Archery | String Maintenance
Articles Blog

Archery | String Maintenance

August 16, 2019

[shhh-thunk] A lot of people ask what do I need to
do to maintain my string. The answer is simple: you wax it. You can buy sticks of bow string wax like these. This smaller one is a Bohning Accelerator wax.
It’s a wax and string conditioner. Sounds like something you put in your hair, but it’s
actually a very soft, moist wax. Very easy to put on in the field, and this one is
a thicker block of Bohning Tex-Tite. It’s a bit harder and drier, but you can really slap
it on in thick layers. So both of these are good options. This one is slightly cheaper.
You can buy quite a few of these in bulk. If you don’t have these, a lot of
first-time buyers forget to buy wax, you can use blocks of beeswax, for example.
Firstly, rub the string a bit to get it warm. You can use a bit of leather for this if
you don’t want to burn your fingers. So get it slightly warm, which makes it easy to
get the wax into the string. Grab your stick of wax, and rub it in.
Like really give it a lot of wax. Excess is fine. It may seem wasteful, but you actually want as much
wax as you can, because a lot of it comes off. You want to really rub it into the
string. So give it a nice thick, very thick layer. They’re we go, use it very liberally.
Don’t be nervous in using it at all. There we go, it’s a nice layer of wax.
Then you rub it in with your fingers. So get it nice and right into the strands. Try to
cover the strands as much as you can. A couple passes should be fine, but what you get
is a slightly waxy feel, which makes a lot of sense since you just waxed it, and that’s
the first part. Now what I like to do is grab a bit of loose thread, and I wrap it
around the string (whoops!) wrap it around the string, and then you run it up the
string to get rid of the excess wax, and that way you give the string a nice round
shape, and that’s the excess wax there, and as a
result, once you get off the other excess wax, (that’s pretty waxy) scrape
it off if you have to, but what we end up with is a very nice, smooth string. That’s what you
want. It’s a very simple process only takes a few seconds, and it feels really nice. Now
you can tell it’s a nice string. If it’s really dry and flaky then it probably needs more wax,
but a nice layer will give you a nice soft appearance like that. Now how often
should you do this? If you can remember to do it each time you shoot each
day then you’ll be fine. You actually don’t need to do it this frequently.
You can get away with not waxing it for a few weeks, even a month at a time, but if
you start noticing that the string feels dry, there might be some bit of light fraying on the
edges, then it’s safe to give another coat of wax. The reason you do this is to
extend the string’s lifespan. A lot of people ask how long does the string last, and
this depends on how frequently you use it. A serious competitive archer may go
through a string every six months. Someone who’s more casual may only
require a new string every 1 or 2 years, if ever. The string itself may become dry and flakey,
and that’s quite normal, but it’s very rare for the string to snap. Now this is another
one of those false fears which beginners have. They might think “oh, the string might snap
if I pull it too far.” It wont. It’s elastic. It’ll take far more damage for it to snap. In fact,
if the string does break it’s probably suffered a serious cut somewhere, and
you can really see it coming. Any light fraying can be covered in wax and it’s fine,
but if you start losing a few strands because you’ve braced it against a
sharp edge, then that’s when you might have a catastrophic failure. More frequently
the end loops might give way. The serving might come off, and the string
will start getting eaten through because of this contact point of the limb tips,
especially some of the cheaper limbs might have very sharp limb tip edges.
So as a result it cuts into the string, and that might cause the loop to come off
when you shoot. It’s not dangerous. It’s kind of scary, but it’s not dangerous at all. This happens now then, bit it does mean that your string is a writeoff. You can’t replace that.
More frequently, the serving can get damaged. It’s meant to, that’s why the serving is there.
The serving you see at the end loops, as well as the middle of the string, and the reason for
the serving is to protect the string from contact. At the limb tips, the string will
slap the limb itself when shot, so this will protect the string from contact, and
this part here will protected it from the arrow nock, of course, as well as any slaps
on the arm guard or your arm. So that way the string itself does not get damaged.
For that reason you don’t need to wax the serving. A lot of people do for some reason,
but the serving protects the string. You don’t need to wax the serving.
Do wax the string. Don’t wax the serving. What I see some people do is that
when they start seeing the serving come off, they actually buy a whole new string. This is
a bit of a waste. It can be expensive, especially if you use high performance strings,
but you’re really just throwing out a perfectly good string. The string itself is fine. The serving is very cheap and easy to replace. It’s a routine repair. Its really similar to
puncturing a tire. Just roll it into a shop, and they’ll patch it up for you. You don’t buy a whole
new wheel, or a whole new tire, just because your tire’s punctured.
Same with strings. You can do it yourself. You can buy string material or you can use any thread. If you want to
know how to fix a serving, check out my string making tutorials. It’s the same steps. Otherwise you can bring it to someone at
the club or the range, and they’ll probably fix it for you. And that’s actually all you need
to do for your string. Just wax it every once in a while and check for signs of
wear and tear. It’s that simple. Now you may be
wondering what happens if I don’t wax my string. So this is a Dacron string that I just made. As you can see, nice and white and fresh. And this is the string that I replaced. Yeah… Now the bow that this string came
from is, I think, older than I am. I’m not sure if this is the original string or
a replacement string, but it hasn’t been taken care of for years, and you can
probably see it’s very dry, very dry, very flaky. It almost was brittle. So it’s lost a
lot of its elasticity. If you compare it to the brand new string, that is a world of
difference. It looks like there’s been a lot of wear and tear. This one’s still
very stretchy, very fresh and usable, the old one, you know, your basically shooting
with shoelace nearly. It’s very stiff. That said, although it may surprise you, this old string is still usable. Assuming that everything else stays in
place, the serving, the end loops, the string can still be used. It will shoot fairly
horribly, but it still won’t snap, and the reason is, again this may surprise you, despite being so stiff and dry, there’s
no actual damage to the strands itself. If you see strands fraying, and, you know,
some of them have snapped, then that string is basically unusable,
but this string, despite being poorly maintained, can still be shot. That said, buying the string costs around AU$10
Making one can be cheaper. If your string does turn out like this, it
might be a good idea to replace it. Basically, this string will eventually
become this string, but with proper maintenance you can slow down that
process significantly. Anyway, this is NUSensei, Thanks for watching, hope this was
helpful, and I’ll see you next time.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Any other opinions on beeswax, is it an inferior product compared to silicon waxes, or are there no downsides compared to the silicon waxes?

