Continuos Loop Bow String Jig





Introduction: Continuos Loop Bow String Jig

About: I work in industrial automation and spend any free time making.

A few years ago I hit the sports outlets / pawn shops and archery outfitters looking for a decent (nothing fancy) recurve bow for target shooting. No one had any traditional bows for under $300. Well they did but they were for grade schoolers and even these were $50!! Many were quick to try and sell me a $2000 tactical assault compound bow. If I had any idea this was the current state of archery I would have never given my old bear compound away.
I gave up the search and pondered making a bow but was afraid attempting this long commitment to perfection might turn me against the sport. For the equipment and man hrs I would be better off to buy a $300 bow.
However very recently I started the quest again and I discovered that survival or PVC bows were an actual thing.. Thanks in great part to the backyard Bowyer and his fantastic work I am back into archery making my own bows and strings.

This may turn into a small series or what I've learned entering the PVC bow making world but to start with and at the very least I wanted to share a quick cheap and easy string jig that I've thrown together.
This is not ideal for making high pound bows but if your curious about making bow strings (it is a bit of an art) and don't want to make an elaborate jig or drop a lot of cash, you can throw one of these together for under $10.

Step 1: Gather Parts

The assembly layout pic above is the basic idea of what we are making.
Plumbing parts you will need to gather:

- At least 2ft length 1/2" Sch-40 pipe
- 4 x 1/2" elbows
- 2 x 1/2" Tees
- 2 x 1/2" thread to 1/2" push adapter
- 2 x 1/2" by 3/4" saddle mount Tee
- A 5ft length of 3/4" Sch-40 pipe
- 2 x 3/4" Tees
- length of 3/4" wooden dowel at least 1ft

Step 2: Cut Your Assembly Lengths

Once you have your parts:

Cut 4 x ~8" pieces of the 1/2" pipe.
(I halved two 17" sections because this was the longest scrap pieces I already had)
These lengths are a bit arbitrary they will just set your distance available to you serve your end loops.

Cut 2 mating pieces from the 1/2" pipe ~1.5"

Cut 4 x 3/4" dowel rod sections ~3" long.

Now start building.

Step 3: PVC Assemble!

Make the swivel assembly:

Take your tees and join them to the tread / push adapter as shown above with your 1.5" connection pieces.

Next cut your ~17" sections of 1/2" pipe into half. Attach an elbow to each of these 4 pipe sections and attaché this sub assemble to the previous swivel assembly.

Check your layout and fitting and glue the assemblies together as seen above.

Finally thread the goal post looking units into the saddle fittings. Your 2 final swivel assemblies should look like the later pic above.

Step 4: Final Assembly

The final assembly is just snapping the swivel assemblies onto the 3/4" pipe length by way of the saddle clamps.
Insert the wooden dowel sections into the 1/2" elbows. The fitting will be a little loose use glue or o-rings or high voltage rubber tape etc to make a nice tight fitting.
Cap the 3/4" pipe with your 3/4" tees.

I did not add legs to my unit yet I wanted something was easy to store and lightweight to work with.

For a stronger unit simply increase the PVC sizes to 1" and 1.25" etc..

Step 5: Final Notes

The key to making a great continuous loop string is your strand numbers on either side must be the same and you must maintain the same tension in every strand while looping. This you will find is the ART in this method of string making but with a bit of practice becomes easy enough.

For the later reason this jig is not the greatest as mentioned earlier because it does flex a bit if tension is pulled very tight when looping.

The pics above show the jig in the serving position and the looping positions respectively. The saddle clamps allow for infinite setting of loop lengths. Mark the 3/4" pipe in 1" increments representing true length of your looping ends to save time in set up.
If you have string lengths you make often set the jig and drill through the base pipe and the saddle to place a through pin.



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    16 Discussions

    Looks cool, but since I'm not into archery, I don't have a clue how this is even used. Perhaps a video or a picture of it being used would help clear things up for us archery challenged. Nevertheless, it looks easy to build.


    2 years ago

    I've been using what ever dacron based spider fishing line I can find on sale :-) You just have to calculate the number of loops you need based on the line #age.


    3 years ago

    I like it! I've been making hand twist strings lately. This would make a good V2.0 when I need a continuos loop.

    A Little bit of an improvement to this design would be to grab some end caps and some 1/4" nuts and 1x1/4" bolts, drill holes through the center of the caps, and mount the bolts to them, take some 1/2" pipe and cut it into 2 1/2" sections, pop the dowels out, glue the pipe into the couplers, and cap the ends of the pipe off with the modified end caps.

    As far as keeping it portable/light weight, you could totally dispense with one of the swivel arms and mount a shelving bracket with an 1/4" eye bolt mounted to it (use a hex nut on the front and a wing nut on the back end of the bracket and you can then use it as a string stretcher (coupled with your through pin Idea)


    3 years ago

    Oh yeah! The 1.25" shouldn't flex at all. I've since extended the dowels on my rig to Make serving a bit easier / faster. Toss up a pic when you get done.

    Brilliant! I started to build this today by picking up some of the parts for feet I'm going to attach. I'm ramping it up to 1" and 1.25" pipes. I've discovered that the saddle tee doesn't come in the appropriate size for my build, so I think I can use regular 1.25" tees with part cut off and 1" pipe segment connecting them that has been sanded enough to smoothly rotate when it's time to serve the string.


    4 years ago

    3rivers is a good archery suppler and they have some good instructional vids too.

    3rivers archery actually has quite a good selection of traditional recurves, some of them around 150-170 bucks.


    4 years ago

    You can make a jig for endless loop strings with only 1 rotation arm. The 2 just give you the option of serving both ends of the strings without having to reposition the loops.

    14, 14:22.jpg

    4 years ago

    I came into the same thing murderethic before this idea hit me. Glad this helped. I'll post a pic of my bow press setup also I've been through several versions.

    I am working on a string build to follow this I'll get it out as soon as I can.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Very well done. You could probably do an another whole instructable on actually making bowstrings with this jig. When I first read it, I thought I knew how to use it, but now I'm not really sure. I don't understand why there are two pair of arms, although I have no doubt it would become obvious if I could see how it's used.

    This is a very well written Ible. could you please show how to actually use the jig you've created.


    4 years ago

    This jig is for the actual construction of the bow string. Depending on the material you are using finding the optimal length can be a bit if trial and error. Typical guidelines to get you in the ball park are for long bows and D bows your string should be ~3in shorter than the bow. Recurves ~4in shorter.


    I've been rigging up monstrosity after monstrosity trying to find a simple method to make my bowstrings for my pvc bows. (Also thanks to the Backyard Bowyer)

    I've had the materials staring me in the face the entire time!

    excellent work and well put together 'ible. I will be constructing this as soon as possible.