Leather Bow Stringer (archery)

A bow stringer is a very nice and simple tool that helps you to put your bowstring in place without the need to lower leg or bend your recurve limbs the wrong way and perhaps damage them. There are quite some techniques you can use without having to use a bow stringer. However, using one is saver and easier, especially for beginners like me.

This instructables is more or less all about leatherworking (where I'm not an expert in).

Step 1: Inspiration

I searched the internet for different designs and what would fit the best for my needs. As I already build a arm guard (link) out of leather and this worked out quite well, I decided to go with leather for the bow stringer as well. The attached pictures are taken from youtube videos and were the main aid for my design.

A bow stringer is used as follows:

  • put the big string loop on the upper recurve limb and set the little string loop in place at the bottom of your bow
  • now attach the enclosed side of the bow stringer to the bottom of your bow and then slip on the other side of the bow stringer to approx. the middle of the upper recurve limb
  • tighten the stringer by stepping on the loose line and pull the bow towards yourself. This will flex your entire bow and you will be able to put the big string loop in place
  • relax the bow stringer, remove it and you are ready to go

This video explains it in detail and might be helpful to understand the process.

Step 2: Materials and Tools

This is pretty much the same as in the previous mentioned instructables. I used some imitation leather, hemp rope and waxed yarn for this, but they are not chosen for a specific reason. I just used what i could get.

Materials:

  • 1x 2mm thick (0.08 inches), approx. 200x200mm (7.9x7.9 inches), imitation leather, brown
  • some waxed yarn
  • 2m (79 inches) of hemp rope
  • some glue

Tools:

  • scissors, sharp knife, leather awl, needles, pliers, cutting pad (or old book), hole punch

Step 3: Design and Patterns

To design the different parts I used Fusion 360, but less because it was necessary than more to learn a bit about this piece of software. The blueprints might help you for doing the build.

I used the blueprints to print and cut them out to get a first prototype of the bow stringer. This helped me to adjust the parts to the dimensions of my bow and it might be a good idea if you also go for it. After having all the dimensions right I cutted the leather parts with a sharp knife and a scissor.

Step 4: Sewing

Sewing is also quite the same as in the previous instuctables (the same description of this process is used there). There are quite some other instructables which describe in detail (and much better than I ever could) how to sew leather. I stuck to some advice given to me by the same friend who provided the leather fabric. The process I used was as follows (don't refer to this as a definitive guide, it was the second time I ever made something with leather):

  1. align the parts and glue them together
  2. draw a line at the position of the future stitches
  3. use the awl to punch holes
  4. start with waxed yarn and a needle on one side of the seam and pull the yarn half way through the hole
  5. use another needle on the other end of the yarn and then always pull the yarn from both sides through the next hole (take care that you don't accidentally push the needle through the yarn that is already in the hole, because this will prevent you from tightening the yarn afterwards)
  6. at the end of the seam, stitch back one hole and then tie the two ends of the yarn together on the non-visible side of the fabric

I started with the bottom end of the stringer. The big part is fold up in the middle and sewed together on both sides. Then attach the small square leather piece to the prolonged side. At this stage I already had the positions of the holes marked. The top side of the bow stringer is a bit more complicated. I had three pieces of leather in total for this. I think it is better to just look at the images (in the next step) instead of describing this in detail here (if something is not clear to you, don't hesitate to write me). Before sewing the upper part (not facing towards the bow) you might punch the holes for the strings there.

Step 5: Holes, Strings and Finish

Here again I used a hole-punch to make the holes for the string, and then put the strings through. The length of the string was picked far too long, but this will give me the opportunity to adjust it later.

If i would have to do this project again I would definitely punch the holes before sewing anything together. I did the sewing first and then had problems with some holes due to the size of the hole-puncher and yaah.. just do it beforehand ;)

I hope this instructables gives you some helpful advice. Thank you for reading this instructable.

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