Home Forums Bows and Equipment The Endless Loop

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    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      So, I have to admit that the few times in the past that I had played around with endless loop strings left me underwhelmed, and I pretty much settled on Flemish twist a long time ago and haven’t bothered experimenting much since.

      But I’m shooting an 8-strand endless loop that Dan Toelke built on my Whip, and it’s changing my view on endless loop strings big time. I’m not sure why kind of special mojo Dan puts into his strings, but I’m sold and just ordered a backup from him.

      And now I’m curious to learn more – anyone shoot and build endless loop strings care to share some knowledge?

    • Dave Nash
      Member
      Post count: 113

      Never cared for them either. I also would be interested in what folks have to say.

      Thanks Bruce for opening this up for discussion.

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Generally don’t shoot endless loop strings except on 2 of my Samicks that came with them. I’ve thought that I would like to make a jig and try making some. Been making my own flemish strings for years.

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      I used to make endless loop strings, had a jig I made with uni-strut, but I don’t remember anything about performance. Been many moons.

      I learned the Flemish twist and I guess I was so tickled that I figured that out I’ve not tried endless loop strings again.

      I do know that when I got my Samick Sage a couple of years ago it came with an endless loop B50 string and that was no bueno. But I figure that was the material problem not the style of string. I built a fastflite Flemish string and it made a new bow. A fastflite, or such material, endless loop may be great too:?

      I’ve long lost my jig so someone else will have to chip in. If I still had it I would play.

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      When I dug my Browning Wasp out several years ago, it had an endless loop string. A friend suggested a Flemish twist to give me more or easier control over brace height. I went with a twist and that’s all I know. Can you guys tell me the real world difference or supposed difference? Thanks! dwc

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      Bruce,

      What in particular are you wanting to know?

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      J.Wesbrock wrote: Bruce,

      What in particular are you wanting to know?

      Well, for one I’d be curious to hear thoughts on performance differences compared to Flemish, as well as design thoughts from those that have made them – what particular details make for a higher-performance endless loop string?

      I know that Dan’s strings are 8-strand FF, and he uses Crown for both the serving and for padding the loops.

      Some things I’ve read, but am curious to hear other’s perspectives on:

      – Endless loop strings offer a slight performance advantage over Flemish (of course I’ve heard the opposite as well). However, there must be something to the fact that Olympic archers all shoot endless loop strings?

      – They are more “stable” (less prone to stretch, creep).

      – They are not as inherently quiet. Yet I have found the endless loop string I’m shooting right now to be just as quiet as any Flemish I’ve shot.

      – Flemish strings are stronger, though with the weight tolerances of modern string materials, I’m guessing this is largely academic.

      So, are there really any meaningful differences, or as I suspect, does it really come down to how that particular string is built, regardless of Flemish or endless?

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      Bruce,

      Endless bowstrings are one of those things that, for the most part, are either made right or they aren’t. There isn’t a lot of middle ground, and there aren’t any sort of hidden secrets. Keep the strand tension consistent, make them to the correct length for the bow, serve them properly, don’t overbuild them like a tow rope, and you’re pretty much good to go.

      As far as performance differences, it’s probably a moot point. I know I’ve never seen an Olympic recurve archer with a Flemish string, but then again, most of us aren’t trying to hit 12.2 cm ten rings at 70 meters either. Keeping things in perspective is important.

      With respect to stability, I do see a lot of folks with Flemish strings fiddling with their brace height a lot. Most of them seem to have an awful lot of twists in their strings—I’ve seen two and three per inch—which tells me either their strings were made too long or never settled in correctly and continue to creep. With endless strings I don’t have that problem. I make them to the proper length, take about a dozen shots, and the brace height doesn’t move again.

      Which string type is quieter is something I’ve heard both ways. Truth be known, I’ve never had a problem with either string type and noise. I suspect noise has more to do with tuning than whether or not the ends of your bow strings are served. The only exceptions to that I’ve seen are overwaxed Flemish strings and recurves. They tend to make noise during the draw as the string peels off the belly of the limbs.

