December 1st, 2009, 12:51 PM
Endless loop string jig
So I've decided that I wanted my own string jig, rather than borrowing the one at my local bow shop. I looked around at several examples of home made jigs and found one that was pretty straight forward, and does everything that I need. So for around $50 for materials and a few hours of my time, I built this. Not bad! Now I just need to go get some string, a serving tool and some serving and I can start making my own strings!
BTW it helps if you have a table saw and a drill press, but they're not required. I found the instructions for this jig on texasarchery.org
The pics aren't great, because I took them with my iPhone.
December 1st, 2009, 03:19 PM
very nice. When you buy a sterving jig take a long look at the beiter. We use them at the shop and they are the best out there, expensive but well worth it. Very easy to install string in (no need to thread a needle per say) and to adjust tension on.
December 1st, 2009, 03:42 PM
December 1st, 2009, 05:28 PM
Not bad. I always admire anyone willing to build some of this stuff themselves rather than fork out the bucks for it...
I was "inspired" by the same set of directions years ago and built a similar one from an electritian's "uni-strut" and 8" anchor bolts for uprights. It's quite a bit less complicated than that one and only cost me about $30 total in parts...
Used it just the other day to build a string for a compound bow. It's paid for itself many times over.
December 2nd, 2009, 09:14 AM
Thanks John. I actually thought about using unistrut too, but didn't put enough time into thinking about how to make that work. Instead, I just followed the directions...mostly. Regardless, it was a fun project. I always enjoy "do it yourself" projects. It certainly saves money, and is rewarding to know that "I've made something...and it works!"
December 2nd, 2009, 10:16 AM
The advantage to the Uni-strut is that it is a one piece, solid component with readily available sliding "nuts" for the anchor bolt uprights. So literally half of your jig is already built for you - you just assemble it.
If you use the Uni-strut, the only thing you have to build is the cross member with the twin uprights. Then you just bolt that to a standard Uni-strut "nut" with a bolt and large wing nut, and you're done.
I think the whole project took me less than 30 minutes one afternoon. I let the epoxy for the twin uprights dry for an hour, then I was building strings right away.
I'll try to post some pictures of mine soon. It's so easy, a cave-man (like me) can do it...
December 2nd, 2009, 11:46 AM
I actually went one step cheaper. Take a look at this one.
December 2nd, 2009, 02:37 PM
December 2nd, 2009, 04:45 PM
Thank you. I already had a 2 X 4, the dowel, and some scrap wood, so all this cost me was 2 2X2s (and a lot of time searching for 2 straight ones) and the hardware. Cost was less than $10.
December 26th, 2009, 10:43 PM
would like to see some pics of the uni-strut jig. Thanks
December 28th, 2009, 08:44 PM
Here's my uni-strut jig. I use concrete anchor bolts for the uprights, and a piece of 1x2 red oak for the cross member.
Pretty darn easy to make, and it cost me less than $35.
December 28th, 2009, 10:59 PM
Limbwalker, that looks just like my old one. However, after many years, I retired it and bought one of Jurassic Archers' more compact models.
December 29th, 2009, 08:54 AM
I bought one of Mike's jigs also and recently put it on a piece of unistrut in a semi permanent location.
Originally Posted by skybowman
December 29th, 2009, 09:14 AM
Well, like I said, it cost me $35 to build. Actually, it was a pretty fun little project. Only took me about an hour total, and that included the trip to Lowes.
I don't build a lot of strings. Probably made about 20 on this in the past 3-4 years. But it sure is nice to have when you need it. I doubt I'd spend a lot more than that for a jig.
It is surprising how well this thing works. Usually, cheap projects like this don't come out so well...
December 29th, 2009, 10:06 AM
John, your pics show smaller wing nuts on bolts passing thru the ends of the oak cross-member. Are those to keep the oak from splitting?
December 29th, 2009, 01:03 PM
No, those hold the ends of the strands to maintain tension while you serve the first end loop.
Got that from a design I saw on-line, and it works pretty good.
December 29th, 2009, 03:56 PM
Originally Posted by limbwalker
Don't see unistrut on Lowes website. Did they call it something else? Different Lowes carry different stuff. What size did you get and did Lowes have all the fittings as well?
Menards had something like unistrut but it was so heavy you could barely lift it. What you show looks lite.
December 29th, 2009, 04:38 PM
It might be called an electricians strut or "uni-strut" or something like that. Electricians use them to mount electrical boxes and meters in a vertical plane. They're usually anchored in concrete. If you look, you'll see them all over the place in commercial applications.
It may have been a Home Depot, now that I think about it. But I don't recall. Both places should have one.
This one is galvanized steel, and yes, it is pretty heavy. The whole apparatus probably weighs 25#. But once it's locked into my vise on my workbench, it is super solid. I wasn't looking for portability.
They come in 10' lengths. I cut mine down to about 6', so I could make up to 72" recurve strings. No need for anything longer than that, but if you had a need for longer strings, you could just leave it whatever length you need.
December 29th, 2009, 11:14 PM
Greennock, the strut has a lot of different trade and manufacturer's names, but Uni-strut is what everyone knows it by, sort of a generic name. It is 1 5/8" square channel, very heavy, about 1/8" wall thickness. Yes, it weighs a ton. I think John's guess at 25# is probably a little light. Lowe's has it by me. You should find it in the electrical section. Also try Fastenal industrial distributor stores. They'll sell to you on a cash basis. Any commercial electrical supply house will have it too. I have found pricing at all three locations is about the same. Expect to pay about $20-$25 for a 10 foot length.
Comes in 10 ft lengths. Available in galvanized and green. Galvanized is most common. You will also need to buy 1/2-13 nuts for it. These are a special plate nut that locks into the return on the channel. The nuts have a spring on them to help keep the nut from sliding and falling out. Not required for the spring jig application, so you can just tear them off.
I was fortunate enough to salvage mine from a tear-out project a couple of years ago. I had a buddy weld some Uni-strut feet onto the main channel to act as feet that I clamp to the bench. I never finished it because I couldn't figure out the best posts to use. John's idea of the 1/2" anchor bolts is perfect. I'm going to try to finish mine this week.
December 29th, 2009, 11:58 PM
Thanks guys for the unistrut/channel info.
Do you have something with your jig that allows you to stretch out the string before you serve it like the compound guys do or do you just stretch it on your bow for a couple days then serve it?
The compound guys stretch it at 300 lbs for an hour or so and that's it even with material like 8125 & TS1.
December 30th, 2009, 08:11 AM
I don't have a way to stretch mine, but it wouldn't be hard to figure something out. I wouldn't try to do it on the jig though. For recurve, I just serve them and shoot them in. Usually within a week I am no longer having to adjust my brace ht. Sometimes less.
I used this jig to successfully build a new string for my son's hunting compound. Loops were 1/2" in dia. and fit great on the cam.
December 30th, 2009, 09:57 AM
I added two angle brackets with a J hook on each end. With nuts on both sides of the angle brackets I can tighten up to stretch the string if I need too.
Originally Posted by greennock
December 30th, 2009, 10:04 AM
Yea, something like that would be real simple to add Tom. Good idea.
December 30th, 2009, 05:59 PM
I was able to keep the string under tension by making the end post a hook threaded into a bracket. I can tighten it up enough, for serving, to bend the 1/4" posts on the opposite side without too much effort. It's not real pretty, but works like a charm. Total materials cost was $35.
December 30th, 2009, 10:53 PM
I usually just hang mine with a weight on the end.
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