Making a Flemish Twist Bowstring
by Ron Harris
The techniques I use to make a Flemish Twist bowstring are not necessarily the only way to do it, but it works for me. Making a Flemish Twist string is relatively simple. It's sort of like tying your shoes - easy to do, but difficult to describe and a whole lot easier if someone shows you how. The first thing you will need is a string making jig. For this you will need the following materials:
- A 1x6 pine board 28 inches long. It should be fairly straight and free of knots.
- About 2 dozen 1 inch long finishing nails.
- One 10 penny common nail.
Lay out the board dimensions as shown above. Your measurements don't have to be precise, but try to follow them as closely as possible. When you have all the nail locations marked and the holes marked for the movable peg, go ahead and drill the holes for the peg. I use the 10 penny nail with the head cut off to a length of about 1 1/2 in. The 10 penny nail takes a 5/32 inch drill bit. You can substitute what- ever you want for the peg, but make sure you drill the hole big enough so the peg can be easily removed. After you have drilled the holes for the peg, go ahead and drive a finishing nail about halfway into the board at each nail location shown. Next, use a permanent marker or ball point pen and mark the board as shown below. You don't have to mark the string path I've shown, but I do just in case I forget which way to wind the strands on the jig.
Now you're ready to make the bowstring. For this you'll need the following materials:
- Dacron B-50 bowstring or other suitable material such as fast flight string. I recommend at least two different colors of string. It makes for a prettier string and is easier to keep track of what you're doing while making the string.
- One cake of string makers wax. You can substitute beeswax but string makers wax has a rosin in it that is easier to work with.
- A spool of monofilament or nylon serving line and a server.
These supplies can be ordered from most archery supply mail order companies or purchased at your local dealers.