      Neither string is particularly stronger than the other. An 18-strand string is an 18-strand string. Yes, a Flemish does technically have twice as many strands in the loops. But if an 18-strand string has 36 strands in the loops, where is it more likely to break, where it has 18 strands or 36? Kind of a moot point, and if your bow string breaks at the loops you have a bow design problem anyway, because something in the nock grooves is cutting into your string.

      In the end, it really does come down to personal preference. I like endless strings because they’re what I’ve been building since I was old enough to do so. I have good friends who prefer Flemish because that’s what they like to build. Made properly, both work just fine.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Thanks for the detailed response, Jason! That’s the kind of info I was looking for, and pretty much confirms what I suspected.

      One thing I’m really liking about the endless loop string I’m using right now is that with most of my FF Flemish strings, I have to re-check the brace height regularly, and re-adjust occasionally. This FF endless loop hasn’t budged at all since I first strung it up, and it has several hundred shots at this point. So while there is less adjustability in an EL, it also seems like if it is built properly, and for a specific bow, there really isn’t much adjustability needed.

      Which I’m guessing is one of the reasons that Dan only sells his strings to accompany his particular bows, and wants all of your bow info before he builds the string.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      I think what Jason said was spot on. I’ve not had much luck with endless loop strings because they have never been the right length for the bows. Even when they come with the bow. So I’ve must made my own flemish strings.

      The jig for a flemish string is easier to deal with (says the guy who never used a jig for endless loop strings) and keep next to the TV with the ball of fast flight string, wax, yarn, scissors, 8 roles of serving, ruler, sharpie, lighter, and Fred Bear video collection 8)

      I’m getting ready to make a new string for my winter project bow. I may get it tillered out today :D. According to my calculations, this 55# bow will shoot my 650 grain arrows over 750 feet per second 😯

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Steve Graf wrote: I think what Jason said was spot on. I’ve not had much luck with endless loop strings because they have never been the right length for the bows. Even when they come with the bow.

      That’s always been my experience too, Steve. I love it when my assumptions are blown out of the water. 😉

    • Cameron UnruhCameron Unruh
      Member
      Post count: 240

      This is intersting Bruce because I was just reading on this subject and debating whether I wanted to attempt to build a continuous-loop bowstring. I was intrigued due to what Jack Harrison wrote in his book, “Traditional Bowyer, More Unnessasary Fun.”

      He is a continuous-loop advocate. He states that a continuous-loop is a better choice for traditional bow over a flemish-twist. He has done testing to discover that a continuou-loop bowstring shot the same arrow an average of eight to ten feet per second faster than a bow strung with a flemish-twist. The continuous-loop has less stretch than a twisted string.

      He also noted that historically most figerglass-backed longbows and recurves made between the end of World War II through the early 1960’s were supplied with continuous-loop strings and that it was only with the re-birth of traditional bowyery as a cottage industry in the 1970s that it became a “standard in tradition” to produce longbows and recurves with flemish-twist strings.

      This is info that I simply found interesting and thought i would attempt to build a continous-loop string until I realized the contraption I would have to build or purchase to actually build a continuous-loop sting. So at this point it is just a highlighted section of Jack’s book and not a reality in my workshop…

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Thanks for the info, Cameron. I was unaware that Mr. Harrison had a preference for endless loop strings as well. I’ve been wanting to track down his book for some time.

      Up until now, I’ve been content to let others build my strings, having found a few string builders that I really like, and only having so many hours in the day. But one of these days I’ll make the leap, and I’m looking forward to everything I’m sure I’ll learn in the process.

      One of these days, I’d like to pick Dan Toelke’s brain on this subject as well…

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      I’ve read Harrison’s book through many times. There is some good stuff in there. But I cannot figure out what his beef with flemish strings is. It’s a bit irrational. In fact, he says he will not honor a bow warranty if the bow was ever strung with a flemish string.

