Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


string follow???????????

Messages posted to thread:
huntersupreme 10-Dec-06
Hellfire 10-Dec-06
MStyles 10-Dec-06
huntersupreme 10-Dec-06
Viper 10-Dec-06
MStyles 10-Dec-06
Hellfire 10-Dec-06
Viper 10-Dec-06
asharrow 10-Dec-06
Sunset Hill 11-Dec-06
Ostyak 11-Dec-06
badger 11-Dec-06
asharrow 11-Dec-06
bowyer45 11-Dec-06
Sunset Hill 12-Dec-06
George Tsoukalas 12-Dec-06
smj 12-Dec-06
smj 12-Dec-06
nightpilot 13-Dec-06
Griz 02-Jan-07
NomadArcher 02-Jan-07
badger 03-Jan-07
Liquid Amber 03-Jan-07
Liquid Amber 03-Jan-07
Gunney 03-Jan-07
PV 04-Jan-07
StandTall 04-Jan-07
From: huntersupreme
Date: 10-Dec-06




Hi, Sorry for ny ignorance but what exacly is string follow? Thank you

From: Hellfire
Date: 10-Dec-06




When the tips are bent towards the archer when the bow is unstrung.

From: MStyles
Date: 10-Dec-06




Howard Hill said; "A little string follow is good for accuracy" If that's the case, all of my home made bows are accurate.

From: huntersupreme
Date: 10-Dec-06




Is it better to have more or less string follow when building a board bow?

If a board is slightly bent at the beginning should the bend be towards the shooter or outwards? Thanks

From: Viper
Date: 10-Dec-06




hs -

The old definition of string follow was: after a bow was strung for a while (as when being shot) and then unstrung the limbs didn't return to their original position. That's was/is fairly common with a lot of selfbows.

Not sure what it means today...

I never quite understood why Hill said that was a good thing (except that before laminated bow became the norm, all bows have some string follow), nor do any of my bows exhibit that feature, but then again, I don't use selfbows...

If a bow has string follow, then it will, by definition lose draw weight as the limbs fail to return to their original position. And from what I've heard, can lose weight if held at anchor to long that has to really help accuracy.

Viper out.

From: MStyles
Date: 10-Dec-06




Viper, I have a hickory board bow with 3" of string follow(someone strung it, and left it strung all winter) it is easy to shoot accurately, and I know it does around 160 fps (@ 28") thru the chrono. It's about 58-60#. Also, it's unbacked, and I use ff on it. I like it the most out of my homemade bows.

From: Hellfire
Date: 10-Dec-06




String follow is the distance the tips are set towards the archer when unstrung.

Set is how much the bow has lost reflex. If you had a bow with 2" of reflex, and lost 1", you would say that your bow has no string follow but has one inch of set.

From: Viper
Date: 10-Dec-06




M -

If that works for you, great, and I mean that in all honesty. I wouldn't be comfortable with a bow that reacted that way. Different strokes.

Hellfire -

I guess the definition changed ... or people just made up new ones ...

Viper out.

From: asharrow
Date: 10-Dec-06




I think Hill's comment had to do with the fact that a bow with some string follow will usually have less energy left in the bow when the arrow leaves it. That means less hand shock, and perhaps less severe paradox because the string can more easily move sideways to help the arrow make it around the handle.

From: Sunset Hill
Date: 11-Dec-06




Like Hellfire said, string follow is the curvature of the limbs toward the shooter when the bow is unstrung, not to be confused with set. All bows will take some 'set'when they are first strung & shot, even those with fiberglass, although those with glass will have much less than all wood bows.

According to Schulz, Howard was referring to the amount of 'kick' that a bow with reflex has, as compared to a bow with no reflex. The old target longbows had string follow, to soften the kick of the bow in the hand, as accuracy was more important than arrow speed. The old target and hunting bows had very small risers or none at all, to absorb the forward kick of the limbs. Current heavy risers do wonders for absorbing the bow's kick.

The classic Hill style longbow from the 60's to current has had a reputation for having kick. This was the result of heavy reflexing to increase the speed of the limbs' recovery due to increased pre-stress in the limbs; and longer limbs lengths (68-72") resulting in heavier mass limb weights. Schulz was originally taught this bowmaking style from Hill. In the late 80's and early 90's, Schulz returned back to the string follow design of bows that Hill had used before fiberglass became popular. What Schulz found was increased stability and accuracy due to the softer shooting feel of the bow because he had taken away the pre-stress reflex in the limbs. Some arrow speed is lost, but not as much as people are led to believe.

If the bow has string follow, upon release of the string, the limbs are not being arrested by the string in their attempt to return to their original pre-stressed position.

Basically, a string follow bow has less kick in the hand than a pre-stressed 'reflexed' bow, and that is what Hill and Schulz preferred for accurate shooting.

From: Ostyak
Date: 11-Dec-06




There's a detailed description in "Archery - the Technical side"(1947)of the accuracy-enhancing attribute of moderate string follow compared to a reflexed, high-early draw weight bow (this is about wooden bows and arrows with minimal riser mass, no center-shot etc.) Can't dig up the quote now, but it made sense to me. I only shoot selfbows and have made all my greatest close-range (<20 yds.) shooting with string-following bows (<3"). And I don't like the way these feel with their mushy early-draw!

From: badger
Date: 11-Dec-06




I have read a lot of the consensus listed above and in some ways it is true, Burt what is not true is that the "kick" has often been attributed to reflex or lack of string follow. I make quite a few bows and have for several years, I still don't understand excacly what gives a boiw kick, I know that very few of my bows have handshock, My guess is that it is because I make my limbs as light weight as possible, I recently gave Steve Quintin a 72" hickory bow with a little reflex and plenty fast, The bow has no handshock as I expected it would. On the other side of the coin a few years ago I made a 68" osage very narrow elb style. Bow had about 1" follow and would break your hand if you didnt shoot about 15 grains to the pound, I dont pretend to have the answer as to where shock comes from but I don't think it comes from where the old books say it comes from. Steve

From: asharrow
Date: 11-Dec-06




Badger, I think you ARE seeing what hand shock comes from: energy left in the bow. Use a heavy arrow--no hand shock. Use a bow with spongy early draw--no hand shock. If all the energy goes into the arrow, no hand shock.

From: bowyer45
Date: 11-Dec-06




Too me it seems by keeping the limbs narrow at the tips,handshock is very minimal and with a little reflex it is gone. If a bow is shooting a little rough, I narrow the tips more. Has little effect on draw weight but makes a sweeter shooting bow for sure.

From: Sunset Hill
Date: 12-Dec-06




I believe also that "kick" or shock isn't all about reflex, but has more to do with proper limb tiller and the weight of the limbs. However, all things being equal, a bow that has string follow will shoot 'softer' than one with reflex, and this softness upon release is a desirable trait.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 12-Dec-06




String follow for the selfbowyer is a fact of life. Beginning bowyers should not be concerned about it. Positive things about it-bow is slower and easier to shoot. Flaws in shooting style are not magnified. Bow is smoother to draw. Jawge

From: smj
Date: 12-Dec-06




Not sure, off hand, where I read this - but I seem to recall that so long as string follow was 3 inches or less, it was considered to be OK. Greater than 3 inches of follow and it was time for a new bow, or to reflex the bow and back it. I am sorry that I don't recall the source!

By the way, that is a nice looking bow! Is it laminated, more than one wood layer, or all one piece? Just curious and I can't tell for sure from the pic. Heating could be really bad if it has layers! Getting the wood warm enough to do what needs to be done could cause the glue to let go when you stress it for reflex. That could make matters a whole lot worse for you.

From: smj
Date: 12-Dec-06




Opps! I posted to the wrong thread... Sorry about that. Please ignore my comments above.

From: nightpilot
Date: 13-Dec-06




I had Craig at HH build me a string follow half breed last year. I still notice some hand shock but not as bad as my Wesley's. I was surprised at the speed however, it seemed just as fast even though your are really losing 2" of limb travel. They do have a string follow form and will build you one if you ask. Ross

From: Griz
Date: 02-Jan-07




I ran into this thread while doing a search. Stringfollow bows are a real joy to shoot as I have one myself. I have a 50# stringfollow longbow and I also have a 70# longbow with a bit of backset, not much, just maybe a 1/2" or so. Both bows are actually pretty good shooters and both are relatively shock-free, much of which I think is due to shooting form. I think that a lot of the guys that complain of longbow shock simply have poor form. But, that is another subject off the topic of this thread. The thing I like most about the stringfollow bow is the smooth draw. The weight builds more gradually, whereas the longbow with backset seems to build draw weight much more rapidly. Now I know what this means in terms of stored energy (area under the curve) and how it in theory relates to speed and all that, but from my vantage point behind the bow (and mind you I have not shot the heavier bow much in the last year and neither bows in the last month), the stringfollow bow does not seem to loose much in this department. The draw weights differ quite a bit, but I actually shoot a heavier "grains per pound of draw" arrow off my stringfollow bow. I guess when all is said and done, the difference is not great enough to warrant consideration, but the advantages of the stringfollow bow are, which is why all of my bows will be stringfollow bows from now on. The arrow goes where you look, plain and simple. Of course, 50# is easier to shoot than 70# and does allow for more concetration, but I can still notice a definite difference, which is most obvious when the shot is taken from other than a perfect pose...a hasty shot. This is exactly what Hill spoke of, and now I, like John, understand of what it was he spoke.

From: NomadArcher
Date: 02-Jan-07




I have had the same experience as Griz but only a 10# difference in the bows, the string follow was lighter but shot right with the heavier bow. The bows I am referring to are both glass backed. I have shot a few selfbows and wood composites with string follow that did not have the positive attributes of the glass backed longbows with string follow.

From: badger
Date: 03-Jan-07




Actually when it comes to all wood bows if a bow does not have string follow there is a good chance it is overbuilt, unless it was relfexed fromt the begaining, another fact of life with wood bows is that we store the energy in the wood, the wood has mass, the more energy we store the more mass we need, there is a point of deminsihing returns where a little string follow will moree than makeup for all that extra mass it takes to avoid it. Steve

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 03-Jan-07




The definition of "set" is a permanent bend in an arrow or bow.

The definition of "string follow" or "follow the string" is taking a permanent bend in the direction of the string when the bow is unbraced.

"Set" is the same as "string follow" in a bow if the permanent bend is toward the string.

That's the way the old guys used it and defined it. Who better than those old guys who made and used wood bows prior to fiberglass to define their own language. I think they would be amused at all the mincing and dicing of words nowadays. :)

Go look for yourself...take any literature on bows prior to 1945 and see for yourself. As well, both Houghan's[1958] and Paterson's [1984]"Encyclopedia of Archery" support the above.

From: Liquid Amber Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 03-Jan-07




As a final note, "The Bowyer's Bible[1984]" vol. three supports my previous post as well as Bertalan's "Traditional Bowyers of American[1989]."

From: Gunney
Date: 03-Jan-07




Just to add:

"String Follow is Cool!"

God Bless

Billy

From: PV
Date: 04-Jan-07




Now that we have determined that string follow and set are one in the same. (Thanks Liquid Amber)does anyone have any thoughts on why over time the bottom limb has a tendency to take more set than the upper?

From: StandTall
Date: 04-Jan-07




If it is equal in length to the top limb it will be under more stress.





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