serving ( backserving knot technique ) ]
    I hope this helps watchers of NUSensei's helpful instructioal tutorial video here.

  22. I truly enjoyed watching this instructional bowstring making tutorial.
    Question: Is it better to make a slightly shorter bowstring, where one needs but only three to maybe upto six twists in it ?
    Or, is it better to make a somewhat longer bowstring where one literally needs to put in many twists, say, 35 upto 50 twists in it ?
    I guess what I'm asking is, "Is heaps & heaps of twists to advantage?". Knowing correct BraceHeight must be met w/ both strings

  23. I never realized there is a smaller loop… what's up with the different loops? Does one go up and the other down? I don't have a nocking point so everytime I string my bow its at random.

  24. Great video. I've always made flemish twist, but I think I might try to make an endless loop jig once my shed thaws out and I'm able to work in there again. Do you ever stretch the bow string before laying in your nock set? Do you find the position changes before / after stretch?

  25. If the string with serving is too small in diameter for the nock to lock on, what can be done to increase the diameter of the string at the nock point?

  26. don't get this wrong sensei, i like the way you speak.. it's unique and kinda funny to listen for me. thank you for all the useful videos you made so far, really appreciate it.

  27. Hello Nusensei. I like your videos, they are clear, simple and very easy to understand. I have a question about bowstrings in general. I prefer to make flemish strings for my bows, most bowhunter recurves and some longbows and selfbows, and i like to know whats "better" and what is the difference between and endless string and a flemish string in accuracy an durability. Thanks for the answer and go on with you channel👍🏻 Greets from switzerland 🤗

  28. cheers for sharing mate, last time i made a recurve string was about 30 years ago and i was 10, just a little while between drinks lol

  29. Very well done video. I like the jigs you used to make the bow string (stringing jig and serving jig). I've seen and made something like both of them and they work well. A friend of mine apparently came across a "real deal" on two compound bows that had their strings broken. If I can make replacement strings for them I'll get to keep my choice of one of the bows. My only issue is that I've only ever made strings for my recurve (45 pound) and will only be guessing how many strands to use for an 80 pound maximum draw weight bow. As far as the number of strands and material for the bow string; are there any specific resources (websites) you would recommend?

  30. I don't get it, seeing the time and effort involved, is there any advantage over just buying one of the better name brand strings?

  31. I've been making my endless strings using a homemade jig with some success, but this video is so clearly explained it shows me some new ideas that will make the process even easier. Thanks!

  32. Thank you Nusensei, I’ve just finished my very first string. Thanks to this video it came out so well I plan to replace all my bows with my own made strings. I have odd sized bows and strings are either harder to come by or more expensive. This is a great skill to have, and this was the best tutorial I’ve found on the subject.

  33. Enjoyable to watch.
    I have always held the belief that it is a joy to watch someone do something they are good at; from making bowstrings to carving a turkey it's a fine thing to watch someone competent work.

  34. Thank you very much for this video. Most helpful. I need to make some custom strings for y SAS survival bow, I hate having to twist the heck outta it to get the right brace distance.

  35. Great video, and thanks for it. I wonder, does the length of serving affect the performance of the bow and/or arrow? Are there any other factors besides holding the string together and durability?

  36. Hello Nu Sensei,
    You mention left en right handed in this video.
    What is the difference ??
    Right handed the string winding up clockwise ??
    Lefthanded counterclockwise ??
    What happens when you do counterclockwise for a righthand bow and vv

  37. I know this is a very old video but I'm hoping this question may help. Can you tell us where you purchased the string jig that you are using? The places I see on the internet for it are either ebay or from other countries and I want to make sure I can order it from a reputable company. Thanks in advance!!

  38. Thats looks awsome. Really want to give that a go for my recurve and horsebow. Great video thanks, you make it look easy.

  39. This was awesome, and much easier than I thought. Got a 6'x1' wooden board at Home Depot, and a few screw clamps. Used an old string for measurement, and made it tight. First made a 68" 16 strand string, which came out OK, had to adjust the smaller loop to stay on during stringing the bow. 2nd 68" string I made 18 strands and it came out just as good looking as the ones I purchase. Just ordered a bunch more colored string material and serving strings, to make some custom cool ones. Next up learn how to mount fletchings and make my personalized arrows. Thanks NuSensei

  40. Thank you for this informative video. Just started learning the make bow strings and this was just the ticket. Well produced and presented.

  41. I’ve never seen that technique for spinning the serving tool before! Thanks for teaching me a useful new technique.

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