Sherwood String Making Jig Longbow Extension
Our very own Sherwood Archery have been working away in the UK since 1969 producing archery kit, recently we have been chatting to the folks there regarding several new products they are currently working on, one of these projects was a string jig to accommodate Longbow strings, after consulting we suggested that instead of a new longer version of their string jig an extension of some sort to the original jig would perhaps be a better idea - not being engineers ourselves we left the actual design to the experts..... Recently we received a jig and the new extension to review..........
For an endless string a string jig of some sort is required. It's hard to overestimate the importance of the string, a poorly made string can not only be a drain on performance but it can be dangerous.
Common wisdom has it that you should replace your string every year or 10 000 shots, which ever comes first. A string breakage can be the ruin of your favourite bow. With the myriad materials available nowadays a string can be tailored for softness of shot or out and out speed, regardless of your choice of material a well made string will only enhance the performance of your bow.
So, given that a string is a “consumable” item it makes sense to be able to produce your own and for an endless string a jig of some sort is essential to create a string with the right tension so that it can spread the pressure of the shot, should part of the string be looser then the effect will be to weaken the strand count and the string will not perform.
The Sherwood String Making Jig as standard allows a string to be made up to 73”, enough to cover pretty much every recurve bow on the market and many Longbows, however the Sherwood jig has a little trick up its serving in the form of an extension bar which will increase the length of string to 87 1/2 “ - enough to cover the longest of Longbows.
An endless string is made from one single strand of material, the jig allows the string to be looped as many times as required and then joined to itself.
For me the crucial thing with a string jig is that I should be able to maintain an even tension as I wind the material around the posts and here the Sherwood jig scores very well. It is of a very solid construction which means you won't end up with "soft spots" in the final string where one loop has lost tension. The posts themselves are nice and thick with a rebated area at the top to hold the string. All the joints and moveable arms have good chunky tightening nuts, I especially like the positive "click" when seating the arms after you swivel them to serve the string, it's a little lug which drops into a hole - it's a very solid joint with no play to mess things up.
The main body is telescopic and slides up and down to your chosen length, this area could be a point for flexibility if Sherwood had not constructed the bar in a very nice girder style what you have in effect are 2 mini RSJ's which slide into or out of each other. This jig will not be wobbling about anywhere.
There are 2 feet either end which raise the whole jig slightly from the work surface, when I am making a string I tend to use a clamp at each end to keep anything from moving whilst I wind the string around the posts, these feet are the natural places to place the clamp and they work well.
For a normal string length for a recurve, hunting bow or flatbow the standard jig is sufficient. The extension to the jig allows a string to be made for the longest of longbows, in the past I have worked with planks of wood with 4 inch nails banged in and this jig now makes life so much easier. The extension comes with excellent instructions and the parts are even colour coded with assembly "dots" placed so that even a child could put it together, included is an allen key and because of the really nice large twisting nuts the whole thing can be put together with fingers and will tighten up nice and solid, the extension bar retails at £15.
For a finale the jig will also accept a crossbow adapter, this is a disc which attaches to the channel to allow one of the crossbars to be moved closer to the other end - this retails at £10
This is a one stop string solution, it's beefy, solid and the extension means it is the only endless string jig you will ever need.
Features & Design
The folks at Sherwood are engineers, this means they look to design products to perform the task they are required to do, this jig has had no corners cut on the quality and quantity of materials used, they have produced a jig and extension which will get the job done in the most efficient manner whilst being simple to use.
Excellent, it's solid construction allows the string maker to confidently get on with the job.
Value for Money
When a product delivers exactly what you want from it then it will always be value for money - in addition you can look forward to a lifetime of service from a quality product.
Right from the design to construction this jig does everything and more that the string maker could require. Sherwood didn't stop there though, they followed through in the finish of the jig too even down to the coloured dots to allow easy assembly. Right now this is the best string jig on the market.