How To Make A Bow And Arrow String? [Step By Step Process]




A few days ago my friend Jack suddenly called at his home. I didn’t know the reason. When I reached his house, he took me to his room and showed me his bow. He told me that he is thinking of making a bowstring for his specific bow.

Then, he asked me how to make a bow and arrow string.

I told him that,

How To Make A Bow And Arrow String

Make Bow And Arrow String

  • First, gather the string material, such as nylon paracord.
  • Cut it 2 inches longer than your specific bow.
  • Tie a firm knot at one end.
  • Place the string in a vice and place the string ends into the drill head.
  • Ensure the string doesn’t curl up or lose, and knot the end. Release the vice.
  • Create a loop to attach it to your bow.

Every bowstring eventually has an end to its existence. Inevitably, how long a bowstring should be and how is the length determined. How many strands should a bow string have? Don’t worry! I will give you all the answers in this article. So, let’s dive into this article-

What String Is Used To Make A Bow And Arrow?

A string is a long, bendy structure made of twisted fibres. It can be one strand or multiple strands twisted together. People use it to bind, tie, or hang things. There are different types of strings.

What String Is Used To Make A Bow And Arrow

Bowstring is one of them. Waxed linen strings are used to make a bow and arrow. Various materials are used to make bowstrings, including synthetics, nylon, Dacron, and so on.

If you use aluminum arrows then you need modern string used for wood bows is Dacron B-50. It is a thick, waxed polyester string that comes in big spools. You can use 12-16 strands of this string for a strong bow. Modern compound bow strings are more durable and weather-resistant.

How Long Should A Bowstring Be, And How Is The Length Determined?

So, how long should a bowstring be? It depends on your bow and custom arrow wraps. For instance, for a longbow, the correct bowstring length is 3 inches less than your bow length. Hence, if you use a 68-inch bow, your string length should be about 65 inches.

On the other hand, for a recurve bow, the correct bowstring length is 4 inches less than the bow length. Hence, if you use a 68 inches bow, your piece of string length should be about 64 inches.

Now, the question is: how is the length determined?

Two methods determine the length of the bowstring.

Using AMO Length

The abbreviation of Manufacturers and Merchants Organization is AMO. In general, AMO is marked in every bow, which is referred to as the standardised length of the bow.

It helps to determine the bowstring length. The AMO is the length of the bow from tip to tip; for a longbow, you usually need a bowstring 3 inches shorter than the AMO, and for a recurve, it’s 4 inches shorter.

For example, a 58″ AMO would need a 58″ AMO bowstring, so it’s important to check how the shop sells compound strings. Compound bows usually have labels with the correct bowstring length listed.

Note: if you want to make bow string in the wild then the mechanism would be a little different.

Manually Measure Length

If the AMO or label is missing on the bow, then you have to determine the string length manually. To find the right bowstring length for a recurve or longbow, use a tape measure. Measure along the curve of the bow limbs from one scrap string groove to the other. 

This gives you the correct dacron strings length. You can also measure from tip to tip to find the AMO. Then subtract accordingly depending on the make of the bow.

Bow String Length Calculator

Bow String Length Calculator

How To Make A Bow And Arrow String?

So, how Do you make a bow and arrow string? Don’t be panicked! It is easy to do. Let’s see how do you make a new bow string:  

How To Make A Bow And Arrow String
  • Step 1: Gather The Right Material
  • Step 2: Prepare The String
  • Step 3: Tie The String Strands Together
  • Step 4: Place The String Inside The Vice
  • Step 5: Prepare The Drill Up
  • Step 6: Operate The Drill Machine
  • Step 7: Tie The Knot Precisely And Release The Vice
  • Step 8: Tie A Loop

Step 1: Gather The Right Material

First, gather the required string material to make a homemade bow and arrow shafy string. But what is the string material for a bow and arrow? Here is the bow string making kit: 

  • The material you need is a drilling machine.
  • Take a sharp tool ( It can be a pair of scissors or a knife)
  • Vice or clamp.
  • String material strands.

Are you worried about choosing a string material? I suggest using a nylon paracord due to its durability. It has to be sufficiently sturdy to provide a suitable pull weight. 

However, you must have a minimum of two pieces of string for this procedure. Your bow won’t be able to perform like a bow if it is made of just one string. To put it another way, more than one strand will be required.

Note: the materials may differ if you want to make arrows for hunting.

