Home Forums Bows and Equipment String Leeches Vs. Beaver Balls

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    • jpcarlson
      Member
      Post count: 218

      I need to put some new silencers on a bow and was wondering what advice the collective had on silencers? I have heard many sing the praises of both string leeches and beaver balls. Any advice? How do you do make and apply both?

      thanks

      Jans

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      I’ve been using otter fur strips lately, and am really happy with them. They do a great job of quieting my bows.

    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      I’ve used cat whiskers alot and always had a quiet bow. One of the simplest and best silencers I ever used was showed to me by an old-timer. It was a 1/4 inch slice of a bicycle tire tube. Like a wide rubber band. He looped it through itself on the string an cinched it tight.

      The biggest thing, no matter what you use, is where to tie it. I think there is a thread on here that mentions something called Heterodyning. Basically, think of the vibration of the string and now break it into different sized segments to cancel each other out. Measure the string and divide by 4. tie one silencer at this measurement from the tip of the top limb. Now divide the total string length by 3. tie the other silencer at this measurement from the tip of the bottom limb. You basically create 2 different vibration frequencies that effectively cancel each other.

      Sorry for the long winded reply, hope it helps

    • jpcarlson
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 218

      I read that thread on Heterodyning and will definitely try it on these, makes sense to me:) How long where those string leeches the old timer made out of tire? I want to try some and see what they do!

      J

    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      They were just 1/4 inch wide slices off a bicycle tire tube. Like cross slices like a rubber band.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      I’m mostly deaf, so says my wife… But almost anything soft will work as a string silencer. Even a piece of soft leather will do a good job.

      I second otter as a good silencer. From what I can tell, it seems like it might be close to the best.

      But if cost is a consideration, string leaches are expensive for what they do. As are most of the rest of the commercial solutions.

      I use scrap yarn from my wife’s pile of knitting supplies. I have found that synthetic yarns aren’t worth a hoot. But any natural fiber from sheep, goat, alpaca, etc will work great. And it is essentially free if it is left-overs.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Heterodyning aka harmonic tuning, is definitely the way to go. I only recently discovered it, thanks to bowyer Gregg Coffey, who at the same time introduced me to the best string silencers I’ve ever used, http://twotracksbow.com/. Expensive little buggers at about $20 for four, enough for two bows, but from here they appear indestructible, are unaffected by water, don’t attract stickers and unlike some silencers, are quite small and discreet. While all my Coffey bows, properly tuned and with a bow quiver mounted, have been so quiet that silencers are almost redundant, I find that harmonic tuning with Two Tracks silencers works most excellently even on my Osage selfbow (with FF string by the way). If money is an issue or you’re simply parsimonious re archery expenses, almost anything that will disrupt string vibration will work. I’ve had good luck with heavy rubber bands, strips of leather, strips of wool, etc., in addition to trying all the commercial products. But all have shortcomings, like longevity, or collecting burrs or becoming reservoirs for rainwater, that the Two Tracks seem to be free of.

    • Arne Moe
      Member
      Post count: 147

      Less is more. I just came from a shoot where a couple folks had what looked like half a goat skin on each end of their string. I find that the “harmonic” idea has merit and can be done with pretty small amounts of “silencer” material. The more mass you add, the slower your arrow will be.

      Experiment for best results but try to keep the “mass” of the silencer at a minimum.

      Arne

    • jpcarlson
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 218

      Thanks for the advice guys. Dave, I looked at those string scallops, very nice and minimal! I will try some of those.

      Jans

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      I used puff type silencers probably 20 years ago. They work, but they’re kind of like tying little parachutes onto a string. I’ve found half sets of rubber cat whiskers are just as effective but don’t rob performance like puffs.

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      I use wool puffs that I make but I trim them down pretty small (quarter size maybe but mostly smaller). I’ve learned too that it doesn’t take a whole lot to dampen noise and vibration especially if ones equipment is matched and properly tuned, arrows to bow.

      But a thought on this, I was sitting on a bench outside, bow strung, holding it between my legs, trimming some new puffs and my brain went into the what if mode. Oh be careful buddy and don’t cut that string![u][/u]:D:D That could be rough on an old feller!!

    • Greg RaganGreg Ragan
      Member
      Post count: 201

      I find with a properly set up hill style longbow and proper string I do not need silencers. It is very quiet.

      when I did shoot the recurve I use wool yarn balls or very small catwhiskers. No need for those “danglies” now:P

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I’ve not owned a longbow but I’m sure they’re much easier to silence.

      For my recurves, I’ve tried several, but the only thing that I find to work very well are the yarn ball puffs. I just haven’t found beaver or otter balls to work very well, even though I prefer the way they look.

    • James HarveyJames Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Jans, I’ve gotten the $3 yarn puffs from 3 rivers. I cut them in half, so 1 becomes 2, then use the heterodyning (sp?) method with them. Once they’re on the string I cut them down to about 1/2 or 1/3 of their original length. My long bow with a fast flight string, shooting 700 grain arrows is whisper quiet now. They’re little prickle and burr traps though 😀

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      My Kanati hybrid is pretty darn quiet to begin with, once you hit the “sweet spot” on the brace height. I recently put some otter strips on it, and the total lack of sound when I release never fails to bring a smile to my face….

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Fellers, I wonder to what extent release quality–clean or dirty–influences string noise?

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      David Petersen wrote: Fellers, I wonder to what extent release quality–clean or dirty–influences string noise?

      I think that can make a big difference as well. As can heavier arrows…

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I shoot a calf hair tab. It’s definitely louder than when shot with a glove or bare fingers. I just don’t feel comfortable shooting anything else.

    • Spirittrakker
      Post count: 12

      I’ve had good results with Beaver fur strips for a long time. And I also agree with Mr. Peterson’s statement about good string release along with good bow tuning and arrow set up goes a long way towards silencing my shooting. I use the beaver strips on both my longbow and my recurve.

      Are they necessary? Perhaps not, but then it is a personal preference.

      Hope all have had a pleasant Independence Day!

      LC

    • mhay
      Post count: 264

      I too agree with D.P.’s statement. When I get sloppy on my release ,,,,generally a result of not maintaining full concentration on the target,,,it sounds like two bows being shot at the same time , without any silencers,,,HORRIBLY LOUD and very annoying. But , when all is done properly only a thump sound ,,, which is still too loud in my opinion.

      great thread !

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