  2. Please keep making these video's, I like them.
    They're very informing, even though some things are a bit different here up in the north 🙂

  3. Dude how can you Even move up and down your hand so fast and… Oh oh :O
    never mind player 😉 ahahahaha lol

  4. Hey NUSensei 🙂

    I'm just getting into archery and was wondering if you could tell me what kind of wax I should be using for my new bow's string?

    The website I bought my bow from says the string is BCY 8190F (it also says it is BCY 8190F, I'm not sure if there is a difference or if they are the same thing).
    I've noticed waxes being advertised as either "natural" or "silicone" and can vary in price a bit.

    My bow is a compound bow, I'm not sure if that makes a difference to wax or not.

    Thanks 🙂

  5. Is there a best way to store the string? I've been keeping it in a plastic bag in my bow case to try and keep it away from anything sharp it might inadvertently encounter. So far it seems to be working out, but I worry about things like moisture that might be trapped in with the string. Thanks for any words of wisdom.

  6. nice and informative 🙂

    you can also use one of these artificial corks to rub the wax in.
    the string you show in the end can be saved by waxing it really good and using a hairdryer (place your hand behind the string – if it gets too hot for your hand…it is too hot for the string), that way the wax will really soak in

  7. New to archery/ What about the area where the string hooks on to the tips and the serving area on a crossbow. Do you wax those areas?

  8. What Bow is that and Cost Please? thanks for creating the archery videos , wanna get into it but don't know where to start, class in my area don't start till next march

  9. one thing thats been bugging me, we wax our string to lubricate it when its stringed up. this gives it a smooth string and we removed the excess to "cable" or round it out. but what happens after you unstring it? the strings tend to lose it's shape and open up due to the lack of tension. does this mean I must wax it again afterwards? or is the whole goal just to have a coating of wax on most of the string or as much as possible?