      And his claim of 10 plus fps increase in speed is suspect and can be easily verified / rejected by 10 minutes chronograph work.

      Let me just observe that if this was true, no bowyer would sell his bow with a flemish string.

    • Cameron UnruhCameron Unruh
      Member
      Post count: 240

      Steve – I felt the same after reading that section. I wondered how that info had been kept such a secret, when there are a fair number of guys looking to increase fps out of their setup. If you do some testing please share the results.

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      I love reading this stuff. It’s fascinating. When I boil it down for myself, for the most part, losing/gaining 10-20 fps leaves me at the same problem I have now…. hitting the bullseye!

      I look forward to the test results. One question I have is adjusting the brace height with an endless loop. Do you still add in a few twists as needed? Thanks, dwc

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      dwcphoto wrote: One question I have is adjusting the brace height with an endless loop. Do you still add in a few twists as needed? Thanks, dwc

      Yes, both types of strings are adjusted the exact same way.

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      dwcphoto wrote:

      I look forward to the test results. One question I have is adjusting the brace height with an endless loop. Do you still add in a few twists as needed? Thanks, dwc

      Finding the bullseye!!!:?

      Hey Dave, like me, you’ll just miss 10-20 fps faster or slower. 🙄

    • David CoulterDavid Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2261

      J, thanks for the answer. Appreciated.

      R2, yes. I have to focus on keeping things the same to try to get my wiggles to match my wobbles. I was actually shooting better than ever this past fall. Hitting targets and stumps quite well. I just didn’t have a deer to exercise that on. Best, dwc

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      With me on a good day, instead of wiggle, wobble, shoot, it’s wiggle, shoot, wobble. 😀

      Back to endless loop strings………:?

    • Col MikeCol Mike
      Member
      Post count: 910

      Endless loop is where I believe this thread is headed:D:shock:

      Mike

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Many years ago I bought this old book and by reading, looking at not so good of black and white pics and trial and error I learned a lot of what I know now.

      It has a section on strings, pictures and instructions kinda, for building an endless loop string jig and the string itself.

      So I built a jig, as I’ve mentioned, and built a string.

      I was just learning how to serve strings at the time so that was a big if in this process.

      Being young and brave and bullet proof I jumped in, made a string (looked pretty good) put it on my 55# recurve then…….do I want to pull this?

      I pulled a little, let down. Pulled a little further then let down. Repeated a few more times til I got it all the way back. Again then…………I gotta put an arrow on this. What happens when I loose it?

      Well, I’m still here, it worked. I made strings for me and others with my jig after that for awhile before I learned the Flemish twist (The first one of those I made was another ‘do I wanna pull this’ thing 🙂 ).

      This old book was written at the time when wheel bows were just getting started so it has info on them also.

      The trad bow info is still quite good for the most part, Dacron was the string material with a mention of Kevlar? string which I’ve never seen. The wheel stuff, that’s kind of like having a manual for a model A Ford trying to fix an F150.

    • grumpygrumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Never tried making Flemish Twist, Endless Loop seems to work fine.

      When you buy the material for the first string… That is probably a life time supply. OK, if you are a teenager perhaps not.

      The first I made took about an hour, and that includes making the jig. Would have been faster, but I ran into a couple friends going to the hardware store to buy the eye bolt, and corner bracket for the jig. The serving is simular to skills used tying flies, so after 50 years of one..

      Like most of this stuff, keep in mind that IF SOMEONE ELSE CAN DO IT, YOU CAN TOO.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      colmike wrote: Endless loop is where I believe this thread is headed:D:shock:

      Mike

      Yeah, a 10fps difference seems suspect to me, but if someone has a chrono, I’d be curious to see the results!

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      I have a chrono, but no endless loop strings. If you (or anyone else) wants to send me a endless loop string that will fit a 66″ longbow, I’ll do the test.

      If it shoots 10 fps faster, I’m keepin’ the string 😯

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