Step 2: Prepare The String

Now, it is time to prepare your string. In this step, cut the bowstring with the help of a pair of scissors. You can also cut with a knife. If you have a wood arrow then you may need a drill.

But how much should the string length be, right? It is suggested to cut about 2 inches longer than your specific bow. Make sure to cut the correct length. Need to know the proper size of your bow? You can use the AMO label, and the string performance length is 3 inches lower than the AMO length.

Step 3: Tie The String Strands Together

Once you have prepared the string material, it is time to make a knot. This knot will be situated on one of the string’s ends. Additionally, the knot keeps the string material in place while you transform it into a bowstring. Thus, ensure the knot is fairly firm and prevents the material from separating into several layers.

Step 4: Place The String Inside The Vice

The knot which you have already made in vice, securely it properly. Ensure the clamps securely grasp the knot as you place the string material in the vice.

Otherwise, the string will just come off as you work on it in the following steps.

Stated differently, make sure the vice is securely fastened. If necessary, conduct a pull test. Go to the following step when you have made sure of it.

Step 5: Prepare The Drill Up

Make sure the two ends of the string material(or more, if you’re dealing with many strands)meet by gently stretching the string. Into the drill, insert these ends.

On this end, it would be wise to tie another knot. This will make it simple to insert the string material into the drill head and ensure it remains when the drill is turned on.

Step 6: Operate The Drill Machine

Now, it is time to operate the drill machine. There are two things that you should remember. 

  • First, when you remove the string from the vice clamps, it shouldn’t curl up. 
  • Furthermore, the string should be so loose that it lacks the proper tension.

Step 7: Tie The Knot Precisely And Release The Vice

Have you knotted the material while attaching the string to the drill’s head? No problem! Tie the knot now.

Make the ends of the drill and tie a knot with one of them. Make sure the knot is secure enough to keep the string from coming loose.

The opposite end of the vice can then be unclamped. It should be possible for you to determine whether the string is too tight or too loose. If you use too much force when drilling, it will curl up.

If the string is excessively slack, on the other hand, you will be able to view each string material individually.

Step 8: Tie A Loop

This is the end of the string. You will now need to create the loops typically found on store-bought custom strings to get it on the bow.

Take into account, when tying this loop, the bow’s tip’s grooves and thickness. Now, the string is ready to shoot. It is better to test with your specific bow. Take a few shows and ensure the tension on the string is also correct.

Are you a compound bow shooter? Don’t know how to make a compound bow string? You won’t need any other process. You will do it by the above steps. If you are a novice archer, it will be great to seek guidance from experts.

How Many Strands Should A Bow String Have?

The ideal number of strands varies based on individual needs and the type of bow being used.  12-strand B50 string is the most commonly used number of strands. It provides a balance between weight, strength, size, and neck fit. 

To make shooting more consistent archers mostly used bigger 14-strand B50 performance strings on heavier bows as well as where the extra weight of the bowstring act.

How Many Strands Should A Bow String Have

Compound bows have specific instructions. Depending on recurve bow weight where is the table with the number of strands:

Bow WeightFast FlightDacron
20-25 lbs148
25-35 lbs1610
35-40 lbs1812

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What Can I Use For Homemade Bow String?

To make a string for a homemade bow, you can use a piece of nylon string or 550 paracord that’s a bit longer than your bow. Carve grooves near the tips of your bow, then attach the string.

Can I Make A Bowstring Without A String Jig?

You can make a bowstring without a bow string jig by some methods including the Flemish Twist Method, the continuous Loop Method, and Simple Hand-Twisting.  Although it may require a bit more effort and attention to detail.

What Is The Best Material For Bow String?

The best material for bowstring,  particularly for non-compound bows is arguably High Modulus Polyethylene (HDPE).

Final Thoughts

In the end, how to make a bow and arrow string? It is a pretty easy process. I hope that the above discussion is helpful for you. Follow each step carefully, and don’t make mistakes in determining your bow length.
A wrong bowstring can lead to abnormal behaviour during the shoot, and it is essential to change over time. Be aware of your safety concerns, and that’s all for today! Stay with Archery Magic for more updates.

Bob Magic

Written by

Bob Magic

Meet Bob Magic, the archery maestro. A National Champion, “Coach of the Year,” and gold medalist. Bob simplifies archery, ensuring your bullseye success. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, let Bob’s magic guide your arrow.

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