  10. Is it normal for the string to be slightly offset to the left or to the right when it is strung? I got my new bow a day ago, but it seems like my bottom limb is slightly twisted to the right as the string is slightly offset to the right..

  11. Natural bee wax is 'sticky' or tacky. It will stay on the string. It can be bought at local farmer's market for 1.00 to 5.00 depending on the market. Very inexpensive.

  12. I just got my first bow and because of this video I remembered to buy and apply wax to my first string. thank you very much for all your tutorials. My first waxing went perfectly smoothly. I bought Bohning Xccelerator wax and it went on really nice and smooth and it scraped off nicely with a loop of dental floss.

  13. there are no archery shops in Jamaica and I was wondering about these alternatives to bowstring wax: candles, crayons, chap stick/lip balm (is there a difference?). I guess I could buy online but as you could imagine, shipping to Jamaica is not cheap.

  14. you mention that the string, every now and then, may snap off the limb tip. if/when this does happen, doesn't the bow react in a similar way as it would in a dry fire situation? in other words, the string snaps while you're pulling back to your anchor point and the limbs jolt forward with no way to transfer the energy to the arrow since the string is no longer doing it's job. since the arrow isn't launched (due to the string breaking) doesn't that provide similar conditions to dry firing and should you have the bow professionally checked out as a result or is this situation really different from the dry fire situation?

  15. Question for you: I made a pvc pipe/fiberglass rod core bow (based on the design by TheBackyardBowyer). The string is generic polyester/nylon 550 paracord… Wax yes/no?

  16. Hey nu I joined my schools nasp program is that good for a younger archer and is the browning discovery bow better for hunting or backyard shooting??? Please write back

  17. When stringing a bow for the first time, is there any point to letting it sit overnight before using it? I heard about someone doing this and I wondered if there was anything to it other than they waited to fire the bow.

  18. Some of us could really use a tutorial on how to remake the servings, especially on the loops of the string

  19. I haven't done archery in about 3-4 years and the dacron string is folded and stored in a box. Will I need to do any kind of maintenance on the string besides waxing it before I use it? Thanks 🙂

  20. What about nicks that chew into or fray ur bow string. I see Victory arrow nocks ear into my string but Easton is way better

  21. My daughter wants to use my old bows and I want to get them into good shape for her. The strings need waxing – they are separated. My question is Am I supposed to twist the before waxing or just put on bow as it is and wax?

  22. A needle file can be used "carefully" smooth out the limb tips which will give you better life out of your strings

  23. Sorry if this sounds abit stupid but I'm such a noob that I don't even have a bow yet, but could you use a candle to wax the string?

  24. I have had my PSE traditional takedown recurve bow for nearly 2 years. I shoot very regularly. This last month my bow has been destroying strings. Most recently I cut through a new endless loop string the same day I bought it. It is in the same place on the top loop on the left side. I assume it is because my limbs have a sharp edge where the loop attaches. Is there anything I can do to fix it? And why would it just start doing this?

  25. NUSensei, can you use olive oil?

    Also, if you don't wax the Serving, why not simply Serve the entire string then?

  26. When putting friction on string, is it normal for the some of the string fray to come off on the fingers or hand, or is it that cause of the wax?

  27. @NUSensei is it okay to simply use candle wax? Also, I am getting a bow with tendon string material. Will the same method work for that?

  28. Thank you for saying it can last a week, I got my recurve on christmas and wont be able to use it for at least a week because Im ordering the things I need for it online because I got an amazon gift card.

  29. Watched a guy open up his cheek from a bow string breaking when he was at full draw. He was shooting a compound and it was set at 70#. He knew the string was nicked, but didn't think it would hurt anything. A few weeks later I noticed a nick in my bow's string. I didn't shoot it again until I got it fixed.

  30. New drinking game, take a shot every time he says “wax”. All forms of the word count. (I.E. “waxy”)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *