351/365

I had planned to start building the string and cable set for the mousetrap bow this afternoon after finishing work and I did indeed start it.  This is the first string I have tried to construct since my accident as I don’t make that many these days and I dare say I will make even less now that I no longer shoot compound bows. The hard job of getting the 3 metre long string jig down from the roof of the shed was done with the help of Connor before he returned home. It is fastened to a 150mm x 150mm , 3 metre length of wood and to ensure that the 300lb tension the strings are put under during the build process the metal attachments are just as beefy. The second hardest job was trying to find all the components to perform the task. They had been moved around and split up and hidden in the 12 months since I last used them and collecting them all together wasted a fair amount of time too.  The third hardest job was realising that I should have done a stock check prior to starting out as I hadn’t enough black string material to do the job. I decided to see how far I could get as the string has to be laid up and made to stretch to fetch out all the elasticity and even up the tension in each strand. After stretching at the aforementioned 300lb the strands will naturally need time to relax. If this process is rushed the string performance becomes erratic and this can affect the cam timing, axle length and brace height, all of which are vital to consistent results.

Anyway I digress, this isn’t  string building 101, there isn’t really a market in the UK for string production, especially for individuals with no professional associations or major results to back up their craft. This was a shame for me as I did invest a lot of time and some cash into learning the skill and making the equipment. However, at prices around £65 for a set and then the tuning on top, it didn’t half save me a bundle maintaining  my own equipment, especially in those long forgotten, heady days when there were 5 bows to maintain.

Anyway I digress again, this isn’t How to moan 101. I laid the string up and ran out 3 metres short, there is about 66m in a one cam string, which was a shame. So string making was abandoned for the day as I went over to a West Midlands based archery retail outlet to buy a reel of finest quality material. There can’t be much that has inflated in price a BCY Trophy, as at £30 an 1/8th lb reel was the same price as the 1/4lb reel it replaced. Any way it had to be purchased and whilst there and in need of a set of competition arrows I emptied my bank account into the undeserving owner of the retail outlet’s coffers. As there is a lot of guesswork involved with choosing the right arrows I bought the absolute minimum needed and even so the bill cost £100. I was prepared to sell my kidney to replace the unreliable hunk of junk that used to pass for a car but now it seems they have to go on my hobby instead. Let’s hope the car behaves until payday.

It wasn’t all depressing stuff today, I won another pro subscription for the arrow cutter I posted on Instructables last week as it has become a featured item. However my rotary tool, as you may remember, gave up the ghost whilst cutting arrows and so to make my new arrows I had to buy a new tool. The other kidney was fed into the self help till in B&Q and I left feeling slightly unwell clutching a Dremel. On a genuinely upbeat note, Linda has booked the flights and found some lovely accommodation for our summer excursion and judging by the photo’s I cannot wait to go.

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